International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Jan 2021)

Inhibition of InsP3R with Xestospongin B Reduces Mitochondrial Respiration and Induces Selective Cell Death in T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cells

  • Pablo Cruz,
  • Ulises Ahumada-Castro,
  • Galdo Bustos,
  • Jordi Molgó,
  • Daniela Sauma,
  • Alenka Lovy,
  • César Cárdenas

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 2
p. 651


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T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematological malignancy whose chemoresistance and relapse persist as a problem despite significant advances in its chemotherapeutic treatments. Mitochondrial metabolism has emerged as an interesting therapeutic target given its essential role in maintaining bioenergetic and metabolic homeostasis. T-ALL cells are characterized by high levels of mitochondrial respiration, making them suitable for this type of intervention. Mitochondrial function is sustained by a constitutive transfer of calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria through the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R), making T-ALL cells vulnerable to its inhibition. Here, we determine the bioenergetic profile of the T-ALL cell lines CCRF-CEM and Jurkat and evaluate their sensitivity to InsP3R inhibition with the specific inhibitor, Xestospongin B (XeB). Our results show that T-ALL cell lines exhibit higher mitochondrial respiration than non-malignant cells, which is blunted by the inhibition of the InsP3R. Prolonged treatment with XeB causes T-ALL cell death without affecting the normal counterpart. Moreover, the combination of XeB and glucocorticoids significantly enhanced cell death in the CCRF-CEM cells. The inhibition of InsP3R with XeB rises as a potential therapeutic alternative for the treatment of T-ALL.