DR5-mediated DISC controls caspase-8 cleavage and initiation of apoptosis in human glioblastomas

Anita C. Bellail, Margaret C.L. Tse, Jin H. Song, Surasak Phuphanich, Jeffrey J. Olson, Shi Yong Sun, Chunhai Hao

62 Scopus citations


To explore the molecular mechanisms by which glioblastomas are resistant to tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), we examined TRAIL signalling pathways in the tumours. TRAIL has four membrane-anchored receptors, death receptor 4/5 (DR4/5) and decoy receptor 1/2 (DcR1/2). Of these receptors, only DR5 was expressed consistently in glioblastoma cell lines and tumour tissues, ruling out the role of DcR1/2 in TRAIL resistance. Upon TRAIL binding, DR5 was homotrimerized and recruited Fas-associated death domain (FADD) and caspase-8 for the assembly of death-inducing signalling complex (DISC) in the lipid rafts of the plasma membrane. In the DISC, caspase-8 was cleaved and initiated apoptosis by cleaving downstream caspases in TRAIL-sensitive glioblastoma cells. In TRAIL-resistant cells, however, DR5-mediated DISC was modified by receptor-interacting protein (RIP), cellular FADD-like interleukin-1β-converting enzyme inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) and phosphoprotein enriched in diabetes or in astrocyte-15 (PED/PEA-15). This DISC modification occurred in the non-raft fractions of the plasma membrane and resulted in the inhibition of caspase-8 cleavage and activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Treatment of resistant cells with parthenolide, an inhibitor of inhibitor of κB (I-κB), eliminated TRAIL-induced NF-κB activity but not TRAIL resistance. In contrast, however, targeting of RIP, c-FLIP or PED/PEA-15 with small interfering RNA (siRNA) led to the redistribution of the DISC from non-rafts to lipid rafts and eliminated the inhibition of caspase-8 cleavage and thereby TRAIL resistance. Taken together, this study indicates that the DISC modification by RIP, c-FLIP and PED/PEA-15 is the most upstream event in TRAIL resistance in glioblastomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1303-1317
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number6 A
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010


Cite this

DR5-mediated DISC controls caspase-8 cleavage and initiation of apoptosis in human glioblastomas. / Bellail, Anita C.; Tse, Margaret C.L.; Song, Jin H.; Phuphanich, Surasak; Olson, Jeffrey J.; Sun, Shi Yong; Hao, Chunhai.

In: Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Vol. 14, No. 6 A, 01.06.2010, p. 1303-1317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle