Receptor Interactive Protein Kinase 3 Promotes Cisplatin-Triggered Necrosis in Apoptosis-Resistant Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells
Cisplatin-based chemotherapy is currently the standard treatment for locally advanced esophageal cancer. Cisplatin has been shown to induce both apoptosis and necrosis in cancer cells, but the mechanism by which programmed necrosis is induced remains unknown. In this study, we provide evidence that cisplatin induces necrotic cell death in apoptosis-resistant esophageal cancer cells. This cell death is dependent on RIPK3 and on necrosome formation via autocrine production of TNFα. More importantly, we demonstrate that RIPK3 is necessary for cisplatin-induced killing of esophageal cancer cells because inhibition of RIPK1 activity by necrostatin or knockdown of RIPK3 significantly attenuates necrosis and leads to cisplatin resistance. Moreover, microarray analysis confirmed an anti-apoptotic molecular expression pattern in esophageal cancer cells in response to cisplatin. Taken together, our data indicate that RIPK3 and autocrine production of TNFα contribute to cisplatin sensitivity by initiating necrosis when the apoptotic pathway is suppressed or absent in esophageal cancer cells. These data provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying cisplatin-induced necrosis and suggest that RIPK3 is a potential marker for predicting cisplatin sensitivity in apoptosis-resistant and advanced esophageal cancer.