Synergistic suppression of t(8;21)-positive leukemia cell growth by combining oridonin and MAPK1/ERK2 inhibitors.
Oncotarget. 2017 Aug 22 ;8(34):56991-57002. Epub 2017 Jun 16. PMID: 28915648
One of the most common chromosomal translocations in acute myeloid leukemia is t(8;21)(q22;q22), which results in the appearance of abnormal transcripts encoding for the fusion protein RUNX1-ETO. Therefore, this oncoprotein is considered to be a pertinent and promising target for treating t(8;21) leukemia. Previously, we have shown that downregulation of RUNX1-ETO leads to activation of intracellular signaling pathways enhancing cell survival and determined that the protein ERK2 can mediate activation of most of these pathways. Here we used a combination of oridonin (natural tetracycline diterpenoid), which has been shown to exhibit anti-RUNX1-ETO activity, and ERK2 kinase inhibitors. We found that treatment of leukemic t(8;21)-positive Kasumi-1 cells with oridonin cause decrease of phosphorylated ERK1/2. Treatment of these cells with ERK2 inhibitors makes them more sensitive to RUNX1-ETO inhibition with oridonin. Therefore we postulate that simultaneous inhibition of RUNX1-ETO and ERK2 cause synergistic effect on survival of leukemic cells.