Bafilomycin A1 targets both autophagy and apoptosis pathways in pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.


Yuan, Na; Song, Lin; Zhang, Suping; Lin, Weiwei; Cao, Yan; Xu, Fei; Fang, Yixuan; Wang, Zhen; Zhang, Han; Li, Xin; Wang, Zhijian; Cai, Jinyang; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Yi; Mao, Xinliang; Zhao, Wenli; Hu, Shaoyan; Chen, Suning; Wang, Jianrong

Publication Year 2015
Journal Haematologica
Pages 345-356
Volume 100
Issue 3
PMID 25512644.0
PMCID PMC4349273
DOI 10.3324/haematol.2014.113324

B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common type of pediatric leukemia. Despite improved remission rates, current treatment regimens for pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia are often associated with adverse effects and central nervous system relapse, necessitating more effective and safer agents. Bafilomycin A1 is an inhibitor of vacuolar H(+)-ATPase that is frequently used at high concentration to block late-phase autophagy. Here, we show that bafilomycin A1 at a low concentration (1 nM) effectively and specifically inhibited and killed pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. It targeted both early and late stages of the autophagy pathway by activating mammalian target of rapamycin signaling and by disassociating the Beclin 1-Vps34 complex, as well as by inhibiting the formation of autolysosomes, all of which attenuated functional autophagy. Bafilomycin A1 also targeted mitochondria and induced caspase-independent apoptosis by inducing the translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor from mitochondria to the nucleus. Moreover, bafilomycin A1 induced the binding of Beclin 1 to Bcl-2, which further inhibited autophagy and promoted apoptotic cell death. In primary cells from pediatric patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and a xenograft model, bafilomycin A1 specifically targeted leukemia cells while sparing normal cells. An in vivo mouse toxicity assay confirmed that bafilomycin A1 is safe. Our data thus suggest that bafilomycin A1 is a promising candidate drug for the treatment of pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Copyright? Ferrata Storti Foundation.