Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

As4S4 targets RING-type E3 ligase c-CBL to induce degradation of BCR-ABL in chronic myelogenous leukemia.

PMID 21118980


Arsenic, a curative agent for acute promyelocytic leukemia, induces cell apoptosis and degradation of BCR-ABL in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). We demonstrated that ubiquitination and degradation of BCR-ABL was mediated by c-CBL, a RING-type E3 ligase that was also shown to be involved in ubiquitination for many other receptor/protein tyrosine kinases. Our data showed that c-CBL protein was considerably up-regulated by arsenic sulfide (As(4)S(4)). Interestingly, arsenic directly bound the RING finger domain of c-CBL to inhibit its self-ubiquitination/degradation without interfering with the enhancement of ubiquitination and subsequent proteolysis of its substrate BCR-ABL. Degradation of BCR-ABL due to c-CBL induction as a result of arsenic treatment was also observed in vivo in CML mice. These findings provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of arsenic and further support its therapeutic applications in CML in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitors and potentially also in other malignancies involving aberrant receptor/protein tyrosine kinase signaling.