Bcr-Abl reduces endoplasmic reticulum releasable ...

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Title Bcr-Abl reduces endoplasmic reticulum releasable calcium levels by a Bcl-2-independent mechanism and inhibits calcium-dependent apoptotic signaling
Author(s) K. Piwocka, S. Vejda, T. G. Cotter, G. C. O'Sullivan, Shawn L. McKenna
Journal Blood
Date 2006
Volume 107
Issue 10
Start page 4003
End page 4010
Abstract The Bcr-Abl oncoprotein plays a major role in the development and progression of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Several studies have suggested that the expression levels of Bcr-Abl are elevated at disease progression to blast crisis and that this plays a significant role in the achievement of drug resistance. We have established cell lines expressing low and high levels of Bcr-Abl to study the molecular mechanisms involved in disease progression and drug resistance. It is now known that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) can play a major role in the regulation of apoptosis. We therefore investigated whether Bcr-Abl expression modulates ER homeostasis and interferes with ER-mediated apoptotic pathways to promote survival. Bcr-Abl-expressing cells exhibit a decreased amount of free releasable calcium in the ER as well as a weaker capacitative calcium entry response, relative to parental cells. This effect is independent of Bcl-2, which is a known modulator of ER calcium homeostasis. The reduction in ER releasable calcium results in inhibition of the ER/mitochondria-coupling process and mitochondrial calcium uptake. This study demonstrates a novel downstream consequence of Bcr-Abl signaling. The ability to negate calcium-dependent apoptotic signaling is likely to be a major prosurvival mechanism in Bcr-Abl-expressing cells.
DOI 10.1182/blood-2005-04-1523

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