eNOS protects prostate cancer cells from TRAIL-induced apoptosis

Xin Tong, Honglin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is a potent anti-cancer agent because it induces apoptosis of most tumor cells with little or no effect on normal cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of TRAIL on human prostate normal and cancer cell lines, and found that the prostate cancer cell lines PC-3, ALVA-31, DU 145 and TSU-Pr1 were sensitive to TRAIL-induced apoptosis, while normal PrEC cells and cancer cell line LNCaP were resistant. No correlation was found between the sensitivity of cells to TRAIL and the expression of TRAIL receptors DR4 and DR5, and pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bak. However, LNCaP cells displayed a high Akt activity. Furthermore, we found that endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), one of the Akt substrates, was highly expressed in LNCaP but not in other cells. Inhibition of eNOS activity by NOS inhibitor sensitized LNCaP cells to TRAIL. Moreover, PC-3 cell clones stably expressing eNOS were resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that eNOS can regulate the sensitivity of prostate cancer cells to TRAIL, and down-regulation of eNOS activity may sensitize prostate cancer cells to TRAIL-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 8 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt
  • Apoptosis
  • Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
  • Prostate cancer cells
  • Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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