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See detailHuman telomerase reverse transcriptase depletion potentiates the growth- T inhibitory activity of imatinib in chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells
Grandjenettea, Cindy; Schnekenburger, Michael; Gaigneaux, Anthoula UL et al

in Cancer Letters (2020)

Although tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) revolutionized the management of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), resistance against TKIs and leukemia stem cell (LSC) persistence remain a clinical concern ... [more ▼]

Although tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) revolutionized the management of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), resistance against TKIs and leukemia stem cell (LSC) persistence remain a clinical concern. Therefore, new therapeutic strategies combining conventional and novel therapies are urgently needed. Since telomerase is involved in oncogenesis and tumor progression but is silent in most human normal somatic cells, it may be an interesting target for CML therapy by selectively targeting cancer cells while minimizing effects on normal cells. Here, we report that hTERT expression is associated with CML disease progression. We also provide evidence that hTERT-deficient K-562 cells do not display telomere shortening and that telomere length is maintained through the ALT pathway. Furthermore, we show that hTERT depletion exerts a growth-inhibitory effect in K- 562 cells and potentiates imatinib through alteration of cell cycle progression leading to a senescence-like phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that hTERT depletion potentiates the imatinib-induced reduction of the ALDH+-LSC population. Altogether, our results suggest that the combination of telomerase and TKI should be considered as an attractive strategy to treat CML patients to eradicate cancer cells and prevent relapse by tar- geting LSCs. [less ▲]

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