Selective suppression of cathepsin L by antisense cDNA impairs human brain tumor cell invasion in vitro and promotes apoptosis

Natasa Levicar, Ricardo A. Dewey, Emma Daley, Timothy E. Bates, Derek Davies, Janko Kos, Geoffrey J. Pilkington, Tamara T. Lah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Invasion and metastasis of certain tumors are accompanied by increased mRNA protein levels and enzymatic activity of cathepsin L. Cathepsin L has also been suggested to play a role in the proteolytic cascades associated with apoptosis. To investigate the role of cathepsin L in brain tumor invasion and apoptosis, the human glioma cell line, IPTP, was stably transfected with full-length antisense and sense cDNA of cathepsin L. Down-regulation of cathepsin L by antisense cDNA significantly impaired (up to 70%) glioma cell invasion in vitro and markedly increased glioma cell apoptosis induced by staurosporine. Compared to control and parental cell lines, antisense down-regulation of cathepsin L was associated with an earlier induction of caspase-3 activity. Up-regulation of cathepsin L activity by sense cDNA was associated with reduced apoptosis and later induction of caspase-3 activity. Moreover, down-regulation of cathepsin L lowered the expression of antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, whereas up-regulation increased the expression of Bcl-2, indicating that cathepsin L acts upstream of caspase-3. These data show that cathepsin L is an important protein mediating the malignancy of gliomas and its inhibition may diminish their invasion and lead to increased tumor cell apoptosis by reducing apoptotic threshold.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Gene Therapy
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002

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