Lactobacillus strains induce TRAIL production and facilitate natural killer activity against cancer cells

FEBS Lett. 2010 Feb 5;584(3):577-82. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.12.004. Epub 2009 Dec 6.


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is an endogenous cytokine that induces apoptosis in malignant tumor cells. Here, we show for the first time that lactobacilli induce TRAIL production in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Treatment with lactobacilli induced TRAIL on the cell surface of PBMC and in culture medium. The TRAIL production induced by lactobacilli partially depends on IFN-alpha and IFN-gamma. Lactobacilli treatment facilitated NK activity of PBMC against prostate cancer cells. Moreover, TRAIL neutralization antibody efficiently prevented the NK activity. Our results indicate that lactobacilli facilitate NK activity through TRAIL production, and raise the possibility of a new TRAIL-based strategy against malignant tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Natural / metabolism*
  • Lactobacillus plantarum / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / genetics
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / metabolism*


  • Interferon-alpha
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • Interferon-gamma