In Vitro Inhibition of Promyelocytic Leukemia/Retinoic Acid Receptor-α (PML/RARα) Expression and Leukemogenic Activity by DNA/LNA Chimeric Antisense Oligos
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a subtype of myeloid leukemia characterized by the chromosomal translocation t(15:17) that leads to the expression of promyelocytic leukemia/retinoic acid receptor-α (PML/RARα) oncofusion protein. The block of differentiation at the promyelocytic stage of the blasts and their increased survival induced by PML/RARα are the principal biological features of the disease. Therapies based on pharmacological doses of retinoic acid (RA, 10−6 M) are able to restore APL cell differentiation in most cases, but not to achieve complete hematological remission because retinoic acid resistance occurs in many patients. In order to elaborate alternative therapeutic approaches, we focused our attention on the use of antisense oligonucleotides as gene-specific drug directed to PML/RARα mRNA target. We used antisense molecules containing multiple locked nucleic acid (LNA) modifications. The LNAs are nucleotide analogues that are able to form duplexes with complementary DNA or RNA sequences with highly increased thermal stability and are resistant to 3′-exonuclease degradation in vitro. The DNA/LNA chimeric molecules were designed on the fusion sequence of PML and RARα genes to specifically target the oncofusion protein. Cell-free and in vitro experiments using U937-PR9-inducible cell line showed that DNA/LNA oligonucleotides were able to interfere with PML/RARα expression more efficiently than the corresponding unmodified DNA oligo. Moreover, the treatment of U937-PR9 cells with these chimeric antisense molecules was able to abrogate the block of differentiation induced by PML/RARα oncoprotein. These data suggest a possible application of oligonucleotides containing LNA in an antisense therapeutic strategy for APL.
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Acute promyelocytic leukemia;
Locked nucleic acid;
Document Type: Research Article
Centre of Biotechnology, University of Urbino, 61032 Fano, Italy, Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, 20141 Milan, Italy
Centre of Biotechnology, University of Urbino, 61032 Fano, Italy
Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, 20141 Milan, Italy, FIRC Institute for Molecular Oncology (IFOM), 20139 Milan, Italy
Publication date: March 1, 2006
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