Pivotal role of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase as a therapeutic target in adult T-cell leukemia

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Publications

Eur J Haematol. 2024 Apr 1. doi: 10.1111/ejh.14209. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the role of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) in pathogenesis of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) caused by human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and the effects of its inhibition on the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway.

METHODS: Cell proliferation, viability, cycle, and apoptosis were analyzed using WST-8 assays, flow cytometry, and Hoechst 33342 staining. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the anti-ATL effects of DHODH knockdown and inhibition, RT-PCR and immunoblotting were conducted.

RESULTS: HTLV-1-infected T-cell lines aberrantly expressed DHODH. Viral infection and the oncoprotein, Tax, enhanced DHODH expression, while knockdown of DHODH decreased HTLV-1-infected T-cell growth. In addition, BAY2402234, a DHODH inhibitor, exerted an anti-proliferative effect, which was reversed by uridine supplementation. BAY2402234 induced DNA damage and S phase arrest by downregulating c-Myc, CDK2, and cyclin A and upregulating p53 and cyclin E. It also induced caspase-mediated apoptosis by the upregulation of pro-apoptotic and downregulation of anti-apoptotic proteins. Furthermore, BAY2402234 induced caspase-independent ferroptosis and necroptosis. It decreased phosphorylation of IKK, IκBα, PTEN, Akt, and its downstream targets, suggesting that inhibition of NF-κB and Akt signaling is involved in its anti-ATL action.

CONCLUSION: These findings highlight DHODH as a potential therapeutic target for treating ATL.

PMID:38558052 | DOI:10.1111/ejh.14209

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