Journal Article

Death receptor pathways mediate targeted and non-targeted effects of ionizing radiations in breast cancer cells

Audrey Luce, Aurélie Courtin, Céline Levalois, Sandrine Altmeyer-Morel, Paul-Henri Romeo, Sylvie Chevillard and Jérôme Lebeau

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 30, issue 3, pages 432-439
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:

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Delayed cell death by mitotic catastrophe is a frequent mode of solid tumor cell death after γ-irradiation, a widely used treatment of cancer. Whereas the mechanisms that underlie the early γ-irradiation-induced cell death are well documented, those that drive the delayed cell death are largely unknown. Here we show that the Fas, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α death receptor pathways mediate the delayed cell death observed after γ-irradiation of breast cancer cells. Early after irradiation, we observe the increased expression of Fas, TRAIL-R and TNF-R that first sensitizes cells to apoptosis. Later, the increased expression of FasL, TRAIL and TNF-α permit the apoptosis engagement linked to mitotic catastrophe. Treatments with TNF-α, TRAIL or anti-Fas antibody, early after radiation exposure, induce apoptosis, whereas the neutralization of the three death receptors pathways impairs the delayed cell death. We also show for the first time that irradiated breast cancer cells excrete soluble forms of the three ligands that can induce the death of sensitive bystander cells. Overall, these results define the molecular basis of the delayed cell death of irradiated cancer cells and identify the death receptors pathways as crucial actors in apoptosis induced by targeted as well as non-targeted effects of ionizing radiation.

Journal Article.  5767 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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