Genome-scale microRNA and small interfering RNA screens identify small RNA modulators of TRAIL-induced apoptosis pathway. Academic Article uri icon


  • Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) binds to death receptors 4/5 and selectively induces caspase-dependent apoptosis. The RNA interference screening approach has led to the discovery and characterization of several TRAIL pathway components in human cells. Here, libraries of synthetic small interfering RNA (siRNA) and microRNAs (miRNA) were used to probe the TRAIL pathway. In addition to known genes, siRNAs targeting CDK4, PTGS1, ALG2, CLCN3, IRAK4, and MAP3K8 altered TRAIL-induced caspase-3 activation responses. Introduction of the miRNAs let-7c, mir-10a, mir-144, mir-150, mir-155, and mir-193 also affected the activation of the caspase cascade. Putative targets of these endogenous miRNAs included genes encoding death receptors, caspases, and other apoptosis-related genes. Among the novel genes revealed in the screen, CDK4 was selected for further characterization. CDK4 was the only member of the cyclin-dependent kinase gene family that bore a unique function in apoptotic signal transduction.

published proceedings

  • Cancer Res

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Ovcharenko, D., Kelnar, K., Johnson, C., Leng, N., & Brown, D.

citation count

  • 183

complete list of authors

  • Ovcharenko, Dmitriy||Kelnar, Kevin||Johnson, Charles||Leng, Nan||Brown, David

publication date

  • November 2007