IL13Rα2- And EGFR-targeted pseudomonas exotoxin potentiates the TRAIL-mediated death of GBM cells

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Karakaş N., Stuckey D., Revai-Lechtich E., Shah K.

International Journal of Molecular Medicine, vol.48, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3892/ijmm.2021.4978
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Molecular Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, interleukin-13 receptor, pseudomonas exotoxin, glioblastoma, targeted therapy
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Glioblastomas (GBMs) are refractory to current treatments and novel therapeutic approaches need to be explored. Pro-apoptotic tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is tumor-specific and has been shown to induce apoptosis and subsequently kill GBM cells. However, approximately 50% of GBM cells are resistant to TRAIL and a combination of TRAIL with other thera- peutics is necessary to induce mechanism-based cell death in TRAIL-resistant GBMs. The present study examined the ability of the tumor cell surface receptor, interleukin (IL)-13 receptor α2 (IL13Rα2)- and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted pseudomonas exotoxin (PE) to sensitize TRAIL-resistant GBM cells and assessed the dual effects of interleukin 13-PE (IL13-PE) or EGFR nanobody-PE (ENb-PE) and TRAIL for the treatment of a broad range of brain tumors with a distinct TRAIL therapeutic response. Receptor targeted toxins upregulated TRAIL death receptors (dR4 and dR5) and suppressed the expression of anti-apoptotic FLIcE-inhibitory protein (FLIP) and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP). This also led to the induction of the cleavage of caspase-8 and caspase-9 and resulted in the sensitization of highly resistant established GBM and patient-derived GBM stem cell (GSc) lines to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. These findings provide a mechanism-based strategy that may provide options for the cell-mediated delivery of bi-functional thera- peutics to target a wide spectrum of TRAIL-resistant GBMs.