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Leuk Res. 2002 Mar;26(3):311-6.

Inhibition of Bcl-xL expression sensitizes T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells to chemotherapeutic drugs.

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University of California, San Diego Medical Center, 200 West Arbor Drive, Mail Code 8320, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.


We have examined the effects of antisense oligonucleotides to bcl-x on the survival and chemosensitivity of CEM cells, a T-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell line. Also, we have measured the levels of Bcl-2, Bcl-x, and Bax in 20 cases of T-ALL. By 18 h after the bcl-x antisense treatment, CEM cells showed over a 75% reduction in the levels of Bcl-xL protein and over 30% decreased viable cell counts compared with cells treated with the control oligonucleotide. The combination of bcl-x antisense plus either dexamethasone or doxorubicin showed either strong synergistic or additive killing of CEM cells, respectively. These findings indicate that bcl-x antisense has cytotoxic activity and increases chemotherapy-induced cell death in CEM cells, a model for T-ALL.

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