Leukemia cells are protected by various components of their microenvironment, including marrow stromal cells (MSCs). To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this protection, we cultured acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells with MSCs and studied the effect of the latter on the molecular profiling of ALL cells at the mRNA and protein levels. Our results indicated that activated Wnt signaling in ALL cells is involved in MSC-mediated drug resistance. Blocking the Wnt pathway sensitized the leukemia cells to chemotherapy and improved overall survival in a mouse model. Targeting the Wnt pathway may be an innovative approach to the treatment of ALL.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.