TRAIL promotes caspase-dependent pro-inflammatory responses via PKCδ activation by vascular smooth muscle cells

S. Song, K. Choi, S. W. Ryu, S. W. Kang, C. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) is best known for its selective cytotoxicity against transformed tumor cells. Most non-transformed primary cells and several cancer cell lines are not only resistant to death receptor-induced apoptosis, but also subject to inflammatory responses in a nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-dependent manner. Although the involvement of TRAIL in a variety of vascular disorders has been proposed, the exact molecular mechanisms are unclear. Here, we aimed to delineate the role of TRAIL in inflammatory vascular response. We also sought possible molecular mechanisms to identify potential targets for the prevention and treatment of post-angioplastic restenosis and atherosclerosis. Treatment with TRAIL increased the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 by primary human vascular smooth muscle cells via protein kinase C (PKC)δ and NF-κB activation. Following detailed analysis using various PKCδ mutants, we determined that PKCδ activation was mediated by caspase-dependent proteolysis. The protective role of PKCδ was further confirmed in post-traumatic vascular remodeling in vivo. We propose that the TRAIL/TRAIL receptor system has a critical role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory vascular disorders by transducing pro-inflammatory signals via caspase-mediated PKCδ cleavage and subsequent NF-κB activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the Mid-Career Researcher Program through a National Research Foundation grant funded by the Korean government MEST (no. 2009-0080280 to CC).


  • Caspase
  • Inflammation
  • Signal transduction


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