Amiloride modulates alternative splicing in leukemic cells and resensitizes Bcr-AblT315I mutant cells to imatinib

Wen Hsin Chang, Ta Chih Liu, Wen Kuang Yang, Chien Chih Lee, Yi Hsiung Lin, Tsai Yun Chen, Jan Gowth Chang

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56 Citations (Scopus)


The antihypertensive drug amiloride is being considered as a tactic to improve cancer therapy including that for chronic myelogenous leukemia. In this study, we show that amiloride modulates the alternative splicing of various cancer genes, including Bcl-x, HIPK3, and BCR/ABL, and that this effect is not mainly related to pH alteration, which is a known effect of the drug. Splice modulation involved various splicing factors, with the phosphorylation state of serine-arginine-rich (SR) proteins also altered during the splicing process. Pretreatment with okadaic acid to inhibit protein phosphatase PP1 reversed partially the phosphorylation levels of SR proteins and also the amiloride-modulated yields of Bcl-xs and HIPK3 U(-) isoforms. Genome-wide detection of alternative splicing further revealed that many other apoptotic genes were regulated by amiloride, including APAF-1, CRK, and SURVIVIN. Various proteins of the Bcl-2 family and MAPK kinases were found to be involved in amiloride-induced apoptosis. Moreover, the effect of amiloride on mRNA levels of Bcl-x was demonstrated to translate to the protein levels. Cotreatment of K562 and BaF3/Bcr-AblT315I cells with amiloride and imatinib induced more loss of cell viability than either agent alone. Our findings suggest that amiloride may offer a potential treatment option for chronic myelogenous leukemia either alone or in combination with imatinib.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-392
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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