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Leukemia. 1995 May;9(5):815-20.

Resistance to APO-1 (CD95) induced apoptosis in T-ALL is determined by a BCL-2 independent anti-apoptotic program.

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University Children's Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.


Selective induction of programmed cell death, apoptosis, may represent a new approach to the treatment of cancer. Apoptosis can be induced by the monoclonal antibody anti-APO-1 directed against the cell surface receptor APO-1, a member of the nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor/tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily. We determined APO-1 expression and sensitivity to anti-APO-1 mediated apoptosis in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells of T lymphocyte precursor phenotype (T-ALL). APO-1 was constitutively expressed by 21 of 30 T-ALL and by all T-ALL cell lines investigated. However, most APO-1 positive T-ALL were resistant to anti-APO-1 mediated apoptosis. Sensitivity to anti-APO-1 mediated apoptosis was independent of the density of APO-1 expression on the cell surface and independent of the amount of Bcl-2. Incubation of resistant T-ALL with the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide reversed resistance and induced sensitivity to anti-APO-1 mediated apoptosis in most T-ALL. These data suggest that resistance to anti-APO-1 mediated apoptosis in T-ALL is maintained by an active cellular program. Reversion of resistance to sensitivity towards induction of apoptosis in tumors may provide a new basis for successful therapeutic intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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