Resistance to cytarabine induces the up-regulation of NKG2D ligands and enhances natural killer cell lysis of leukemic cells

  • Prolonged treatment of leukemic cells with chemotherapeutic agents frequently results in development of drug resistance. Moreover, selection of drug-resistant cell populations may be associated with changes in malignant properties such as proliferation rate, invasiveness, and immunogenicity. In the present study, the sensitivity of cytarabine (1-β-d-arabinofuranosylcytosine, araC)-resistant and parental human leukemic cell lines (T-lymphoid H9 and acute T-lymphoblastic leukemia Molt-4) to natural killer (NK) cell-mediated killing was investigated. The results obtained demonstrate that araC-resistant H9 and Molt-4 (H9rARAC100 and Molt-4rARAC100) cell lines are more sensitive to NK cell-mediated lysis than their respective parental cell lines. This increased sensitivity was associated with a higher surface expression of ligands for the NK cell-activating receptor NKG2D, notably UL16 binding protein-2 (ULBP-2) and ULBP-3 in H9rARAC100 and Molt-4rARAC100 cell lines. Blocking ULBP-2 and ULBP-3 or NKG2D with monoclonal antibody completely abrogated NK cell lysis. Constitutive phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) but not pAKT was higher in araC-resistant cells than in parental cell lines. Inhibition of ERK using ERK inhibitor PD98059 decreased both ULBP-2/ULBP-3 expression and NK cell cytotoxicity. Furthermore, overexpression of constitutively active ERK in H9 parental cells resulted in increased ULBP-2/ULBP-3 expression and enhanced NK cell lysis. These results demonstrate that increased sensitivity of araC-resistant leukemic cells to NK cell lysis is caused by higher NKG2D ligand expression, resulting from more active ERK signaling pathway.

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Author:Henry OgbomoORCiDGND, Martin MichaelisORCiDGND, Denise KlassertGND, Hans Wilhelm DoerrGND, Jindrich CinatlORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Neoplasia
Publisher:Stockton Press
Place of publication:Basingstoke
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2008
Year of first Publication:2008
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/09/18
Page Number:9
First Page:1402
Last Page:1410
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0