Tumor-necrosis-factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL/Apo-2L), a potent ligand in inducing apoptosis, has recently emerged as a novel anticancer agent based on its ability to induce apoptosis in tumor cells, while exhibiting no toxicity in most normal cells. Since no potent apoptosis-inducing factor has been found yet in ameloblastoma, the present study was conducted. In the present study, expressions of TRAIL receptors, death receptor 4 (DR4) and DR5, were detected in all ameloblastoma tissues by immunohistochemistry as well as in AM-1 cells by immunofluorescence. By applying TRAIL in AM-1 cells, ameloblastoma cell line, for 24 h, we found that TRAIL cleaved caspase-8, -9 and –3, and lowered mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm), and markedly induced apoptosis in AM-1 cells (46%). These results suggested that TRAIL is a potent apoptosis-inducing ligand in ameloblastoma.

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