Arsenic trioxide inhibits proliferation in K562 cells by changing cell cycle and survivin expression

Research paper by Wu Xiaofei, Chen Zhichao, Liu Zhongping, Zhou Hao, You Yong, Li Weiming, Zou Ping

Indexed on: 01 Aug '04Published on: 01 Aug '04Published in: Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Medical sciences = Hua zhong ke ji da xue xue bao. Yi xue Ying De wen ban = Huazhong keji daxue xuebao. Yixue Yingdewen ban


To study the mechanisms involved in the inhibition of chronic myeloid leukemic cells (K562) proliferation induced by arsenic trioxide (As2O3) and to explore the potential role of Survivin, an inhibitor of apoptosis protein, in the regulation of As2O3 induced cell apoptosis, K562 cells were cultured with As2O3 of different concentrations. Cells were collected for proliferation analysis by MTT assay. Cell cycle distribution and cell apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. Expression of Survivin protein and mRNA were detected by flow cytometry and RT-PCR, respectively. Our results showed that As2O3 (2–10 μmol/L) inhibited K562 cells growth effectively, but it did not induce cells apoptosis significantly. The percentage of K562 cells at G2/M phase increased in proportion to As2O3 concentrations, and the expression of Survivin mRNA and content of Survivin protein was up-regulated accordingly. It is concluded that As2O3 inhibited K562 cells growth by inducing cell cycle arrest mainly at G2/M phase. Over-expression of Survivin gene and protein might be one of the possible mechanisms contributing to K562 cells resistance to As2O3-induced apoptosis.