Caspase-8 is a key player in extrinsic apoptosis and its activity is often downregulated in cancer. However, human Caspase-8 expression is retained in some tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM), suggesting that it may support cancer growth in these contexts. GBM, the most aggressive of the gliomas, is characterized by extensive angiogenesis and by an inflammatory microenvironment that support its development and resistance to therapies. We have recently shown that Caspase-8 sustains neoplastic transformation in vitro in human GBM cell lines. Here, we demonstrate that Caspase-8, through activation of NF-kB, enhances the expression and secretion of VEGF, IL-6, IL-8, IL-1beta and MCP-1, leading to neovascularization and increased resistance to Temozolomide. Importantly, the bioinformatics analysis of microarray gene expression data derived from a set of high-grade human gliomas, shows that high Caspase-8 expression levels correlate with a worse prognosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)