[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic neoplasm characterized by the Philadelphia chromosome and the related BCR-ABL1 oncoprotein. Acceleration of CML is usually accompanied by basophilia. Several proangiogenic molecules have been implicated in disease acceleration, including the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). However, little is known so far about the cellular distribution and function of HGF in CML. We here report that HGF is expressed abundantly in purified CML basophils and in the basophil-committed CML line KU812, whereas all other cell types examined expressed only trace amounts of HGF or no HGF. Interleukin 3, a major regulator of human basophils, was found to promote HGF expression in CML basophils. By contrast, BCR-ABL1 failed to induce HGF synthesis in CML cells, and imatinib failed to inhibit expression of HGF in these cells. Recombinant HGF as well as basophil-derived HGF induced endothelial cell migration in a scratch wound assay, and these effects of HGF were reverted by an anti-HGF antibody as well as by pharmacologic c-Met inhibitors. In addition, anti-HGF and c-Met inhibitors were found to suppress the spontaneous growth of KU812 cells, suggesting autocrine growth regulation. Together, HGF is a BCR-ABL1-independent angiogenic and autocrine growth regulator in CML. Basophils are a unique source of HGF in these patients and may play a more active role in disease-associated angiogenesis and disease progression than has so far been assumed. Our data also suggest that HGF and c-Met are potential therapeutic targets in CML.
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 07/2012; 14(7):572-84. · 5.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proinflammatory cytokines such as TNFα are elevated in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), but their contribution to disease pathogenesis is unknown. Here we reveal a central role for TNFα in promoting clonal dominance of JAK2(V617F) expressing cells in MPN. We show that JAK2(V617F) kinase regulates TNFα expression in cell lines and primary MPN cells and TNFα expression is correlated with JAK2(V617F) allele burden. In clonogenic assays, normal controls show reduced colony formation in the presence of TNFα while colony formation by JAK2(V617F)-positive progenitor cells is resistant or stimulated by exposure to TNFα. Ectopic JAK2(V617F) expression confers TNFα resistance to normal murine progenitor cells and overcomes inherent TNFα hypersensitivity of Fanconi anemia complementation group C deficient progenitors. Lastly, absence of TNFα limits clonal expansion and attenuates disease in a murine model of JAK2(V617F)-positive MPN. Altogether our data are consistent with a model where JAK2(V617F) promotes clonal selection by conferring TNFα resistance to a preneoplastic TNFα sensitive cell, while simultaneously generating a TNFα-rich environment. Mutations that confer resistance to environmental stem cell stressors are a recognized mechanism of clonal selection and leukemogenesis in bone marrow failure syndromes and our data suggest that this mechanism is also critical to clonal selection in MPN.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The second generation BCR/ABL kinase inhibitor nilotinib is increasingly used for the treatment of imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). So far, nilotinib is considered a well-tolerated drug with little if any side effects, although an increase in the fasting glucose level has been reported. We examined a series of 24 consecutive CML patients treated with nilotinib in our center for the development of non-hematologic adverse events. Three of these 24 CML patients developed a rapidly progressive peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAOD) during treatment with nilotinib. In all three cases, PAOD required repeated angioplasty and/or multiple surgeries within a few months. No PAOD was known before nilotinib-therapy in these patients, although all three had received imatinib. In two patients, pre-existing risk factors predisposing for PAOD were known, and one of them had developed diabetes mellitus during nilotinib. In the other 21 patients treated with nilotinib in our center, one less severe PAOD, one myocardial infarction, one spinal infarction, one subdural hematoma, and one sudden death of unknown etiology were recorded. In summary, treatment with nilotinib may be associated with an increased risk of vascular adverse events, including PAOD development. In a subgroup of patients, these events are severe or even life-threatening. Although the exact mechanisms remain unknown, we recommend screening for pre-existing PAOD and for vascular risk factors such as diabetes mellitus in all patients before starting nilotinib and in the follow up during nilotinib-therapy.
American Journal of Hematology 07/2011; 86(7):533-9. · 4.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aspergillus spp are ubiquitous spore-forming fungi. Construction work, renovation, demolition, or excavation activities within a hospital or in surrounding areas increase the risk for aspergillus infection in susceptible patients and are the main cause of nosocomial aspergillus outbreaks.
We investigated the efficacy of infection control measures on the frequency of fungal infection among hemato-oncologic patients undergoing stem cell transplantation during excavation and construction work of an adjacent hospital building. Clinical isolates from these patients obtained before and during the excavation and construction period were analyzed. Preventive measures consisted in the implementation of a multibarrier concept to protect these patients from fungal infection.
There was no record of any clinical isolate of Aspergillus spp in the observation period before the beginning of the groundwork. However, 3 clinically significant isolates of Aspergillus spp were detected in respiratory tract specimen of 2 patients after the beginning of excavation and demolition work, which were found to be community acquired.
Although our data cannot demonstrate the efficacy of infection control measures during construction work, it can be concluded that excavation work close to immunocompromised patients is safe if a bundle of preventive measures is implemented before groundwork.
American journal of infection control 06/2011; 39(9):746-51. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteremias caused by Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli are among the most common bloodstream infections (BSIs) in adults. The aim of the study was to investigate risk factors for infection and clinical outcomes of bacteremias caused by S aureus or E coli.
We conducted a 1-year matched prospective cohort study including 150 patients with BSI caused by susceptible or resistant S aureus or E coli and 300 controls without BSI caused by these organisms.
Of the 150 episodes of bacteremia, 37% were caused by S aureus (including 5 cases of methicillin-resistant S aureus [MRSA]) and 63% were caused by E coli (including 9 cases of extended-spectrum beta lactamase [ESBL]-producing E coli). We identified 4 independent risk factors for acquisition of S aureus bacteremia (emergency, peripheral or central vascular catheter, renal disease) and 6 risk factors for E coli bacteremia (emergency, peripheral or central vascular catheter, malignancy, cytoreductive or immunosuppressive therapy). Both types of bacteremia were associated with an increased length of hospital stay compared with controls. We observed a 5-fold increase in the 30-day mortality rate for bacteremias due to S aureus, and a 2-fold increase in BSI caused by E coli. The in-hospital mortality rate was increased by 6-fold for S aureus and by 3-fold for E coli.
Longer hospitalization periods and increased mortality of bacteremias caused by S aureus or E coli, irrespective of susceptibility, implicate controlling for risk factors at an early stage.
American journal of infection control 12/2010; 38(10):839-45. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activating alleles of Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) such as JAK2(V617F) are central to the pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), suggesting that small molecule inhibitors targeting JAK2 may be therapeutically useful. We have identified an aminopyrimidine derivative (CYT387), which inhibits JAK1, JAK2, and tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) at low nanomolar concentrations, with few additional targets. Between 0.5 and 1.5muM CYT387 caused growth suppression and apoptosis in JAK2-dependent hematopoietic cell lines, while nonhematopoietic cell lines were unaffected. In a murine MPN model, CYT387 normalized white cell counts, hematocrit, spleen size, and restored physiologic levels of inflammatory cytokines. Despite the hematologic responses and reduction of the JAK2(V617F) allele burden, JAK2(V617F) cells persisted and MPN recurred upon cessation of treatment, suggesting that JAK2 inhibitors may be unable to eliminate JAK2(V617F) cells, consistent with preliminary results from clinical trials of JAK2 inhibitors in myelofibrosis. While the clinical benefit of JAK2 inhibitors may be substantial, not the least due to reduction of inflammatory cytokines and symptomatic improvement, our data add to increasing evidence that kinase inhibitor monotherapy of malignant disease is not curative, suggesting a need for drug combinations to optimally target the malignant cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a myeloid neoplasm involving mast cells (MCs) and their progenitors. In most cases, neoplastic cells display the D816V-mutated variant of KIT. KIT D816V exhibits constitutive tyrosine kinase (TK) activity and has been implicated in increased survival and growth of neoplastic MCs. Recent data suggest that the proapoptotic BH3-only death regulator Bim plays a role as a tumor suppressor in various myeloid neoplasms. We found that KIT D816V suppresses expression of Bim in Ba/F3 cells. The KIT D816-induced down-regulation of Bim was rescued by the KIT-targeting drug PKC412/midostaurin. Both PKC412 and the proteasome-inhibitor bortezomib were found to decrease growth and promote expression of Bim in MC leukemia cell lines HMC-1.1 (D816V negative) and HMC-1.2 (D816V positive). Both drugs were also found to counteract growth of primary neoplastic MCs. Furthermore, midostaurin was found to cooperate with bortezomib and with the BH3-mimetic obatoclax in producing growth inhibition in both HMC-1 subclones. Finally, a Bim-specific siRNA was found to rescue HMC-1 cells from PKC412-induced cell death. Our data show that KIT D816V suppresses expression of proapoptotic Bim in neoplastic MCs. Targeting of Bcl-2 family members by drugs promoting Bim (re)-expression, or by BH3-mimetics such as obatoclax, may be an attractive therapy concept in SM.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has recently been implicated in leukaemic cell growth, tumour-associated angiogenesis and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We examined whether mTOR plays a role as regulator of growth and VEGF-expression in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Three mTOR-targeting drugs, rapamycin, everolimus (RAD001) and CCI-779, were applied. The effects of these drugs on growth, survival, apoptosis and VEGF expression in primary AML cells and various AML cell lines were examined.
Growth of AML cells and AML-derived cell lines was assessed by (3)H-thymidine incorporation, survival was examined by light- and electron microscopy, by Tunel assay and by AnnexinV-staining, and the expression of VEGF by Northern blotting, RT-PCR and ELISA.
Rapamycin was found to counteract growth in the AML cell lines U937 and KG1a as well as in primary AML cells in 14/18 patients examined. The effects of rapamycin and its derivatives were dose-dependent (IC(50): 10 pM-100 nM). It was also found that exposure to mTOR-targeting drugs resulted in apoptosis and in decreased expression of VEGF in leukaemic cells.
mTOR-targeting drugs exert antileukaemic effects on AML cells in vitro through multiple actions, including direct inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis and suppression of VEGF. Based on this study and other studies, mTOR can be regarded as a potential drug target in AML.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 04/2009; 39(5):395-405. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a mast cell neoplasm in which neoplastic cells usually display the D816V-mutated variant of KIT. Cladribine (2CdA) and dasatinib are two drugs that counteract the in vitro growth of neoplastic mast cells in SM. However, only little is known about the in vivo effects of these drugs in SM.
We report on a patient with highly aggressive interferon-alpha-resistant SM who was treated with 2CdA and dasatinib. In vitro pretesting revealed a response of neoplastic mast cells to both compounds with reasonable IC(50) values.
The patient was treated with six cycles of 2CdA (0.13 mg kg(-1) intravenously daily on 5 consecutive days). Despite a short-lived major clinical response and a decrease in serum tryptase, the patient progressed to mast cell leukaemia after the sixth cycle of 2CdA. The patient then received two further courses of 2CdA followed by treatment with dasatinib (100 mg per os daily). However, no major response was obtained and the patient died from disease progression after 2 months.
In a patient with rapidly progressing aggressive SM, neither 2CdA nor dasatinib produced a long-lasting response in vivo, despite encouraging in vitro results. For such patients, alternative treatment strategies have to be developed.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 12/2008; 38(11):869-73. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hom s 2, the alpha-chain of the nascent polypeptide-associated complex, is an intracellular autoantigen that has been identified with IgE autoantibodies from atopic dermatitis patients. We investigated the humoral and cellular immune response to purified recombinant Hom s 2 (rHom s 2). rHom s 2 exhibited IgE reactivity comparable to exogenous allergens, but did not induce relevant basophil cell degranulation. The latter may be attributed to the fact that patients recognized single epitopes on Hom s 2 as revealed by IgE epitope mapping with rHom s 2 fragments. In contrast to exogenous allergens, rHom s 2 had the intrinsic ability to induce the release of IFN-gamma in cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells from atopic as well as non-atopic individuals. IFN-gamma-containing culture supernatants from Hom s 2-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells caused disintegration of respiratory epithelial cell layers and apoptosis of skin keratinocytes, which could be inhibited with a neutralizing anti-IFN-gamma antibody. Our data demonstrate that the Hom s 2 autoantigen can cause IFN-gamma-mediated cell damage.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 07/2008; 128(6):1451-9. · 6.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oncogenic tyrosine kinases (TK) usually convert growth factor-dependent cells to factor independence with autonomous proliferation. However, TK-driven neoplasms often are indolent and characterized by cell differentiation rather than proliferation. A prototype of an indolent TK-driven neoplasm is indolent systemic mastocytosis. We found that the D816V-mutated variant of KIT, a TK detectable in most patients with systemic mastocytosis, induces cluster formation and expression of several mast cell differentiation and adhesion Ags, including microphthalmia transcription factor, IL-4 receptor, histamine, CD63, and ICAM-1 in IL-3-dependent BaF3 cells. By contrast, wild-type KIT did not induce cluster formation or mast cell differentiation Ags. Additionally, KIT D816V, but not wild-type KIT, induced STAT5 activation in BaF3 cells. However, despite these intriguing effects, KIT D816V did not convert BaF3 cells to factor-independent proliferation. Correspondingly, BaF3 cells with conditional expression of KIT D816V did not form tumors in nude mice. Together, the biologic effects of KIT D816V in BaF3 cells match strikingly with the clinical course of indolent systemic mastocytosis and with our recently established transgenic mouse model, in which KIT D816V induces indolent mast cell accumulations but usually does not induce a malignant mast cell disease. Based on all these results, it is hypothesized that KIT D816V as a single hit may be sufficient to cause indolent systemic mastocytosis, whereas additional defects may be required to induce aggressive mast cell disorders.
The Journal of Immunology 05/2008; 180(8):5466-76. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance toward imatinib and other BCR/ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors remains an increasing clinical problem in the treatment of advanced stages of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). We recently have identified the heat shock protein 32 (Hsp32)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) as a BCR/ABL-dependent survival molecule in CML cells. We here show that silencing Hsp32/HO-1 in CML cells by an siRNA approach results in induction of apoptosis. Moreover, targeting Hsp32/HO-1 by either pegylated zinc protoporphyrine (PEG-ZnPP) or styrene maleic acid-micelle-encapsulated ZnPP (SMA-ZnPP) resulted in growth inhibition of BCR/ABL-transformed cells. The effects of PEG-ZnPP and SMA-ZnPP were demonstrable in Ba/F3 cells carrying various imatinib-resistant mutants of BCR/ABL, including the T315I mutant, which exhibits resistance against all clinically available BCR/ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Growth-inhibitory effects of PEG-ZnPP and SMA-ZnPP also were observed in the CML-derived human cell lines K562 and KU812 as well as in primary leukemic cells obtained from patients with freshly diagnosed CML or imatinib-resistant CML. Finally, Hsp32/HO-1-targeting compounds were found to synergize with either imatinib or nilotinib in producing growth inhibition in imatinib-resistant K562 cells and in Ba/F3 cells harboring the T315I mutant of BCR/ABL. In summary, these data show that HO-1 is a promising novel target in imatinib-resistant CML.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent data suggest that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is involved in the regulation of growth of neoplastic cells in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).
We treated six patients with imatinib-resistant CML in haematological relapse (leukocytes > 20,000 microL(-1)) with rapamycin at 2 mg per os daily for 14 consecutive days, with dose-adjustment allowed to reach a target rapamycin serum concentration of 10-20 pg mL(-1).
A major leukocyte response with decrease to less than 10,000 microL(-1) was obtained in two patients, and a minor transient response was seen in two other patients. In responding patients, we also observed a decrease in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA levels in circulating leukaemic cells. Side effects during rapamycin treatment were mild in most patients. In one patient, pneumonia developed. Rapamycin was also found to counteract growth of CML cells in vitro as determined by (3)H-thymidine incorporation. Moreover, rapamycin inhibited the growth of Ba/F3 cells exhibiting various imatinib-resistant mutants of BCR/ABL, including the T315I variant that exhibits resistance against most currently available BCR/ABL kinase inhibitors.
Rapamycin shows antileukaemic effects in imatinib-resistant CML in vitro and in vivo. Larger trials with rapamycin or rapamycin-derivatives in combination with other targeted drugs are warranted to further determine clinical efficacy in CML.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 01/2008; 38(1):43-52. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a majority of all patients with systemic mastocytosis (SM) including those with mast cell leukemia (MCL), neoplastic mast cells (MC) display the D816V-mutated variant of KIT. The respective oncoprotein, KIT D816V, exhibits constitutive tyrosine kinase (TK) activity and has been implicated in malignant cell growth. Therefore, several attempts have been made to identify KIT D816V-targeting drugs.
We examined the effects of the novel TK-inhibitor dasatinib alone and in combination with other targeted drugs on growth of neoplastic MC.
Confirming previous studies, dasatinib was found to inhibit the TK activity of wild type (wt) KIT and KIT-D816V as well as growth and survival of neoplastic MC and of the MCL cell line, HMC-1. The growth-inhibitory effects of dasatinib in HMC-1 cells were found to be associated with a decrease in expression of CD2 and CD63. In addition, we found that dasatinib blocks KIT D816V-induced cluster-formation and viability in Ba/F3 cells. In drug combination experiments, dasatinib was found to co-operate with PKC412, AMN107, imatinib, and 2CdA in producing growth-inhibition and apoptosis in neoplastic MC. In HMC-1.1 cells lacking KIT D816V, all drug interactions were found to be synergistic in nature. By contrast, in HMC-1.2 cells exhibiting KIT D816V, only the combinations dasatinib+PKC412 and dasatinib+2CdA were found to produce synergistic effects.
Combinations of targeted drugs may represent an interesting pharmacologic approach for the treatment of aggressive SM or MCL.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Central nervous system (CNS) relapse in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is rare and if recorded is usually found to occur in patients with lymphoblastic transformation. The BCR/ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib is highly effective in patients with CML, but hardly crosses the blood-brain barrier.
We report on two CML patients who developed a myeloid CNS relapse during treatment with imatinib. One patient was in major cytogenetic response at the time of CNS relapse. In both cases, the myeloid origin of neoplastic cells in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was demonstrable by immunophenotyping, and their leukaemic origin by detection of the BCR/ABL oncoprotein. No BCR/ABL kinase domain mutations were found. Both patients received intrathecal liposomal cytarabine (50 mg each cycle; 6 cycles). In one patient, additional CNS radiation was performed, whereas in the other, consecutive treatment with dasatinib (70 mg per os twice daily) was started.
In response to therapy, the clinical symptoms resolved, and the leukaemic cells in the CSF disappeared in both cases. After three months of observation, both patients are in complete cytogenetic and major molecular response, without evidence for a systemic or a CNS relapse.
'Anatomic' resistance against imatinib in the CNS can lead to a myeloid CNS relapse. Liposomal cytarabine with or without radiation is effective as local therapy in these patients. For systemic treatment and prophylaxis, BCR/ABL kinase inhibitors crossing the blood-brain barrier such as dasatinib should be considered in patients with CNS relapse.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 11/2007; 37(10):808-13. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is produced in neoplastic cells in various myeloid neoplasms and may act as an autocrine growth-regulator. We have examined the expression of five VEGF receptors (VEGR1/Flt-1, VEGFR2/KDR, Flt-4, neuropilin-1 = NRP-1, NRP-2) in leukemic cells obtained from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (n = 28), chronic myeloid leukemia (n = 14), chronic eosinophilic leukemia (n = 3), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (n = 9), or mast cell leukemia/systemic mastocytosis (n = 3) as well as in respective cell lines. Expression of VEGFR mRNA was analyzed by RT-PCR, and expression of VEGFR protein by immunocytochemistry. In most patients, leukemic cells expressed NRP-1 mRNA and NRP-2 mRNA independent of the type of disease. By contrast, transcripts for Flt-1, KDR, and Flt-4 were expressed variably without a clear correlation to the type of leukemia. Expression of VEGF receptors was also demonstrable at the protein level in all cases tested. In conclusion, neoplastic cells in myeloid leukemias frequently express VEGFR including NRP-1 and NRP-2.
Leukemia and Lymphoma 11/2007; 48(10):1997-2007. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a myeloid neoplasm characterized by increased survival and accumulation of neoplastic mast cells (MCs). In most patients, the D816V-mutated variant of KIT is detectable. We report here that heat shock protein 32 (Hsp32), also known as heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), is a novel KIT-inducible survival factor in neoplastic MCs. As assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunocytochemistry, and Western blotting, the KIT D816V(+) MC line HMC-1.2 as well as highly enriched primary neoplastic MCs were found to express Hsp32 mRNA and the Hsp32 protein. Moreover, KIT D816V and stem cell factor (SCF)-activated wild-type KIT were found to induce Hsp32 promoter activity, expression of Hsp32 mRNA, and expression of the Hsp32 protein in Ba/F3 cells. Correspondingly, the KIT D816V-targeting drug PKC412 decreased the expression of Hsp32 as well as proliferation/survival in neoplastic MCs. The inhibitory effects of PKC412 on the survival of HMC-1.2 cells were counteracted by the HO-1 inductor hemin or lentiviral-transduced HO-1. Moreover, 2 Hsp32-targeting drugs, pegylated zinc protoporphyrin (PEG-ZnPP) and styrene maleic acid copolymer micelle-encapsulated ZnPP (SMA-ZnPP), were found to inhibit proliferation and to induce apoptosis in neoplastic MCs. Furthermore, both drugs were found to cooperate with PKC412 in producing growth inhibition. Together, these data show that Hsp32 is an important survival factor and interesting new therapeutic target in neoplastic MCs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MCL-1 is a Bcl-2 family member that has been described as antiapoptotic in various myeloid neoplasms. Therefore, MCL-1 has been suggested as a potential new therapeutic target. Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a myeloid neoplasm involving mast cells (MCs) and their progenitors. In the present study, we examined the expression and functional role of MCL-1 in neoplastic MCs and sought to determine whether MCL-1 could serve as a target in SM. As assessed by RT-PCR and immunohistochemical examination, primary neoplastic MCs expressed MCL-1 mRNA and the MCL-1 protein in all SM patients examined. Moreover, MCL-1 was detectable in both subclones of the MC line HMC-1--HMC-1.1 cells, which lack the SM-related KIT mutation D816V, and HMC-1.2 cells, which carry KIT D816V. Exposure of HMC-1.1 cells or HMC-1.2 cells to MCL-1-specific antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) or MCL-1-specific siRNA resulted in reduced survival and increased apoptosis compared with untreated cells. Moreover, MCL-1 ASOs were found to cooperate with various tyrosine kinase inhibitors in producing growth inhibition in neoplastic MCs, with synergistic effects observed with PKC412, AMN107, and imatinib in HMC-1.1 cells and with PKC412 in HMC-1.2 cells. Together, these data show that MCL-1 is a novel survival factor and an attractive target in neoplastic MCs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Basophil numbers are typically elevated in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and increase during disease progression. Histamine is an essential mediator and marker of basophils and is highly up-regulated in CML. We examined the biochemical basis of histamine synthesis in CML cells. The CML-specific oncoprotein BCR/ABL was found to promote expression of histidine decarboxylase (HDC) and synthesis of histamine in Ba/F3 cells. Moreover, the BCR/ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors imatinib (STI571) and nilotinib (AMN107) decreased histamine levels and HDC mRNA expression in BCR/ABL-transformed Ba/F3 cells, in the CML-derived basophil cell line KU812, and in primary CML cells. Synthesis of histamine was found to be restricted to the basophil compartment of the CML clone and to depend on signaling through the PI3-kinase pathway. CML cells also expressed histamine receptors (HRs), including HR-1, HR-2, HR-4, and histamine-binding CYP450 isoenzymes which also serve as targets of HR antagonists. The HR-1 antagonists loratadine and terfenadine, which bind to CYP450, were found to counteract proliferation of CML cells, whereas no growth inhibition was observed with the HR-1 antagonist fexofenadine which is not targeted or metabolized by CYP450. Moreover, DPPE, an inhibitor of histamine-binding CYP450 isoenzymes, produced growth inhibition in CML cells. Together, these data show that BCR/ABL promotes histamine production in CML cells and that certain HR-targeting drugs exert antileukemic effects on CML cells.