HA22 is a recombinant immunotoxin composed of an anti-CD22 Fv fused to a portion of Pseudomonas exotoxin A. HA22 produced a high rate of complete remissions in drug-resistant hairy cell leukemia and has a lower response rate in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To understand why patients with ALL have poorer responses, we isolated an ALL cell line that is resistant to killing by HA22. The resistance is unstable; without HA22 the cells revert to HA22 sensitivity in 4 mo. We showed that in the resistant cell line, HA22 is unable to ADP ribosylate and inactivate elongation factor-2 (EF2), owing to a low level of DPH4 mRNA and protein, which prevents diphthamide biosynthesis and renders EF2 refractory to HA22. Analysis of the promoter region of the DPH4 gene shows that the CpG island was hypomethylated in the HA22-sensitive cells, heavily methylated in the resistant cells, and reverted to low methylation in the revertant cells. Our data show that immunotoxin resistance is associated with reversible CpG island methylation and silencing of DPH4 gene transcription. Incubation of sensitive cells with the methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine prevented the emergence of resistant cells, suggesting that this agent in combination with HA22 may be useful in the treatment of some cases of ALL.
Hui Wei; Laiman Xiang; Alan S. Wayne; Oleg Chertov; David J. FitzGerald; Tapan K. Bera; Ira Pastan
The time required to recover from cold-induced paralysis (chill-coma) is a common measure of insect cold tolerance used to test central questions in thermal biology and predict the effects of climate change on insect populations. The onset of chill-coma in the fall field cricket (Gryllus pe ... more
Influenza recurs seasonally in temperate regions of the world; however, our ability to predict the timing, duration, and magnitude of local seasonal outbreaks of influenza remains limited. Here we develop a framework for initializing real-time forecasts of seasonal influenza outbreaks, usin ... more
Undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) are commonly present with latent EBV infection. However, events regulating EBV infection at early stages of the disease and the role of EBV in disease pathogenesis are largely undefined. Genetic alterations leading to activation of cyclin D1 ... more