Dealing Naturally with Stumbling Blocks on Highways and Byways of TRAIL Induced Signaling

  • Rana, Aamir (National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB), NARC) ;
  • Attar, Rukset (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yeditepe University Hospital) ;
  • Qureshi, Muhammad Zahid (Department of Chemistry, GCU) ;
  • Gasparri, Maria Luisa (Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Sapienza University of Rome) ;
  • Donato, Violante Di (Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Urological Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome) ;
  • Ali, Ghulam Muhammad (National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB), NARC) ;
  • Farooqi, Ammad Ahmad (Laboratory for Translational Oncology and Personalized Medicine, Rashid Latif Medical College)
  • Published : 2014.10.23


In-depth analysis of how TRAIL signals through death receptors to induce apoptosis in cancer cells using high throughput technologies has added new layers of knowledge. However, the wealth of information has also highlighted the fact that TRAIL induced apoptosis may be impaired as evidenced by experimental findings obtained from TRAIL resistant cancer cell lines. Overwhelmingly, increasing understanding of TRAIL mediated apoptosis has helped in identifying synthetic and natural compounds which can restore TRAIL induced apoptosis via functionalization of either extrinsic or intrinsic pathways. Increasingly it is being realized that biologically active phytochemicals modulate TRAIL induced apoptosis, as evidenced by cell-based studies. In this review we have attempted to provide an overview of how different phytonutrients have shown efficacy in restoring apoptosis in TRAIL resistant cancer cells. We partition this review into how the TRAIL mediated signaling landscape has broadened over the years and how TRAIL induced signaling machinery crosstalks with autophagic protein networks. Subsequently, we provide a generalized view of considerable biological activity of coumarins against a wide range of cancer cell lines and how coumarins (psoralidin and esculetin) isolated from natural sources have improved TRAIL induced apoptosis in resistant cancer cells. We summarize recent updates on piperlongumine, phenethyl isothiocyanate and luteolin induced activation of TRAIL mediated apoptosis. The data obtained from pre-clinical studies will be helpful in translation of information from benchtop to the bedside.




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