Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.522, No.3, 704-708, 2020
Induction of apoptosis in hematological cancer cells by dorsomorphin correlates with BAD upregulation
AMPK is generally a tumor suppressor. However, once cancer arises, AMPK becomes a tumor promoter instead, driving cancer development. For such AMPK-driven cancers, AMPK blockade may be a valuable therapeutic strategy. Here we show that AMPK is upregulated in a variety of hematological cancers and plays key roles in maintaining viability of tumor cells. Blockade of AMPK signaling by dorsomorphin markedly induces apoptosis in Jurkat, K562 cell lines as well as primary cancerous B cells. Mechanistically, dorsomorphin significantly upregulates the expression of BAD, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 gene family involved in initiating apoptosis. Reduction of BAD expression by RNA interference prevents apoptosis in response to AMPK inhibition. Thus, our data found BAD integrates the pro-apoptotic effects of dorsomorphin and provided novel insights into the mechanisms by which AMPK facilitates survival signaling in hematologic tumor cells. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.