Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients, including those co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are at increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We evaluated the ability of agonistic human monoclonal antibodies to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptors, mapatumumab and lexatumumab, respectively, to induce TRAIL-receptor mediated apoptosis (TRMA) in HCC (HCV-infected and -uninfected) cells and in peripheral blood cells (HIV-infected and -uninfected). Methods: Susceptibility to antibody-mediated TRMA was measured by caspase 3/7 activity and by confocal microscopy. Surface expression of receptors on HCV-uninfected and -infected Huh7.5 cells was measured by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (IAP) RNA levels were quantified by RT-PCR. DNA Microarray was performed using RNA isolated from Huh7.5 cells (HCV-infected and uninfected) using Affymetrix U133A chips. Results: Mapatumumab preferentially induces TRMA of HCV-infected Huh7.5 cells by binding to TRAIL-R1. Higher basal expression of TRAIL-R2 compared to that of TRAIL-R1 on HCV-uninfected Huh7.5 cells were observed. Lexatumumab induces TRMA of both HCV-infected and -uninfected cells by binding to TRAIL-R2. IFN-α has minimal effect on mapatumumab- and lexatumumab-induced TRMA. HCV infection of Huh7.5 cells up-regulates TRAIL-R1 expression and X-linked Inhibitor of apoptosis protein and survivin gene expression. Neither antibody had a pro-apoptotic effect on PBMCs from patients with HIV infection ex vivo. Conclusion: Both mapatumumab and lexatumumab are excellent candidates for therapy of HCC. HCV infection of Huh7.5 cells selectively up-regulates TRAIL-R1 receptor, associated with increased susceptibility to mapatumumab mediated TRMA. HCV infection up-regulated IAP genes, offering promise for future combination therapy using TRAIL agonists and IAP inhibitors.
- Hepatitis C virus cell culture system
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand agonistic antibodies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases