Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) are promising agents for cancer therapy. However, the mechanism(s) responsible for the efficacy of HDACIs have not yet to be fully elucidated. Death receptor 5 (DR5) is a transmembrane receptor containing death domain that triggers cell death upon binding to TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) or agonistic anti-DR5 monoclonal antibody, and the combination of TRAIL/agonistic anti-DR5 monoclonal antibody and agents that increase the expression of DR5 is expected as a novel anticancer therapeutic strategy. Here we report that six different HDACIs activated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress sensor PERK and eIF2α and induced the ATF4/ATF3/CHOP pathway in p53-deficient human colon cancer cells. This resulted in an increased expression of DR5 on the cell surface and sensitized cells to apoptosis by agonistic anti-DR5 monoclonal antibody. Stress response gene ATF3 was required for efficient DR5 induction by HDACIs, and DR5 reporter assay showed that ATF3 play crucial role for the HDACIs-induced activation of DR5 gene transcription. These provide important mechanistic insight into how HDACIs exhibit pro-apoptotic activity in clinical anti-cancer treatments when they are used in combination with other therapeutic strategies.
Keywords: ATF3; Agonistic anti-DR5 antibody; DR5; ER stress; HDACI.
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