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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phenylarsine oxide blocks interleukin-1beta-induced activation of the nuclear transcription factor NF-kappaB, inhibits proliferation, and induces apoptosis of acute myelogenous leukemia cells.

Arsenic compounds have recently been shown to induce high rates of complete remission in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). One of these compounds, As(2)O(3), induces apoptosis in APL cells via a mechanism independent of the retinoic acid pathway. To test the hypothesis that arsenic compounds may be effective against other forms of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), we studied the membrane-permeable arsenic compound phenylarsine oxide (PAO). Because interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) plays a key role in AML cell proliferation, we first tested the effect of PAO on OCIM2 and OCI/AML3 AML cell lines, both of which produce IL-1beta and proliferate in response to it. We found that PAO inhibited the proliferation of both OCIM2 and OCI/AML3 cells in a dose-dependent fashion (0.01 to 0.1 micromol/L) and that IL-1beta partially reversed this inhibitory effect. We then measured IL-1beta levels in these cells by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western immunoblotting and found that PAO almost completely abolished the production of IL-1beta in these AML cells, whereas it did not affect the production of IL-1 receptor antagonist. Because PAO inhibits activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB and because NF-kappaB modulates an array of signals controlling cellular survival, proliferation, and cytokine production, we also studied the effect of PAO on NF-kappaB activation in AML cells and found that PAO suppressed the IL-1beta-induced activation of NF-kappaB. Because inhibition of NF-kappaB may result in cellular apoptosis, we also tested whether PAO may induce apoptotic cell death in AML cells. We found that PAO induced apoptosis in OCIM2 cells through activation of the cystein protease caspase 3 and subsequent cleavage of its substrate, the DNA repair enzyme poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. The PAO-induced apoptosis was caspase dependent, because it was completely blocked by the caspase inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK. Finally, we tested the effect of PAO on fresh AML marrow cells from 7 patients with newly diagnosed AML and found that PAO suppressed AML colony-forming cell proliferation in a dose-dependent fashion. Taken together, our data showing that PAO is an effective in vitro inhibitor of AML cells suggest that this compound may have a role in future therapies for AML.[1]


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