The synthetic retinoid 6-[3-adamantyl-4-hydroxyphenyl]-2-naphthalene carboxylic acid (CD437), which was originally developed as an retinoic acid receptor (RAR)-γ agonist, induces rapid apoptosis in all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-sensitive and ATRA-resistant clones of the NB4 cell line, a widely used experimental model of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). In addition, the compound is apoptogenic in primary cultures of freshly isolated APL blasts obtained from a newly diagnosed case and an ATRA-resistant relapsed patient. NB4 cells in the S-phase of the cycle are most sensitive to CD437- triggered apoptosis. CD437-dependent apoptosis does not require de novo protein synthesis and activation of RAR-γ or any of the other nuclear retinoic acid receptors. The process is preceded by rapid activation of a caspase-like enzymatic activity capable of cleaving the fluorogenic DEVD but not the fluorogenic YVAD tetrapeptide. Increased caspase activity correlates with caspase-3 and caspase-7 activation. Inhibition of caspases by z-VAD suppresses the nuclear DNA degradation observed in NB4 cells treated with CD437, as well as the degradation of pro-caspase-3 and pro-caspase-7. CD437- dependent activation of caspases is preceded by release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol of treated cells. Leakage of cytochrome c lays upstream of caspase activation, because the phenomenon is left unaffected by pretreatment of NB4 cells with z-VAD. Treatment of APL cells with CD437 is associated with a caspase-dependent degradation of promyelocytic leukemia-RAR-α, which can be completely inhibited by z-VAD.
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 1999|
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