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Int J Oncol. 2013 Jan;42(1):239-46. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1688. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

The microtubule targeting agent PBOX-15 inhibits integrin-mediated cell adhesion and induces apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cells.

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Department of Haematology, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.


Although recent decades have seen an improved cure rate for newly diagnosed paediatric acute lymphoplastic leukaemia (ALL), the treatment options for adult ALL, T-cell ALL (T-ALL) and relapsed disease remain poor. We have developed a novel series of pyrrolo-1,5-benzoxazepine (PBOX) compounds and established their anticancer efficacy in a variety of human tumour cell types. Here, we demonstrate that PBOX-15 inhibits cell growth, and induces G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in both T-ALL and B-cell ALL (B-ALL) cells. In addition, prior to PBOX-15-induced apoptosis, PBOX-15 decreases ALL cell adhesion, spreading and migration. Concurrently, PBOX-15 differentially down-regulates β1-, β2- and α4-integrin expression in ALL cells and significantly decreases integrin-mediated cell attachment. PBOX-15 interferes with the lateral mobility and clustering of integrins in both B-ALL and T-ALL cells. These data suggest that PBOX-15 is not only effective in inducing apoptosis in ALL cells, but also has the potential to disrupt integrin-mediated adhesion of malignant lymphocytes, which represents a novel avenue for regulating leukaemic cell homing and migration.

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