Gingerol sensitizes TRAIL-induced apoptotic cell death of glioblastoma cells.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2014 Sep 15 ;279(3):253-65. Epub 2014 Jul 14. PMID: 25034532
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal and aggressive astrocytoma of primary brain tumors in adults. Although there are many clinical trials to induce the cell death of glioblastoma cells, most glioblastoma cells have been reported to be resistant to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. Here, we showed that gingerol as a major component of ginger can induce TRAIL-mediated apoptosis of glioblastoma. Gingerol increased death receptor (DR) 5 levels in a p53-dependent manner. Furthermore, gingerol decreased the expression level of anti-apoptotic proteins (survivin, c-FLIP, Bcl-2, and XIAP) and increased pro-apoptotic protein, Bax and truncate Bid, by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). We also found that the sensitizing effects of gingerol in TRAIL-induced cell death were blocked by scavenging ROS or overexpressing anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2). Therefore, we showed the functions of gingerol as a sensitizing agent to induce cell death of TRAIL-resistant glioblastoma cells. This study gives rise to the possibility of applying gingerol as an anti-tumor agent that can be used for the purpose of combination treatment with TRAIL in TRAIL-resistant glioblastoma tumor therapy.