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World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

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Switching leukemia cell phenotype between life and death

Tucker, S.J. and Rae, C. and Littlejohn, A.F. and Paul, A. and MacEwan, D.J. (2004) Switching leukemia cell phenotype between life and death. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101 (35). pp. 12940-12945. ISSN 1091-6490

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Abstract

Divergent life or death responses of a cell can be controlled by a single cytokine (tumor necrosis factor α, TNF) via the signaling pathways that respond to activation of its two receptors (TNFR1 and TNFR2). Here, we show that the choice of life or death can be controlled by manipulation of TNFR signals. In human erythroleukemia patient myeloid progenitor stem cells (TF-1) as well as chronic myelogenous leukemia cells (K562), granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor primes cells for apoptosis. These death-responsive cells show prolonged TNF stimulation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, but no NF-κB transcriptional activity as a consequence of receptor-interacting protein degradation by caspases. Conversely, cells of a proliferative phenotype display antiapoptotic NF-κB responses that antagonize c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase stress kinase effects. These proliferative effects of TNF are apparently due to enhanced basal expression of the caspase-8/FLICE-inhibitory protein FLIP. Manipulation of the NF-κB, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, or p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signals switches leukemia cells from a proliferative to an apoptotic phenotype; consequently, these highly proliferative cells die rapidly. In addition, sodium salicylate mimics the death phenotype signals and causes selective destruction of leukemia cells. These findings reveal the signaling mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of human leukemia cell life/death switching. Additionally, through knowledge of the signals that control TNF life/death switching, we have identified several therapeutic targets for selectively killing these cells.