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Leuk Res. 2002 Dec;26(12):1097-103.

Enhancement of sensitivity by bestatin of acute promyelocytic leukemia NB4 cells to all-trans retinoic acid.

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  • 1Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan.


All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) induces the differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells into neutrophils. We found that bestatin, an inhibitor of CD13/aminopeptidase N, enhanced the sensitivity of APL NB4 cells to ATRA at concentrations of 0.1-1000ng/ml. A structurally different aminopeptidase N inhibitor, actinonin, also increased the effect of ATRA on differentiation, but an inactive stereoisomer of bestatin, (2R,3S)-AHPA-(R)-Leu, did not. Bestatin synergistically enhanced the cytostatic effect of ATRA on NB4 cells. Masking of the cell-surface CD13 by anti-CD13 antibody WM15 blocked the synergistic effect of bestatin and ATRA on differentiation. Thus bestatin, an immunomodulator clinically used for nonlymphocytic leukemia, synergistically increased the ATRA-induced differentiation of NB4 cells by inhibiting CD13/aminopeptidase N on the cell-surface.

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