MPT0B169, a new antitubulin agent, inhibits Bcr-Abl expression and induces mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis in nonresistant and imatinib-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia cells

Shuit Mun Wong, Fu Hwa Liu, Yueh Lun Lee, Huei Mei Huang

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a clonal disorder of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells that is caused by the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein. Clinical resistance to the Bcr-Abl inhibitor imatinib is a critical problem in treating CML. This study investigated the antitumor effect and mechanism of MPT0B169, a new antitubulin agent, in K562 CML cells and their derived imatinibresistant cells, IMR2 and IMR3. IMR2 and IMR3 cells showed complete resistance to imatinibinduced growth inhibition and apoptosis. Resistance involved ERK1/2 overactivation and MDR1 overexpression. MPT0B169 inhibited the growth of K562, IMR2, and IMR3 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. MPT0B169 substantially inhibited the mRNA and protein levels of Bcr-Abl, followed by its downstream pathways including Akt, ERK1/2, and STAT3 in these cells. MPT0B169 treatment resulted in a decrease in the polymer form of tubulin according to Western blot analysis. It triggered cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase before apoptosis, which was related to the upregulation of the mitotic marker MPM2 and the cyclin B1 level, and a change in the phosphorylation of Cdk1. MPT0B169 induced apoptosis in nonresistant and imatinib-resistant cells via a mitochondrion-mediated caspase pathway. Further study showed that the agent led to a decrease in the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1 and an increase in the apoptotic protein Bax. Taken together, our results suggest that MPT0B169 might be a promising agent for overcoming imatinib resistance in CML cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0148093
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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