Toll-like receptor 9 signaling by CpG-B oligodeoxynucleotides induces an apoptotic pathway in human chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most prevalent human leukemia and is characterized by the progressive accumulation of long-lived malignant B cells. Here we show that human B-CLL cells selectively express high levels of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) mRNA and proteins. Treating B-CLL cells with TLR9 agonists, type B CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-B ODNs), induces significant morphologic and phenotypic activation, altered cytokine production, reversal of signal transducer, and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) phosphorylation state, followed by profound apoptosis of B-CLL cells that is CpG-B ODN treatment time- and dose-dependent. TLR9-CpG ODN ligation-induced apoptosis of B-CLL cells is confirmed by viable cell counts, annexin V/propidium iodide and tetramethyl-rhodamine ethylester staining, Western blots of the activation, and cleaved caspases and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. Triggering TLR9 by CpG-B ODN leads to nuclear factor-kappaB-dependent production of autocrine interleukin-10, which activates JAK/STAT pathway-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1 proteins and thereby provokes an apoptosis pathway in B-CLL cells. Treating B-CLL cells in vitro or in vivo with CpG-B ODN reduces the number of leukemia cells that engraft in NOD-scid mice. These findings provide new understanding of CpG ODN-mediated antitumor effects and support for the development of TLR9-targeted therapy for human CLL.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liang, X; Moseman, EA; Farrar, MA; Bachanova, V; Weisdorf, DJ; Blazar, BR; Chen, W

Published Date

  • June 17, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 115 / 24

Start / End Page

  • 5041 - 5052

PubMed ID

  • 20339095

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2890142

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-0020

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1182/blood-2009-03-213363


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States