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Resistance of human leukemic cell lines to 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine: characterization of an experimental model

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1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (ara-C) is an antimetabolite used for the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia. The ability of ara-C to kill neoplastic cells has been correlated to the induction of apoptosis. The clinical use of ara-C is limited by the development of drug resistance. Alterations in drug-induced apoptosis play a critical role in ara-C resistance. In particular, the proto-oncogene bcl-2 has been implicated in this phenomenon. To better understand the molecular basis of the role of bcl-2 in ara-C resistance, we investigated the relationship between the cytotoxic effect of ara-C, the expression levels and the subcellular localization of bcl-2 in three human leukemic cell lines (HL-60, KG1, J111). We have also evaluated the effects of ara-C on the J111 leukemic cell line (showing the lowest levels of Bcl-2 and the highest sensitivity to ara-C) overexpressing the bcl-2 oncogene. The model we developed here will allow further studies on the role of post-translational events involving bcl-2 (such as translocation and/or phosphorylation) in the cellular response to ara-C treatment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale, Section of Pharmacology, University of Insubria, I-20129 Milan, Italy

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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