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Blood. 2002 May 1;99(9):3461-4.

Synergistic induction of apoptosis by simultaneous disruption of the Bcl-2 and MEK/MAPK pathways in acute myelogenous leukemia.

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Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Section of Molecular Hematology and Therapy, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Recent studies suggest that the Bcl-2 and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways together confer an aggressive, apoptosis-resistant phenotype on acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) cells. In this study, we analyzed the effects of simultaneous inhibition of these 2 pathways. In AML cell lines with constitutively activated MAPK, MAPK kinase (MEK) blockade by PD184352 strikingly potentiated the apoptosis induced by the small-molecule Bcl-2 inhibitor HA14-1 or by Bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotides. Isobologram analysis confirmed the synergistic nature of this interaction. Moreover, MEK blockade overcame Bcl-2 overexpression-mediated resistance to the proapoptotic effects of HA14-1. Most importantly, simultaneous exposure to PD184352 significantly (P =.01) potentiated HA14-1-mediated inhibition of clonogenic growth in all primary AML samples tested. These findings show that the Bcl-2 and MAPK pathways are relevant molecular targets in AML and that their concurrent inhibition could be developed into a new therapeutic strategy for this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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