The powerful inducer of apoptosis Apo2L/TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has generated exciting promise as a potential tumour specific cancer therapeutic agent, since it selectively induces apoptosis in transformed versus normal cells. Interferons (IFNs) are important modulators of TRAIL expression, thus the ligand appears to play an important role in surveillance against viral infection and malignant transformation. In the light of the emerging importance of TRAIL in cancer therapy, we will discuss the molecular basis of the cooperation of TRAIL and IFNs or chemotherapeutic drugs. In particular, we will focus on the data known to date concerning the biochemical pathways leading to TRAIL-induced apoptosis in specific cancer cells and warranting further work to enable the investigation in cancer patients.
Keywords: trail, apoptosis, cancer therapy, ifns, chemotherapeutic drugs
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