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1.  Dasatinib Accelerates Valproic Acid-Induced Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Death by Regulation of Differentiation Capacity 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98859.
Dasatinib is a compound developed for chronic myeloid leukemia as a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor against wild-type BCR-ABL and SRC family kinases. Valproic acid (VPA) is an anti-epileptic drug that also acts as a class I histone deacetylase inhibitor. The aim of this research was to determine the anti-leukemic effects of dasatinib and VPA in combination and to identify their mechanism of action in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Dasatinib was found to exert potent synergistic inhibitory effects on VPA-treated AML cells in association with G1 phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis induction involving the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase and caspase-3, -7 and -9. Dasatinib/VPA-induced cell death thus occurred via caspase-dependent apoptosis. Moreover, MEK/ERK and p38 MAPK inhibitors efficiently inhibited dasatinib/VPA-induced apoptosis. The combined effect of dasatinib and VPA on the differentiation capacity of AML cells was more powerful than the effect of each drug alone, being sufficiently strong to promote AML cell death through G1 cell cycle arrest and caspase-dependent apoptosis. MEK/ERK and p38 MAPK were found to control dasatinib/VPA-induced apoptosis as upstream regulators, and co-treatment with dasatinib and VPA to contribute to AML cell death through the regulation of differentiation capacity. Taken together, these results indicate that combined dasatinib and VPA treatment has a potential role in anti-leukemic therapy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098859
PMCID: PMC4053340  PMID: 24918603
2.  Arsenic trioxide induces depolymerization of microtubules in an acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):105-112.
Background
Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is a well-known and effective treatment that can result in clinical remission for patients diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The biologic efficacy of As2O3 in APL and solid tumor cells has been explained through its actions on anti-proliferation, anti-angiogenesis, and apoptotic signaling pathways. We theorize that As2O3 activates a pathway that disrupts microtubule dynamics forming abnormal, nonfunctioning mitotic spindles, thus preventing cellular division. In this study, we investigated how As2O3 induces apoptosis by causing microtubule dysfunction.
Methods
Cultured NB4 cells were treated with As2O3, paclitaxel, and vincristine. Flow cytometric analysis was then performed. An MTT assay was used to determine drug-mediated cytotoxicity. For tubulin polymerization assay, each polymerized or soluble tubulin was measured. Microtubule assembly-disassembly was measured using a tubulin polymerization kit. Cellular microtubules were also observed with fluorescence microscopy.
Results
As2O3 treatment disrupted tubulin assembly resulting in dysfunctional microtubules that cause death in APL cells. As2O3 markedly enhanced the amount of depolymerized microtubules. The number of microtubule posttranslational modifications on an individual tubulin decreased with As2O3 concentration. Immunocytochemistry revealed changes in the cellular microtubule network and formation of polymerized microtubules in As2O3-treated cells.
Conclusion
The microtubules alterations found with As2O3 treatment suggest that As2O3 increases the depolymerized forms of tubulin in cells and that this is potentially due to arsenite's negative effects on spindle dynamics.
doi:10.5045/kjh.2012.47.2.105
PMCID: PMC3389058  PMID: 22783356
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Arsenic trioxide; Tubulin; Apoptosis; Antimitotic agents

Results 1-2 (2)