Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Cycle. 2006 Dec;5(23):2778-86. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Concomitant inhibition of MDM2 and Bcl-2 protein function synergistically induce mitochondrial apoptosis in AML.

Author information

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


Disruption of Mdm2-p53 interaction activates p53 signaling, disrupts the balance of antiapoptotic and proapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins and induces apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Overexpression of Bcl-2 may inhibit this effect. Thus, functional inactivation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins may enhance apoptogenic effects of Mdm2 inhibition. We here investigate the potential therapeutic utility of combined targeting of Mdm2 by Nutlin-3a and Bcl-2 by ABT-737, recently developed inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. Nutlin-3a and ABT-737 induced Bax conformational change and mitochondrial apoptosis in AML cells in a strikingly synergistic fashion. Nutlin-3a induced p53-mediated apoptosis predominantly in S and G2/M cells, while cells in G1 were protected through induction of p21. In contrast, ABT-737 induced apoptosis predominantly in G1, the cell cycle phase with the lowest Bcl-2 protein levels and Bcl-2/Bax ratios. In addition, Bcl-2 phosphorylation on Ser70 was absent in G1 but detectable in G2/M, thus lower Bcl-2 levels and absence of Bcl-2 phosphorylation appeared to facilitate ABT-737-induced apoptosis of G1 cells. The complementary effects of Nutlin-3a and ABT-737 in different cell cycle phases could, in part, account for their synergistic activity. Our data suggest that combined targeting of Mdm2 and Bcl-2 proteins could offer considerable therapeutic promise in AML.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center