Loss of caspase-8 expression in highly malignant human neuroblastoma cells correlates with resistance to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-induced apoptosis.Cancer Res. 2000 Aug 15; 60(16):4315-9.CR
Human neuroblastoma (NB) is a highly heterogeneous childhood cancer that is aggressively malignant or can undergo spontaneous regression that may involve apoptosis. NB-derived cell lines were tested for their sensitivity to apoptosis induced by the tumor-selective ligand tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Noninvasive S-type cell lines (NB cell lines of substrate adherent phenotype) are highly sensitive to TRAIL, whereas invasive N-type cell lines (NB cell lines of neuronal phenotype) are resistant. Whereas both S- and N-type cell lines express TRAIL-R2, FADD, and caspase-3 and -10, only S-type cells express caspase-8. Reduced levels of caspase-8 protein were also observed in a malignant stage IV NB tumor when compared with a benign ganglioneuroma. The caspase-8 gene is not deleted in either N-type NB cell lines or high-stage NB tumors. Caspase-8 expression can be induced by demethylation with 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine, which enhances sensitivity to TRAIL. Therefore, caspase-8 expression is silenced in malignant NB, which correlates to tumor severity and resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.