Sorafenib inhibits STAT3 activation to enhance TRAIL-mediated apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells.
Signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) is constitutively active in human pancreatic cancer cells and can promote cell growth and apoptosis resistance that contribute to tumorigenesis. We determined if sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor, can induce apoptosis by targeting STAT3 signaling to enhance apoptosis induction by tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Human pancreatic cancer cell lines (PANC-1 and BxPC-3) were preincubated with sorafenib (Nexavar) alone or followed by TRAIL. Apoptosis was determined by Annexin V labeling, caspase cleavage, and Bax/Bak activation. Protein expression was analyzed by immunoblotting. Knockdown of STAT3, Mcl-1, and Bim were achieved by lentiviral small hairpin RNA. Adenoviral dominant-negative or retroviral constitutively active (CA) STAT3 were also used. Sorafenib inhibited constitutive STAT3 phosphorylation (Tyr(705)) and suppressed Mcl-1 and Bcl-x(L) proteins in a dose- and time-dependent manner. CA-STAT3 overexpression was shown to attenuate caspase-3 cleavage and suppression of Mcl-1 by sorafenib. STAT3 knockdown or a DN STAT3 was shown to downregulate Mcl-1 and Bcl-x(L) and to sensitize cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Treatment with sorafenib enhanced TRAIL-induced Annexin V staining and release of mitochondrial cytochrome c and AIF. Because the BH3-only Bim protein is a potent inducer of mitochondrial apoptosis, Bim knockdown was shown to attenuate caspase-3, caspase-9 cleavage, and Bax/Bak activation by sorafenib plus TRAIL. The suppression of STAT3 by genetic means or using sorafenib was shown to downregulate Mcl-1 and Bcl-x(L) and to sensitize cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. These data indicate that targeting STAT3 may enhance treatment efficacy against pancreatic cancer.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.