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Publications (4)24.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The interferons (IFNs) are cytokines that play key roles in host defense against viral infections and immune surveillance against cancer. We report that BCR-ABL transformation of hematopoietic cells results in suppression of IFN-dependent responses, including transcription of IFN-inducible genes and generation of IFN-mediated antiviral effects. BCR-ABL transformation suppresses expression of several IFN-regulated genes containing IFN-sensitive response element (ISRE) or GAS elements in their promoters, including Isg15, Irf1, Irf9, and Ifit2 (interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 2). Suppression of transcription of ISRE-containing genes is also seen in cells expressing various BCR-ABL kinase domain mutants, including T315I, H396P, Y253F, and E255K, but not kinase-defective BCR-ABL. Such effects are associated with impaired IFN-dependent phosphorylation of Stat1 on Tyr(701) and Stat3 on Tyr(705) and defective binding of Stat complexes to ISRE or GAS elements. Beyond suppression of Stat activities, BCR-ABL inhibits IFN-inducible phosphorylation/activation of the p38 MAPK, suggesting a dual mechanism by which this abnormal fusion protein blocks IFN transcriptional responses. The inhibitory activities of BCR-ABL ultimately result in impaired IFNalpha-mediated protection against encephalomyocarditis virus infection and reversal of IFN-dependent growth suppression. Altogether, our data provide evidence for a novel mechanism by which BCR-ABL impairs host defenses and promotes malignant transformation, involving dual suppression of IFN-activated signaling pathways.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2008; 283(16):10793-803. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M706816200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)) is a potent inducer of apoptosis of leukemic cells in vitro and in vivo, but the mechanisms that mediate such effects are not well understood. We provide evidence that the Akt kinase is phosphorylated/activated during treatment of leukemia cells with As(2)O(3), to regulate downstream engagement of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its effectors. Using cells with targeted disruption of both the Akt1 and Akt2 genes, we found that induction of arsenic trioxide-dependent apoptosis is strongly enhanced in the absence of these kinases, suggesting that Akt1/Akt2 are activated in a negative feedback regulatory manner, to control generation of As(2)O(3) responses. Consistent with this, As(2)O(3)-dependent pro-apoptotic effects are enhanced in double knock-out cells for both isoforms of the p70 S6 kinase (S6k1/S6k2), a downstream effector of Akt and mTOR. On the other hand, As(2)O(3)-dependent induction of apoptosis is diminished in cells with targeted disruption of TSC2, a negative upstream effector of mTOR. In studies using primary hematopoietic progenitors from patients with acute myeloid leukemia, we found that pharmacological inhibition of mTOR enhances the suppressive effects of arsenic trioxide on leukemic progenitor colony formation. Moreover, short interfering RNA-mediated inhibition of expression of the negative downstream effector, translational repressor 4E-BP1, partially reverses the effects of As(2)O(3). Altogether, these data provide evidence for a key regulatory role of the Akt/mTOR pathway in the generation of the effects of As(2)O(3), and suggest that targeting this signaling cascade may provide a novel therapeutic approach to enhance the anti-leukemic properties of As(2)O(3).
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2008; 283(4):1992-2001. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M705227200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)) exhibits important antitumor activities in vitro and in vivo, but the precise mechanisms by which it induces its effects are not known. We provide evidence that during treatment of BCR-ABL-expressing cells with As(2)O(3), there is activation of a cellular pathway involving the p70 S6 kinase (p70S6K). Our data show that p70S6K is rapidly phosphorylated on Thr(421) and Ser(424) and is activated in an As(2)O(3)-inducible manner. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is also phosphorylated/activated in an As(2)O(3)-inducible manner, and its activity is required for downstream engagement of p70S6K. p70S6K subsequently phosphorylates the S6 ribosomal protein on Ser(235)/Ser(236) and Ser(240)/Ser(244) to promote initiation of mRNA translation. Treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia-derived cell lines with As(2)O(3) also results in phosphorylation of the 4E-BP1 repressor of mRNA translation on Thr(37)/Thr(46) and Thr(70), sites required for its deactivation and its dissociation from the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E complex to allow cap-dependent mRNA translation. In studies to determine the functional relevance of this pathway, we found that inhibition of mTOR and downstream cascades enhances induction of apoptosis by As(2)O(3). Consistent with this, the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin strongly potentiated As(2)O(3)-mediated suppression of primitive leukemic progenitors from the bone marrow of chronic myelogenous leukemia patients. Altogether, our data show that the mTOR/p70S6K pathway is activated in a negative feedback regulatory manner in response to As(2)O(3) in BCR-ABL-transformed cells and plays a key regulatory role in the induction of anti-leukemic responses.
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 12/2006; 5(11):2815-23. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-06-0263 · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is activated by IFNs and other cytokines to mediate signals for important cellular functions, including transcriptional regulation and apoptosis. We examined the role of the p38 pathway in the generation of the effects of myelosuppressive cytokines on human hematopoiesis. Pharmacologic inhibition of p38 using BIX-01208 resulted in reversal of IFN-, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-, and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-mediated suppression of human erythroid (blast-forming unit-erythroid) and myeloid (granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming unit) colony formation, consistent with a key role for p38 in the generation of myelosuppressive signals by different cytokines. Similarly, the myelosuppressive effects of TNF-alpha and TGF-beta were reversed by small interfering RNAs targeting p38alpha expression, further establishing the requirement of this kinase in the induction of myelosuppressive responses. As TNF overproduction has been implicated in the pathophysiology of bone marrow failure states, we determined whether pharmacologic inhibition of p38 reverses the hematopoietic defects seen in bone marrows from patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and the anemia of chronic disease. Addition of pharmacologic inhibitors of p38 on such bone marrows resulted in increased numbers of erythroid and myeloid progenitors. Similarly, inhibition of the activity of the downstream effectors of p38, MAPK activated protein kinase-2, and mitogen and stress activated kinase 1 partially restored the hematopoietic defect seen in these bone marrows. Taken altogether, our data implicate the p38 MAPK in the pathophysiology of myelodysplasias and suggest that p38 pharmacologic inhibitors may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of MDS.
    Cancer Research 11/2005; 65(19):9029-37. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-4555 · 9.33 Impact Factor