Author(s): Kock N, Kasmieh R, Weissleder R, Shah K
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Abstract Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) can selectively kill tumor cells and, in combination with other agents, could enhance tumor therapy. We explored the combined therapeutic effects of a secretable form of (S) TRAIL-induced apoptosis and the downregulation of Bcl-2 in human gliomas. We constructed a lentiviral delivery system: 1) for the expression of short hairpin (sh) RNA to downregulate Bcl-2 and for the expression of S-TRAIL to induce apoptosis in glioma cells; and 2) to follow delivery in vitro and the fate of tumors in real time in vivo. We demonstrate that lentiviral-mediated simultaneous downregulation of Bcl-2 and S-TRAIL-induced apoptosis leads to an increased expression of activated caspase-3 and caspase-7, thus resulting in accelerated S-TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in glioma cells in vitro. Using a highly malignant human glioma model expressing EGFRvIII and firefly luciferase, we show that the combined effect of Bcl-2 downregulation and S-TRAIL-induced apoptosis results in complete eradication of gliomas compared to S-TRAIL monotherapy. These results show that simultaneous triggering of TRAIL-mediated death receptor pathway and downregulation of Bcl-2 by shRNA leads to enhanced eradication of gliomas and serves as a template in developing and monitoring combination therapies for the treatment of drug-resistant cancers.
This article was published in Neoplasia
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy