Propofol enhances BCR-ABL TKIs' inhibitory effects in chronic myeloid leukemia through Akt/mTOR suppression.
ABSTRACT: The anti-cancer activities of intravenous anesthetic drug propofol have been demonstrated in various types of cancers but not in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).We systematically examined the effect of propofol and its combination with BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in CML cell lines, patient progenitor cells and mouse xenograft model. We analyzed propofol's underlying mechanism focusing on survival pathway in CML cells.We show that propofol alone is active in inhibiting proliferation and inducing apoptosis in KBM-7, KU812 and K562 cells, and acts synergistically with imatinib or dasatinib, in in vitro cell culture system and in vivo xenograft model. In addition, propofol is more effective in inducing apoptosis and inhibiting colony formation in CML CD34 progenitor cells than normal bone marrow (NBM) counterparts. Combination of propofol and dasatinib significantly eliminates CML CD34 without affecting NBM CD34 cells. We further demonstrate that propofol suppresses phosphorylation of Akt, mTOR, S6 and 4EBP1 in K562. Overexpression of constitutively active Akt significantly reverses the inhibitory effects of propofol in K562, confirm that propofol acts on CML cells via inhibition of Akt/mTOR. Interestingly, the levels of p-Akt, p-mTOR and p-S6 are lower in cells treated with combination of propofol and imatinib than cells treated with propofol or imatinib alone, suggesting that propofol augments BCR-ABL TKI's inhibitory effect via suppressing Akt/mTOR pathway.Our work shows that propofol can be repurposed to for CML treatment. Our findings highlight the therapeutic value of Akt/mTOR in overcoming resistance to BCR-ABL TKI treatment in CML.
Project description:Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative pathology, originating from the hematopoietic cancer stem cells (hCSCs) due to the Bcl-Abl Philadelphia chromosome transformation. However, targeting these hCSCs as an effective anti-CML strategy is relatively less explored. Ovatodiolide (Ova) is a natural diterpenoid isolate of Anisomeles indica with broad anticancer activity. In this study, we investigated the anti-hCSCs potential of Ova against CD34+/CD38-, CD34+/CD38+, and unsorted K562 cell lines using flow cytometry, western blot, RT-PCR, genomic mapping, and tumorsphere formation assays. We demonstrated that compared to unsorted K562 and CD34+/CD38+, CD34+/CD38- cells were significantly enriched with Oct4, Sox2, CD133, Bcr-Abl, p-CrkL and p-Stat5 protein and/or mRNA. Furthermore, we showed that Ova alone or by enhancing the therapeutic potential of Imatinib, reduced the viability of CML cell lines, dose-dependently, irrespective of the cancer stemness, as well as markedly inhibit the Bcr-Abl, p-CrkL, Stat5, and MDR protein expression levels in CD34+ cells. Mechanistic investigations revealed a significant up-regulation of hsa-miR-155, which resulted in the reduction of dysregulating the PIK3CA expression in Ova-treated K562 CD34+/CD38- cells. Additionally, Ova alone or in combination with Imatinib suppressed the hCSC traits of the CD34+/CD38- cells, resulting in loss of their ability to form tumorspheres, enhanced apoptosis, increase in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, and dysregulation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. Together, these results demonstrate the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling-mediated anti-hCSC effect of Ova in CML, as well as suggest a likely role for Ova as a small molecule PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitor, thus, extending its potential benefit to other mTOR-mediated pathologies.
Project description:Notch signalling is critical for haemopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and survival. The role of Notch signalling has been reported recently in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) - a stem cell disease characterized by BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activation. Therefore, we studied the relationship between BCR-ABL and Notch signalling and assessed the expression patterns of Notch and its downstream target Hes1 in CD34+ stem and progenitor cells from chronic-phase CML patients and bone marrow (BM) from normal subjects (NBM). We found significant upregulation (p<0.05) of Notch1, Notch2 and Hes1 on the most primitive CD34+Thy+ subset of CML CD34+ cells suggesting that active Notch signalling in CML primitive progenitors. In addition, Notch1 was also expressed in distinct lymphoid and myeloid progenitors within the CD34+ population of primary CML cells. To further delineate the possible role and interactions of Notch with BCR-ABL in CD34+ primary cells from chronic-phase CML, we used P-crkl detection as a surrogate assay of BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity. Our data revealed that Imatinib (IM) induced BCR-ABL inhibition results in significant (p<0.05) upregulation of Notch activity, assessed by Hes1 expression. Similarly, inhibition of Notch leads to hyperactivation of BCR-ABL. This antagonistic relationship between Notch and BCR-ABL signalling was confirmed in K562 and ALL-SIL cell lines. In K562, we further validated this antagonistic relationship by inhibiting histone deacetylase (HDAC) - an effector pathway of Hes1, using valproic acid (VPA) - a HDAC inhibitor. Finally, we also confirmed the potential antagonism between Notch and BCR/ABL in In Vivo, using publically available GSE-database, by analysing gene expression profile of paired samples from chronic-phase CML patients pre- and post-Imatinib therapy. Thus, we have demonstrated an antagonistic relationship between Notch and BCR-ABL in CML. A combined inhibition of Notch and BCR-ABL may therefore provide superior clinical response over tyrosine-kinase inhibitor monotherapy by targeting both quiescent leukaemic stem cells and differentiated leukaemic cells and hence must be explored.
Project description:Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) is characterized by expression of the constitutively active Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase. We have shown previously that the negative growth regulator, CCN3, is down-regulated as a result of Bcr-Abl kinase activity and that CCN3 has a reciprocal relationship of expression with BCR-ABL. We now show that CCN3 confers growth regulation in CML cells by causing growth inhibition and regaining sensitivity to the induction of apoptosis. The mode of CCN3 induced growth regulation was investigated in K562 CML cells using gene transfection and treatment with recombinant CCN3. Both strategies showed CCN3 regulated CML cell growth by reducing colony formation capacity, increasing apoptosis and reducing ERK phosphorylation. K562 cells stably transfected to express CCN3 showed enhanced apoptosis in response to treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, imatinib. Whilst CCN3 expression was low or undetectable in CML stem cells, primary CD34+ CML progenitors were responsive to treatment with recombinant CCN3. This study shows that CCN3 is an important growth regulator in haematopoiesis, abrogation of CCN3 expression enhances BCR-ABL dependent leukaemogenesis. CCN3 restores growth regulation, regains sensitivity to the induction of apoptosis and enhances imatinib cell kill in CML cells. CCN3 may provide an additional therapeutic strategy in the management of CML.
Project description:PURPOSE:We compared the gene expression profile of peripheral blood CD34(+) cells and granulocytes in subjects with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), with the accent on signaling pathways affected by BCR-ABL oncogene. METHODS:The microarray analyses have been performed in circulating CD34(+) cells and granulocytes from peripheral blood of 7 subjects with CML and 7 healthy donors. All studied BCR-ABL positive CML patients were in chronic phase, with a mean value of 2012±SD of CD34(+)cells/?l in peripheral blood. RESULTS:The gene expression profile was more prominent in CML CD34(+) cells (3553 genes) compared to granulocytes (2701 genes). The 41 and 39 genes were significantly upregulated in CML CD34(+) cells (HINT1, TXN, SERBP1) and granulocytes, respectively. BCR-ABL oncogene activated PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling through significant upregulation of PTPN11, CDK4/6, and MYC and reduction of E2F1, KRAS, and NFKBIA gene expression in CD34(+) cells. Among genes linked to the inhibition of cellular proliferation by BCR-ABL inhibitor Imatinib, the FOS and STAT1 demonstrated significantly decreased expression in CML. CONCLUSION:The presence of BCR-ABL fusion gene doubled the expression quantity of genes involved in the regulation of cell cycle, proliferation and apoptosis of CD34(+) cells. These results determined the modified genes in PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling of CML subjects.
Project description:Indirubin is the major active anti-tumor component of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine used for treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). While previous studies indicate that indirubin is a promising therapeutic agent for CML, the molecular mechanism of action of indirubin is not fully understood. We report here that indirubin derivatives (IRDs) potently inhibit Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 5 (Stat5) protein in CML cells. Compound E804, which is the most potent in this series of IRDs, blocked Stat5 signaling in human K562 CML cells, imatinib-resistant human KCL-22 CML cells expressing the T315I mutant Bcr-Abl (KCL-22M), and CD34-positive primary CML cells from patients. Autophosphorylation of Src family kinases (SFKs) was strongly inhibited in K562 and KCL-22M cells at 5 ?M E804, and in primary CML cells at 10 ?M E804, although higher concentrations partially inhibited autophosphorylation of Bcr-Abl. Previous studies indicate that SFKs cooperate with Bcr-Abl to activate downstream Stat5 signaling. Activation of Stat5 was strongly blocked by E804 in CML cells. E804 down-regulated expression of Stat5 target proteins Bcl-x(L) and Mcl-1, associated with induction of apoptosis. In sum, our findings identify IRDs as potent inhibitors of the SFK/Stat5 signaling pathway downstream of Bcr-Abl, leading to apoptosis of K562, KCL-22M and primary CML cells. IRDs represent a promising structural class for development of new therapeutics for wild type or T315I mutant Bcr-Abl-positive CML patients.
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:Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is characterized by constitutively active fusion protein tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL. Although the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) against BCR-ABL, imatinib, is the first-line therapy for CML, acquired resistance almost inevitably emerges. The underlying mechanism are point mutations within the BCR-ABL gene, among which T315I is notorious because it resists to almost all currently available inhibitors. Here we took use of a previously generated chimeric ubiquitin ligase, SH2-U-box, in which SH2 from the adaptor protein Grb2 acts as a binding domain for activated BCR-ABL, while U-box from CHIP functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase domain, so as to target the ubiquitination and degradation of both native and T315I-mutant BCR-ABL. As such, SH2-U-box significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in CML cells harboring either the wild-type or T315I-mutant BCR-ABL (K562 or K562R), with BCR-ABL-dependent signaling pathways being repressed. Moreover, SH2-U-box worked in concert with imatinib in K562 cells. Importantly, SH2-U-box-carrying lentivirus could markedly suppress the growth of K562-xenografts in nude mice or K562R-xenografts in SCID mice, as well as that of primary CML cells. Collectively, by degrading the native and T315I-mutant BCR-ABL, the chimeric ubiquitin ligase SH2-U-box may serve as a potential therapy for both imatinib-sensitive and resistant CML.
Project description: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:Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) are effective in inducing remissions in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients but do not eliminate primitive CML hematopoietic cells. There is a need to identify mechanisms that contribute to retention of CML progenitors. Src family tyrosine kinases have been identified as potential mediators of Bcr-Abl-induced leukemogenesis. Dasatinib (BMS-354825) is a potent dual Abl/Src kinase inhibitor approved for clinical use in CML patients. We evaluated Src activity in primitive human CML progenitors from different stages of disease and investigated effects of Dasatinib on Src activity and downstream signaling pathways. P-Src expression was increased in CD34+ cells and CD34+CD38- cells in all phases of CML. Dasatinib showed potent Src inhibitory activity in CML progenitors, inhibiting both Bcr-Abl-dependent and -independent Src activity. In contrast, Imatinib inhibited only Bcr-Abl-dependent Src activity. Dasatinib inhibited P-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), P-Akt, and P-STAT5 levels in CML progenitors in the absence of growth factors but not in the presence of growth factors. A marked increase in P-MAPK levels seen in the presence of growth factors with Imatinib was much less prominent with Dasatinib. Dasatinib significantly suppressed CML colony-forming cells and long-term culture-initiating cells but did not significantly alter the level of apoptosis-regulating proteins in CML CD34+ cells. Our results indicate that Dasatinib, in addition to potent anti-Bcr-Abl kinase activity, effectively inhibits Src kinase activity and downstream signaling pathways in CML progenitors but does not induce a strong proapoptotic response. These observations argue against a prominent role for Src kinases in persistence of primitive CML cells in TKI-treated patients.
Project description:Imatinib therapy, which targets the oncogene product BCR-ABL, has transformed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from a life-threatening disease into a chronic condition. Most patients, however, harbor residual leukemia cells, and disease recurrence usually occurs when imatinib is discontinued. Although various mechanisms to explain leukemia cell persistence have been proposed, the critical question from a therapeutic standpoint--whether disease persistence is BCR-ABL dependent or independent--has not been answered. Here, we report that human CML stem cells do not depend on BCR-ABL activity for survival and are thus not eliminated by imatinib therapy. Imatinib inhibited BCR-ABL activity to the same degree in all stem (CD34+CD38-, CD133+) and progenitor (CD34+CD38+) cells and in quiescent and cycling progenitors from newly diagnosed CML patients. Although short-term in vitro imatinib treatment reduced the expansion of CML stem/progenitors, cytokine support permitted growth and survival in the absence of BCR-ABL activity that was comparable to that of normal stem/progenitor counterparts. Our findings suggest that primitive CML cells are not oncogene addicted and that therapies that biochemically target BCR-ABL will not eliminate CML stem cells.