p53 as a unique target of action of cisplatin in acute leukaemia cells

J Cell Mol Med. 2022 Sep;26(17):4727-4739. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.17502. Epub 2022 Aug 9.


Acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) occurs in approximately 10% of acute myeloid leukaemia patients. Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been for APL chemotherapy, but recently several ATO-resistant cases have been reported worldwide. Cisplatin (CDDP) enhances the toxicity of ATO in ovarian, lung cancer, chronic myelogenous leukaemia, and HL-60 cells. Hence, the goal of this study was to investigate a novel target of CDDP action in APL cells, as an alternate option for the treatment of ATO-resistant APL patients. We applied biochemical, molecular, confocal microscopy and advanced gene editing (CRISPR-Cas9) techniques to elucidate the novel target of CDDP action and its functional mechanism in APL cells. Our main findings revealed that CDDP activated p53 in APL cells through stress signals catalysed by ATM and ATR protein kinases, CHK1 and CHK2 phosphorylation at Ser 345 and Thr68 residues, and downregulation and dissociation of MDM2-DAXX-HAUSP complex. Our functional studies confirmed that CDDP-induced repression of MDM2-DAXX-HAUSP complex was significantly reversed in both nutilin-3-treated KG1a and p53-knockdown NB4 cells. Our findings also showed that CDDP stimulated an increased number of promyelocytes with dense granules, activated p53 expression, and downregulated MDM2 in liver and bone marrow of APL mice. Principal conclusion of our study highlights a novel mode of action of CDDP targeting p53 expression which may provide a basis for designing new anti-leukaemic compounds for treatment of APL patients.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; MDM2-DAXX-HAUSP; acute promyelocytic leukaemia; cisplatin; p53.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis
  • Arsenic Trioxide / pharmacology
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / genetics
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute* / drug therapy
  • Mice
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Cisplatin
  • Arsenic Trioxide