It has been shown that excess stress to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) triggers apoptosis, but the mechanisms underlying these processes remain unclear. We and others have reported previously that DR5 expression is up-regulated in thapsigargin (THG)-treated human cancer cells. Here, we provide evidence that CHOP is involved in THG up-regulation of DR5, which is a critical step for ER stress-induced apoptosis in human cancer cells. In human colon cancer HCT116 cells, knockdown of DR5 by siRNA blocked THG-induced Bax conformational change along with caspase-3 activation and cell death. Moreover, inhibition of CHOP expression attenuated DR5 up-regulation and apoptosis induced by THG, whereas ectopic expression of DR5 restored the sensitivity of CHOP siRNA-transfected cells to THG-induced apoptosis. In addition to HCT116 cells, inhibition of CHOP or DR5 induction also attenuated THG-induced cell death in other cancer cell lines including LNCaP, A2780S, and DU145, indicating that CHOP and DR5 are critical for ER stress-mediated apoptosis in human carcinoma cells. Furthermore, we identified a potential CHOP-binding site in the 5′-flanking region of the DR5 gene. Mutation of this site abrogated the enhanced reporter activity in response to THG treatment. Together, our findings suggest that CHOP regulates ER stress-induced apoptosis, at least in part, through enhancing DR5 expression in some types of human cancer cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology