Molecular mechanism of G1 arrest and cellular senescence induced by LEE011, a novel CDK4/CDK6 inhibitor, in leukemia cells
© The Author(s) 2017
Received: 29 July 2016
Accepted: 25 February 2017
Published: 6 March 2017
Overexpression of cyclin D1 dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) is a common feature of many human cancers including leukemia. LEE011 is a novel inhibitor of both CDK4 and 6. To date, the molecular function of LEE011 in leukemia remains unclear.
Leukemia cell growth and apoptosis following LEE011 treatment was assessed through CCK-8 and annexin V/propidium iodide staining assays. Cell senescence was assessed by β-galactosidase staining and p16INK4a expression analysis. Gene expression profiles of LEE011 treated HL-60 cells were investigated using an Arraystar Human LncRNA array. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analysis were then used to analyze the differentially expressed genes from the cluster analysis.
Our studies demonstrated that LEE011 inhibited proliferation of leukemia cells and could induce apoptosis. Hoechst 33,342 staining analysis showed DNA fragmentation and distortion of nuclear structures following LEE011 treatment. Cell cycle analysis showed LEE011 significantly induced cell cycle G1 arrest in seven of eight acute leukemia cells lines, the exception being THP-1 cells. β-Galactosidase staining analysis and p16INK4a expression analysis showed that LEE011 treatment can induce cell senescence of leukemia cells. LncRNA microarray analysis showed 2083 differentially expressed mRNAs and 3224 differentially expressed lncRNAs in LEE011-treated HL-60 cells compared with controls. Molecular function analysis showed that LEE011 induced senescence in leukemia cells partially through downregulation of the transcriptional expression of MYBL2.
We demonstrate for the first time that LEE011 treatment results in inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of G1 arrest and cellular senescence in leukemia cells. LncRNA microarray analysis showed differentially expressed mRNAs and lncRNAs in LEE011-treated HL-60 cells and we demonstrated that LEE011 induces cellular senescence partially through downregulation of the expression of MYBL2. These results may open new lines of investigation regarding the molecular mechanism of LEE011 induced cellular senescence.
KeywordsLEE011 Leukemia CDK4/6 Cellular senescence Arraystar Human LncRNA array
Acute leukemia is the most common pediatric malignancy constituting more than 30% of all childhood cancers . Approximately 300 important genes have been reported to be altered in hematologic malignancies. Pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML) accounts for more than 50% of pediatric acute leukemia patient deaths. More effective therapeutic strategies are needed to improve prognosis. Recently, the potential therapeutic application of CDK4/6 inhibitors in a range of cancers has been considered.
The proteins encoded by CDK4 and 6 are members of the Ser/Thr protein kinase family . Both CDK4 and 6 are important for cell cycle regulation, specifically G1 phase progression, with their activity strictly restricted to the G1-S phase [3–5]. Mutations in these genes have been found to be significantly associated with tumorigenesis of several cancers [6, 7]. It is now believed that the vast majority of human tumors exhibit deregulation of the CDK4/6-cyclin D-INK4-RB pathway through multiple mechanisms [8–10]. CDK4/6 amplification or overexpression has also been observed in a range of tumors, including lymphomas, melanomas, gliomas, sarcomas, carcinomas of the breast and leukemias. For example, CDK6 promoter related chromosomal translocation leads to CDK6 overexpression, which has been reported in B cell lymphocytic leukemias and splenic marginal zone lymphoma [11, 12].
Several pharmacological inhibitors of CDK4/6 have been developed and many are currently being tested in clinical trials. One CDK4/6 selective inhibitor, PD-0332991, causes G1 arrest and growth inhibition in xenograft models of human tumor cell lines including breast, ovary, lung and multiple myeloma. Another CDK4/6 inhibitor, LY2835219, has been reported to inhibit CDK4 and 6 at very low concentrations, resulting in proliferation inhibition and G1 cell cycle arrest . GCS-100 is a non-selective CDK6 inhibitor which induces inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis in myeloma cell lines . KBH-A42 is a new synthetic histone deacetylase inhibitor which can effectively inhibit the growth of several cancer cells . Results suggest that the molecular mechanism of KBH-A42 mediated cell cycle arrest may be the result of the down regulation of CDK4 and CDK6 .
LEE011 is a recently developed CDK4/6 inhibitor . LEE011 has shown antiproliferative effects in a panel of human cancer cell lines and primary tumor xenografts. For example, oral administration of LEE011 to mice bearing human liposarcoma xenografts resulted in approximately 50% reduction in tumors . Further studies have shown that treatment with LEE011 significantly reduced cell proliferation in 12 of 17 human neuroblastoma cell lines [17, 19]. To date, the molecular function of LEE011 in leukemia is unclear. In this study the antitumor effect of LEE011 was evaluated in leukemia cells to further characterize its preclinical efficacy and molecular mechanism.
Cell and culture conditions
Leukemia cell lines HL-60, MV4-11, U937 and K562 were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). CCRF, 697 and SHI-1 cell lines (gifts from The Cyrus Tang Hematology center of Soochow University). NB4 and THP-1 cell lines (gifts from Hematology Institute of Soochow University). All cell lines were maintained at 37 °C in the RPMI 1640 (GibcoR, Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA, USA) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (Invitrogen, Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA, USA). LEE011 (Cat: S7440 Selleck Chemicals, West Paterson, NJ, USA) was dissolved in DMSO (Cat: D4540 Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA).
Patients and samples
Pathologic features and inhibition of cell growth by LEE011 in primary culture cells of pediatric ALL
ALL/53–54, XY, +4, +6, +10, 12p+, +14, +17, +18, +20, +21
ALL/53–55XX, +X, 1q+, +4, +6, +10, +11, +15, +17, +21
Pathologic features and inhibition of cell growth by LEE011 in primary culture cells of pediatric AML
46, XX, inv(16)(p13q22)
46, XY, −2, +10, t(10;10)(p13;q23)
45, X, −Y, t(8;21)(q22;q22)
46, XX, inv(16)(p13q22)
46, XY, inv(16)(p13q22)
Cell proliferation analysis was almost same as introduced before . Leukemia cells were incubated with DMSO, or increasing concentrations of LEE011 (0.05–80 μM) for 24 h. CCK8 Kit (Dojindo Molecular Technologies, Japan) was used to analyze the cell survival rate. The IC50 of LEE011 inhibitor was calculated by Graph Prism software.
Cell cycle analysis
Cell cycle analysis was also introduced before . Leukemia cells were collected, fixed, incubated with 1.5 μmol/l propidium iodide (P4170, Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO, USA) and 25 μg/ml RNase A The samples (1 × 104 cells) and were analyzed with a Beckman Gallios™ Flow Cytometer. Then these data was analyzed with cell cycle software (MultiCycle for Windows).
Hoechst 33,342 staining analysis
Cells were seeded into 6-well plates, and then treated with LEE011 (2 or 5 μM) and cultured at 37 °C for 24 h, stained with 0.1 µg/ml Hoechst 33,342 (Sigma, St. Louis, MO, USA) for 5 min, then observed with filters for blue fluorescence under fluorescence microscopy (OLYMPUS IX71; Olympus Corporation, Tokyo, Japan). Abnormal nuclear cells were counted between the RO3280 treatment group and DMSO control group .
Cell senescence β-galactosidase staining analysis
Leukemia cells were seeded into 6-well plates, and then treated with LEE011 (2 or 5 μM) and cultured at 37 °C for 24–72 h, senescence β-galactosidase staining analysis was according to the manufacture of senescence β-galactosidase staining kit (Beyotime Corporation, C0602, Jiangsu, China). Staining cells were photographed with microscopy (OLYMPUS IX71; Olympus Corporation, Tokyo, Japan). Positive staining cells were counted between the LEE011 treatment group and DMSO control group.
Analyze the genes and LncRNAs expression profiles related with LEE011
HL-60 cells were treated with 1 μM LEE011 and control group cells were treated with the same volume of DMSO 24 h later. Human LncRNA array analysis was performed by KangChen Bio-tech, Shanghai P. R. China. And experimental details were introduced by Yu et al. . RNA purification and analysis was introduced as before .
Gene ontology analysis and KEGG pathway analysis the genes expression profiles related with LEE011
Gene ontology (GO) analysis introduced before  is a functional analysis that associates differentially expressed mRNAs with GO categories (http://www.geneontology.org). The lower the P value is, the more significant the GO term (a P ≤ 0.05 is recommended). Pathway analysis is a functional analysis that maps genes to Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathways (http://www.genome.jp/kegg/) was introduced before . The P value (EASE-score, Fisher P value or Hypergeometric P value) denotes the significance of the pathway correlated to the conditions. The lower the P value is, the more significant the correlation (the recommend P value cut-off is 0.05).
Western blot analysis
For western blot analysis, protocol is introduced before . Blots were blocked and then probed with antibodies against Caspase 3 (Cat: 9661S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), Caspase 9 (Cat: 4501S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), PARP (Cat: 9542S, 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), CDK6 (Cat: 13331S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), CDK4 (Cat: 12790S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), Cyclin D1 (Cat: 2978S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), Cyclin D2 (Cat: 3741S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), RB (Cat: 9313S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), p-RB (Cat: 8516S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), KIF20A (Cat: ab85644 1:1000, Abcam Trading (Shanghai) Company Ltd. Pudong, Shanghai, China), PLK1 (Cat: 4535S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA), MYBL2 (Cat:BA3860 1:1000, BOSTER (Wuhan) Company Ltd. Wuhan, Chin), p16INK4a (Cat: ab189302 1:1000, Abcam Trading (Shanghai) Company Ltd. Pudong, Shanghai, China), p21 Waf1/Cip1 (Cat: 2946S 1:1000, Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. Danvers, MA, USA),GAPDH (1:5000, Sigma, St. Louis, MO, USA).
Real-time PCR analysis certification of dyes-regulated genes in LEE011-treated HL-60 cells
Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to determine the expression levels of dyes-regulated genes in 1 μM LEE011-treated HL-60 cells. Real-time PCR analysis was introduced before . cDNA synthesis was performed on 4 μg of RNA in a 10 μl sample volume using SuperScript II reverse transcriptase (Invitrogen Co., NY, USA) as recommended by the manufacturer. Reactions were run on Light cycler 480 using the universal thermal cycling parameters. The real time PCR primers used to quantify GAPDH expression were: F: 5′-AGAAGGCTGGGGCTCATTTG-3′ and R: 5′-AGGGGCCATCCACAGTCTTC-3′;
CR1L were F: 5′-GTCCTCCTTCTCCGATCAATGC-3′ and R: 5′-CTTAGCACTTGTCCAGACTGAG-3′; TCP11L2 were F: 5′-CTAAATGCTGACCCTCCTGAGT-3′ and R: 5′- GCCACCGGGAGTGAGAAAA-3′; CR1 were F: 5′-AGAGGGACGAGCTTCGACC-3′ and R: 5′-TCAGGACGGCATTCGTACTTT-3′; AMICA1 were F: 5′-GTTTCCCCGCCTGAGCTAAC-3′ and R: 5′-TTCTGGAAGCGCCCAATAGG-3′; MCM10 were F: 5′-AAGCCTTCTCTGGTCTGCG-3′ and R: 5′-CTGTGGCGTAACCTTCTTCAA-3′; CDK1 were F: 5′-AAACTACAGGTCAAGTGGTAGCC-3′ and R: 5′-TCCTGCATAAGCACATCCTGA-3′; DLGAP5 were F: 5′-AAGTGGGTCGTTATAGACCTGA-3′ and R: 5′-TGCTCGAACATCACTCTCGTTAT-3′; KIF20A were F: 5′-TGCTGTCCGATGACGATGTC-3′ and R: 5′-AGGTTCTTGCGTACCACAGAC-3′; S100A8 were F: 5′-CATGCCGTCTACAGGGATGA-3′ and R: 5′- GACGTCTGCACCCTTTTTCC-3′; IL8 were F: 5′-GAATGGGTTTGCTAGAATGTGATA-3′ and R: 5′-CAGACTAGGGTTGCCAGATTTAAC-3′; PLK1 were F: 5′- CTCAACACGCCTCATCCTC-3′ and R: 5′-GTGCTCGCTCATGTAATTGC-3′; MYBL2 were F: 5′-TGCCAGGGAGGACAGACAAT-3′ and R: 5′-CTGTACCGATGGGCTCCTGTT-3′; PADI4 were F: 5′-AGTGGCTTGCTTTCTTCTCCTGTG-3′ and R: 5′-AGCAGAACTGAGTGTGCAGTGCTA-3′. Expression of genes was normalized to endogenous GAPDH expression.
Cluster analysis of the data was performed with gene cluster from the real-time PCR arrays. For gene expression quantification, we used the comparative Ct method. First, gene expression levels for each sample were normalized to the expression level of the housekeeping gene encoding glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) within a given sample (−ΔCt). The relative expression of each gene was calculated using the equation: 106*Log2 (−ΔCt). Gene expression between the DMSO and the LEE011 samples were analyzed using Multi Experiment View (MEV) cluster software.
Interfering expression of LEE011 target genes in leukemia cells with RNAi lentivirus
RNAi lentivirus was purchased from Shanghai Genechem Co., Ltd. (http://www.genechem.com.cn). RNAi products target-specific lentivirus designed to knockdown MYBL2 expression; sequences are 1# 5-CAGATCAGAAGTACTCCAT-3; for KIF20A, sequences are 1# 5- CAGAAGAATATAAGGCTGT-3; for PLK1, sequences are 1# 5-CAACCAAAGUCGAAUAUGA-3. The control sequence is 5-TTCTCCGAACGTGTCACGT-3. Lentivirus infection was according to the manufacture of Shanghai Genechem Co., Ltd. at a final concentration of 100–200 MOI (multiplicity of infection). Interference efficiency was measured by western blot at 3 days after transfection. The rest cells were harvested for further analysis.
Each experimental condition was performed for three times, and these replicates were presented in results and figures. All values are presented as mean ± SEM. Student’s paired t test was applied to reveal statistical significances. P values less than 0.05 were considered significant. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Software for Windows (version 11.5; SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
Inhibitory effect of LEE011 on acute leukemia cell growth
LEE011 can induce apoptosis in leukemia cells
Hoechst 33,342 staining analysis showed that DNA fragmentation and an increase in cells with nuclear abnormalities were observed after 24-h LEE011 treatment (Fig. 3a). Abnormal nuclear structure in cells increased significantly compared with DMSO treated control cells in both HL-60 and MV4-11 cell lines (Fig. 3b). The proportion of MV4-11 cells with abnormal nuclear structure in the 5-µM treatment group was 28.93 ± 6.50 vs. 5.60 ± 2.29% for the DMSO group (P = 0.0016); in HL-60 cells, 25.60 ± 3.30% of cells had abnormal nuclear structure in the 5-µM treatment group, compared with 3.27 ± 1.84% in the DMSO group (P = 0.0013).
LEE011 induced G1 arrest and cellular senescence in leukemia cells
Microarray analysis of genes and LncRNA expression profiles in LEE011-treated HL-60 cells
In our system hundreds of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) related lncRNAs were upregulated, including BDNF-AS (NR_033313, NR_002832, ENST00000530313, ENST00000532965) and BDNF-AS1 (uc009yis.3). BDNF plays an important role in the aging process . BDNF helps to protect neurons from damage caused by infection or injury. A study performed in rats showed that TrkB (a BDNF receptor) is markedly decreased during the aging process . DLGAP1 related lncRNAs such as uc002kmi.3, ENST00000573177, uc010wzb.2, uc002kmj.1, NR_024101, ENST00000575606, ENST00000573355 and ENST00000576606 were also upregulated in our system. DLGAP1 plays a fundamental role in centrosome positioning and cell polarity. Centrosome positioning is crucial for cellular senescence .
Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analysis of mRNA expression profiles in LEE011-treated HL-60 cells
LEE011 induced cellular senescence in leukemia cells partially through downregulation of the transcriptional expression of MYBL2
The molecular function of MYBL2, PLK1 and KIF20A was also analyzed in HL-60 cells. RNA interference of MYBL2 significantly downregulated the expression of MYBL2. Cell proliferation was also inhibited when the expression of MYBL2 was downregulated by RNA interference (Fig. 8b). Figure 8c, d show that downregulation of PLK1 and KIF20A resulted in inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in HL-60 cells.
Currently, three selective CDK4/6 inhibitors, palbociclib (PD-0332991), ribociclib (LEE011) and abemaciclib (LY2835219), have been clinically approved or are in late-stage clinical trials . LEE011 (ribociclib) is an orally-applied, effective small molecule that inhibits CDK4/6 at nanomolar concentrations. Antitumor activity of LEE011 has been demonstrated in several cancer models. Sixteen active clinical trials are currently underway with LEE011 as a single agent or in use in combination with other drugs [30, 31]. Most trials with LEE011 are for solid tumors including melanoma, breast cancer and neuroblastoma, and there have been no clinical trials of LEE011 in leukemia or other cancers of the hemopoietic system. In this study, we showed for the first time that LEE011 treatment results in inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of G1 arrest and senescence in leukemia cells. The lncRNA microarray was used to determine mRNA and lncRNA expression profiles in LEE011-treated HL-60 cells and demonstrated that LEE011 induced cellular senescence partially through downregulation of the expression of MYBL2.
MYBL2 is emerging as an important gene in cellular senescence. When cells are senescing, MYBL2 has been shown to consistently be the most downregulated gene . As reported previously, ectopic expression of MYBL2 in HMF3A cells can bypass cell senescence . In rodent cells, premature senescence caused by the Ras oncogene can be rescued by MYBL2 expression. Moreover, downregulation of MYBL2 with siRNA silencing leads to increased senescence in primary human foreskin fibroblasts and HeLa cervical cancer cells . These results strongly imply an important role for MYBL2 in senescence. However, it remains to be determined what regulates the expression of MYBL2 and whether MYBL2 could be a novel anti-tumor target . In this study, MYBL2 was downregulated in HL-60 cells treated with LEE011 and cell senescence β-galactosidase staining analysis showed that in Si-MYBL2 cells, positive staining was increased when compared with the Si-Nc control group. Cell cycle analysis showed that G1 phase cells increased significantly and nucleus became larger and irregular in the Si-MYBL2 group cells. These results imply that LEE011 induces senescence in AML cells partially through downregulation of the transcriptional expression of MYBL2. Therefore, our study may provide new clues into the mechanism of senescence induced by LEE011 in AML cells.
In this study, we have shown that LEE011 treatment resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of G1 arrest and cellular senescence in leukemia cells. The lncRNA microarray was used to identify mRNA and lncRNA expression profiles in LEE011 treated HL-60 cells and we demonstrated that LEE011 induces cellular senescence partially through downregulation of the expression of MYBL2. These results may provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of the anticancer effects of LEE011 and its potential as a candidate drug for leukemia; however, further research will be required to determine the underlying details.
acute myeloid leukemia
long non-coding RNA
Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes
gene expression omnibus
peripheral blood mononuclear cells
PJ and HSY designed and directed the study. TYF, WNN, LZH and XLX finished the most of experiments. WY and LXL finished the cell culture and proliferation analysis. LM and QGH finished the Hochest 33,342 analysis. FF, LYP and XYY finished the apoptosis tunnel analysis. LYH and HWQ supported the design of animal experiment. RJL and DWW finished the western blot analysis. LJ drafted this manuscript. FX, WJ and HWQ participated in study design and coordination, data analysis and interpretation and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
We thank Professor Yang Zhi-Hua and Ran Yu-Liang (Cancer Institute/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China) for kindly help.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Availability of data and materials
The microarray dataset supporting the conclusions of this article, is available in the gene expression omnibus (GEO) with the Accession Number GSE81060 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/query/acc.cgi?acc=GSE81060).
Ethics approval and consent to participate
This study was according to the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. Protocol has been approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of Soochow university (Permit Number: No.SUEC2013-022).
This work was supported by grants from National Natural Science Foundation (81570125, 81370627, 81300423, 81502500, 81501703, 81501840, 81502157, 81501700, 31500718), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151207, H201420), key medical subjects of Jiangsu province (XK201120), Innovative team of Jiangsu Province (LJ201114, LJ201126), Special clinical medical science and technology of Jiangsu province (BL2012050, BL2013014, BL2012051), Major scientific and technological special project for “significant new drugs creation” No. 2012ZX09103301-040.
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