Garcinol potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis through modulation of death receptors and antiapoptotic proteins

Sahdeo Prasad, Jayaraj Ravindran, Bokyung Sung, Manoj K. Pandey, Bharat B. Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Whether garcinol, the active component of Garcinia indica, can modulate the sensitivity of cancer cells to TRAIL, a cytokine currently in phase II clinical trial, was investigated. We found that garcinol potentiated TRAIL-induced apoptosis of cancer cells as indicated by intracellular esterase activity, DNA strand breaks, accumulation of the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine, mitochondrial activity, and activation of caspase-8, -9, and -3. We found that garcinol, independent of the cell type, induced both of the TRAIL receptors, death receptor 4 (DR4) and DR5. Garcinol neither induced the receptors on normal cells nor sensitized them to TRAIL. Deletion of DR5 or DR4 by small interfering RNA significantly reduced the apoptosis induced by TRAIL and garcinol. In addition, garcinol downregulated various cell survival proteins including survivin, bcl-2, XIAP, and cFLIP, and induced bid cleavage, bax, and cytochrome c release. Induction of death receptors by garcinol was found to be independent of modulation of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-homologous protein, p53, bax, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, or c-Jun-NH2-kinase. The effect of garcinol was mediated through the generation of reactive oxygen species, in as much as induction of both death receptors, modulation of antiapoptotic and proapoptotic proteins, and potentiation of TRAIL-induced apoptosis were abolished by N-acetyl cysteine and glutathione. Interestingly, garcinol also converted TRAILresistant cells into TRAIL-sensitive cells. Overall, our results indicate that garcinol can potentiate TRAILinduced apoptosis through upregulation of death receptors and downregulation of antiapoptotic proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)856-868
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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