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Cancer Cell. 2010 Jul 13;18(1):74-87. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2010.04.025.

Wnt/Ca2+/NFAT signaling maintains survival of Ph+ leukemia cells upon inhibition of Bcr-Abl.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.

Abstract

Although Bcr-Abl kinase inhibitors have proven effective in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), they generally fail to eradicate Bcr-Abl(+) leukemia cells. To identify genes whose inhibition sensitizes Bcr-Abl(+) leukemias to killing by Bcr-Abl inhibitors, we performed an RNAi-based synthetic lethal screen with imatinib mesylate in CML cells. This screen identified numerous components of a Wnt/Ca(2+)/NFAT signaling pathway. Antagonism of this pathway led to impaired NFAT activity, decreased cytokine production, and enhanced sensitivity to Bcr-Abl inhibition. Furthermore, NFAT inhibition with cyclosporin A facilitated leukemia cell elimination by the Bcr-Abl inhibitor dasatinib and markedly improved survival in a mouse model of Bcr-Abl(+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Targeting this pathway in combination with Bcr-Abl inhibition could improve treatment of Bcr-Abl(+) leukemias.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20609354
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2904512
Free PMC Article

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