Ribavirin inhibits the activity of mtor/eif4e, ERK/Mnk1/eIF4E signaling pathway and synergizes with tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib to impair Bcr-Abl mediated proliferation and apoptosis in Ph+ leukemia

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Abstract

© 2015 Shi et al.The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), which is the main composition factor of eIF4F translation initiation complex, influences the growth of tumor through modulating cap-dependent protein translation. Previous studies reported that ribavirin could suppress eIF4E-controlled translation and reduce the synthesis of onco-proteins. Here, we investigated the anti-leukemic effects of ribavirin alone or in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib in Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) leukemia cell lines SUP-B15 (Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line, Ph+ ALL) and K562 (chronic myelogenous leukemia cell line, CML). Our results showed that ribavirin had anti-proliferation effect; it downregulated the phosphorylation levels of Akt, mTOR, 4EBP1, and eIF4E proteins in the mTOR/eIF4E signaling pathway, and MEK, ERK, Mnk1 and eIF4E proteins in ERK/Mnk1/eIF4E signaling pathway; reduced the expression of Mcl-1 (a translation substrates of eIF4F translation initiation complex) at protein synthesis level not mRNA transcriptional level; and induced cell apoptosis in both SUP-B15 and K562. 7-Methyl-guanosine cap affinity assay further demonstrated that ribavirin remarkably increased the eIF4E binding to 4EBP1 and decreased the combination of eIF4E with eIF4G, consequently resulting in a major inhibition of eIF4F complex assembly. The combination of ribavirin with imatinib enhanced antileukemic effects mentioned above, indicating that two drugs have synergistic anti-leukemic effect. Consistent with the cell lines, similar results were observed in Ph+ acute lymphoblastic primary leukemic blasts; however, the anti-proliferative role of ribavirin in other types of acute primary leukemic blasts was not obvious, which indicated that the anti-leukemic effect of ribavirin was different in cell lineages. Copyright:

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Shi, F., Len, Y., Gong, Y., Shi, R., Yang, X., Naren, D., & Yan, T. (2015). Ribavirin inhibits the activity of mtor/eif4e, ERK/Mnk1/eIF4E signaling pathway and synergizes with tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib to impair Bcr-Abl mediated proliferation and apoptosis in Ph+ leukemia. PLoS ONE, 10(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0136746

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