Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the world-- the main cause of death from colorectal cancer is hepatic metastases, which can be treated with isolated hepatic perfusion (IHP). Searching for the most clinically relevant approaches for treating colorectal metastatic disease by isolated hepatic perfusion (IHP), we developed the application of oxaliplatin concomitantly with hyperthermia and humanized death receptor 4 (DR4) antibody mapatumumab (Mapa), and investigated the molecular mechanisms of this multimodality treatment in human colon cancer cell lines CX-1 and HCT116 as well as human colon cancer stem cells Tu-12, Tu-21 and Tu-22. We showed here, in this study, that the synergistic effect of the multimodality treatment-induced apoptosis was caspase dependent and activated death signaling via both the extrinsic apoptotic pathway and the intrinsic pathway. Death signaling was activated by c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling which led to Bcl-xL phosphorylation at serine 62, decreasing the anti-apoptotic activity of Bcl-xL, which contributed to the intrinsic pathway. The downregulation of cellular FLICE inhibitory protein long isoform (c-FLIPL) in the extrinsic pathway was accomplished through ubiquitination at lysine residue (K) 195 and protein synthesis inhibition. Overexpression of c-FLIPL mutant (K195R) and Bcl-xL mutant (S62A) completely abrogated the synergistic effect. The successful outcome of this study supports the application of multimodality strategy to patients with colorectal hepatic metastases who fail to respond to standard chemoradiotherapy that predominantly targets the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway.
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