Introduction: Although p53 gene mutations are relatively infrequent in cases of B-ALL, the CDKN2A locus is deleted or inactivated in nearly half of all cases, especially Ph+ B-ALL (Mullighan et al., 2008; Iacobucci et al., 2011), contributing to a worse prognosis. In testing novel therapeutic approaches activating p53, we investigated the preclinical activity of the MDM2 antagonist Nutlin-3a in leukemic cell line models and primary B-ALL patient samples. Methods: TP53 mutation screening was performed by Sanger sequencing of exons 4 to 11; copy number status of CDKN2A was determined by MLPA kit P335-A2 ALL-IKZF1 (MRC Holland); cellular viability was assessed by using a colorimetric assay based on mitochondrial dehydrogenase cleavage of WST-1 reagent (Roche); apoptosis was assessed by use of Annexin V/Propidium Iodide (PI); gene expression profile was performed using Affymetrix GeneChip Human Gene 1.0 ST platform (Affymetrix). Mdm2 inhibitor (Mdm2i) Nutlin-3a was provided by Roche. Results: BCR-ABL1-positive (BV-173, SUPB-15) and negative (NALM19, REH) ALL cell lines were investigated for TP53 mutations and CDKN2A deletion. A p53 mutation (R181C) was identified in REH cells, whereas all the remaining cell lines resulted p53 wild-type but they were deleted in the locus containing CDKN2A. Leukemia cell lines were incubated with increasing concentrations of Nutlin-3a (0.005–2 μM) for 24, 48 and 72 hours (hrs). Mdm2 inhibition resulted in a dose and time-dependent cytotoxicity with IC50 at 24 hrs ranging from around 1.5 μM for BV-173 and SUPB-15 to 3.7 μM for NALM-19. By contrast, no significant changes in cell viability were observed in RHE p53-mutated cells after incubation with Mdm2i. The time and dose-dependent reduction in cell viability were confirmed in primary blast cells from a Ph+ ALL patient with the T315I Bcr-Abl kinase domain mutation found to be insensitive to the available tyrosine kinase inhibitors and from a t(4;11)-positive ALL patient (IC50 at 24 hrs equal to 2 μM). Consistent with the results of cell viability, Annexin V/PI analysis showed a significant increase in apoptosis after 24 hrs in sensitive cell lines and in primary leukemia blasts, whereas no apoptosis was observed in REH cells. To examine the possible mechanisms underlying Mdm2i-mediated cell death, western blot analysis was performed. Protein levels of p53, p21 (an important mediator of p53-dependent cell cycle arrest), cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9 proteins increased as soon as 24 hrs of incubation with Mdm2i. In order to better elucidate the implications of p53 activation and to identify biomarkers of clinical activity, gene expression profiling analysis was next performed, comparing sensitive cell lines at 24 hrs of incubation with concentrations equal to the IC50 and their untreated counterparts (DMSO 0.1%). A total of 621 genes (48% down-regulated vs 52% up-regulated) were differentially expressed (p < 0.05). We found a strong down-regulation of GAS41 (growth-arrest specific 1 gene) and BMI1 (a polycomb ring-finger oncogene) (fold-change –1.35 and –1.11, respectively; p-value 0.02 and 0.03, respectively) after in vitro treatment as compared to control cells. Both genes are repressors of INK4/ARF and p21 and their aberrant expression has found to contribute to stem cell state in tumor cells. Additionally, experimental reduction of BMI1 protein levels results in apoptosis in tumor cells and increases susceptibility to cytotoxic agents and radiation therapy (Wu et al., 2011). Given the importance of BMI in the control of apoptosis, we investigated by western blot its pattern in treated and untreated cells, confirming a marked decrease as soon as 24 hrs of exposure to MDM2i both in leukemia cell lines and primary blast samples. Noteworthy, the BMI-1 levels remained constant in resistant cells. Conclusions: Inhibition of Mdm2 efficiently activates the p53 pathway promoting apoptosis. BMI-1 expression is markedly reduced in sensitive cells and it may be used as a biomarker of response. Evaluation of its expression before and after treatment in clinical settings will better gain insight into its role.

Down-Regulation of BMI-1 Is a New Marker of Sensitivity to Mdm2 Inhibition in B-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

IACOBUCCI, ILARIA;FERRARI, ANNA;PAPAYANNIDIS, CRISTINA;VENTURI, CLAUDIA;TRINO, STEFANIA;GUADAGNUOLO, VIVIANA;LONETTI, ANNALISA;CATTINA, FEDERICA;OTTAVIANI, EMANUELA;ABBENANTE, MARIACHIARA;S. Parisi;SOVERINI, SIMONA;PERINI, GIOVANNI;MARTINELLI, GIOVANNI
2012

Abstract

Introduction: Although p53 gene mutations are relatively infrequent in cases of B-ALL, the CDKN2A locus is deleted or inactivated in nearly half of all cases, especially Ph+ B-ALL (Mullighan et al., 2008; Iacobucci et al., 2011), contributing to a worse prognosis. In testing novel therapeutic approaches activating p53, we investigated the preclinical activity of the MDM2 antagonist Nutlin-3a in leukemic cell line models and primary B-ALL patient samples. Methods: TP53 mutation screening was performed by Sanger sequencing of exons 4 to 11; copy number status of CDKN2A was determined by MLPA kit P335-A2 ALL-IKZF1 (MRC Holland); cellular viability was assessed by using a colorimetric assay based on mitochondrial dehydrogenase cleavage of WST-1 reagent (Roche); apoptosis was assessed by use of Annexin V/Propidium Iodide (PI); gene expression profile was performed using Affymetrix GeneChip Human Gene 1.0 ST platform (Affymetrix). Mdm2 inhibitor (Mdm2i) Nutlin-3a was provided by Roche. Results: BCR-ABL1-positive (BV-173, SUPB-15) and negative (NALM19, REH) ALL cell lines were investigated for TP53 mutations and CDKN2A deletion. A p53 mutation (R181C) was identified in REH cells, whereas all the remaining cell lines resulted p53 wild-type but they were deleted in the locus containing CDKN2A. Leukemia cell lines were incubated with increasing concentrations of Nutlin-3a (0.005–2 μM) for 24, 48 and 72 hours (hrs). Mdm2 inhibition resulted in a dose and time-dependent cytotoxicity with IC50 at 24 hrs ranging from around 1.5 μM for BV-173 and SUPB-15 to 3.7 μM for NALM-19. By contrast, no significant changes in cell viability were observed in RHE p53-mutated cells after incubation with Mdm2i. The time and dose-dependent reduction in cell viability were confirmed in primary blast cells from a Ph+ ALL patient with the T315I Bcr-Abl kinase domain mutation found to be insensitive to the available tyrosine kinase inhibitors and from a t(4;11)-positive ALL patient (IC50 at 24 hrs equal to 2 μM). Consistent with the results of cell viability, Annexin V/PI analysis showed a significant increase in apoptosis after 24 hrs in sensitive cell lines and in primary leukemia blasts, whereas no apoptosis was observed in REH cells. To examine the possible mechanisms underlying Mdm2i-mediated cell death, western blot analysis was performed. Protein levels of p53, p21 (an important mediator of p53-dependent cell cycle arrest), cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-9 proteins increased as soon as 24 hrs of incubation with Mdm2i. In order to better elucidate the implications of p53 activation and to identify biomarkers of clinical activity, gene expression profiling analysis was next performed, comparing sensitive cell lines at 24 hrs of incubation with concentrations equal to the IC50 and their untreated counterparts (DMSO 0.1%). A total of 621 genes (48% down-regulated vs 52% up-regulated) were differentially expressed (p < 0.05). We found a strong down-regulation of GAS41 (growth-arrest specific 1 gene) and BMI1 (a polycomb ring-finger oncogene) (fold-change –1.35 and –1.11, respectively; p-value 0.02 and 0.03, respectively) after in vitro treatment as compared to control cells. Both genes are repressors of INK4/ARF and p21 and their aberrant expression has found to contribute to stem cell state in tumor cells. Additionally, experimental reduction of BMI1 protein levels results in apoptosis in tumor cells and increases susceptibility to cytotoxic agents and radiation therapy (Wu et al., 2011). Given the importance of BMI in the control of apoptosis, we investigated by western blot its pattern in treated and untreated cells, confirming a marked decrease as soon as 24 hrs of exposure to MDM2i both in leukemia cell lines and primary blast samples. Noteworthy, the BMI-1 levels remained constant in resistant cells. Conclusions: Inhibition of Mdm2 efficiently activates the p53 pathway promoting apoptosis. BMI-1 expression is markedly reduced in sensitive cells and it may be used as a biomarker of response. Evaluation of its expression before and after treatment in clinical settings will better gain insight into its role.
Blood
2522
2522
I Iacobucci; D Erriquez; A Ferrari; C Papayannidis; C Venturi; S Trino; V Guadagnuolo; A Lonetti; F Cattina; E Ottaviani; M Abbenante; S Parisi; S Soverini; D Russo; F Pane; M Baccarani; G Perini; G Martinelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/154669
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