Background/Aims: Adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) is an aggressive disease which is highly resistant to chemotherapy. Studies show that enhanced ability of DNA damage repair (DDR) in cancer cells plays a key role in chemotherapy resistance. Here, we suggest that defect in DDR related genes might be a promising target to destroy the genome stability of tumor cells. Methods: Since KU70 is highly expressed in Jurkat cells, one of the most representative cell lines of ATL, we knocked down KU70 by shRNA and analyzed the impact of KU70 deficiency in Jurkat cells as well as in NOD-SCID animal models by western blot, immunofluorescence, flow cytometry and measuring DNA repair efficiency. Results: It is observed that silencing of KU70 resulted in accumulated DNA damage and impaired DDR in Jurkat cells, resulting in more apoptosis, decreased cell proliferation and cell cycle arrest. DNA damage leads to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), which are processed by either non-homologous end joining(NHEJ) or homologous recombination(HR). In our study, both NHEJ and HR are impaired because of KU70 defect, accompanied with increased protein level of SHP-1, a dephosphorylation enzyme. In turn, SHP-1 led to dephosphorylation of SIRT1, which further impaired HR repair efficiency. Moreover, KU70 deficiency prolonged survival of Jurkat-xenografted mice. Conclusion: These findings suggest that targeting KU70 is a promising target for ATL and might overcome the existing difficulties in chemotherapy.
Leukemia, a malignant hematological disease, has poor therapeutic outcomes due to chemotherapeutic resistance. Increasing evidence has confirmed that the elevated capacity for DNA damage repair in cancer cells is a major mechanism of acquired chemotherapeutic resistance. Thus, combining chemotherapy with inhibitors of DNA damage repair pathways is potentially an ideal strategy for treating leukemia. Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) is an important component of the DNA damage response (DDR) and is involved in the G 2 /M DNA damage checkpoint. In the present study, we demonstrated that shRNA-mediated CHK1 silencing suppressed cell proliferation and enhanced the cytotoxic effects of etoposide (VP16) in the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cell line K562 through the results of CCK-8, and comet assay. The results demonstrated that shRNA-induced CHK1 silencing can override G 2 /M arrest and impair homologous recombination (HR) repair by reducing breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) expression. Cells had no time, and thus limited ability, to repair the damage and were thus more sensitive to chemotherapy after CHK1 downregulation. Second, we tested the therapeutic effect of VP16 combined with CCT245737, an orally bioavailable CHK1 inhibitor, and observed strong synergistic anticancer effects in K562 cells. Moreover, we discovered that CCT245737 significantly prevented the G 2 /M arrest caused by acute exposure to VP16. Interestingly, CCT245737 inhibited both BRCA1 and Rad51, the most important component of the HR repair pathway. In conclusion, these results revealed that CHK1 is potentially an ideal therapeutic target for the treatment of CML and that CCT245737 should be considered a candidate drug.
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