Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Blood. 2008 Jan 15;111(2):846-55. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

The Akt/Mcl-1 pathway plays a prominent role in mediating antiapoptotic signals downstream of the B-cell receptor in chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells.

Author information

  • 1International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Molecular Hematology Group, Campus A. Buzzati-Traverso, Rome, Italy.


Sustained engagement of the B-cell receptor (BCR) increases apoptosis resistance in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B cells, whereas transient stimulation usually has an opposite effect. The antiapoptotic BCR signal has been associated with prolonged activation of the PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK pathways, which are key regulators of survival and proliferation in various cell types. To further define the relative contribution of the Akt and ERK kinases in regulating CLL B-cell survival, we introduced constitutively active mutants of Akt and MEK in primary CLL B cells and evaluated changes in the expression of relevant pro- and antiapoptotic proteins. Sustained activation of Akt resulted in increased leukemic cell viability and increased expression of the antiapoptotic proteins Mcl-1, Bcl-xL, and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), thus largely recapitulating the effects of sustained BCR stimulation. Constitutively active MEK2 also up-regulated XIAP, but did not show a significant impact on leukemic cell survival. Down-regulation of Mcl-1 by siRNA treatment induced rapid and potent apoptosis in CLL B cells and blocked the antiapoptotic effect of sustained BCR stimulation, whereas down-regulation of Bcl-xL and XIAP did not affect leukemic cell viability. These data demonstrate that Akt and Mcl-1 are major components of a survival pathway that can be activated in CLL B cells by antigen stimulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk