Retinamide-induced apoptosis in glioblastomas is associated with down-regulation of Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 proteins

Richard A. Lytle, Zhihong Jiang, Xiao Zheng, Ryuji Higashikubo, Keith M. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Glioblastomas are among the most difficult neoplasms to treat with continued poor prognosis for long-term survival. Glioblastomas have developed effective mechanisms to resist chemotherapy including levels anti-apoptotic proteins, Bcl-xL and Bcl-2. Chemotherapy agents that promote down-regulation of Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 may enhance sensitivity to chemotherapy in glioblastomas. The ability of the synthetic retinoid N-(4-hydroxyphenyl) retinamide to modulate these anti-apoptotic proteins and to enhance apoptosis and chemotherapy was examined in glioblastoma cells. Expression of Bcl-2 family member proteins Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 were assessed in glioblastomas from three cell lines including U87, U251, and U138. Cells were treated with either retinamide alone or in combination with the chemotherapy agent, BCNU. The incidence of apoptosis was determined with flow cytometry analysis (FACS). Based on Western blots the levels of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL were decreased in glioblastoma cells after treatment with retinamide. Retinamide treatment resulted in increased ratios of deamidated verses transamidated levels of Bcl-xL in U87 cells. BCNU chemotherapy combined with retinamide markedly down-regulated levels of both Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 proteins in glioblastoma and enhanced the incidence of apoptosis in U87 cells. These studies demonstrate that modulation of levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins, Bcl-xL and Bcl-2, may enhance the sensitivity of glioblastoma toward chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • BCNU
  • Cell death
  • Chemotherapy
  • Deamidation
  • Retinoblastoma protein
  • Retinoids


Dive into the research topics of 'Retinamide-induced apoptosis in glioblastomas is associated with down-regulation of Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 proteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this