We have recently reported that ligation of the CD44 cell surface antigen with A3D8 monoclonal antibody (mAb) triggers incomplete differentiation and apoptosis of the acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL)-derived NB4 cells. The present study characterizes the mechanisms underlying the apoptotic effect of A3D8 in NB4 cells. We show that A3D8 induces activation of both initiator caspase-8 and -9 and effector caspase-3 and -7 but only inhibition of caspase-3/7 and caspase-8 reduces A3D8-induced apoptosis. Moreover, A3D8 induces mitochondrial alterations (decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential ΔΨm and cytochrome c release), which are reduced by caspase-8 inhibitor, suggesting that caspase-8 is primarily involved in A3D8-induced apoptosis of NB4 cells. However, the apoptotic process is independent of TNF-family death receptor signalling. Interestingly, the general serine protease inhibitor 4-(2-aminoethyl)-benzenesulfonyl fluoride (AEBSF) decreases A3D8-induced apoptosis and when combined with general caspase inhibitor displays an additive effect resulting in complete prevention of apoptosis. These results suggest that both caspase-dependent and serine protease-dependent pathways contribute to A3D8-induced apoptosis. Finally, A3D8 induces apoptosis in all-trans-retinoic acid-resistant NB4-derived cells and in APL primary blasts, characterizing the A3D8 anti-CD44 mAb as a novel class of apoptosis-inducing agent in APL.
- Serine protase
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine