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 journalArticlepeer-review

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

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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