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RIP-1/c-FLIPL Induce Hepatic Cancer Cell Apoptosis Through Regulating Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL)

Jichun Sun, Xiao Yu, Changfa Wang, Can Yu, Zhiqiang Li, Wanpin Nie, Xundi Xu, Xiongying Miao, Xiaoxin Jin

(Department of General Surgery, The 3rd Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1190-1199

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899727

BACKGROUND: Almost all hepatic cancer cells have resistance to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis. c-FLIPL and RIP-1 are apoptotic negative regulatory factors. This study investigated the role of c-FLIPL and RIP-1 in hepatic cancer cell resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: HepG2 cells were treated by TRAIL, RIP-1 siRNA, and/or BY11-7082. Cell viability was detected by MTT assay. Cell apoptosis was tested by flow cytometry. DISC component proteins, RIP-1, and p-p65 were measured by Western blot. Caspase-8 and caspase-3 were determined by spectrophotometry.
RESULTS: Single TRAIL treatment showed no significant impact on cell proliferation and apoptosis. HepG2 cells expressed high levels of RIP1 and c-FLIPL, while a high concentration of TRAIL upregulated RIP-1 and c-FLIPL expression but not DR4 and DR5. Single TRAIL treatment did not obviously activate caspase-8 and caspase-3. RIP-1 or c-FLIPL siRNA markedly induced cell apoptosis and enhanced caspase-8 and caspase-3 activities. Combined transfection obviously increased apoptotic cells. TRAIL markedly upregulated RIP-1 expression and enhanced p-p65 protein. Downregulating RIP-1 and/or BAY11-7082 significantly reduced NF-kB transcriptional activity, blocked cells in G0/G1 phase, weakened proliferation, elevated caspase-8 and caspase-3 activities, and promoted cell apoptosis.
CONCLUSIONS: TRAIL can enhance RIP1 and c-FLIPL expression in HepG2 cells. High expression of RIP1 and c-FLIPL is an important reason for TRAIL resistance. Downregulation of RIP1 and c-FLIPL can relieve caspase-8 suppression, activate caspase-3, and promote cell apoptosis. TRAIL mediates apoptosis resistance through upregulating RIP-1 expression, enhancing NF-kB transcriptional activity, and weakening caspase activity.

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