Original Article

Curcumin derivative C817 inhibits proliferation of imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia cells with wild-type or mutant Bcr-Abl in vitro

Authors: Li-xian Wu, Ying Wu, Rui-jia Chen, Yang Liu, Li-sen Huang, Li-guang Lou, Zhi-hong Zheng, Yuan-zhong Chen, Jian-hua Xu
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2013.180


Li-xian WU1, 2, 3, *, Ying WU2, 3, Rui-jia CHEN1, 2, Yang LIU2, 3, 4, Li-sen HUANG1, 2, Li-guang LOU5, Zhi-hong ZHENG6, Yuan-zhong CHEN6, Jian-hua XU1, 2, 3, *
1Department of Pharmacology, 2Institute of Materia Medica, 3Fuijan Key Laboratory of Natural Medicine Pharmacology, 4Department of pharmacochemistry, School of pharmacy, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350004, China; 5Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai 201203, China; 6Fujian Institute of Hematology, Union Hospital, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, China

Aim: To find new kinase inhibitors that overcome the imatinib resistance in treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), we synthesized C817, a novel derivative of curcumin, and tested its activities against wild-type (WT) and imatinib-resistant mutant Abl kinases, as well as in imatinib-sensitive and resistant CML cells in vitro.
Methods: 32D cells harboring WT or mutant Abl kinases (nucleotide binding P-loop mutants Q252H, Y253F, and imatinib contact residue mutant T315I), as well as K562/G01 cells (with whole Bcr-Abl gene amplication) were tested. Kinase activity was measured using Kinase-Glo Luminescent Kinase Assay Platform in recombinant WT and mutant (Q252H, Y253F, and T315I) Abl kinases. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were examined using MTT assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The phosphorylation levels of Bcr-Abl initiated signaling proteins were analyzed using Western blotting. Colony forming units (CFU) growth and long term culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs) were used to test the effects of C817 on human leukemia progenitor/stem cells.

Results: C817 potently inhibited both WT and mutant (Q252H, Y253F, and T315I) Abl kinase activities in a non-ATP competitive manner with the values of IC50 at low nanomole levels. In consistent with above results, C817 suppressed the growth of both imatinib-sensitive and resistant CML cells, including wild-type K562, K562/G01, 32D-T315I, 32D-Q252H, and 32D-Y253F cells with the values of IC50 at low micromole levels. C817 (0.5 or 1 μmol/L) dose-dependently inhibited the phosphorylation of Bcr-Abl and downstream proteins STAT-5 and CrkL in imatinib-resistant K562/G01 cells. Furthermore, C817 significantly suppressed CFU growth and LTC-ICs, implicating that C817 could eradiate human leukemia progenitor/stem cells.

Conclusion: C817 is a promising compound for treatment of CML patients with Bcr-Abl kinase domain mutations that confer imatinib resistance.

Keywords: chronic myelogenous leukemia; imatinib resistance; Bcr-Abl; mutantion; curcumin; C817; leukemia stem cell

We gratefully acknowledge the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 30901824, 81173096, 81273541, 30873101, and 30472187), National Science and Technology Foundation of China for Key Projects of “Major New Drugs Innovation and Development” (2012ZX09103-101-028), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province of China (Outstanding Project 2011J06013), and the Educational Bureau of Fujian Province of China (JA11101) for this project.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail xjh@mail.fjmu.edu.cn (Jian-hua XU); wlx-lisa@126.com (Li-xian WU)
Received 2013-08-09 Accepted 2013-11-15

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