Leukemia research

N-Benzyladriamycin-14-valerate (AD 198) cytotoxicty circumvents Bcr-Abl anti-apoptotic signaling in human leukemia cells and also potentiates imatinib cytotoxicity.

PMID 17187856


Bcr-Abl activity in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) results in dysregulated cell proliferation and resistance against multiple cytotoxic agents due to the constitutive activation of proliferative signaling pathways. Currently, the most effective treatment of CML is the inhibition of Bcr-Abl activity by imatinib mesylate (Gleevec). Imatinib efficacy is limited by development of resistance through either expression of Bcr-Abl variants that bind imatinib less avidly, increased expression of Bcr-Abl, or expression of multidrug transport proteins. N-Benzyladriamycin-14-valerate (AD 198) is a novel antitumor PKC activating agent that triggers rapid apoptosis through PKC-delta activation and mitochondrial depolarization in a manner that is unaffected by Bcl-2 expression. We demonstrate that Bcr-Abl expression does not confer resistance to AD 198. Further, AD 198 rapidly induces Erk1/2 and STAT5 phosphorylation prior to cytochrome c release from mitochondria, indicating that proliferative pathways are active even as drug-treated cells undergo apoptosis. At sub-cytotoxic doses, AD 198 and its cellular metabolite, N-benzyladriamycin (AD 288) sensitize CML cells to imatinib through a supra-additive reduction in the level of Bcr-Abl protein expression. These results suggest that AD 198 is an effective treatment for CML both in combination with imatinib and alone against imatinib-resistant CML cells.