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3-amino thioacridone inhibits DNA synthesis and induce DNA damage in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) in a p16-dependent manner
Mitchell B. Diccianni, John Yu, Gerda Meppelink, Marten De Vries, Li’en Shao, Sigrun Gebauer, Hsien Shih, William Roberts, Neil P. Kilcoin, Jeanette Pullen, Dennis A. Carson, Alice L. Yu

In T-cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (T-ALL), the inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) 4 and 6, p16 and p15, are inactivated almost universally at the DNA, RNA and protein levels. This suggests that CDK targeting may be an effective therapeutic approach for T-ALL and other cancers. In this study, we tested 3 inhibitors of CDK4, 3-aminothioacridone (3-ATA), thioacridone (TA), and oxindole, for their effects on DNA synthesis and viability in primary T-ALL. Each compound was an effective inhibitor, with overall IC50s in similar ranges. In colony formation assay, leukemic cells were approximately 10-fold more sensitive to 3-ATA than normal bone marrow cells. When sorted by G1 protein status of T-ALL, p16(+), p15(+) or pRb(-) samples were significantly less sensitive to 3-ATA and TA, but not to oxindole, than p16(-), p15(-) or pRb(+) samples. There was no relationship of sensitivity with ARF expression. Despite their in vitro function as inhibitors of CDK4, 3-ATA did not inhibit pRb phosphorylation or cause G1 arrest, but did cause DNA damage and result in the induction and phosphorylation of p53. We conclude that 3-ATA efficacy can be predicted by p16 status in T-ALL, but the mechanism of action may be distinct from their in vitro ability to regulate CDK4 kinase activity.

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