HDAC2 attenuates TRAIL-induced apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells

Susanne Schüler, Petra Fritsche, Sandra Diersch, Alexander Arlt, Roland M. Schmid, Dieter Saur, Günter Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most malignant tumors with a dismal prognosis and no effective conservative therapeutic strategies. Although it is demonstrated that histone deacetylases (HDACs), especially the class I HDACs HDAC1, 2 and 3 are highly expressed in this disease, little is known about HDAC isoenzyme specific functions.Results: Depletion of HDAC2, but not HDAC1, in the pancreatic cancer cell lines MiaPaCa2 and Panc1 resulted in a marked sensitization towards the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Correspondingly, the more class I selective HDAC inhibitor (HDACI) valproic acid (VPA) synergized with TRAIL to induce apoptosis of MiaPaCa2 and Panc1 cells. At the molecular level, an increased expression of the TRAIL receptor 1 (DR5), accelerated processing of caspase 8, pronounced cleavage of the BH3-only protein Bid, and increased effector caspase activation was observed in HDAC2-depleted and TRAIL-treated MiaPaCa2 cells.Conclusions: Our data characterize a novel HDAC2 function in PDAC cells and point to a strategy to overcome TRAIL resistance of PDAC cells, a prerequisite to succeed with a TRAIL targeted therapy in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalMolecular Cancer
StatePublished - 16 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


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