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MY Soltan, U Sumarni, C Assaf, P Langer, U Reidel and J Eberle
Abstract
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) may develop a highly malignant phenotype in its late phase, and patients may profit from innovative therapies. The plant extract indirubin and its chemical derivatives represent new and promising antitumor strategies. This first report on the effects of an indirubin derivative in CTCL cells shows a strong decrease of cell proliferation and cell viability as well as an induction of apoptosis, suggesting indirubin derivatives for therapy of CTCL. As concerning the mode of activity, the indirubin derivative DKP-071 activated the extrinsic apoptosis cascade via caspase-8 and caspase-3 through downregulation of the caspase antagonistic proteins c-FLIP and XIAP. Importantly, a strong increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed as an immediate early effect in response to DKP-071 treatment. The use of antioxidative pre-treatment proved the decisive role of ROS, which turned out upstream of all other proapoptotic effects monitored. Thus, reactive oxygen species appear as a highly active proapoptotic pathway in CTCL, which may be promising for therapeutic intervention. This pathway can be efficiently activated by an indirubin derivative.
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