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Blood

DNA-Dependent protein kinase activity correlates with clinical and in vitro sensitivity of chronic lymphocytic leukemia lymphocytes to nitrogen mustards.


PMID 9746757

Abstract

The objective of this study is to investigate the role of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) in the chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) lymphocyte response to nitrogen mustard therapy. DNA-PK is a nuclear serine/threonine kinase that functions in DNA double-strand break repair and in the joining process in recombination mechanisms. In a series of 34 patients with B-CLL, either untreated (n = 16) or resistant to chlorambucil (n = 18), the kinase activity of the complex, as determined by its capacity to phosphorylate a peptide substrate in vitro, is increased in the resistant samples as compared with the untreated ones (24.4 +/- 2.6 arbitrary units [a.u.] [range, 12.7 to 55.8 a.u.] versus 8.1 +/- 2.8 a.u. [range, 0.9 to 44.5 a.u.], respectively (P < .0001]), independent of other clinical and biological factors. Linear regression analysis shows an excellent correlation between the level of DNA-PK activity and the inherent in vitro sensitivity of CLL lymphocytes to chlorambucil (r = .875, P =.0001). The regulation of DNA-PK activity was associated with increased DNA-binding activity of its regulatory subunit, the Ku heterodimer, in resistant samples. These results suggest that this activity is a determinant in the cellular response to chlorambucil and participates in the development of nitrogen mustard-resistant disease. The increase in DNA-PK activity might contribute to the enhanced cross-link repair that we previously postulated to be a primary mechanism of resistance to nitrogen mustards in CLL.

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C0253
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