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Exp Cell Res. 1996 Oct 10;228(1):65-75.

Modulation of protein kinase C activity and calcium-sensitive isoform expression in human myeloid leukemia cells by bryostatin 1: relationship to differentiation and ara-C-induced apoptosis.

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Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond 23298, USA.


Previous studies have shown that pretreatment of human myeloid leukemia cells (HL-60) with the protein kinase C (PKC) activator bryostatin 1 potentiates ara-C-induced apoptosis. To test the hypothesis that this capacity stems from down-regulation of PKC activity and/or Ca2+-dependent (group-I; cPKC) isoform expression, comparisons were made between the effects of this agent and the stage-2 tumor promoter mezerein under conditions favoring either cellular differentiation or drug-induced apoptosis. Twenty-four-hour pretreatment of HL-60 cells with 10 nM bryostatin 1, which does not induce differentiation in this cell line, led to a profound reduction in membrane and cytosolic PKC activity, decreased expression of cPKC isoforms (alpha, betaI, betaII, gamma), and a marked increase in ara-C induced apoptosis. In contrast, 10 nM mezerein, which induces HL-60 cell differentiation, was less effective in down-regulating membrane and cytosolic PKC activity as well as alpha, betaI, and gamma cPKC isoform expression, and failed to potentiate ara-C-related apoptosis. The effects of bryostatin 1 were dominant to those of mezerein, in that the combination resulted in down-regulation of PKC activity and expression and potentiation of ara-C-induced apoptosis, but not cellular maturation. However, coadministration of the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 (250 nM) restored bryostatin 1's differentiating ability while antagonizing its capacity to augment apoptosis, despite failing to reverse bryostatin 1-induced down-regulation of PKC activity and cPKC isoform expression. Furthermore, pretreatment of differentiation-responsive monocytic leukemia cells (U937) with bryostatin 1 substantially reduced PKC activity and cPKC isoform expression, but exerted minimal effects on ara-C-related apoptosis. In contrast, exposure of U937 cells to bryostatin 1 after ara-C dramatically increased apoptosis, a phenomenon that did not occur in differentiation-unresponsive HL-60 cells. Collectively, these observations indicate that down-regulation of total assayable PKC activity and cPKC expression by bryostatin 1 are insufficient, by themselves, to account for potentiation of leukemic cell apoptosis, at least under conditions in which differentiation occurs. They also provide further evidence that a reciprocal and highly schedule-dependent relationship exists between leukemic cell differentiation and drug-induced apoptosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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