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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar;1843(3):590-602.

Epigenetic regulation of microRNA-128a expression contributes to the apoptosis-resistance of human T-cell leukaemia jurkat cells by modulating expression of fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD).


Increased expression of miR-128a is often observed in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) compared with its expression in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The objective of this study was to investigate the role of miR-128a, especially that in the Fas-signalling pathway, in T-cell leukaemia cells. The role of miR-128a in Fas-mediated apoptosis was examined by using Fas-activating antibody (CH-11)-susceptible Jurkat cells and -resistant Jurkat/R cells. Whereas ectopic expression of miR-128a conferred Fas-resistance on Jurkat cells by directly targeting Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD), antagonizing miR-128a expression sensitized Jurkat/R cells to the Fas-mediated apoptosis through derepression of FADD expression. Myeloid leukaemia HL60 and K562 cells were also CH-11-resistant, sharing a similar resistant mechanism with Jurkat/R cells. Furthermore, CH-11 induced demethylation of the promoter region of miR-128a with resultant up-regulation of miR-128a expression in Jurkat/R cells, which was shown to be a mechanism for the resistance ofJurkat/R cells to Fas-mediated apoptosis. Our results indicate that the induction of miR-128a expression by DNA demethylation is a novel mechanism of resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis.

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