Comparative analysis of dendritic cells transduced with different anti-apoptotic molecules: Sensitivity to tumor-induced apoptosis

Levent Balkir, Irina L. Tourkova, Valeria P. Makarenkova, Galina V. Shurin, Paul D. Robbins, Xiao Ming Yin, Gurkamal Chatta, Michael R. Shurin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Tumors develop mechanisms to escape recognition by the immune system. It has recently been demonstrated that tumors cause apoptotic death of key immune cells, including the major antigen-presenting cells, dendritic cells (DC). Elimination of DC from the tumor environment significantly diminishes development of specific immunologic responses. We have recently demonstrated that tumor-induced DC apoptosis could be prevented by overexpression of the anti-apoptotic molecule Bcl-XL. The aim of this study was to identify extrinsic and intrinsic tumor-induced apoptotic pathways in DC by targeting different anti-apoptotic molecules, including FLIP, XIAP/hILP, dominant-negative procaspase-9 and HSP70. Methods: Murine bone marrow derived DC were transduced with adenoviral vectors carrying different anti-apoptotic molecules and co-incubated with tumor cells in a Transwell system. Apoptosis of DC was assessed by Annexin V and PI staining. Results: We have demonstrated that adenoviral infection of DC with genes encoding different anti-apoptotic molecules exhibits different degrees of resistance to melanoma-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, we have shown that anti-apoptotic molecules other than the Bcl-2 family of proteins are able to protect DC and prevent tumor-induced apoptosis in DC. Conclusions: The results show that tumor-induced apoptosis of DC is not limited to the mitochondrial pathway of cell death and open additional possibilities for targeted molecular protection of DC longevity in cancer. Therefore, effective protection of DC from tumor-induced apoptosis may significantly improve the efficacy of DC-based therapies for cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-544
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gene Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Anti-apoptotic molecules
  • Dendritic cells
  • Melanoma
  • Tumor-induced apoptosis

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