Zebularine induces chemosensitization to methotrexate and efficiently decreases AhR gene methylation in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
ABSTRACT Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common hematologic malignancy in childhood. Despite the advances in treatment, about 20% of patients relapse and/or die, indicating the need for different therapies for this group. Zebularine (ZB) is a potent DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitor and has been associated with gene demethylation and enhancement of tumor chemosensitivity. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of ZB, alone or combined with chemotherapeutics (methotrexate and vincristine), on childhood ALL cell lines. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, and clonogenic capacity were studied in Jurkat and ReH cell lines. Bisulfite modification, followed by methylation-specific PCR was carried out to evaluate aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) methylation status. Gene expression of DNMT1, DNMT3a, DNMT3b, and AhR was assessed using qRT-PCR. Both cell cultures were sensitive to ZB, showing a dose-dependent and time-dependent response (P<0.05). ZB induced apoptosis and decreased clonogenic capacity in both cell lines. Combination with methotrexate resulted in a strong synergistic effect, whereas combination with vincristine led to an antagonistic response in both cell lines. ZB treatment decreased gene expression of the three DNMTs and induced AhR gene promoter demethylation and its re-expression. These results indicate that ZB may be a promising drug for the adjuvant treatment of ALL, mainly when combined with methotrexate.
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ABSTRACT: A generalized method for analyzing the effects of multiple drugs and for determining summation, synergism and antagonism has been proposed. The derived, generalized equations are based on kinetic principles. The method is relatively simple and is not limited by whether the dose-effect relationships are hyperbolic or sigmoidal, whether the effects of the drugs are mutually exclusive or nonexclusive, whether the ligand interactions are competitive, noncompetitive or uncompetitive, whether the drugs are agonists or antagonists, or the number of drugs involved. The equations for the two most widely used methods for analyzing synergism, antagonism and summation of effects of multiple drugs, the isobologram and fractional product concepts, have been derived and been shown to have limitations in their applications. These two methods cannot be used indiscriminately. The equations underlying these two methods can be derived from a more generalized equation previously developed by us (59). It can be shown that the isobologram is valid only for drugs whose effects are mutually exclusive, whereas the fractional product method is valid only for mutually nonexclusive drugs which have hyperbolic dose-effect curves. Furthermore, in the isobol method, it is laborious to find proper combinations of drugs that would produce an iso-effective curve, and the fractional product method tends to give indication of synergism, since it underestimates the summation of the effect of mutually nonexclusive drugs that have sigmoidal dose-effect curves. The method described herein is devoid of these deficiencies and limitations. The simplified experimental design proposed for multiple drug-effect analysis has the following advantages: It provides a simple diagnostic plot (i.e., the median-effect plot) for evaluating the applicability of the data, and provides parameters that can be directly used to obtain a general equation for the dose-effect relation; the analysis which involves logarithmic conversion and linear regression can be readily carried out with a simple programmable electronic calculator and does not require special graph paper or tables; and the simplicity of the equation allows flexibility of application and the use of a minimum number of data points. This method has been used to analyze experimental data obtained from enzymatic, cellular and animal systems.Advances in Enzyme Regulation 02/1984; 22:27-55.
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ABSTRACT: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor in eukaryotic cells that alters gene expression in response to the environmental contaminant 2,3,7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). In 5L hepatoma cells, TCDD induces a G1 cell cycle arrest through a mechanism that involves the AhR. The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (pRb) controls cell cycle progression through G1 in addition to promoting differentiation. We examined whether the human AhR or its dimerization partner, the AhR nuclear translocator, interacts with pRb as a basis of the TCDD-induced cell cycle arrest. In vivo and in vitro assays reveal a direct interaction between pRb and the AhR but not the AhR nuclear translocator protein. Binding between the AhR and pRb occurs through two distinct regions in the AhR. A high affinity site lies within the N-terminal 364 amino acids of the AhR, whereas a lower affinity binding region colocalizes with the glutamine-rich transactivation domain of the receptor. AhR ligand binding is not required for the pRb interaction per se, although immunoprecipitation experiments in 5L cells reveal that pRb associates preferentially with the liganded AhR, consistent with a requirement for ligand-induced nuclear translocation. These observations provide a mechanistic insight into AhR-mediated cell cycle arrest and a new perspective on TCDD-induced toxicity.Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/1998; 273(35):22708-13. · 4.65 Impact Factor