Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

HISASHI HARADA

Second Advisor

PETER DEFUR

Third Advisor

RIMA FRANKLIN

Abstract

Glucocorticoids (GC) are common components of many chemotherapeutic regimens for lymphoid malignancies. GC-induced apoptosis involves an intrinsic BCL-2 family-regulated pathway. It has been shown that BIM (BCL-2 interacting mediator of cell death), a BH3-only pro-apoptotic protein, is up-regulated by dexamethasone (Dex) treatment in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells. Furthermore, BIM is inactivated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-mediated phosphorylation. We therefore hypothesized co-treatment with Dex and MEK/ERK inhibitors would promote apoptosis in ALL cells through BIM up-regulation and activation. We show here that a MEK inhibitor, PD184352 synergistically enhances Dex lethality in CCRF-CEM (T-ALL) cells. Co-treatment with Dex and PD184352 results in BIM accumulation. Down-regulation of BIM by short-hairpin RNA in CCRF-CEM cells suppressed apoptosis by Dex/PD184352 co-treatment. In contrast, another BH3-only protein, BAD is dispensable. Thus, BIM is a critical molecule in this regimen, and targeting BIM by drugs combination could be effective on ALL and possibly other malignancies.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009

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