Targeting Bcl-2-mediated cell death as a novel therapy in pancreatic cancer

Diego J. Muilenburg, Jodi M. Coates, Subbulakshmi Virudachalam, Richard J Bold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Bcl-2 is an essential regulator of programmed cell death (PCD). Overexpression of Bcl-2 is common in pancreatic cancer; the high levels have been shown to correlate with resistance to PCD. This resistance is mediated by binding of Bcl-2 via its BH-3 domain to diverse proteins, including the Bax/Bak family members, various protein kinases, and beclin 1, which are involved in regulation of autophagy (type II PCD). Small molecule inhibitors of BH-3-mediated binding of Bcl-2 have been recently developed, although no investigation has been conducted in pancreatic cancer, a malignancy characterized by extreme resistance to PCD. Methods: The effect of the Bcl-2 binding inhibitor A-779024 on PCD was assessed by fluorescence activated cell sorting; the effect on Bcl-2 and other PCD-related proteins was analyzed by immunoblotting. Induction of autophagy was determined by fluorescence microscopy using a stably transfected GFP-LC3 construct to visualize autophagosome formation. Co-localization of Bcl-2 with binding partners regulating PCD was examined by immunoprecipitation and confocal immunofluorescent microscopy. Results: A-779024 induced PCD in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. No change was seen in the protein levels of Bcl-2, Bax, Bcl-XL, or Mcl-1. Contrary to prediction, A-779024 was ineffective at inducing autophagy in these cells. Co-localization studies demonstrated that Bcl-2 was not bound to beclin 1 and, therefore, treatment with A-779024 could not induce release of beclin 1 and initiation of autophagy. Conclusions: Disruption of Bcl-2 activity using the small molecule inhibitor A-779024 induces apoptotic but not autophagic PCD. This approach may be a novel therapy, either alone or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy or autophagy modulating agents in pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-281
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume163
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

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Autophagy
Pancreatic Neoplasms
Cell Death
Therapeutics
bcl-2-Associated X Protein
Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
Fluorescence Microscopy
Immunoprecipitation
Immunoblotting
Confocal Microscopy
Protein Kinases
Flow Cytometry
Drug Therapy
Beclin-1
Neoplasms
Proteins

Keywords

  • apoptosis
  • autophagy
  • Bcl-2
  • beclin 1
  • BH-3
  • pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Targeting Bcl-2-mediated cell death as a novel therapy in pancreatic cancer. / Muilenburg, Diego J.; Coates, Jodi M.; Virudachalam, Subbulakshmi; Bold, Richard J.

In: Journal of Surgical Research, Vol. 163, No. 2, 10.2010, p. 276-281.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Muilenburg, Diego J. ; Coates, Jodi M. ; Virudachalam, Subbulakshmi ; Bold, Richard J. / Targeting Bcl-2-mediated cell death as a novel therapy in pancreatic cancer. In: Journal of Surgical Research. 2010 ; Vol. 163, No. 2. pp. 276-281.
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abstract = "Background: Bcl-2 is an essential regulator of programmed cell death (PCD). Overexpression of Bcl-2 is common in pancreatic cancer; the high levels have been shown to correlate with resistance to PCD. This resistance is mediated by binding of Bcl-2 via its BH-3 domain to diverse proteins, including the Bax/Bak family members, various protein kinases, and beclin 1, which are involved in regulation of autophagy (type II PCD). Small molecule inhibitors of BH-3-mediated binding of Bcl-2 have been recently developed, although no investigation has been conducted in pancreatic cancer, a malignancy characterized by extreme resistance to PCD. Methods: The effect of the Bcl-2 binding inhibitor A-779024 on PCD was assessed by fluorescence activated cell sorting; the effect on Bcl-2 and other PCD-related proteins was analyzed by immunoblotting. Induction of autophagy was determined by fluorescence microscopy using a stably transfected GFP-LC3 construct to visualize autophagosome formation. Co-localization of Bcl-2 with binding partners regulating PCD was examined by immunoprecipitation and confocal immunofluorescent microscopy. Results: A-779024 induced PCD in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. No change was seen in the protein levels of Bcl-2, Bax, Bcl-XL, or Mcl-1. Contrary to prediction, A-779024 was ineffective at inducing autophagy in these cells. Co-localization studies demonstrated that Bcl-2 was not bound to beclin 1 and, therefore, treatment with A-779024 could not induce release of beclin 1 and initiation of autophagy. Conclusions: Disruption of Bcl-2 activity using the small molecule inhibitor A-779024 induces apoptotic but not autophagic PCD. This approach may be a novel therapy, either alone or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy or autophagy modulating agents in pancreatic cancer.",
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AB - Background: Bcl-2 is an essential regulator of programmed cell death (PCD). Overexpression of Bcl-2 is common in pancreatic cancer; the high levels have been shown to correlate with resistance to PCD. This resistance is mediated by binding of Bcl-2 via its BH-3 domain to diverse proteins, including the Bax/Bak family members, various protein kinases, and beclin 1, which are involved in regulation of autophagy (type II PCD). Small molecule inhibitors of BH-3-mediated binding of Bcl-2 have been recently developed, although no investigation has been conducted in pancreatic cancer, a malignancy characterized by extreme resistance to PCD. Methods: The effect of the Bcl-2 binding inhibitor A-779024 on PCD was assessed by fluorescence activated cell sorting; the effect on Bcl-2 and other PCD-related proteins was analyzed by immunoblotting. Induction of autophagy was determined by fluorescence microscopy using a stably transfected GFP-LC3 construct to visualize autophagosome formation. Co-localization of Bcl-2 with binding partners regulating PCD was examined by immunoprecipitation and confocal immunofluorescent microscopy. Results: A-779024 induced PCD in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. No change was seen in the protein levels of Bcl-2, Bax, Bcl-XL, or Mcl-1. Contrary to prediction, A-779024 was ineffective at inducing autophagy in these cells. Co-localization studies demonstrated that Bcl-2 was not bound to beclin 1 and, therefore, treatment with A-779024 could not induce release of beclin 1 and initiation of autophagy. Conclusions: Disruption of Bcl-2 activity using the small molecule inhibitor A-779024 induces apoptotic but not autophagic PCD. This approach may be a novel therapy, either alone or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy or autophagy modulating agents in pancreatic cancer.

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