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Hematology. 2011 Mar;16(2):95-9. doi: 10.1179/102453311X12902908412039.

Imatinib induces autophagy through BECLIN-1 and ATG5 genes in chronic myeloid leukemia cells.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Science, Izmir Institute of Technology, Izmir, Turkey.


Imatinib is a chemotherapeutic drug used for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Recent data showed imatinib-induced cell death in various types of cancers. Autophagy is the physiological process in which cellular components are broken down by the lysosomal activation. In this study, we aimed to examine the effects of imatinib on autophagy in addition to apoptosis in CML cells. Results suggested that imatinib induces autophagy in CML cells through inducing over-expression of BECLIN-1 and ATG5 genes with the statistical significance. Our results demonstrated that autophagy might be involved in imatinib-induced cell death.

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