Arsenic trioxide (ATO) induces differentiation and apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Several reports indicate that in APL cells apoptosis occurs mainly by a mechanism that involves the inhibition of glutathione peroxidase, one of the enzymes that regulates mitochondrial levels of H2O2. Peroxiredoxin (Prx) III, a c-MYC target gene, is also a mitochondria-specific H2O2-scavenger enzyme. We studied here the role of Prx III during ATO-induced apoptosis in APL-derived NB4 cells, since these cells express high levels of Prx III. The protein and mRNA levels of Prx III decreased during ATO-induced apoptosis of NB4 cells. The downregulation of Prx III occurred before reactive oxygen species accumulation, reduction in the mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptosis. Depletion of Prx III enhanced mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis events. In contrast, overexpression of Prx III led to reduced levels of ATO-induced apoptosis. c-MYC was also downregulated in ATO-treated NB4 cells. Furthermore, depletion of c-MYC also reduced the Prx-III expression levels. Finally chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays confirmed that downregulation of Prx-III was caused by the reduction of c-MYC levels during ATO-induced apoptosis of NB4 cells. These findings demonstrate a novel apoptotic-response pathway whereby downregulation of Prx-III potentiates ATO-induced apoptosis in APL cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research