TRAIL in Combination with Subtoxic 5-FU Effectively Inhibit Cell Proliferation and Induce Apoptosis in Cholangiocarcinoma Cells

  • Sriraksa, Ruethairat (Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, and Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Limpaiboon, Temduang (Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, and Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University)
  • Published : 2015.11.04


In the past decade, the incidence and mortality rates of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) have been increasing worldwide. The relatively low responsiveness of CCA to conventional chemotherapy leads to poor overall survival. Recently, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL or Apo2L) has emerged as the most promising anti-cancer therapeutic agent since it is able to selectively induce apoptosis of tumor cells but not normal cells. In this study, we aimed to investigate the therapeutic effect of TRAIL in CCA cell lines (M213, M214 and KKU100) compared with the immortal biliary cell line, MMNK1, either alone or in combination with a subtoxic dose of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). We found that recombinant human TRAIL (rhTRAIL) was a potential agent which significantly inhibited cell proliferation and mediated caspase activities (caspases 8, 9 and 3/7) and apoptosis of CCA cells. The combined treatment of rhTRAIL and 5-FU effectively enhanced inhibition of CCA cell growth with a smaller effect on MMNK1. Our finding suggests TRAIL to be a novel anti-cancer therapeutic agent and advantage of its combination with a conventional chemotherapeutic drug for effective treatment of CCA.


Novel cancer therapy;TRAIL/Apo2L;non-conventional anti-cancer therapy;apoptosis


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