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Med Oncol. 2010 Sep;27(3):833-42. doi: 10.1007/s12032-009-9294-9. Epub 2009 Sep 10.

Arsenic trioxide induces apoptosis in NB-4, an acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line, through up-regulation of p73 via suppression of nuclear factor kappa B-mediated inhibition of p73 transcription and prevention of NF-kappaB-mediated induction of XIAP, cIAP2, BCL-XL and survivin.

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  • 1Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Research Center, Shariati Hospital, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the effects of arsenic trioxide (ATO) on human acute promyelocytic leukemia NB-4 cells. Microculture tetrazolium test, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) cell proliferation assay, caspase 3 activity assay, cell-based nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) phosphorylation measurement by ELISA and real-time RT-PCR were employed to appraise the effects of ATO on metabolic activity, DNA synthesis, induction of programmed cell death and NF-kappaB activation. The suppressive effects of ATO on metabolic potential, cell proliferation and NF-kappaB activation were associated with induction of apoptosis in NB-4 cells. In addition, an expressive enhancement in mRNA levels of p73, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (p21), tumor protein 53-induced nuclear protein 1 (TP53INP1), WNK lysine deficient protein kinase 2 (WNK2) and lipocalin 2 coupled with a significant reduction in transcriptional levels of NF-kappaB inhibitor beta (IKK2), Nemo, BCL2-like 1 (BCL-X(L)), inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1 (cIAP2), X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), survivin, Bcl-2, TIP60, ataxia telangiectasia (ATM), SHP-2 and sirtuin (SIRT1) were observed. Altogether, these issues show for the first time that ATO treatment could trammel cell growth and proliferation as well as induces apoptosis in NB-4 cells through induction of transcriptional levels of p73, TP53INP1, WNK2, lipocalin 2 as well as suppression of NF-kappaB-mediated induction of BCL-X(L), cIAP2, XIAP and survivin. Furthermore, the inductionary effects of ATO on transcriptional stimulation of p73 might be through cramping the NF-kappaB module (through suppression of p65 phosphorylation as well as transcriptional hindering of IKK2, ATM and Nemo) along with diminishing the mRNA expression of TIP60, SHP-2 and SIRT1.

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