Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) develops when a hematopoietic stem cell acquires the Philadelphia chromosome carrying the BCR/ABL fusion gene. This gives the transformed cells a proliferative advantage over normal hematopoietic cells. Silencing the BCR/ABL oncogene by treatment with specific drugs remains an important therapeutic goal. In this work, we used locked nucleic acid (LNA)-modified oligonucleotides to silence BCR/ ABL and reduce CML cell proliferation, as these oligonucleotides are resistant to nucleases and exhibit an exceptional affinity for cognate RNA. The anti-BCR/ABL oligonucleotides were designed as LNA-DNA gapmers, consisting of end blocks of 3/4 LNA monomers and a central DNA stretch of 13/14 deoxyribonucleotides. The gapmers were complementary to the b2a2 and b3a2 mRNA junctions with which they form hybrid duplexes that have melting temperatures of 79°C and 75°C, respectively, in a 20 mmol/L NaCl-buffered (pH 7.4) solution. Like DNA, the designed LNA-DNA gapmers were capable of activating RNase H and promote cleavage of the target b2a2 and b3a2 BCR/ABL mRNAs. The treatment of CML cells with junction-specific antisense gapmers resulted in a strong and specific reduction of the levels of BCR/ABL transcripts (∼ 20% of control) and protein p210BCR/ABL (∼ 30% of control). Moreover, the antisense oligonucleotides suppressed cell growth up to 40% of control and induced apoptosis, as indicated by the increase of caspase-3/7 activity in the treated cells. Finally, the b2a2-specific antisense gapmer used in combination with STI571 (imatinib mesylate), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of p210BCR/ABL, produced an enhanced antiproliferative effect in KYO-1 cells, which compared with K562 cells are refractory to STI571. The data of this study support the application of BCR/ABL antisense LNA-DNA gapmers, used either alone or in combination with STI571, as potential antileukemic agents.

Antisense locked nucleic acids efficiently suppress BCR/ABL and induce cell growth decline and apoptosis in leukemic cells

RAPOZZI, Valentina;XODO, Luigi
2006

Abstract

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) develops when a hematopoietic stem cell acquires the Philadelphia chromosome carrying the BCR/ABL fusion gene. This gives the transformed cells a proliferative advantage over normal hematopoietic cells. Silencing the BCR/ABL oncogene by treatment with specific drugs remains an important therapeutic goal. In this work, we used locked nucleic acid (LNA)-modified oligonucleotides to silence BCR/ ABL and reduce CML cell proliferation, as these oligonucleotides are resistant to nucleases and exhibit an exceptional affinity for cognate RNA. The anti-BCR/ABL oligonucleotides were designed as LNA-DNA gapmers, consisting of end blocks of 3/4 LNA monomers and a central DNA stretch of 13/14 deoxyribonucleotides. The gapmers were complementary to the b2a2 and b3a2 mRNA junctions with which they form hybrid duplexes that have melting temperatures of 79°C and 75°C, respectively, in a 20 mmol/L NaCl-buffered (pH 7.4) solution. Like DNA, the designed LNA-DNA gapmers were capable of activating RNase H and promote cleavage of the target b2a2 and b3a2 BCR/ABL mRNAs. The treatment of CML cells with junction-specific antisense gapmers resulted in a strong and specific reduction of the levels of BCR/ABL transcripts (∼ 20% of control) and protein p210BCR/ABL (∼ 30% of control). Moreover, the antisense oligonucleotides suppressed cell growth up to 40% of control and induced apoptosis, as indicated by the increase of caspase-3/7 activity in the treated cells. Finally, the b2a2-specific antisense gapmer used in combination with STI571 (imatinib mesylate), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of p210BCR/ABL, produced an enhanced antiproliferative effect in KYO-1 cells, which compared with K562 cells are refractory to STI571. The data of this study support the application of BCR/ABL antisense LNA-DNA gapmers, used either alone or in combination with STI571, as potential antileukemic agents.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/881688
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