BMC cancer

Tenovin-6-mediated inhibition of SIRT1/2 induces apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells and eliminates ALL stem/progenitor cells.

PMID 25884180


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a heterogeneous group of malignant disorders derived from B- or T-cell lymphoid progenitor cells. ALL often is refractory to or relapses after treatment; thus, novel targeted therapy for ALL is urgently needed. In the present study, we initially found that the level of SIRT1, a class III histone deacetylase, was higher in primary ALL cells from patients than in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy individuals. But it is not clear whether inhibition of SIRT1 by its selective small molecule inhibitor Tenovin-6 is effective against ALL cells. We tested the effect of Tenovin-6 on ALL cell lines (REH and NALM-6) and primary cells from 41 children with ALL and 2 adult patients with ALL. The effects of Tenovin-6 on cell viability were determined by MTS assay; colony-forming assays were determined by soft agar in ALL cell lines and methylcellulose medium in normal bone marrow cells and primary ALL blast cells; cell apoptosis and cell cycling were examined by flow cytometry; the signaling pathway was determined by Western blotting; ALL stem/progenitor cells were seperated by using MACS MicroBead kit. The results showed that Tenovin-6 treatment activated p53, potently inhibited the growth of pre-B ALL cells and primary ALL cells, and sensitized ALL cells to frontline chemotherapeutic agents etoposide and cytarabine. Tenovin-6 induced apoptosis in REH and NALM-6 cells and primary ALL cells and diminished expression of Mcl-1 and X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) in such cells. Furthermore, inhibition of SIRT1 by Tenovin-6 inhibited the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and eliminated ALL stem/progenitor (CD133 + CD19-) cells. Our results indicate that Tenovin-6 may be a promising targeted therapy for ALL and clinical trials are warranted to investigate its efficacy in ALL patients.