A systems biology understanding of the synergistic effects of arsenic sulfide and Imatinib in BCR/ABL-associated leukemia.
ABSTRACT: In this study, we show that combined use of Imatinib (IM) and arsenic sulfide [As(4)S(4) (AS)] exerts more profound therapeutic effects in a BCR/ABL-positive mouse model of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) than either drug as a single agent. A systematic analysis of dynamic changes of the proteome, phosphoproteome, and transcriptome in K562 cells after AS and/or IM treatment was performed to address the mechanisms underlying this synergy. Our data indicate that AS promotes the activities of the unfolded protein reaction (UPR) and ubiquitination pathway, which could form the biochemical basis for the pharmacological effects of this compound. In this CML model, AS targets BCR/ABL through the ubiquitination of key lysine residues, leading to its proteasomal degradation, whereas IM inhibits the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Combination of the 2 agents synergistically arrests the cell cycle, decreases activity of BCR/ABL, and leads to activation of intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways through complex modifications to both transcription and protein levels. Thus, these results suggest potential clinical benefits of IM/AS combination therapy for human CML.
Project description:Resistance to the BCR-ABL inhibitor imatinib mesylate (IM) poses a major problem for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). IM resistance often results from a secondary mutation in BCR-ABL that interferes with drug binding. However, in many instances, there is no mutation in BCR-ABL, and the basis of such BCR-ABL-independent IM resistance remains to be elucidated. To gain insight into BCR-ABL-independent IM resistance mechanisms, we performed a large-scale RNA interference screen and identified IM-sensitizing genes (IMSGs) whose knockdown renders BCR-ABL(+) cells IM-resistant. In these IMSG knockdown cells, RAF/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling is sustained after IM treatment because of up-regulation of PRKCH, which encodes the protein kinase C (PKC) family member PKC?, an activator of CRAF. PRKCH is also up-regulated in samples from CML patients with BCR-ABL-independent IM resistance. Combined treatment with IM and trametinib, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved MEK inhibitor, synergistically kills BCR-ABL(+) IMSG knockdown cells and prolongs survival in mouse models of BCR-ABL-independent IM-resistant CML. Finally, we showed that CML stem cells contain high levels of PRKCH, and this contributes to their intrinsic IM resistance. Combined treatment with IM and trametinib synergistically kills CML stem cells with negligible effect on normal hematopoietic stem cells. Collectively, our results identify a therapeutically targetable mechanism of BCR-ABL-independent IM resistance in CML and CML stem cells.
Project description:Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is effectively treated with imatinib mesylate (IM), a small molecule inhibitor of the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase that is expressed in the entire hematopoietic compartment including stem cells (HSC) and progenitors in CML patients. While IM induces disease remission, it does not appear to eradicate BCR-ABL-positive stem cells. We investigated the residual CML cells in HSC and myeloid progenitors isolated using fluorescence-activated cell sorting after IM-therapy. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction detecting BCR-ABL transcripts showed that CML progenitors were eradicated within 12 months while the BCR-ABL-positive HSC remained. However, IM-therapy continuation could significantly decrease the ratio of BCR-ABL to BCR also in the HSC population. Our results implicate that the sorted and purified stem cells are useful for more sensitive quantification of BCR-ABL-positive minimal residual disease.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to determine whether histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDACI) such as vorinostat or entinostat (SNDX-275) could increase the lethality of the dual Bcr/Abl-Aurora kinase inhibitor KW-2449 in various Bcr/Abl(+) human leukemia cells, including those resistant to imatinib mesylate (IM).Bcr/Abl(+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells, including those resistant to IM (T315I, E255K), were exposed to KW-2449 in the presence or absence of vorinostat or SNDX-275, after which apoptosis and effects on signaling pathways were examined. In vivo studies combining HDACIs and KW2449 were carried out by using a systemic IM-resistant ALL xenograft model.Coadministration of HDACIs synergistically increased KW-2449 lethality in vitro in multiple CML and Ph(+) ALL cell types including human IM resistant cells (e.g., BV-173/E255K and Adult/T315I). Combined treatment resulted in inactivation of Bcr/Abl and downstream targets (e.g., STAT5 and CRKL), as well as increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and DNA damage (?H2A.X). The latter events and cell death were significantly attenuated by free radical scavengers (TBAP). Increased lethality was also observed in primary CD34(+) cells from patients with CML, but not in normal CD34(+) cells. Finally, minimally active vorinostat or SNDX275 doses markedly increased KW2449 antitumor effects and significantly prolonged the survival of murine xenografts bearing IM-resistant ALL cells (BV173/E255K).HDACIs increase KW-2449 lethality in Bcr/Abl(+) cells in association with inhibition of Bcr/Abl, generation of ROS, and induction of DNA damage. This strategy preferentially targets primary Bcr/Abl(+) hematopoietic cells and exhibits enhanced in vivo activity. Combining KW-2449 with HDACIs warrants attention in IM-resistant Bcr/Abl(+) leukemias.
Project description:Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is characterized by the chimeric tyrosine kinase Bcr-Abl. T315I Bcr-Abl is the most notorious point mutation to elicit acquired resistance to imatinib (IM), leading to poor prognosis. Therefore, it is urgent to search for additional approaches and targeting strategies to overcome IM resistance. We recently reported that platinum pyrithione (PtPT) potently inhibits the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) via targeting the 26 S proteasome-associated deubiquitinases (DUBs), without effecting on the 20 S proteasome. Here we further report that (i) PtPT induces apoptosis in Bcr-Abl wild-type and Bcr-Abl-T315I mutation cells including the primary mononuclear cells from CML patients clinically resistant to IM, as well as inhibits the growth of IM-resistant Bcr-Abl-T315I xenografts in vivo; (ii) PtPT downregulates Bcr-Abl level through restraining Bcr-Abl transcription, and decreasing Bcr-Abl protein mediated by DUBs inhibition-induced caspase activation; (iii) UPS inhibition is required for PtPT-induced caspase activation and cell apoptosis. These findings support that PtPT overcomes IM resistance through both Bcr-Abl-dependent and -independent mechanisms. We conclude that PtPT can be a lead compound for further drug development to overcome imatinib resistance in CML patients.
Project description:Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disease. Imatinib (IM), the first line treatment for CML, is excessively expensive and induces various side effects in CML patients. Therefore, it is essential to investigate a new strategy for improving CML therapy. Our immunoblot data revealed that RanGTPase activating protein 1 (RanGAP1) protein levels increased by approximately 30-fold in K562 cells compared with those in normal cells. RanGAP1 is one of the important components of RanGTPase system, which regulates the export of nuclear protein. However, whether RanGAP1 level variation influences BCR-ABL nuclear export is still unknown. In this report, using shRNA to downregulate RanGAP1 expression level augmented K562 cell apoptosis by approximately 40% after treatment with 250 nM IM. Immunofluorescence assay also indicated that three-fold of nuclear BCR-ABL was detected. These data suggest that BCR-ABL nuclear entrapment induced by RanGAP1 downregulation can be used to improve IM efficacy. Moreover, our qRT-PCR data indicated a trend of inverse correlation between the RanGAP1 and microRNA (miR)-1301 levels in CML patients. MiR-1301, targeting the RanGAP1 3' untranslated region, decreased by approximately 100-fold in K562 cells compared with that in normal cells. RanGAP1 downregulation by miR-1301 transfection impairs BCR-ABL nuclear export to increase approximately 60% of cell death after treatment of 250 nM IM. This result was almost the same as treatment with 1000 nM IM alone. Furthermore, immunofluorescence assay demonstrated that Tyr-99 of nuclear P73 was phosphorylated accompanied with nuclear entrapment of BCR-ABL after transfection with RanGAP1 shRNA or miR-1301 in IM-treated K562 cells. Altogether, we demonstrated that RanGAP1 downregulation can mediate BCR-ABL nuclear entrapment to activate P73-dependent apoptosis pathway which is a novel strategy for improving current IM treatment for CML.
Project description:Development of resistance to imatinib mesylate (IM) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients is mediated by different mechanisms that can be classified as BCR-ABL dependent or BCR-ABL independent pathways. BCR-ABL dependent mechanisms are most frequently associated with point mutations in tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) of BCR-ABL1 and also with BCR-ABL gene amplification. Many different types and frequencies of mutations have been reported in different studies, probably due to the different composition of study cohorts. Since no reports are available from Malaysia, this study was undertaken to investigate the frequency and pattern of BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations using dHPLC followed by sequencing, and also status of BCR-ABL gene amplification using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on 40 IM resistant Malaysian CML patients. Mutations were detected in 13 patients (32.5%). Five different types of mutations (T315I, E255K, Y253H, M351T, V289F) were identified in these patients. In the remaining 27 IM resistant CML patients, we investigated the contribution made by BCR-ABL gene amplification, but none of these patients showed amplification. It is presumed that the mechanisms of resistance in these 27 patients might be due to BCR-ABL independent pathways. Different mutations confer different levels of resistance and, therefore, detection and characterization of TKD mutations is highly important in order to guide therapy in CML patients.
Project description:Bcr-Abl is the predominant therapeutic target in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that inhibit Bcr-Abl have been successful in treating CML. With progression of CML disease especially in blast crisis stage, cells from CML patients become resistant to imatinib mesylate (IM) and other TKIs, resulting in relapse. Because Bcr-Abl is known to drive multiple signaling pathways, the study of the regulation of stability of Bcr-Abl in IM-resistant CML cells is a critical issue as a possible therapeutic strategy. Here, we report that a new dual-kinase chemical inhibitor, ON044580, induced apoptosis of Bcr-Abl+ IM-sensitive, IM-resistant cells, including the gatekeeper Bcr-Abl mutant, T315I, and also cells from blast crisis patients. In addition, IM-resistant K562-R cells, cells from blast crisis CML patients, and all IM-resistant cell lines tested had reduced ability to form colonies in soft agar in the presence of 0.5 µM ON044580. In in vitro kinase assays, ON044580 inhibited the recombinant Jak2 and Abl kinase activities when the respective Jak2 and Abl peptides were used as substrates. Incubation of the Bcr-Abl+ cells with ON044580 rapidly reduced the levels of the Bcr-Abl protein and also reduced the expression of HSP90 and its client protein levels. Lysates of Bcr-Abl+ cell lines were found to contain a large signaling network complex composed of Bcr-Abl, Jak2, HSP90, and its client proteins as detected by a gel filtration column chromatography, which was rapidly disrupted by ON044580. Therefore, targeting Jak2 and Bcr-Abl kinases is an effective way to destabilize Bcr-Abl and its network complex, which leads to the onset of apoptosis in IM-sensitive and IM-resistant Bcr-Abl+ cells. This inhibitory strategy has potential to manage all types of drug-resistant CML cells, especially at the terminal blast crisis stage of CML, where TKIs are not clinically useful.
Project description:Despite the success of imatinib mesylate (IM) in the early chronic phase of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), patients are resistant to IM and other kinase inhibitors in the later stages of CML. Our findings indicate that inhibition of Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) in Bcr-Abl+ cells overcomes IM resistance although the precise mechanism of Jak2 action is unknown. Knocking down Jak2 in Bcr-Abl+ cells reduced levels of the Bcr-Abl protein and also the phosphorylation of Tyr177 of Bcr-Abl, and Jak2 overexpression rescued these knockdown effects. Treatment of Bcr-Abl+ cells with Jak2 inhibitors for 4-6?h but not with IM also reduced Bcr-Abl protein and pTyr177 levels. In vitro kinase experiments performed with recombinant Jak2 showed that Jak2 readily phosphorylated Tyr177 of Bcr-Abl (a Jak2 consensus site, YvnV) whereas c-Abl did not. Importantly, Jak2 inhibition decreased pTyr177 Bcr-Abl in immune complexes but did not reduce levels of Bcr-Abl, suggesting that the reduction of Bcr-Abl by Jak2 inhibition is a separate event from phosphorylation of Tyr177. Jak2 inhibition by chemical inhibitors (TG101209/WP1193) and Jak2 knockdown diminished the activation of Ras, PI-3 kinase pathways and reduced levels of pTyrSTAT5. These findings suggest that Bcr-Abl stability and oncogenic signaling in CML cells are under the control of Jak2.
Project description:Resistance to Imatinib mesylate (IM) is an emerging problem for patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). T315I mutation in the Bcr-Abl is the predominant mechanism of the acquired resistance to IM and second generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). Therefore it is urgent to search for new measures to overcome TKI-resistance. Auranofin (AF), clinically used to treat rheumatic arthritis, was recently approved by US Food and Drug Administration for Phase II clinical trial to treat cancer. In contrast to the reports that AF induces apoptosis by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels via inhibiting thioredoxin reductase, our recent study revealed that AF-induced apoptosis depends on inhibition of proteasomal deubiquitinases (UCHL5 and USP14). Here we report that (i) AF induces apoptosis in both Bcr-Abl wild-type cells and Bcr-Abl-T315I mutation cells and inhibits the growth of IM-resistant Bcr-Abl-T315I xenografts in vivo; (ii) AF inhibits Bcr-Abl through both downregulation of Bcr-Abl gene expression and Bcr-Abl cleavage mediated by proteasome inhibition-induced caspase activation; (iii) proteasome inhibition but not ROS is required for AF-induced caspase activation and apoptosis. These findings support that AF overcomes IM resistance through both Bcr/Abl-dependent and -independent mechanisms, providing great clinical significance for cancer treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Imatinib mesylate (IM) induces clinical remission of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The Abelson helper integration site 1 (AHI-1) oncoprotein interacts with BCR-ABL and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) to mediate IM response of primitive CML cells, but the effect of the interaction complex on the response to ABL and JAK2 inhibitors is unknown. METHODS:The AHI-1-BCR-ABL-JAK2 interaction complex was analyzed by mutational analysis and coimmunoprecipitation. Roles of the complex in regulation of response or resistance to ABL and JAK2 inhibitors were investigated in BCR-ABL (+) cells and primary CML stem/progenitor cells and in immunodeficient NSG mice. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS:The WD40-repeat domain of AHI-1 interacts with BCR-ABL, whereas the N-terminal region interacts with JAK2; loss of these interactions statistically significantly increased the IM sensitivity of CML cells. Disrupting this complex with a combination of IM and an orally bioavailable selective JAK2 inhibitor (TG101209 [TG]) statistically significantly induced death of AHI-1-overexpressing and IM-resistant cells in vitro and enhanced survival of leukemic mice, compared with single agents (combination vs TG alone: 63 vs 53 days, ratio = 0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.6 to 1.1, P = .004; vs IM: 57 days, ratio = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.61 to 1.2, P = .003). Combination treatment also statistically significantly enhanced apoptosis of CD34(+) leukemic stem/progenitor cells and eliminated their long-term leukemia-initiating activity in NSG mice. Importantly, this approach was effective against treatment-naive CML stem cells from patients who subsequently proved to be resistant to IM therapy. CONCLUSIONS:Simultaneously targeting BCR-ABL and JAK2 activities in CML stem/progenitor cells may improve outcomes in patients destined to develop IM resistance.