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Cell Growth & Differentiation, Vol 7, Issue 12 1617-1623, Copyright © 1996 by American Association of Cancer Research


ARTICLES

Enforced expression of Bcl-XS induces differentiation and sensitizes chronic myelogenous leukemia-blast crisis K562 cells to 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine-mediated differentiation and apoptosis

S Ray, G Bullock, G Nunez, C Tang, AM Ibrado, Y Huang and K Bhalla
Department of Medicine, Winship Cancer Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlenta, Georgia 30322, USA.

Human chronic myelogenous leukemia-blast crisis K562 cells have been demonstrated to be relatively resistant to antileukemic drug-induced apoptosis. This has been attributed to the activity of p210bcr-abl tyrosine kinase present in the K562 cells, which is known to suppress drug-induced apoptosis. Recently, K562 cells have been shown to express the antiapoptosis Bcl-xL but not Bcl-2 proteins. To investigate the contribution of Bcl-xL toward resistance to drug-induced apoptosis, we created K562/Bcl-xS and K562/neo cells by electroporating the expression plasmids pSFFVneo-Bcl-xS and pSFFVneo, containing the bcl-xS and neomycin resistance genes, respectively, into K562 cells. K562/Bcl-xS but not K562/neo cells expressed the bcl-xS mRNA and p19Bcl-xS protein. In contrast, both cell types expressed equivalent levels of Bcl-xL, Bax, Bcl-2, Myc, retinoblastoma, p21cbor-abl, and p145abl proteins. A significant increase in the hemoglobin levels was observed in the K562/Bcl-xS compared with the K562/neo cells (P < 0.05). In addition, K562/Bcl-xS cells were significantly more sensitive than K562/neo cells to undergoing erythroid differentiation induced by low-dose 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara-C) and hexamethyl bisacetamide (P < 0.05), but not by all-trans-retinoic acid. Low-dose ara-C- or hexamethyl bisacetamide-induced differentiation was not associated with apoptosis of K562/Bcl-xS or K562/neo cells. Low-dose ara-C-induced erythroid differentiation was accompanied by conversion of the retinoblastoma protein to predominantly its underphosphorylated isoform as well as by down-regulation of Myc levels in K562/Bcl-xS and K562/neo cells. Importantly, exposure to high-dose ara-C (HIDAC; 100 microM ara-C for 4 h) caused internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and the morphological features of apoptosis in K562/Bcl-xS cells. These effects were modestly enhanced by cotreatment with HIDAC plus herbimycin A. In contrast, K562/neo cells were completely resistant to HIDAC- and herbimycin A-induced apoptosis. These results indicate that the expression of Bcl-xS induces erythroid differentiation and partially sensitizes chronic myelogenous leukemia-blast crisis-derived K562 cells to ara-C-induced differentiation and apoptosis.


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HOME HELP FEEDBACK SUBSCRIPTIONS ARCHIVE SEARCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cancer Research Clinical Cancer Research
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1996 by the American Association of Cancer Research.