, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 525-533
Date: 23 May 2007

Pomolic acid-induced apoptosis in cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia exhibiting different drug resistance profile

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Pomolic acid (PA) is a pentacyclic triterpene which has been previously described as active in inhibiting the growth of K562 cell line—originated from chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in blast crisis—and its vincristine-resistant derivative K562-Lucena1. In this work, cells from CML patients were treated with PA and the apoptotic index was compared with the multidrug resistance (MDR) profile and clinical status of the patients. Our findings show that PA 12.5 μg/ml at 24 h (p = 0.000), at 48 h (p = 0.012) and at 72 h (p = 0.005) has a potent apoptotic index in CML cells as compared to mononuclear cells from healthy donors. PA was capable to induce apoptosis in cells from CML patients exhibiting functional MDR phenotype but not in P-glycoprotein expression. In addition, PA was effective in chronic as well as in blast phase of CML. Moreover, similar apoptotic index induced by PA was observed in low, intermediate and high-risk Sokal score as well as in samples from the group of patients with clinical resistance to interferon and/or imatinib and non-treated patients. These results suggest that PA may be an effective agent for the treatment of CML.