Induction of GDF-15/NAG-1/MIC-1 in human lung carcinoma cells by retinoid-related molecules and assessment of its role in apoptosis

Humam Kadara, Claudia P. Schroeder, Dafna Lotan, Claudio Pisano, Reuben Lotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Growth and Differentiation Factor-15 (GDF-15, NAG-1, MIC-1) is induced by several apoptosis-inducing agents including the retinoid-related molecule (RRM) 6-[3-(1-adamantyl-4-hydroxyphenyl]-2-naphthalene carboxylic acid (CD437). It has been suggested that GDF-15 may be involved in the induction of apoptosis by CD437 in H460 lung cancer cells. The present study was designed to probe this hypothesis more directly. Several RRMs (CD437, ST1926 and MX3350-1) but not the retinoids all-trans- retinoic acid and 4HPR were able to induce GDF-15 in H460 cells. A similar differential effect of these retinoids was observed for the induction of p53, which has been reported to regulate GDF-15 expression. In H460 cells transfected with a neo vector control (H460-Neo), treatment with RRMs but not ATRA or 4HPR resulted in increases in p53, GDF-15 and apoptosis evidenced by poly(ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage. In contrast, RRMs failed to increase p53 or induce apoptosis in H460 cells in which p53 was inactivated by transfection of the human papillomavirus E6-6 (H460-E6-6). The increase in GDF-15 by RRMs was also compromised in the H460-E6-6 cells. Because PARP cleavage was only evident when GDF-15 levels where elevated it appeared that GDF-15 was mediating the pro-apoptotic effects of RRMs. However, silencing of GDF-15 induction by RNA interference failed to decrease the ability of CD437 and ST1926 to induce apoptosis. These results demonstrate that GDF-15 is dispensable for the pro-apoptotic activity of CD437 and ST1926.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-522
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006



  • Apoptosis
  • CD437
  • DNA damage
  • GDF-15
  • Lung cancer cells
  • NAG-1
  • Retinoids
  • ST1926
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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