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Front Pharmacol. 2015 Oct 13;6:230. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00230. eCollection 2015.

Effect of cAMP signaling on expression of glucocorticoid receptor, Bim and Bad in glucocorticoid-sensitive and resistant leukemic and multiple myeloma cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington CT, USA.
Section of Hematology and Oncology, Evans Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston MA, USA.


Stimulation of cAMP signaling induces apoptosis in glucocorticoid-sensitive and resistant CEM leukemic and MM.1 multiple myeloma cell lines, and this effect is enhanced by dexamethasone in both glucocorticoid-sensitive cell types and in glucocorticoid-resistant CEM cells. Expression of the mRNA for the glucocorticoid receptor alpha (GR) promoters 1A3, 1B and 1C, expression of mRNA and protein for GR, and the BH3-only proapoptotic proteins, Bim and Bad, and the phosphorylation state of Bad were examined following stimulation of the cAMP and glucocorticoid signaling pathways. Expression levels of GR promoters were increased by cAMP and glucocorticoid signaling, but GR protein expression was little changed in CEM and decreased in MM.1 cells. Stimulation of these two signaling pathways induced Bim in CEM cells, induced Bad in MM.1 cells, and activated Bad, as indicated by its dephosphorylation on ser112, in both cell types. This study shows that leukemic and multiple myeloma cells, including those resistant to glucocorticoids, can be induced to undergo apoptosis by stimulating the cAMP signaling pathway, with enhancement by glucocorticoids, and the mechanism by which this occurs may be related to changes in Bim and Bad expression, and in all cases, to activation of Bad.


Bad; Bim; cAMP signaling; glucocorticoid receptors; glucocorticoid signaling; leukemia; multiple myeloma; phosphodiesterases

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