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

c-FLIP: a key regulator of colorectal cancer cell death.

c-FLIP is an inhibitor of apoptosis mediated by the death receptors Fas, DR4, and DR5 and is expressed as long (c-FLIP(L)) and short (c-FLIP(S)) splice forms. We found that small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated silencing of c-FLIP induced spontaneous apoptosis in a panel of p53 wild-type, mutant, and null colorectal cancer cell lines and that this apoptosis was mediated by caspase-8 and Fas-associated death domain. Further analyses indicated the involvement of DR5 and/or Fas (but not DR4) in regulating apoptosis induced by c-FLIP siRNA. Interestingly, these effects were not dependent on activation of DR5 or Fas by their ligands tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand and FasL. Overexpression of c-FLIP(L), but not c-FLIP(S), significantly decreased spontaneous and chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in HCT116 cells. Further analyses with splice form-specific siRNAs indicated that c-FLIP(L) was the more important splice form in regulating apoptosis in HCT116, H630, and LoVo cells, although specific knockdown of c-FLIP(S) induced more apoptosis in the HT29 cell line. Importantly, intratumoral delivery of c-FLIP-targeted siRNA duplexes induced apoptosis and inhibited the growth of HCT116 xenografts in BALB/c severe combined immunodeficient mice. In addition, the growth of c-FLIP(L)-overexpressing colorectal cancer xenografts was more rapid than control xenografts, an effect that was significantly enhanced in the presence of chemotherapy. These results indicate that c-FLIP inhibits spontaneous death ligand-independent, death receptor-mediated apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells and that targeting c-FLIP may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of colorectal cancer.[1]


  1. c-FLIP: a key regulator of colorectal cancer cell death. Wilson, T.R., McLaughlin, K.M., McEwan, M., Sakai, H., Rogers, K.M., Redmond, K.M., Johnston, P.G., Longley, D.B. Cancer Res. (2007) [Pubmed]
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