Author(s): Lesinski GB, Raig ET, Guenterberg K, Brown L, Go MR,
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Abstract We hypothesized that IFN-alpha would enhance the apoptotic activity of bortezomib on melanoma cells. Combined treatment with bortezomib and IFN-alpha induced synergistic apoptosis in melanoma and other solid tumor cell lines. Apoptosis was associated with processing of procaspase-3, procaspase-7, procaspase-8, and procaspase-9 and with cleavage of Bid and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. Bortezomib plus IFN-alpha was effective at inducing apoptosis in melanoma cells that overexpressed Bcl-2 or Mcl-1, suggesting that this treatment combination can overcome mitochondrial pathways of cell survival and resistance to apoptosis. The proapoptotic effects of this treatment combination were abrogated by a caspase-8 inhibitor, led to increased association of Fas and FADD before the onset of cell death, and were significantly reduced in cells transfected with a dominant-negative FADD construct or small interfering RNA targeting Fas. These data suggest that bortezomib and IFN-alpha act through the extrinsic pathway of apoptosis via FADD-induced caspase-8 activation to initiate cell death. Finally, bortezomib and IFN-alpha displayed statistically significant antitumor activity compared with either agent alone in both the B16 murine model of melanoma and in athymic mice bearing human A375 xenografts. These data support the future clinical development of bortezomib and IFN-alpha for malignant melanoma.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology