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

Mitochondrial membrane sensitivity to depolarization in acute myeloblastic leukemia is associated with spontaneous in vitro apoptosis, wild-type TP53, and vicinal thiol/disulfide status.

Nonresponse to remission-induction chemotherapy, which remains a major problem in acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), has been linked to cellular resistance to apoptosis. Because the apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutic drugs is mediated by loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (MTP), it was postulated that sensitivity to mitochondrial membrane depolarization might be heterogeneous in AML. Using the uncoupling agent carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (mClCCP), the mitochondrial membrane sensitivity to depolarization (mClCCP concentrations that inhibit 50% of the transmembrane potential [IC(50)]) in AML blasts was measured and demonstrated marked interclonal heterogeneity, with the existence of comparatively sensitive (median mClCCP IC(50), 4 microM) and resistant (median mClCCP IC(50), 10 microM) clones. Furthermore, the mClCCP IC(50) was inversely associated with spontaneous in vitro apoptosis (P =.001). It was high in cases with mutant TP53 and correlated with the total cellular level of the multidrug resistance-associated protein (P =.019) but not of bcl-2, bax, or bcl-x. It was also found that the dithiol oxidant diamide, in contrast to the monovalent thiol oxidant diethyl maleate, increased the sensitivity of mitochondrial membranes to mClCCP. To confirm that TP53 directly affects MTP in leukemic cells and to establish the role of vicinal thiol oxidation in the TP53-dependent pathway, CEM 4G5 leukemia cells with forced, temperature-dependent expression of TP53 were studied. Monobromobimane, which inhibits mitochondrial membrane depolarization by preventing dithiol cross-linking, inhibited depolarization and apoptosis in 4G5 cells. It was concluded that in leukemia, TP53 and vicinal thiol/disulfide status are determinants of mitochondrial membrane sensitivity to depolarization, which is in turn associated with spontaneous apoptosis.[1]


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