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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23720. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023720. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Icaritin shows potent anti-leukemia activity on chronic myeloid leukemia in vitro and in vivo by regulating MAPK/ERK/JNK and JAK2/STAT3 /AKT signalings.

Author information

1
Division of Hematology, Institute of Molecular Hematology, The Second Xiang-Ya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To explore the effects of Icaritin on chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells and underlying mechanisms.

METHOD:

CML cells were incubated with various concentration of Icaritin for 48 hours, the cell proliferation was analyzed by MTT and the apoptosis was assessed with Annexin V and Hoechst 33258 staining. Cell hemoglobinization was determined. Western blotting was used to evaluate the expressions of MAPK/ERK/JNK signal pathway and Jak-2/Phorpho-Stat3/Phorsph-Akt network-related protein. NOD-SCID nude mice were applied to demonstrate the anti-leukemia effect of Icaritin in vivo.

RESULTS:

Icaritin potently inhibited proliferation of K562 cells (IC50 was 8 µM) and primary CML cells (IC50 was 13.4 µM for CML-CP and 18 µM for CML-BC), induced CML cells apoptosis and promoted the erythroid differentiation of K562 cells with time-dependent manner. Furthermore, Icaritin was able to suppress the growth of primary CD34+ leukemia cells (CML) and Imatinib-resistant cells, and to induce apoptosis. In mouse leukemia model, Icaritin could prolong lifespan of NOD-SCID nude mice inoculated with K562 cells as effective as Imatinib without suppression of bone marrow. Icaritin could up-regulate phospho-JNK or phospho-C-Jun and down-regulate phospho-ERK, phospho-P-38, Jak-2, phospho-Stat3 and phospho-Akt expression with dose- or time-dependent manner. Icaritin had no influence both on c-Abl and phospho-c-Abl protein expression and mRNA levels of Bcr/Abl.

CONCLUSION:

Icaritin from Chinese herb medicine may be a potential anti-CML agent with low adverse effect. The mechanism of anti-leukemia for Icaritin is involved in the regulation of Bcr/Abl downstream signaling. Icaritin may be useful for an alternative therapeutic choice of Imatinib-resistant forms of CML.

PMID:
21887305
PMCID:
PMC3161749
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0023720
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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