2-D08 as a SUMOylation inhibitor induced ROS accumulation mediates apoptosis of acute myeloid leukemia cells possibly through the deSUMOylation of NOX2

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 Jun 11;513(4):1063-1069. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.04.079. Epub 2019 Apr 19.


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous clonal hematopoietic malignancy with poor survival and frequent relapse. Recently, a posttranslational modification of proteins with small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) has been notably implicated in a wide spectrum of diseases, especially cancers. Ubc9, as the sole E2-conjugating enzyme in SUMOylation cascade, particularly has been associated with adverse clinical outcomes. 2-D08, a small molecular agent, functions by blocking the transfer of SUMO from the Ubc9 thioester to SUMO substrates without any effects on other individual steps in this process. However, both the effects and mechanisms of 2-D08 on AML cells are still unknown. In this study, we found that 2-D08 significantly suppressed cell viability and colony formation ability. Additionally, it induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis with dramatic accumulation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS), which could be almost completely rescued by the ROS scavenger N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Furthermore, we confirmed that the fatal accumulation of ROS was due to its aberrant generation instead of defective scavenging. In summary, our results suggest that 2-D08, as a specific SUMOylation inhibitor, induces ROS accumulation-mediated intrinsic apoptosis of AML cells possibly through deSUMOylation of NOX2. Therefore, 2-D08 might be a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of AML in the future.

Keywords: 2-D08; Acute myeloid leukemia; Apoptosis; NOX2; ROS; SUMOylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Flavones / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / pathology*
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • NADPH Oxidase 2 / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Sumoylation / drug effects*


  • 2',3',4'-trihydroxyflavone
  • Flavones
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • CYBB protein, human
  • NADPH Oxidase 2