Antipsychotic agent thioridazine sensitizes renal carcinoma Caki cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis through reactive oxygen species-mediated inhibition of Akt signaling and downregulation of Mcl-1 and c-FLIP(L)
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- Kwon, Taeg Kyu
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- Thioridazine has been known as an antipsychotic agent, but it also has anticancer activity. However, the effect of thioridazine on tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) sensitization has not yet been studied. Here, we investigated the ability of thioridazine to sensitize TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Combined treatment with thioridazine and TRAIL markedly induced apoptosis in various human carcinoma cells, including renal carcinoma (Caki, ACHN, and A498), breast carcinoma (MDA-MB231), and glioma (U251MG) cells, but not in normal mouse kidney cells (TMCK-1) and human normal mesangial cells. We found that thioridazine downregulated c-FLIP(L) and Mcl-1 expression at the post-translational level via an increase in proteasome activity. The overexpression of c-FLIP(L) and Mcl-1 overcame thioridazine plus TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We further observed that thioridazine inhibited the Akt signaling pathway. In contrast, although other phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt inhibitors (LY294002 and wortmannin) sensitized TRAIL-mediated apoptosis, c-FLIP(L) and Mcl-1 expressions were not altered. Furthermore, thioridazine increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Caki cells, and ROS scavengers (N-acetylcysteine, glutathione ethyl ester, and trolox) inhibited thioridazine plus TRAIL-induced apoptosis, as well as Akt inhibition and the downregulation of c-FLIP(L) and Mcl-1. Collectively, our study demonstrates that thioridazine enhances TRAIL-mediated apoptosis via the ROS-mediated inhibition of Akt signaling and the downregulation of c-FLIP(L) and Mcl-1 at the post-translational level.
Keywords: thioridazine; TRAIL; Akt; Mcl-1; c-FLIP; ROS
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