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Cancer Res. 2010 Jun 15;70(12):4949-60. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1962. Epub 2010 May 25.

Role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma and its coactivator DRIP205 in cellular responses to CDDO (RTA-401) in acute myelogenous leukemia.

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Section of Molecular Hematology and Therapy, Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) is a member of the nuclear receptor (NR) family of transcription factors with important regulatory roles in cellular growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Using proteomic analysis, we showed expression of PPARgamma protein in a series of 260 newly diagnosed primary acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) samples. Forced expression of PPARgamma enhanced the sensitivity of myeloid leukemic cells to apoptosis induced by PPARgamma agonists 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-oic acid (CDDO) and 15-deoxy-(12,14)-15DPGJ(2), through preferential cleavage of caspase-8. No effects on cell cycle distribution or differentiation were noted, despite prominent induction of p21 in PPARgamma-transfected cells. In turn, antagonizing PPARgamma function by small interfering RNA or pharmacologic PPARgamma inhibitor significantly diminished apoptosis induction by CDDO. Overexpression of coactivator protein DRIP205 resulted in enhanced differentiation induction by CDDO in AML cells through PPARgamma activation. Studies with DRIP205 deletion constructs showed that the NR boxes of DRIP205 are not required for this coactivation. In a phase I clinical trial of CDDO (RTA-401) in leukemia, CDDO induced an increase in PPARgamma mRNA expression in six of nine patient samples; of those, induction of differentiation was documented in four patients and that of p21 in three patients, all expressing DRIP205 protein. In summary, these findings suggest that cellular levels of PPARgamma regulate induction of apoptosis via caspase-8 activation, whereas the coactivator DRIP205 is a determinant of induction of differentiation, in response to PPARgamma agonists in leukemic cells.

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