The potential of clofarabine in MLL-rearranged infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Dominique J.P.M. Stumpel, Pauline Schneider, Rob Pieters, Ronald W. Stam

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

26 Citaten (Scopus)


MLL-rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in infants is the most difficult-to-treat type of childhood ALL, displaying a chemotherapy-resistant phenotype, and unique histone modifications, gene expression signatures and DNA methylation patterns. MLL-rearranged infant ALL responds remarkably well to nucleoside analogue drugs in vitro, such as cytarabine and cladribine, and to the demethylating agents decitabine and zebularine as measured by cytotoxicity assays. These observations led to the inclusion of cytarabine into the treatment regimens currently used for infants with ALL. However, survival chances for infants with MLL-rearranged ALL do still not exceed 30-40%. Here we explored the in vitro potential of the novel nucleoside analogue clofarabine for MLL-rearranged infant ALL. Therefore we used both cell line models as well as primary patient cells. Compared with other nucleoside analogues, clofarabine effectively targeted primary MLL-rearranged infant ALL cells at the lowest concentrations, with median LC50 values of ∼25 nM. Interestingly, clofarabine displayed synergistic cytotoxic effects in combination with cytarabine. Furthermore, at concentrations of 5-10 nM clofarabine induced demethylation of the promoter region of the tumour suppressor gene FHIT (Fragile Histidine Triad), a gene typically hypermethylated in MLL-rearranged ALL. Demethylation of the FHIT promoter region was accompanied by subtle re-expression of this gene both at the mRNA and protein level. We conclude that clofarabine is an interesting candidate for further studies in MLL-rearranged ALL in infants.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)2008-2021
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftEuropean Journal of Cancer
Nummer van het tijdschrift14
StatusGepubliceerd - 7 jun. 2015


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