• Investigation of Cytarabine Resistance: Targeting the Cell Cycle Checkpoints and Strategies for Overcoming Resistance of Acute Myeloid Leukemia to Cytarabine

      Buechel, Megan; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Tibes, Raoul (The University of Arizona., 2012-04-30)
      Patients diagnosed with Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) often become resistant to standard chemotherapeutic regimens. Cytarabine, a nucleoside analog, is the standard of care therapy for AML treatment. We hypothesized that by using an siRNA platform to inhibit 572 kinases in combination with Ara-C (cytarabine) in two AML cell lines (THP-1 and TF-1) we would be able to identify potential therapeutic targets to improve sensitivity to Ara-C (cytarabine). Our siRNA screen identified CHK1 as the most potent sensitizer to Ara-C. However, other kinases involved in DNA repair and checkpoint activation also improved sensitivity of cells to Ara-C. Checkpoints are present at the G1/S transition, within S phase and at the G2/M transition. Within the G2/M checkpoint, CHK1 functions to halt the transition to mitosis when DNA damage is detected. Additional siRNA screening of proteins that function in the G2/M checkpoint identified WEE1 as a potent sensitizer as well. It is hypothesized that abrogation of the G2/M checkpoint prevents repair pathways from repairing genotoxic damage caused by chemotherapeutics. Therefore, a literature review of the checkpoint targeting and rational therapeutic targets for future treatments was conducted. Both WEE1 and CHK1 are currently 4 being targeted in order to enhance activity of various genotoxic chemotherapeutics in many different cancers and present rational targets for further investigated in combination with Ara-C in AML.