Biological effects of a relatively low concentration of 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine in K562 cells: Alterations of the cell cycle, erythroid-differentiation, and apoptosis

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Therapeutic strategies for leukemia are directed to induction of differentiation and apoptosis as well as growth inhibition. One of the key antileukemic agents, 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara C), is clinically applied according to these therapeutic aims. However, the molecular effects of 0.1 μg/ml of ara C, a concentration that corresponds to the serum level in leukemic patients on a conventional dose of ara C, have not been well disclosed. Here, we addressed these issues using K562 cells which derived from a blastic crisis of chronic myeloid leukemia. DNA synthesis of treated cells was suppressed from 1–6 h. But, it recovered at 12 h and no further inhibition was observed. The number of cells was not decreased but DNA fragmentation was observed at 72 h. The number of erythroid-differentiated cells also increased to 30% at 72 h. Along with treatment, no marked alteration of mRNAs for cell cycle-regulating genes was found and the retinoblastoma gene product remained hyperphosphorylated throughout treatment. The expression of mRNAs for apoptosis-regulating genes also remained unchanged, except for slight down-regulation of Bax. c-myc protein was not found later than 48 h, and Max mRNA was downregulated. c-jun was immediately induced, followed by the fluctuated expression level along with treatment. These findings suggest that the 0.1 μg/ml ara C changed the proliferation, differentiation and death of K562 cells in a biphasic manner. In the early phase, DNA synthesis was inhibited without altering the expression of cell cycle regulating-genes. In the latter phase, cell death and erythroid- differentiation occurred in accordance with the down-regulation of c-myc.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles