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Hematology. 2011 Jul;16(4):225-31. doi: 10.1179/102453311X12953015767536.

RITA enhances chemosensivity of pre-B ALL cells to doxorubicin by inducing p53-dependent apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Faculty of Allied Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Erratum in

  • Hematology. 2011 Sep;16(5):324.


The use of low-molecular-weight, non-peptidic molecules that disrupt the interaction between the p53 tumor suppressor and its negative regulator MDM2 has provided a promising alternative for the treatment of different types of cancer. Here, we used small-molecule reactivation of p53 and induction of tumor cell apoptosis (RITA) to sensitize leukemic NALM-6 cells to doxorubicin by upregulating p53 protein. RITA alone effectively inhibited NALM-6 cells viability in dose-dependent manner as measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and induced apoptosis as evaluated by flow cytometry, whereas RITA in combination with doxorubicin enhanced NALM-6 cells to doxorubicin-sensitivity and promoted doxorubicin induced apoptosis. Levels of p53 protein and its proapoptotic target genes, quantified by western blot and real-time PCR respectively, showed that expression of p53 was significantly increased after RITA treatment. Using p53 inhibitors PFT-alpha and PFT-mu it was shown that p53-mediated apoptosis induced by RITA can be regulated by both p53-transcription-dependent and -independent pathways. Moreover, RITA-induced apoptosis was accompanied by the activation of caspase-3 and PARP cleavage. Therefore, exploiting synergistic effects between RITA and chemotherapeutics might be an effective clinical strategy for leukemia chemotherapy.

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