Antileukemic drugs increase death receptor 5 levels and enhance Apo-2L-induced apoptosis of human acute leukemia cells

Jinghai Wen, Nimmanapalli Ramadevi, Diep Nguyen, Charles Perkins, Elizabeth Worthington, Kapil Bhalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


In present studies, treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL, also known as Apo-2 ligand [Apo-2L]) is shown to induce apoptosis of the human acute leukemia HL-60, U937, and Jurkat cells in a dose-dependent manner, with the maximum effect seen following treatment of Jurkat cells with 0.25 μg/mL of Apo-2L (95.0% ± 3.5% of apoptotic cells). Susceptibility of these acute leukemia cell types, which are known to lack p53(wt) function, did not appear to correlate with the levels of the apoptosis-signaling death receptors (DRs) of Apo-2L, ie, DR4 and DR5; decoy receptors (DcR1 and 2); FLAME-1 (cFLIP); or proteins in the inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAP) family. Apo-2L-induced apoptosis was associated with the processing of caspase-8, Bid, and the cytosolic accumulation of cytochrome c as well as the processing of caspase-9 and caspase-3. Apo-2L-induced apoptosis was significantly inhibited in HL-60 cells that overexpressed Bcl-2 or Bcl-x(L). Cotreatment with either a caspase-8 or a caspase-9 inhibitor suppressed Apo-2L-induced apoptosis. Treatment of human leukemic cells with etoposide, Ara-C, or doxorubicin increased DR5 but not DR4, Fas, DcR1, DcR2, Fas ligand, or Apo-2L levels. Importantly, sequential treatment of HL-60 cells with etoposide, Ara-C, or doxorubicin followed by Apo-2L induced significantly more apoptosis than treatment with Apo-2L, etoposide, doxorubicin, or Ara-C alone, or cotreatment with Apo-2L and the antileukemic drugs, or treatment with the reverse sequence of Apo-2L followed by one of the antileukemic drugs. These findings indicate that treatment with etoposide, Ara-C, or doxorubicin up-regulates DR5 levels in a p53-independent manner and sensitizes human acute leukemia cells to Apo-2L-induced apoptosis. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3900-3906
Number of pages7
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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