Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells affect the cell cycle arrest effect of genotoxic agents on acute lymphocytic leukemia cells via p21 down-regulation

Yiran Zhang, Kaimin Hu, Yongxian Hu, Lizhen Liu, Binsheng Wang, He Huang
Annals of Hematology 2014, 93 (9): 1499-508
The effect of bone marrow microenvironment on the cell cycle of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and the underlying mechanism has not been elucidated. In this study, we found that in normal condition, bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) had no significant effect on the cell cycle and apoptosis of ALL; in the condition when the cell cycle of ALL was blocked by genotoxic agents, BM-MSCs could increase the S-phase cell ratio and decrease the G2/M phase ratio of ALL. Besides, BM-MSCs could protect ALL cells from drug-induced apoptosis. Then, we proved that BM-MSCs affect the cell cycle arrest effect of genotoxic agents on ALL cells via p21 down-regulation. Moreover, our results indicated that activation of Wnt/β-catenin and Erk pathways might be involved in the BM-MSC-induced down-regulation of p21 in ALL cells. Targeting microenvironment-related signaling pathway may therefore be a potential novel approach for ALL therapy.

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