Bcl-X(L) is a chemoresistance factor in human melanoma cells that can be inhibited by antisense therapy

Int J Cancer. 2002 May 1;99(1):29-34. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10248.


Malignant melanoma is a tumor that responds poorly to a variety of apoptosis-inducing treatment modalities, such as chemotherapy. The expression of genes that regulate apoptotic cell death plays an important role in determining the sensitivity of tumor cells to chemotherapeutic intervention. Bcl-x(L) is an antiapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family and is universally expressed in human melanoma. To evaluate the Bcl-x(L) protein as a potential therapeutic target in melanoma, the influence of Bcl-x(L) expression levels on the chemoresistance of human melanoma cells was investigated. Overexpression of Bcl-x(L) in stably transfected human melanoma Mel Juso cells significantly reduced sensitivity to cisplatin-induced apoptosis (p < or = 0.05). In a parallel approach, reduction of Bcl-x(L) protein by specific AS oligonucleotide (ISIS 16009) treatment enhanced the chemosensitivity of Mel Juso cells by 62% compared to cells treated with MM control oligonucleotide (ISIS 16967) as well as chemotherapy-induced apoptosis. These data suggest that Bcl-x(L) is an important factor contributing to the chemoresistance of human melanoma. Reduction of Bcl-x(L) expression by AS oligonucleotides provides a rational and promising approach that may help to overcome chemoresistance in this malignancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • bcl-X Protein


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BCL2L1 protein, human
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Cisplatin