Kurarinone promotes TRAIL-induced apoptosis by inhibiting NF-κB-dependent cFLIP expression in hela cells

Ok Won Seo, Jung Hwan Kim, Kwang Soon Lee, Kyu Sun Lee, Ji Hee Kim, Moo Ho Won, Kwon Soo Ha, Young Guen Kwon, Young Myeong Kim

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29 Citations (Scopus)


This study was designed to investigate the effects of the prenylated flavonoid kurarinone on TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL)-induced apoptosis and its underlying mechanism. A low dose of kurarinone had no significant effect on apoptosis, but this compound markedly promoted tumor cell death through elevation of Bid cleavage, cytochrome c release and caspase activation in HeLa cells treated with TRAIL. Caspase inhibitors inhibited kurarinone-mediated cell death, which indicates that the cytotoxic effect of this compound is mediated by caspase-dependent apoptosis. The cytotoxic effect of kurarinone was not associated with expression levels of Bcl-2 and IAP family proteins, such as Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bid, Bad, Bax, XIAP, cIAP-1 and cIAP-2. In addition, this compound did not regulate the death-inducing receptors DR4 and DR5. On the other hand, kurarinone significantly inhibited TRAIL-induced IKK activation, IκB degradation and nuclear translocation of NF-κB, as well as effectively suppressed cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein long form (cFLIPL) expression. The synergistic effects of kurarinone on TRAIL-induced apoptosis were mimicked when kurarinone was replaced by the NF-κB inhibitor withaferin A or following siRNA-mediated knockdown of cFLIPL. Moreover, cFLIP overexpression effectively antagonized kurarinone-mediated TRAIL sensitization. These data suggest that kurarinone sensitizes TRAIL-induced tumor cell apoptosis via suppression of NF-κB-dependent cFLIP expression, indicating that this compound can be used as an anti-tumor agent in combination with TRAIL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-664
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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