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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activation of the Fas-FasL signaling pathway by MDA-7/ IL-24 kills human ovarian cancer cells.

The tumor-suppressive activity of melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7 (mda-7), also known as interleukin 24 ( IL-24), has been shown in a spectrum of human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. However, mechanisms responsible for antitumor activity of mda-7 in human ovarian cancer cells have not been identified. We investigated the therapeutic activity and underlying mechanisms of adenovirus-mediated mda-7 gene (Ad-mda7) transfer in human ovarian cancer cells. Ad-mda7 treatment resulted in overexpression of MDA-7/ IL-24 protein in both ovarian cancer and normal ovarian epithelial cells. However, Ad-mda7 significantly (P = 0.001) inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis only in tumor cells and not in normal cells. Studies addressing the mechanism of action of Ad-mda7- induced tumor cell apoptosis revealed early activation of the transcription factors c-Jun and activating transcription factor 2, which in turn stimulated the transcription of an immediate downstream target, the death-inducer Fas ligand (FasL), and its cognate receptor Fas. Associated with the activation of Fas-FasL was the activation of nuclear factor kappaB and induction of Fas-associated factor 1, Fas-associated death domain, and caspase-8. Promoter-based reporter gene analyses showed that Ad-mda7 specifically activated the Fas promoter. Inhibition of Fas using small interfering RNA resulted in a significant decrease in Ad-mda7-mediated tumor cell death. Additionally, blocking of FasL with NOK-1 antibody abrogated Ad-mda7-mediated apoptosis. Collectively, these results show that Ad-mda7-mediated killing of human ovarian cancer cells involves activation of the Fas-FasL signaling pathway, a heretofore unrecognized mediator of MDA-7 apoptosis induction.[1]


  1. Activation of the Fas-FasL signaling pathway by MDA-7/IL-24 kills human ovarian cancer cells. Gopalan, B., Litvak, A., Sharma, S., Mhashilkar, A.M., Chada, S., Ramesh, R. Cancer Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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