Specific resistance upon lentiviral TRAIL transfer by intracellular retention of TRAIL receptors

Cell Death Differ. 2006 Oct;13(10):1740-51. doi: 10.1038/sj.cdd.4401867. Epub 2006 Feb 10.


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) selectively induces apoptosis in many transformed cells, suggesting TRAIL as an ideal candidate for cancer gene therapy. A main obstacle in cancer therapy is intrinsic or acquired therapy resistance of malignant cells. To study induction of resistance against TRAIL, we generated lentiviral vectors allowing efficient TRAIL expression and apoptosis induction in a variety of human cancer cell lines. Within days upon TRAIL overexpression, cells became resistant towards TRAIL, but not to CD95 ligation or DNA damage by cisplatin. Cell surface expression of TRAIL receptors 1 and 2 was completely abrogated in resistant cells due to intracellular retention of the receptors by TRAIL. SiRNA directed against TRAIL resensitized the resistant cells by restoring cell surface expression of TRAIL receptors. These findings represent a novel resistance mechanism towards TRAIL, specifically caused by TRAIL overexpression, and question the use of TRAIL expression in tumor-cell targeting gene therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Death Domain Receptor Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Lentivirus / genetics*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Transduction, Genetic
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Death Domain Receptor Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFRSF10A protein, human
  • TNFRSF10B protein, human
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Peptides and Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Cisplatin