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[Synergistic cytotoxic effects of rapamycin and idarubicin on human acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia Jurkat cells].

[Article in Chinese]

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Bone Marrow Transplantation Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310003, China.



To investigate the cytotoxic effects of mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (Rapa) and idarubicin (IDA) on human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia Jurkat cell line.


The proliferation of Jurkat cells was observed by CCK-8 assay. The combined index was analyzed by Isobologram method. Apoptosis was detected by electron microscopy and flow cytometry with Annexin V/PI staining. Protein expressions of Caspase 3, PARP, Caspase 8, Caspase 9, Akt, p-Akt, P85S6K, p-P85S6K, P70S6K, p-P70S6K, ERK1/2 and p-ERK1/2 were determined by Western blotting.


The IC(50) of IDA for Jurkat cells was significantly reduced when combined with 10 nmol/L rapamycin. The combined index was <1. Both electron microscopy and Annexin V/PI staining flow cytometry revealed that rapamycin significantly increased apoptotic sensitivity to IDA. The combination of IDA with rapamycin enhanced the expressions of Caspase 3, PARP, Caspase 8 and Caspase 9. Rapamycin significantly inhibited mTOR signaling upstream Akt and downstream S6K activation triggered by IDA, and the combination of the two agents led to synergistic inhibition of ERK phosphorylation.


Combination of IDA with rapamycin exerted a synergistic anti-proliferative effect and promoted apoptosis by both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways in Jurkat cells. Inhibition of ERK phosphorylation and mTOR signaling by rapamycin may play a certain role in this synergistic effect.

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