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Downregulation of uPAR and Cathepsin B Induces Apoptosis via Regulation of Bcl-2 and Bax and Inhibition of the PI3K/Akt Pathway in Gliomas

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Title: Downregulation of uPAR and Cathepsin B Induces Apoptosis via Regulation of Bcl-2 and Bax and Inhibition of the PI3K/Akt Pathway in Gliomas
Author(s): Malla, Ramarao; Gopinath, Sreelatha; Alapati, Kiranmai; Gondi, Christopher S.; Gujrati, Meena; Dinh, Dzung H.; Mohanam, Sanjeeva; Rao, Jasti S.
Subject(s): apoptosis gliomas
Abstract: Background: Glioma is the most commonly diagnosed primary brain tumor and is characterized by invasive and infiltrative behavior. uPAR and cathepsin B are known to be overexpressed in high-grade gliomas and are strongly correlated with invasive cancer phenotypes. Methodology/Principal Findings: In the present study, we observed that simultaneous downregulation of uPAR and cathepsin B induces upregulation of some pro-apoptotic genes and suppression of anti-apoptotic genes in human glioma cells. uPAR and cathepsin B (pCU)-downregulated cells exhibited decreases in the Bcl-2/Bax ratio and initiated the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential. We also observed that the broad caspase inhibitor, Z-Asp-2, 6-dichlorobenzoylmethylketone rescued pCU-induced apoptosis in U251 cells but not in 5310 cells. Immunoblot analysis of caspase-9 immunoprecipitates for Apaf-1 showed that uPAR and cathepsin B knockdown activated apoptosome complex formation in U251 cells. Downregulation of uPAR and cathepsin B also retarded nuclear translocation and interfered with DNA binding activity of CREB in both U251 and 5310 cells. Further western blotting analysis demonstrated that downregulation of uPAR and cathepsin B significantly decreased expression of the signaling molecules p-PDGFR-β, p-PI3K and p-Akt. An increase in the number of TUNEL-positive cells, increased Bax expression, and decreased Bcl-2 expression in nude mice brain tumor sections and brain tissue lysates confirm our in vitro results. Conclusions/Significance: In conclusion, RNAi-mediated downregulation of uPAR and cathepsin B initiates caspase-dependent mitochondrial apoptosis in U251 cells and caspase-independent mitochondrial apoptosis in 5310 cells. Thus, targeting uPAR and cathepsin B-mediated signaling using siRNA may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of gliomas.
Issue Date: 2010-10-29
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation Info: Malla, R., Gopinath, S., Alapati, K., Gondi, C. S., Gujrati, M., Dinh, D. H., Mohanam, S., & Rao, J. S. 2010. Downregulation of uPAR and cathepsin B induces apoptosis via regulation of Bcl-2 and Bax and inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway in gliomas. PLoS One, 5(10): e13731. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013731
Type: Article
Description: © 2010 Malla et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The original source for this publication is at the Public Library of Science. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013731.
ISSN: 1923-6203
Sponsor: This research was supported by a grant from National Institutes of Health, CA116708 and CA75557 (to J.S.R.).
Date Available in INDIGO: 2011-05-27

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