In the last three decades, the pathogenesis of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) has been mostly studied with regard to the oncogenic role of PML/RAR fusion protein; however, the latest discoveries have stated that the concerns with the treatment of APL patients would not be resolved until the role of aberrant networks is overlooked. The present study was designed to evaluate the anti-cancer property of second-generation of the proteasome inhibitors carfilzomib (CFZ) on APL-derived NB4 cells. Our results showed that pharmacologic targeting of proteasome in NB4 reduced the proliferative rate of malignant cells through a c-Myc-mediated G2/M cell cycle arrest. Moreover, we found that the suppression of proteasome was coupled with the induction of apoptotic NB4 cell death, which is probably mediated through down-regulation of anti-apoptotic target genes. Interestingly, our results suggested that the suppression of the autophagy system using chloroquine could serve as a mechanism through which the cytotoxicity of CFZ in APL cells was ameliorated. Finally, and consistent with the favorable efficacy of single agent of CFZ, we also noted an intensifying effect of the inhibitor on the anti-leukemic activity of arsenic trioxide (ATO) when it was used in combination. Overall, this study suggests that pharmaceutical targeting of proteasome using CFZ, either as a single agent or in combination with ATO, could be a promising mechanism through which the obstacle on the way of APL would be tackled; however, further investigations are needed to determine the advantages of the inhibitor in clinical applications.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.