CGP57148B (STI-571) induces differentiation and apoptosis and sensitizes Bcr-Abl-positive human leukemia cells to apoptosis due to antileukemic drugs

G. Fang, C. N. Kim, C. L. Perkins, N. Ramadevi, E. Winton, S. Wittmann, K. N. Bhalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Scopus citations


The differentiation and apoptosis-sensitizing effects of the Bcr-Abl-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor CGP57148B, also known as STI-571, were determined in human Bcr-Abl-positive HL-60/Bcr-Abl and K562 cells. First, the results demonstrate that the ectopic expression of the p185 Bcr-Abl fusion protein induced hemoglobin in the acute myeloid leukemia (AML) HL-60 cells. Exposure to low-dose cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C; 10 nmol/L) increased hemoglobin levels in HL-60/Bcr-Abl and in the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) blast crisis K562 cells, which express the p210 Bcr-Abl protein. As compared with HL-60/neo, HL-60/Bcr-Abl and K562 cells were resistant to apoptosis induced by Ara-C, doxorubicin, or tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), which was associated with reduced processing of caspase-8 and Bid protein and decreased cytosolic accumulation of cytochrome c (cyt c). Exposure to CGP57148B alone increased hemoglobin levels and CD11b expression and induced apoptosis of HL-60/Bcr-Abl and K562 cells. CGP57148B treatment down-regulated antiapoptotic XIAP, cIAP1, and Bcl-x(L), without affecting Bcl-2, Bax, Apaf-1, Fas (CD95), Fas ligand, Abl, and Bcr-Abl levels. CGP57148B also inhibited constitutively active Akt kinase and NFκB in Bcr-Abl-positive cells. Attenuation of NFκB activity by ectopic expression of transdominant repressor of lκB sensitized HL-60/Bcr-Abl and K562 cells to TNF-α but not to apoptosis induced by Ara-C or doxorubicin. Importantly, cotreatment with CGP57148B significantly increased Ara-C- or doxorubicin-induced apoptosis of HL-60/Bcr-Abl and K562 cells. This was associated with greater cytosolic accumulation of cyt c and PARP cleavage activity of caspase-3. These in vitro data indicate that combinations of CGP57148B and antileukemic drugs such as Ara-C may have improved in vivo efficacy against Bcr-Abl-positive acute leukemia. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2246-2253
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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