Generic placeholder image

Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

Combined Application of Salinomycin and ATRA Induces Apoptosis and Differentiation of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells by Inhibiting WNT/β-Catenin Pathway

Author(s): Hui-Min Xi, Hao Lu, Xiang-Qin Weng, Yan Sheng, Jing Wu, Lu Li and Xun Cai*

Volume 23, Issue 9, 2023

Published on: 30 January, 2023

Page: [1074 - 1084] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1871520623666230110121629

Price: $65


Background and Objective: All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is only effective in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), but not in other subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Salinomycin targets tumor cells rather than non-tumorigenic cells, and WNT/β-catenin pathway inhibition is one of the mechanisms of its anti-tumor activity. There is a crosstalk between RA and WNT/β-catenin pathway. Here, we investigate the effect of the combination of salinomycin and ATRA (S+RA) in non-APL AML cells.

Methods: Apoptosis was evaluated by cell viability and Annexin-V assay. Cell differentiation was analyzed by CD11c expression and morphology. To explore the underlying mechanisms, Western blot analysis and mitochondrial transmembrane potentials (ΔΨm) were used.

Results & Discussion: S+RA induced differentiation and apoptosis in AML cell lines and AML primary cells. S+RA inhibited the β-catenin signal pathway as determined by the decreased protein levels of β-catenin, the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related proteins 6 (LRP6), and its downstream proteins such as survivin, c-Myc, caspase-3/7, cdc25A and cyclinD1 and reduced phosphorylation level of GSK3β S9. S+RA also increased the protein levels of CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs) and PU.1 and collapsed Δψm. The above molecular and cellular changes induced by S+RA were inhibited by β-catenin specific activator and promoted by β-catenin specific inhibitor.

Conclusion: S+RA induced differentiation by β-catenin-inhibition-mediated up-regulation of C/EBPs and PU.1 and suppression of c-Myc. S+RA triggered apoptosis through β-catenin-inhibition-regulated ΔΨm collapse and caspase-3/7 activation. Taken together, our findings may provide novel therapeutic strategies for AML patients by targeting the WNT/β-catenin pathway.

Keywords: All-trans retinoic acid, acute myeloid leukemia, salinomycin, β-catenin, differentiation, apoptosis.

Graphical Abstract

Rights & Permissions Print Export Cite as
© 2023 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy