Hyperthermia-enhanced TRAIL- and mapatumumab-induced apoptotic death is mediated through mitochondria in human colon cancer cells

J Cell Biochem. 2012 May;113(5):1547-58. doi: 10.1002/jcb.24023.


Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the world; death usually results from uncontrolled metastatic disease. Previously, we developed a novel strategy of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Apo2L/TRAIL) in combination with hyperthermia to treat hepatic colorectal metastases. However, previous studies suggest a potential hepatocyte cytotoxicity with TRAIL. Unlike TRAIL, anti-human TRAIL receptor antibody induces apoptosis without hepatocyte toxicity. In this study, we evaluated the anti-tumor efficacy of humanized anti-death receptor 4 (DR4) antibody mapatumumab (Mapa) by comparing it with TRAIL in combination with hyperthermia. TRAIL, which binds to both DR4 and death receptor 5 (DR5), was approximately tenfold more effective than Mapa in inducing apoptosis. However, hyperthermia enhances apoptosis induced by either agent. We observed that the synergistic effect was mediated through elevation of reactive oxygen species, c-Jun N-terminal kinase activation, Bax oligomerization, and translocalization to the mitochondria, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome c to cytosol, activation of caspases, and increase in poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage. We believe that the successful outcome of this study will support the application of Mapa in combination with hyperthermia to colorectal hepatic metastases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Apoptosis
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / deficiency
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / genetics
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / deficiency
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / metabolism
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / administration & dosage*
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / metabolism
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / deficiency
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / genetics
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • BAX protein, human
  • BBC3 protein, human
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFRSF10A protein, human
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • mapatumumab