Enhancing the effect of tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand signaling and arginine deprivation in melanoma

Chunjing Wu, Min You, Dao Nguyen, Medhi Wangpaichitr, Ying Ying Li, Lynn G. Feun, Macus T. Kuo, Niramol Savaraj

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Melanoma as a very aggressive type of cancer is still in urgent need of improved treatment. Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) are two of many suggested drugs for treating melanoma. Both have shown anti-tumor activities without harming normal cells. However, resistance to both drugs has also been noted. Studies on the mechanism of action of and resistance to these drugs provide multiple targets that can be utilized to increase the efficacy and overcome the resistance. As a result, combination strategies have been proposed for these drug candidates with various other agents, and achieved enhanced or synergistic anti-tumor effect. The combination of TRAIL and ADI-PEG20 as one example can greatly enhance the cytotoxicity to melanoma cells including those resistant to the single component of this combination. It is found that combination treatment generally can alter the expression of the components of cell signaling in melanoma cells to favor cell death. In this paper, the signaling of TRAIL and ADI-PEG20-induced arginine deprivation including the main mechanism of resistance to these drugs and exemplary combination strategies is discussed. Finally, factors hampering the clinical application of both drugs, current and future development to overcome these hurdles are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7628
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021


  • ADI-PEG20
  • Apoptosis
  • Arginine deprivation therapy
  • Autophagy
  • Melanoma
  • RhArg

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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