, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 1465–1478 | Cite as

Expression of anti-apoptotic factors modulates Apo2L/TRAIL resistance in colon carcinoma cells

  • Mara S. Lippa
  • Laura D. Strockbine
  • Tiep T. Le
  • Daniel G. Branstetter
  • Craig A. Strathdee
  • Pamela M. HollandEmail author
Original Paper


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) selectively induces apoptosis in transformed cells. Normal cells and certain tumor cells can evade Apo2L/TRAIL induced cell death, but the determinants of Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity are poorly understood. To better understand the factors that contribute to Apo2L/TRAIL resistance, we characterized two colon carcinoma lines with pronounced differences in Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity. Colo205 cells are highly sensitive to Apo2L/TRAIL whereas Colo320 cells are unresponsive. Components of the DISC (death inducing signaling complex) could be immunoprecipitated from both cell lines in response to Apo2L/TRAIL. Sensitizing agents including a proteasome inhibitor conferred Apo2L/TRAIL sensitivity in Colo320 cells, indicating that the apoptotic machinery was intact and functional. We specifically suppressed the expression of Bcl-2, FLIP or XIAP in Colo320 cells. Downregulation of either FLIP or XIAP but not Bcl-2 restored sensitivity of Colo320 cells to Apo2L/TRAIL. Moreover, stable knockdown of XIAP expression in Colo320 subcutaneous tumors resulted in suppression of tumor growth and sensitivity to Apo2L/TRAIL in vivo. Our results indicate that only a specific subset of anti-apoptotic proteins can confer resistance to Apo2L/TRAIL in Colo320 cells. Elucidation of the factors that contribute to Apo2L/TRAIL resistance in tumor cells may provide insight into combination therapies with Apo2L/TRAIL in a clinical setting.


Apo2L/TRAIL XIAP shRNA Colorectal cancer Resistance Xenograft 



We thank J. Graves and A. R. v.d. Vuurst de Vries for reading the manuscript, G. Chen for help with statistical analysis and the Amgen Washington pathology, flow cytometry and animal care groups for technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mara S. Lippa
    • 1
  • Laura D. Strockbine
    • 1
  • Tiep T. Le
    • 1
  • Daniel G. Branstetter
    • 2
  • Craig A. Strathdee
    • 1
  • Pamela M. Holland
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OncologyAmgen Inc.SeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyAmgen Inc.SeattleUSA

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