Binding of released bim to Mcl-1 is a mechanism of intrinsic resistance to ABT-199 which can be overcome by combination with daunorubicin or cytarabine in AML cells

Xiaojia Niu, Jianyun Zhao, Jun Ma, Chengzhi Xie, Holly Edwards, Guan Wang, J. Timothy Caldwell, Shengyan Xiang, Xiaohong Zhang, Roland Chu, Zhihong J. Wang, Hai Lin, Jeffrey W. Taub, Yubin Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the molecular mechanism underlying intrinsic resistance to ABT-199. Experimental Design: Western blots and real-time RT-PCR were used to determine levels of Mcl-1 after ABT-199 treatment alone or in combination with cytarabine or daunorubicin. Immunoprecipitation of Bim and Mcl-1 were used to determine the effect of ABT-199 treatment on their interactions with Bcl-2 family members. Lentiviral short hairpin RNA knockdown of Bim and CRISPR knockdown of Mcl-1 were used to confirm their role in resistance to ABT-199. JC-1 assays and flow cytometry were used to determine drug-induced apoptosis. Results: Immunoprecipitation of Bim from ABT-199-treated cell lines and a primary patient sample demonstrated decreased association with Bcl-2, but increased association with Mcl-1 without corresponding change in mitochondrial outer membrane potential. ABT-199 treatment resulted in increased levels of Mcl-1 protein, unchanged or decreased Mcl-1 transcript levels, and increased Mcl-1 protein half-life, suggesting that the association with Bim plays a role in stabilizing Mcl-1 protein. Combining conventional chemotherapeutic agent cytarabine or daunorubicin with ABT-199 resulted in increased DNA damage along with decreased Mcl-1 protein levels, compared with ABT-199 alone, and synergistic induction of cell death in both AML cell lines and primary patient samples obtained from AML patients at diagnosis. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that sequestration of Bim by Mcl-1 is a mechanism of intrinsic ABT-199 resistance and supports the clinical development of ABT-199 in combination with cytarabine or daunorubicin for the treatment of AML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4440-4451
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume22
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

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