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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 May 24;102(21):7653-8. Epub 2005 May 13.

Systems analysis of transcriptome and proteome in retinoic acid/arsenic trioxide-induced cell differentiation/apoptosis of promyelocytic leukemia.

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State Key Laboratory of Medical Genomics, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Second Medical University, 197 Rui Jin Road II, Shanghai 200025, China.


Understanding the complexity and dynamics of cancer cells in response to effective therapy requires hypothesis-driven, quantitative, and high-throughput measurement of genes and proteins at both spatial and temporal levels. This study was designed to gain insights into molecular networks underlying the clinical synergy between retinoic acid (RA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which results in a high-quality disease-free survival in most patients after consolidation with conventional chemotherapy. We have applied an approach integrating cDNA microarray, 2D gel electrophoresis with MS, and methods of computational biology to study the effects on APL cell line NB4 treated with RA, ATO, and the combination of the two agents and collected in a time series. Numerous features were revealed that indicated the coordinated regulation of molecular networks from various aspects of granulocytic differentiation and apoptosis at the transcriptome and proteome levels. These features include an array of transcription factors and cofactors, activation of calcium signaling, stimulation of the IFN pathway, activation of the proteasome system, degradation of the PML-RARalpha oncoprotein, restoration of the nuclear body, cell-cycle arrest, and gain of apoptotic potential. Hence, this investigation has provided not only a detailed understanding of the combined therapeutic effects of RA/ATO in APL but also a road map to approach hematopoietic malignancies at the systems level.

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