The translocation (8;21)(q22;q22) is a karyotypic abnormality detected in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) M2 and results in the formation of the chimeric fusion gene AML1/MTG8. We previously reported that two hammerhead ribozymes against AML1/MTG8 cleave this fusion transcript and also inhibit the proliferation of myeloid leukaemia cell line Kasumi-1 which possesses t(8;21)(q22;q22). In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of inhibition of proliferation in myeloid leukaemic cells with t(8;21)(q22;q22) by ribozymes. These ribozymes specifically inhibited the growth of Kasumi-1 cells, but did not affect the leukaemic cells without t(8;21)(q22;q22). We observed the morphological changes including chromatin condensation, fragmentation and the formation of apoptotic bodies in Kasumi-1 cells incubated with ribozymes for 7 days. In addition, DNA ladder formation was also detected after incubation with ribozymes which suggested the induction of apoptosis in Kasumi-1 cells by the AML1/MTG8 ribozymes. However, the ribozymes did not induce the expression of CD11b and CD14 antigens in Kasumi-1 cells. The above data suggest that these ribozymes therefore inhibit the growth of myeloid leukaemic cells with t(8;21)(q22;q22) by the induction of apoptosis, but not differentiation. We conclude therefore that the ribozymes targeted against AML1/MTG8 may have therapeutic potential for patients with AML carrying t(8;21)(q22;q22) while, in addition, the product of the chimeric gene is responsible for the pathogenesis of myeloid leukaemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research