Document Type : Research Articles
Molecular and Medicine Research Center, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran.
Introduction: Up-regulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins such as Mcl-1 is associated with the primary and secondary resistance of tumor cells to ABT-737 Bcl-2 inhibitor. The combined treatment of Bcl-2 inhibitors with Mcl-1 inhibitors has been proposed as an attractive therapeutic strategy to overcome this drug resistance. Here, we investigated the effect of dihydroartemisinin on Mcl-1 expression and sensitization of T-ALL cells to ABT-737. Methods: The cell growth and survival were tested by the cell proliferation and MTT assays, respectively. The mRNA levels of Bcl-2, Mcl-1, Bax and P21 were examined by qRT-PCR. Apoptosis were detected by Hoechst 33342 staining and caspase-3 activity assay. Results: Our data showed that combination treatment with dihydroartemisinin and ABT-737 caused a significant decrease in the IC50 value and synergistically reduced the cell survival compared with dihydroartemisinin or ABT-737 alone. ABT-737 enhanced the Mcl-1 mRNA expression. Dihydroartemisinin also down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 and enhanced the P21 and Bax expression. Moreover, dihydroartemisinin enhanced the apoptosis induced by ABT-737 in MOLT-4 and MOLT-17 cell lines. Conclusion: In conclusion, dihydroartemisinin demonstrates anti-tumor activities in human ALL cells via inhibition of cell survival and growth. Dihydroartemisinin augments the apoptotic effect of ABT-737 by inhibiting the expression of Mcl-1.