Death signaling provided by tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) can induce death in cancer cells with little cytotoxicity to normal cells; this cell death has been thought to involve caspase-dependent apoptosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also mediators that induce cell death, but their roles in TRAIL-induced apoptosis have not been elucidated fully. In the current study, we investigated ROS and caspases in human pancreatic cancer cells undergoing two different types of TRAIL-induced cell death, apoptosis and necroptosis. TRAIL treatment increased ROS in two TRAIL-sensitive pancreatic cancer cell lines, MiaPaCa-2 and BxPC-3, but ROS were involved in TRAIL-induced apoptosis only in MiaPaCa-2 cells. Unexpectedly, inhibition of ROS by either N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), a peroxide inhibitor, or Tempol, a superoxide inhibitor, increased the annexin V-/propidium iodide (PI)^+ early necrotic population in TRAIL-treated cells. Additionally, both necrostatin-1, an inhibitor of receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIP1), and siRNA-mediated knockdown of RIP3 decreased the annexin V^-/PI^+ early necrotic population after TRAIL treatment. Furthermore, an increase in early apoptosis was induced in TRAIL-treated cancer cells under inhibition of either caspase-2 or -9. Caspase-2 worked upstream of caspase-9, and no crosstalk was observed between ROS and caspase-2/-9 in TRAIL-treated cells. Together, these results indicate that ROS contribute to TRAIL-induced apoptosis in MiaPaCa-2 cells, and that ROS play an inhibitory role in TRAIL-induced necroptosis of MiaPaCa-2 and BxPC-3 cells, with caspase-2 and -9 playing regulatory roles in this process.
Public Library of Science
© 2015 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.