The role of death receptor TRAIL-R1 for TRAIL-mediated apoptosis (programmed cell death) of human melanoma cells

The doctoral student funded by the research prize will be studying the role of the death receptor TRAIL-R1 during the course of the project. TRAIL-R1 cannot be detected on the surface of a number of melanoma cells in vitro, and this correlates with death receptor apoptosis resistance. TRAIL-R1 will be reconstituted in a lentiviral inducible manner in several of the melanoma cells during this project. The longterm goal of this project part of the group of Prof. Leverkus is to test, if the use of agonistic TRAIL-R1 and/ or TRAIL-R2-activating compounds (currently in phase I and II clinical trials) is useful as judged in part by the preclinical data obtained during the project. We ultimately aim to clarify, if these compounds could improve treatment modalities for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.