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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;39(5):1827-1836. Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Role of Beclin-1-Mediated Autophagy in the Survival of Pediatric Leukemia Cells.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics Hematology-Oncology, the Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

Acute and chronic leukemia are severe malignant cancers worldwide, and can occur in pediatric patients. Since bone marrow cell transplantation is seriously limited by the availability of the immune-paired donor sources, the therapy for pediatric leukemia (PL) remains challenging. Autophagy is essential for the regulation of cell survival in the harsh environment. However, the role of autophagy in the survival of PL cells under the oxidative stress, e.g. chemotherapy, remain ill-defined. In the current study, we addressed these questions.

METHODS:

We analyzed the effects of oxidative stress on the cell viability of PL cells in vitro, using a CCK-8 assay. We analyzed the effects of oxidative stress on the apoptosis and autophagy of PL cells. We analyzed the levels of Beclin-1 and microRNA-93 (miR-93) in PL cells. Prediction of binding between miR-93 and 3'-UTR of Beclin-1 mRNA was performed by a bioinformatics algorithm and confirmed by a dual luciferase reporter assay. The relationship between levels of miR-93 and patients' survival was analyzed in PL patients.

RESULTS:

We found that oxidative stress dose-dependently increased autophagy in PL cells. While low-level oxidative stress did not increase apoptosis, high-level oxidative stress increased apoptosis, seemingly from failure of autophagy-mediated cell survival. High-level oxidative stress appeared to suppress the protein levels of an autophagy protein Beclin-1 in PL cells, possibly through induction of miR-93, which inhibited the translation of Beclin-1 mRNA via 3'-UTR binding.

CONCLUSION:

Beclin-1-mediated autophagy plays a key role in the survival of PL cells against oxidative stress. Induction of miR-93 may increase the sensitivity of PL cells to oxidative stress during chemotherapy to improve therapeutic outcome.

PMID:
27744427
DOI:
10.1159/000447882
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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