Tumoricidal activity of a novel anti-human DR5 monoclonal antibody without hepatocyte cytotoxicity

Nat Med. 2001 Aug;7(8):954-60. doi: 10.1038/91000.


A novel anti-human DR5 monoclonal antibody, TRA-8, induces apoptosis of most tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-sensitive tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast to both the membrane-bound form of human TRAIL, which induced severe hepatitis in mice, and the soluble form of human TRAIL, which induced apoptosis of normal human hepatocytes in vitro, TRA-8 did not induce significant cell death of normal human hepatocytes. However, both primary hepatocellular carcinoma cells and an established liver cancer cell line were highly susceptible to the killing mediated by TRA-8. We show here that elevated levels of cell-surface expression of DR5 and increased susceptibility to DR5-mediated apoptosis are characteristics of malignant tumor cells. In contrast, DR5 alone is not sufficient to trigger apoptosis of normal hepatocytes. Therefore, selective, specific targeting of DR5 with an agonistic antibody might be a safe and effective strategy for cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • DNA Primers
  • Female
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Hepatocytes / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFRSF10B protein, human
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • Tnfrsf10b protein, mouse
  • Tnfsf10 protein, mouse
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha