PECAM-1 is involved in BCR/ABL signaling and may downregulate imatinib-induced apoptosis of Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia cells
- Nan Wu
- Tetsuya Kurosu
- Gaku Oshikawa
- Toshikage Nagao
- Osamu Miura
Affiliations: Department of Hematology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyoku, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan
- Published online on: December 6, 2012 https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2012.1729
Copyright: © Wu
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PECAM-1 (CD31) is an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM)-containing surface glycoprotein expressed on various hematopoietic cells as well as on endothelial cells. PECAM-1 has been shown to play roles in regulation of adhesion, migration and apoptosis. The BCR/ABL fusion tyrosine kinase is expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia-positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells, and its inhibition by the clinically used tyrosine kinase inhibitors imatinib or dasatinib induces apoptosis of these cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that PECAM-1 is tyrosine phosphorylated in its ITIM motifs in various BCR/ABL-expressing cells including primary leukemia cells. Studies using imatinib and dasatinib as well as transient expression experiments in 293T cells revealed that PECAM-1 was phosphorylated directly by BCR/ABL, which was enhanced by the imatinib-resistant E255K and T315I mutations, or partly by the Src family tyrosine kinases, including Lyn, which were activated dependently or independently on BCR/ABL. We also demonstrate by using a substrate trapping mutant of SHP2 that tyrosine phosphorylated PECAM-1 binds SHP2 and is a major substrate for this tyrosine phosphatase in BCR/ABL-expressing cells. Overexpression of PECAM-1 in BCR/ABL-expressing cells, including K562 human leukemia cells, enhanced cell adhesion and partially inhibited imatinib-induced apoptosis involving mitochondria depolarization and caspase-3 cleavage, at least partly, in an ITIM-independent manner. These data suggest that PECAM-1 may play a role in regulation of apoptosis as well as adhesion of BCR/ABL-expressing cells to modulate their imatinib sensitivity and would be a possible candidate for therapeutic target in Ph+ leukemias.