Abstract

Abstract 2177

The antiapoptotic function of the inhibitors of apoptosis family of proteins (IAPs) is antagonized by mitochondria-released SMAC protein. The IAP-member XIAP suppresses apoptosis by directly binding and inhibiting caspase-9 and caspase-3, while cIAP1, a component of the cytoplasmic signaling complex containing TNF receptor associated factors, suppresses apoptosis via the caspase-8-mediated pathway. BV-6 (Genentech) is a bivalent SMAC-mimetic and has been shown to promote cell death by inducing cIAP autoubiquitination, NF-κB activation, and TNFα-dependent apoptosis. We examined its effect on leukemic cells and found that BV-6 only moderately induced apoptosis. The EC50 was found to be 15.3±5.1 μM at 48 hours in OCI-AML3 cells which are relatively sensitive. We then determined whether BV-6 sensitizes leukemic cells to the HDM2-inhibitor nutlin-3a and to Ara-C. p53 modulates the expression and activity of Bcl-2 family proteins and promotes the mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis. We showed previously that activation of p53 by nutlin-3a sensitizes AML cells to XIAP inhibition induced-death in part by promoting the release of SMAC from mitochondrion (Carter BZ et al., Blood 2010). We treated OCI-AML3 cells with BV-6, nutlin-3a or Ara-C, and BV-6+nutlin-3a or BV-6+Ara-C and found that the combination of BV-6 and nutlin-3a or BV-6 and Ara-C synergistically induced cell death in OCI-AML3 cells with a combination index (CI) of 0.27±0.11 and 0.22±0.05 (48 hours), respectively. To demonstrate that p53 activation is essential for the synergism of BV-6+nutlin-3a combination, we treated OCI-AML3 vector control and p53 knockdown cells with these two agents and found that the combination synergistically promoted cell death in the vector control (CI=0.47±0.15) but not in the p53 knockdown cells, as expected, while BV6+Ara-C was synergistic in both vector control and p53 knockdown cells (CI=0.15±0.03 and 0.08±0.03, respectively, 48 hours). BV-6 induced activation of caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 and decreased XIAP levels, but did not cause rapid cIAP1 degradation, as reported by others. To assess the contribution of death receptor-mediated apoptosis in BV-6-induced cell death, we treated Jurkat and caspase-8 mutated Jurkat cells (JurkatI9.2) with BV-6 and found that BV-6 induced cell death and significantly potentiated TRAIL-induced apoptosis in Jurkat cells (CI=0.14±0.08, 48 hours). Caspase-8 mutated JurkatI9.2 cells were significantly less sensitive to BV-6 than Jurkat cells and as expected, JurkatI9.2 was completely resistant to TRAIL.

Collectively, we showed that the bivalent SMAC-mimetic BV-6 potentiates p53 activation-, chemotherapy-, and TRAIL-induced cell death, but has only minimal activity by itself in leukemic cells. SMAC-mimetics could be useful in enhancing the efficacy of different classes of therapeutic agents used in AML therapy.

Disclosures:

No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes

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Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.