MLH1 expression sensitises ovarian cancer cells to cell death mediated by XIAP inhibition.
BACKGROUND: The X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), an endogenous apoptosis suppressor, can determine the level of caspase accumulation and the resultant response to apoptosis-inducing agents such as cisplatin in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). In addition, the mismatch repair protein, hMLH1, has been linked to DNA damage-induced apoptosis by cisplatin by both p53-dependent and -independent mechanisms. METHODS: In this study, hMLH1 expression was correlated with clinical response to platinum drugs and survival in advanced stage (III-IV) EOC patients. We then investigated whether MLH1 loss was a determinant in anti-apoptosis response to cisplatin mediated by XIAP in isogenic and established EOC cell lines with differential p53 status. RESULTS: The percentage of cells undergoing cisplatin-induced cell killing was higher in MLH1-proficient cells than in MLH1-defective cells. In addition, the presence of wild-type hMLH1 or hMLH1 re-expression significantly increased sensitivity to 6-thioguanine, a MMR-dependent agent. Cell-death response to 6-thioguanine and cisplatin was associated with significant proteolysis of MLH1, with XIAP destabilisation and increased caspase-3 activity. The siRNA-mediated inhibition of XIAP increased MLH1 proteolysis and cell death in MLH1-proficient cells but not in MLH1-defective cells. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that XIAP inhibitors may prove to be an effective means of sensitising EOC to MLH1-dependent apoptosis.
Ding, X; Mohd, AB; Huang, Z; Baba, T; Bernardini, MQ; Lyerly, HK; Berchuck, A; Murphy, SK; Buermeyer, AB; Devi, GR
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