Novel Mechanism by a Bis-Pyridinium Fullerene Derivative to Induce Apoptosis by Enhancing the MEK-ERK Pathway in a Reactive Oxygen Species-Independent Manner in BCR-ABL-Positive Chronic Myeloid Leukemia-Derived K562 Cells

Kazuya Sumi, Kenji Tago, Yosuke Nakazawa, Kyoko Takahashi, Tomoyuki Ohe, Tadahiko Mashino, Megumi Funakoshi-Tago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the treatment of breakpoint cluster region-Abelson (BCR-ABL)-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) using BCR-ABL inhibitors, the appearance of a gatekeeper mutation (T315I) in BCR-ABL is a serious issue. Therefore, the development of novel drugs that overcome acquired resistance to BCR-ABL inhibitors by CML cells is required. We previously demonstrated that a bis-pyridinium fullerene derivative (BPF) induced apoptosis in human chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)-derived K562 cells partially through the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We herein show that BPF enhanced the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK-ERK) pathway in a ROS-independent manner. BPF-induced apoptosis was attenuated by trametinib, suggesting the functional involvement of the MEK-ERK pathway in apoptosis in K562 cells. In addition, the constitutive activation of the MEK-ERK pathway by the enforced expression of the BRAFV600E mutant significantly increased the sensitivity of K562 cells to BPF. These results confirmed for the first time that BPF induces apoptosis in K562 cells through dual pathways—ROS production and the activation of the MEK-ERK pathway. Furthermore, BPF induced cell death in transformed Ba/F3 cells expressing not only BCR-ABL but also T315I mutant through the activation of the MEK-ERK pathway. These results indicate that BPF is as an effective CML drug that overcomes resistance to BCR-ABL inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number749
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

Keywords

  • BCR-ABL
  • Bis-pyridinium fullerene derivative (BPF)
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
  • MEK-ERK pathway
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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