• Dysregulation of autophagy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia with the small-molecule Sirtuin inhibitor Tenovin-6

      MacCallum, S.; Groves, M.J.; James, J.; Murray, K.; Appleyard, V.; Prescott, A.R.; Drbal, Abed Alnaser A.A.; Nicolaou, Anna; Cunningham, J.; Haydock, S.; et al. (2013-02-14)
      Tenovin-6 (Tnv-6) is a bioactive small molecule with anti-neoplastic activity. Inhibition of the Sirtuin class of protein deacetylases with activation of p53 function is associated with the pro-apoptotic effects of Tnv-6 in many tumors. Here, we demonstrate that in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells, Tnv-6 causes non-genotoxic cytotoxicity, without adversely affecting human clonogenic hematopoietic progenitors in vitro, or murine hematopoiesis. Mechanistically, exposure of CLL cells to Tnv-6 did not induce cellular apoptosis or p53-pathway activity. Transcriptomic profiling identified a gene program influenced by Tnv-6 that included autophagy-lysosomal pathway genes. The dysregulation of autophagy was confirmed by changes in cellular ultrastructure and increases in the autophagy-regulatory proteins LC3 (LC3-II) and p62/Sequestosome. Adding bafilomycin-A1, an autophagy inhibitor to Tnv-6 containing cultures did not cause synergistic accumulation of LC3-II, suggesting inhibition of late-stage autophagy by Tnv-6. Thus, in CLL, the cytotoxic effects of Tnv-6 result from dysregulation of protective autophagy pathways.