Aberrant signalling by protein kinase CK2 in imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukaemia cells: biochemical evidence and therapeutic perspectives.
ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is driven by the fusion protein Bcr-Abl, a constitutively active tyrosine kinase playing a crucial role in initiation and maintenance of CML phenotype. Despite the great efficacy of the Bcr-Abl-specific inhibitor imatinib, resistance to this drug is recognized as a major problem in CML treatment. We found that in LAMA84 cells, characterized by imatinib-resistance caused by BCR-ABL1 gene amplification, the pro-survival protein kinase CK2 is up-regulated as compared to the sensitive cells. CK2 exhibits a higher protein-level and a parallel enhancement of catalytic activity. Consistently, CK2-catalysed phosphorylation of Akt-Ser129 is increased. CK2 co-localizes with Bcr-Abl in the cytoplasmic fraction as judged by subcellular fractionation and fluorescence immunolocalization. CK2 and Bcr-Abl are members of the same multi-protein complex(es) in imatinib-resistant cells as demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation and co-sedimentation in glycerol gradients. Cell treatment with CX-4945, a CK2 inhibitor currently in clinical trials, counteracts CK2/Bcr-Abl interaction and causes cell death by apoptosis. Interestingly, combination of CX-4945 with imatinib displays a synergistic effect in reducing cell viability. Consistently, knockdown of CK2α expression by siRNA restores the sensitivity of resistant LAMA84 cells to low imatinib concentrations. Remarkably, the CK2/Bcr-Abl interaction and the sensitization towards imatinib obtained by CK2-inhibition in LAMA84 is observable also in other imatinib-resistant CML cell lines. These results demonstrate that CK2 contributes to strengthen the imatinib-resistance phenotype of CML cells conferring survival advantage against imatinib. We suggest that CK2 inhibition might be a promising tool for combined strategies in CML therapy.
Project description:To determine whether Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) inhibitors (e.g., BI2536) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (e.g., vorinostat) interact synergistically in the BCR/ABL(+) leukemia cells sensitive or resistant to imatinib mesylate (IM) in vitro and in vivo.K562 and LAMA84 cells sensitive or resistant to imatinib mesylate and primary CML cells were exposed to BI2536 and vorinostat. Effects on cell viability and signaling pathways were determined using flow cytometry, Western blotting, and gene transfection. K562 and BV173/E255K animal models were used to test in vivo efficacy.Cotreatment with BI2536 and vorinostat synergistically induced cell death in parental or imatinib mesylate-resistant BCR/ABL(+) cells and primary CD34(+) bone marrow cells but was minimally toxic to normal cells. BI2536/vorinostat cotreatment triggered pronounced mitochondrial dysfunction, inhibition of p-BCR/ABL, caspase activation, PARP cleavage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and DNA damage (manifest by increased expression of ?H2A.X, p-ATM, p-ATR), events attenuated by the antioxidant TBAP. PLK1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown significantly increased HDACI lethality, whereas HDAC1-3 shRNA knockdown reciprocally increased BI2536-induced apoptosis. Genetic interruption of the DNA damage linker H1.2 partially but significantly reduced PLK1/HDAC inhibitor-mediated cell death, suggesting a functional role for DNA damage in lethality. Finally, BI2536/vorinostat cotreatment dramatically reduced tumor growth in both subcutaneous and systemic BCR/ABL(+) leukemia xenograft models and significantly enhanced animal survival.These findings suggest that concomitant PLK1 and HDAC inhibition is active against imatinib mesylate-sensitive or refractory CML and ALL cells both in vitro and in vivo and that this strategy warrants further evaluation in the setting of BCR/ABL(+) leukemias.
Project description:Interactions between the dual Bcr/Abl and aurora kinase inhibitor MK-0457 and the histone deacetylase inhibitor vorinostat were examined in Bcr/Abl(+) leukemia cells, including those resistant to imatinib mesylate (IM), particularly those with the T315I mutation. Coadministration of vorinostat dramatically increased MK-0457 lethality in K562 and LAMA84 cells. Notably, the MK-0457/vorinostat regimen was highly active against primary CD34(+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells and Ba/F3 cells bearing various Bcr/Abl mutations (ie, T315I, E255K, and M351T), as well as IM-resistant K562 cells exhibiting Bcr/Abl-independent, Lyn-dependent resistance. These events were associated with inactivation and down-regulation of wild-type (wt) and mutated Bcr/Abl (particularly T315I). Moreover, treatment with MK-0457 resulted in accumulation of cells with 4N or more DNA content, whereas coadministration of vorinostat markedly enhanced aurora kinase inhibition by MK-0457, and preferentially killed polyploid cells. Furthermore, vorinostat also interacted with a selective inhibitor of aurora kinase A and B to potentiate apoptosis without modifying Bcr/Abl activity. Finally, vorinostat markedly induced Bim expression, while blockade of Bim induction by siRNA dramatically diminished the capacity of this agent to potentiate MK-0457 lethality. Together, these findings indicate that vorinostat strikingly increases MK-0457 activity against IM-sensitive and -resistant CML cells through inactivation of Bcr/Abl and aurora kinases, as well as by induction of Bim.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is characterized by the chimeric tyrosine kinase Bcr-Abl. Bcr-Abl-T315I is the notorious point mutation that causes resistance to imatinib and the second generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors, leading to poor prognosis. CML blasts have constitutive p65 (RelA NF-kappaB) transcriptional activity, and NF-kappaB may be a potential target for molecular therapies in CML that may also be effective against CML cells with Bcr-Abl-T315I. RESULTS: In this report, we discovered that pristimerin, a quinonemethide triterpenoid isolated from Celastraceae and Hippocrateaceae, inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in CML cells, including the cells harboring Bcr-Abl-T315I mutation. Additionally, pristimerin inhibited the growth of imatinib-resistant Bcr-Abl-T315I xenografts in nude mice. Pristimerin blocked the TNFalpha-induced IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, translocation of p65, and expression of NF-kappaB-regulated genes. Pristimerin inhibited two steps in NF-kappaB signaling: TAK1TauIKK and IKKTauIkappaBalpha. Pristimerin potently inhibited two pairs of CML cell lines (KBM5 versus KBM5-T315I, 32D-Bcr-Abl versus 32D-Bcr-Abl-T315I) and primary cells from a CML patient with acquired resistance to imatinib. The mRNA and protein levels of Bcr-Abl in imatinib-sensitive (KBM5) or imatinib-resistant (KBM5-T315I) CML cells were reduced after pristimerin treatment. Further, inactivation of Bcr-Abl by imatinib pretreatment did not abrogate the TNFalpha-induced NF-kappaB activation while silencing p65 by siRNA did not affect the levels of Bcr-Abl, both results together indicating that NF-kappaB inactivation and Bcr-Abl inhibition may be parallel independent pathways. CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first report to show that pristimerin is effective in vitro and in vivo against CML cells, including those with the T315I mutation. The mechanisms may involve inhibition of NF-kappaB and Bcr-Abl. We concluded that pristimerin could be a lead compound for further drug development to overcome imatinib resistance in CML patients.
Project description:Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is characterized by the constitutive activation of Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase. Bcr-Abl-T315I is the predominant mutation that causes resistance to imatinib, cytotoxic drugs, and the second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The emergence of imatinib resistance in patients with CML leads to searching for novel approaches to the treatment of CML. Gambogic acid, a small molecule derived from Chinese herb gamboges, has been approved for phase II clinical trial for cancer therapy by the Chinese Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this study, we investigated the effect of gambogic acid on cell survival or apoptosis in CML cells bearing Bcr-Abl-T315I or wild-type Bcr-Abl.CML cell lines (KBM5, KBM5-T315I, and K562), primary cells from patients with CML with clinical resistance to imatinib, and normal monocytes from healthy volunteers were treated with gambogic acid, imatinib, or their combination, followed by measuring the effects on cell growth, apoptosis, and signal pathways. The in vivo antitumor activity of gambogic acid and its combination with imatinib was also assessed with nude xenografts.Gambogic acid induced apoptosis and cell proliferation inhibition in CML cells and inhibited the growth of imatinib-resistant Bcr-Abl-T315I xenografts in nude mice. Our data suggest that GA-induced proteasome inhibition is required for caspase activation in both imatinib-resistant and -sensitive CML cells, and caspase activation is required for gambogic acid-induced Bcr-Abl downregulation and apoptotic cell death.These findings suggest an alternative strategy to overcome imatinib resistance by enhancing Bcr-Abl downregulation with the medicinal compound gambogic acid, which may have great clinical significance in imatinib-resistant cancer therapy.
Project description:Cantharidin (CTD) is an active compound isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine blister beetle and displayed anticancer properties against various types of cancer cells. However, little is known about its effect on human chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells, including imatinib-resistant CML cells. The objective of this study was to investigate whether CTD could overcome imatinib resistance in imatinib-resistant CML cells and to explore the possible underlying mechanisms associated with the effect. Our results showed that CTD strongly inhibited the growth of both imatinib-sensitive and imatinib-resistant CML cells. CTD induced cell cycle arrest at mitotic phase and triggered DNA damage in CML cells. The ATM/ATR inhibitor CGK733 abrogated CTD-induced mitotic arrest but promoted the cytotoxic effects of CTD. In addition, we demonstrated that CTD downregulated the expression of the BCR-ABL protein and suppressed its downstream signal transduction. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that CTD inhibited BCR-ABL at transcriptional level. Knockdown of BCR-ABL increased the cell-killing effects of CTD in K562 cells. These findings indicated that CTD overcomes imatinib resistance through depletion of BCR-ABL. Taken together, CTD is an important new candidate agent for CML therapy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations are infrequently detected in newly diagnosed chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients. Recent studies indicate the presence of pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations in a higher percentage of CML patients when CD34+ stem/progenitor cells are investigated using sensitive techniques, and these mutations are associated with imatinib resistance and disease progression. However, such studies were limited to smaller number of patients. METHODS: We investigated BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations in CD34+ cells from 100 chronic-phase CML patients by multiplex allele-specific PCR and sequencing at diagnosis. Mutations were re-investigated upon manifestation of imatinib resistance using allele-specific PCR and direct sequencing of BCR-ABL kinase domain. RESULTS: Pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations were detected in 32/100 patients and included F311L, M351T, and T315I. After a median follow-up of 30 months (range 8-48), all patients with pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations exhibited imatinib resistance. Of the 68 patients without pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations, 24 developed imatinib resistance; allele-specific PCR and BCR-ABL kinase domain sequencing detected mutations in 22 of these patients. All 32 patients with pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations had the same mutations after manifestation of imatinib-resistance. In imatinib-resistant patients without pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations, we detected F311L, M351T, Y253F, and T315I mutations. All imatinib-resistant patients except T315I and Y253F mutations responded to imatinib dose escalation. CONCLUSION: Pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations can be detected in a substantial number of chronic-phase CML patients by sensitive allele-specific PCR technique using CD34+ cells. These mutations are associated with imatinib resistance if affecting drug binding directly or indirectly. After the recent approval of nilotinib, dasatinib, bosutinib and ponatinib for treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia along with imatinib, all of which vary in their effectiveness against mutated BCR-ABL forms, detection of pre-existing BCR-ABL mutations can help in selection of appropriate first-line drug therapy. Thus, mutation testing using CD34+ cells may facilitate improved, patient-tailored treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The bcr-abl fusion gene is the pathological origin of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and plays a critical role in the resistance of imatinib. Thus, bcr-abl disruption-based novel therapeutic strategy may warrant exploration. In our study, we were surprised to find that the characteristics of bcr-abl sequences met the design requirements of zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs). METHODS:We constructed the ZFNs targeting bcr-abl with high specificity through simple modular assembly approach. Western blotting was conducted to detect the expression of BCR-ABL and phosphorylation of its downstream STAT5, ERK and CRKL in CML cells. CCK8 assay, colony-forming assay and flow cytometry (FCM) were used to evaluate the effect of the ZFNs on the viablity and apoptosis of CML cells and CML CD34+ cells. Moreover, mice model was used to determine the ability of ZFNs in disrupting the leukemogenesis of bcr-abl in vivo. RESULTS:The ZFNs skillfully mediated 8-base NotI enzyme cutting site addition in bcr-abl gene of imatinib sensitive and resistant CML cells by homology-directed repair (HDR), which led to a stop codon and terminated the translation of BCR-ABL protein. As expected, the disruption of bcr-abl gene induced cell apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation. Notably, we obtained similar result in CD34+ cells from CML patients. Moreover, the ZFNs significantly reduced the oncogenicity of CML cells in mice. CONCLUSION:These results reveal that the bcr-abl gene disruption based on ZFNs may provide a treatment choice for imatinib resistant or intolerant CML patients.
Project description:We designed 3-aroyl-1,4-diarylpyrrole (ARDAP) derivatives as potential anticancer agents having different substituents at the 1- or 4-phenyl ring. ARDAP compounds exhibited potent inhibition of tubulin polymerization, binding of colchicine to tubulin, and cancer cell growth. ARDAP derivative 10 inhibited the proliferation of BCR/ABL-expressing KU812 and LAMA84 cells from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients in blast crisis and of hematopoietic cells ectopically expressing the imatinib mesylate (IM)-sensitive KBM5-WT or its IM-resistant KBM5-T315I mutation. Compound 10 minimally affected the proliferation of normal blood cells, indicating that it may be a promising agent to overcome broad tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance in relapsed/refractory CML patients. Compound 10 significantly decreased CML proliferation by inducing G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis via a mitochondria-dependent pathway. ARDAP 10 augmented the cytotoxic effects of IM in human CML cells. Compound 10 represents a robust lead compound to develop tubulin inhibitors with potential as novel treatments for CML.
Project description:Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is currently treated with inhibitors of the CML specific oncoprotein, bcr-abl. While this strategy is initially successful, drug resistance can become a problem. Therefore, new targets need to be identified to ensure the disease can be appropriately managed. The thioredoxin (Trx) system, comprised of Trx, thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), and NADPH, is an antioxidant system previously identified as a target for therapies aimed at overcoming drug resistance in other cancers. We assessed the effectiveness of TrxR inhibitors on drug resistant CML cells and examined links between TrxR and the bcr-abl cell-signalling pathway. Two TrxR inhibitors, auranofin and [Au(d2pype)2]Cl, increased intracellular ROS levels and elicited apoptosis in both sensitive and imatinib resistant CML cells. Inhibition of TrxR activity by these pharmacological inhibitors, or by specific siRNA, also resulted in decreased bcr-abl mRNA and protein levels, and lower bcr-abl downstream signalling activity, potentially enhancing the effectiveness of TrxR inhibitors as CML therapies. In addition, imatinib resistant CML cell lines showed upregulated expression of the Trx system. Furthermore, analysis of datasets showed that CML patients who did not respond to imatinib had higher Trx mRNA levels than patients who responded to treatment. Our study demonstrates a link between the Trx system and the bcr-abl protein and highlights the therapeutic potential of targeting the Trx system to improve CML patients' outcomes.
Project description:Since the advent of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as imatinib, nilotinib, and dasatinib, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) prognosis has improved greatly. However, ~30-40% of patients develop resistance to imatinib therapy. Although most resistance is caused by mutations in the BCR-ABL kinase domain, 50-85% of these patients develop resistance in the absence of new mutations. In these cases, targeting other pathways may be needed to regain clinical response. Using label-free Raman spectromicroscopy, we evaluated a number of leukemia cell lines and discovered an aberrant accumulation of cholesteryl ester (CE) in CML, which was found to be a result of BCR-ABL kinase activity. CE accumulation in CML was found to be a cancer-specific phenomenon as untransformed cells did not accumulate CE. Blocking cholesterol esterification with avasimibe, a potent inhibitor of acyl-CoA cholesterol acyltransferase 1 (ACAT-1), significantly suppressed CML cell proliferation in Ba/F3 cells with the BCR-ABLT315I mutation and in K562 cells rendered imatinib resistant without mutations in the BCR-ABL kinase domain (K562R cells). Furthermore, the combination of avasimibe and imatinib caused a profound synergistic inhibition of cell proliferation in K562R cells, but not in Ba/F3T315I. This synergistic effect was confirmed in a K562R xenograft mouse model. Analysis of primary cells from a BCR-ABL mutation-independent imatinib resistant patient by mass cytometry suggested that the synergy may be due to downregulation of the MAPK pathway by avasimibe, which sensitized the CML cells to imatinib treatment. Collectively, these data demonstrate a novel strategy for overcoming BCR-ABL mutation-independent TKI resistance in CML.