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Apoptosis. 2008 Jul;13(7):915-28. doi: 10.1007/s10495-008-0222-9.

Death-associated protein 5 (DAP5/p97/NAT1) contributes to retinoic acid-induced granulocytic differentiation and arsenic trioxide-induced apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Box 422, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) induce differentiation and apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells. Here we investigated the role and regulation of death-associated protein-5 (DAP5/p97/NAT1), a novel inhibitor of translational initiation, in APL cell differentiation and apoptosis. We found that ATRA markedly induced DAP5/p97 protein and gene expression and nuclear translocation during terminal differentiation of APL (NB4) and HL60 cells but not differentiation-resistant cells (NB4.R1 and HL60R), which express very low levels of DAP5/p97. At the differentiation inducing concentrations, ATO (<0.5 microM), dimethyl sulfoxide, 1,25-dihydroxy-vitamin-D3, and phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate also significantly induced DAP5/p97 expression in NB4 cells. However, ATO administered at apoptotic doses (1-2 microM) induced expression of DAP5/p86, a proapoptotic derivative of DAP5/p97. ATRA and ATO-induced expression of DAP5/p97 was associated with inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. Furthermore, DAP5/p97 expression was upregulated by inhibition of the PI3K/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway via LY294002 and via rapamycin. Finally, knockdown of DAP5/p97 expression by small interfering RNA inhibited ATRA-induced granulocytic differentiation and ATO-induced apoptosis. Together, our data reveal new roles for DAP5/p97 in ATRA-induced differentiation and ATO-induced apoptosis in APL and suggest a novel regulatory mechanism by which PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibition mediates ATRA- and ATO-induced expression of DAP5/p97.

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