Use of deferasirox, an iron chelator, to overcome imatinib resistance of chronic myeloid leukemia cells

Dae Sik Kim, Yoo Jin Na, Myoung Hee Kang, Soo-Young Yoon, Chul Won Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background/Aims: The treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) has achieved impressive success since the development of the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitor, imatinib mesylate. Nevertheless, resistance to imatinib has been observed, and a substantial number of patients need alternative treatment strategies. Methods: We have evaluated the effects of deferasirox, an orally active iron chelator, and imatinib on K562 and KU812 human CML cell lines. Imatinib-resistant CML cell lines were created by exposing cells to gradually increasing concentrations of imatinib. Results: Co-treatment of cells with deferasirox and imatinib induced a synergistic dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation of both CML cell lines. Cell cycle analysis showed an accumulation of cells in the subG1 phase. Western blot analysis of apoptotic proteins showed that co-treatment with deferasirox and imatinib induced an increased expression of apoptotic proteins. These tendencies were clearly identified in imatinib-resistant CML cell lines. The results also showed that co-treatment with deferasirox and imatinib reduced the expression of Bcr-Abl, phosphorylated Bcr-Abl, nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and β-catenin. Conclusions: We observed synergistic effects of deferasirox and imatinib on both imatinib-resistant and imatinib-sensitive cell lines. These effects were due to induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by down-regulated expression of NF-κB and β-catenin levels. Based on these results, we suggest that a combination treatment of deferasirox and imatinib could be considered as an alternative treatment option for imatinib-resistant CML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1

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Keywords

  • Chronic myeloid leukemia
  • Deferasirox
  • Imatinib
  • Iron chelator
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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