Clofarabine‑phytochemical combination exposures in CML cells inhibit DNA methylation machinery, upregulate tumor suppressor genes and promote caspase‑dependent apoptosis
- Agnieszka Kaufman‑Szymczyk
- Katarzyna Majda
- Agata Szuławska‑Mroczek
- Krystyna Fabianowska‑Majewska
- Katarzyna Lubecka
Published online on: August 27, 2019
Copyright: © Kaufman‑Szymczyk et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
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Clofarabine (2‑chloro‑2'‑fluoro‑2'‑deoxyarabinosyladenine, CIF), a second‑generation 2'‑deoxyadenosine analog, possesses a variety of anti‑cancer activities, including the capacity to modulate DNA methylation marks. Bioactive nutrients, including resveratrol (RSV) and all‑trans retinoic acid (ATRA) have been indicated to regulate epigenetic machinery in malignant cells. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether the tested phytochemicals, RSV or ATRA, can improve the therapeutic epigenetic effects of CIF in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cells. The present study investigates, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time, the influence of CIF in combination with RSV or ATRA on the expression of relevant modifiers of DNA methylation machinery, including DNA Methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and Cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A) in CML cells. Subsequently, the combinatorial effects on promoter methylation and transcript levels of methylation‑silenced tumor suppressor genes (TSGs), including phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) and retinoic acid receptor beta (RARB), were estimated using MSRA and qPCR, respectively. The tested TSGs were chosen according to bioinformatical analysis of publicly available clinical data of human DNA methylation and gene expression arrays in leukemia patients. The K562 cell line was used as an experimental CML in vitro model. Following a period of 72 h exposure of K562 cells, the tested combinations led to significant cell growth inhibition and induction of caspase‑3‑dependent apoptosis. These observations were accompanied by DNMT1 downregulation and CDKN1A upregulation, with a concomitant enhanced decrease in DNMT1 protein level, especially after ATRA treatment with CIF. Concurrent methylation‑mediated RARB and PTEN reactivation was detected. The results of the current study demonstrated that CIF that was used in combination with the tested phytochemicals, RSV or ATRA, exhibited a greater ability to remodel DNA methylation marks and promote cell death in CML cells. These results may support the application of CIF combinations with natural bioactive agents in anti‑leukemic epigenetic therapy.