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Anthracyclines as Tumor Cell Differentiating Agents: Effects on the Regulation of Erythroid Gene Expression

Authors
  • Jeannesson, P.
  • Lahlil, R.
  • Chenais, B.
  • Devy, L.
  • Gillet, R.
  • Aries, A.
  • Franck Morceau
  • Trentesaux C.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Jan 24, 1997
Volume
26
Issue
05-06
Pages
575–587
Source
LBMCC
License
Green

Abstract

Tumor cells, and particularly leukemic cells, can be considered as maturation-arrested cells which have escaped some normal control and continue to proliferate. This maturation arrest can be reversed by differentiation agents such as antitumor drugs currently used in conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy. In this respect, anthracyclines have been shown to trigger the differentiation of leukemic and solid tumor cells, but the molecular mechanisms by which such drugs lead to the differentiating phenotype are still poorly understood. Using human leukemic multipotent K562 cells, we have demonstrated that subtoxic concentrations of aclacinomycin (ACLA) and doxorubicin (DOX) preferentially stimulate the hemoglobinic pathway (globins and heme synthesis) and the expression of mRNAs of globins and of porphobilinogen deaminase (PBGD). However, our results indicate that both drugs exert this differentiating effect along distinct regulatory pathways. Indeed, only ACLA and not DOX induces the expression of erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) mRNAs and of membrane EpoR, as well as an overexpression of the erythroid transcription factors GATA-1 and NF-E2 known to play a central role in erythroid gene regulation. Similarly, using transfection assays, ACLA but not DOX activates the regulatory regions (promoters and enhancers) of GATA-1, EpoR, PBGD, epsilon- and gamma-globin genes. Finally, results of run-on assays indicate that ACLA induces an enhancement of the transcription rate of these erythroid genes whereas DOX preferentially increases stability of GATA-1, NF-E2 and PBGD mRNAs. In conclusion, ACLA mainly acts at the transcriptional level via specific activation of erythroid regulatory regions whereas DOX rather acts at the posttranscriptional level by increasing the half-lives of erythroid mRNAs

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