Induction of differentiation of human leukemia cells by combinations of COX inhibitors and 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 involves Raf1 but not Erk 1/2 signaling

 Abstract

Differentiation therapy of cancer is being explored as a potential modality for treatment of myeloid leukemia, and derivatives of vitamin D are gaining prominence as agents for this form of therapy. Cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors have been reported to enhance 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D)-induced monocytic differentiation of promyeloblastic HL60 cells, but the mechanisms of this effect are not fully elucidated, and whether this potentiation can occur in other types of myeloid leukemia is not known. We found that combination treatment with 1,25D and non-specific COX inhibitors acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) or indomethacin can robustly potentiate differentiation of other types of human leukemia cells, i.e. U937, THP-1, and that ASA +/- 1,25D is effective in primary AML cultures. Increased cell differentiation is paralleled by arrest of the cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, and by increased phosphorylation of Raf1 and p90RSK1 proteins. However, there is no evidence that this increase in phosphorylation of Raf1 is transmitted through the ERK module of the MAPK signaling cascade. Transfection of small interfering (si) RNA to Raf1 decreased differentiation of U937 cells induced by a combination of ASA or indomethacin with 1,25D. However, phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2, though not of p90RSK, were increased when P-Raf1 levels were decreased by the siRNA, suggesting that in this system the ERK module does not function in the conventional manner. Identification of the strong antiproliferative activity of ASA/1,25D combinations associated with monocytic differentiation has implications for cancer chemoprevention in individuals who have a predisposition to myeloid leukemia.

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Pages
917 - 924
doi
10.4161/cc.7.7.5620
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Induction of differentiation of human leukemia cells by combinations of COX inhibitors and 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 involves Raf1 but not Erk 1/2 signaling