The stress-regulated protein p8 mediates cannabinoid-induced apoptosis of tumor cells.

“One of the most exciting areas of current research in the cannabinoid field is the study of the potential application of these compounds as antitumoral drugs. Here, we describe the signaling pathway that mediates cannabinoid-induced apoptosis of tumor cells. By using a wide array of experimental approaches, we identify the stress-regulated protein p8 (also designated as candidate of metastasis 1) as an essential mediator of cannabinoid antitumoral action and show that p8 upregulation is dependent on de novo-synthesized ceramide. We also observe that p8 mediates its apoptotic effect via upregulation of the endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes ATF-4, CHOP, and TRB3. Activation of this pathway may constitute a potential therapeutic strategy for inhibiting tumor growth.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16616335

“Marijuana has been used in medicine for many centuries, and nowadays there is a renaissance in the study of the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. One of the most active areas of research in the cannabinoid field is the study of the potential antitumoral application of these drugs. Our results unravel the mechanism of cannabinoid antitumoral action by demonstrating the proapoptotic role of the stress protein p8 via its downstream targets ATF-4, CHOP, and TRB3.

The identification of this pathway may contribute to the design of therapeutic strategies for inhibiting tumor growth. In particular, our findings can help to improve the efficiency and selectivity of potential antitumoral therapies with cannabinoids.

Our results also support that cannabinoid treatment does not activate this pathway in nontransformed cells, in line with the belief that cannabinoid proapoptotic action is selective for tumor versus nontumor cells, and that cannabinoids act in a synergic fashion with ER stress inducers as well as with other antitumoral agents.

The identification of the p8-regulated pathway described here may contribute to the design of therapeutic strategies for inhibiting tumor growth. In particular, our findings can help to improve the efficiency and selectivity of a potential cannabinoid-based antitumoral therapy.”

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1535610806000857

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