Systems biology strategy reveals PKCd is key for sensitizing TRAIL-resistant human fibrosarcoma

Kentaro Hayashi, Sho Tabata, Vincent Piras, Masaru Tomita, Kumar Selvarajoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer cells are highly variable and largely resistant to therapeutic intervention. Recently, the use of the tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induced treatment is gaining momentum due to TRAIL's ability to specifically target cancers with limited effect on normal cells. Nevertheless, several malignant cancer types still remain non-sensitive to TRAIL. Previously, we developed a dynamic computational model, based on perturbation-response differential equations approach, and predicted protein kinase C (PKC) as the most effective target, with over 95% capacity to kill human fibrosarcoma (HT1080) in TRAIL stimulation (1). Here, to validate the model prediction, which has significant implications for cancer treatment, we conducted experiments on two TRAIL-resistant cancer cell lines (HT1080 and HT29). Using PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide I, we demonstrated that cell viability is significantly impaired with over 95% death of both cancer types, in consistency with our previous model. Next, we measured caspase-3, Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), p38, and JNK activations in HT1080, and confirmed cell death occurs through apoptosis with significant increment in caspase-3 and PARP activations. Finally, to identify a crucial PKC isoform, from 10 known members, we analyzed each isoform mRNA expressions in HT1080 cells and shortlisted the highest 4 for further siRNA knock-down (KD) experiments. From these KDs, PKCd produced the most cancer cell death in conjunction with TRAIL. Overall, our approach combining model predictions with experimental validation holds promise for systems biology based cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00659
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJAN
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer
  • Cell dynamics
  • Computational model
  • Protein kinase C
  • Signaling pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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