Treatment with the Bcl-xL inhibitor ABT-737 in combination with interferon α specifically targets JAK2V617F-positive polycythemia vera hematopoietic progenitor cells

Min Lu, Jiapeng Wang, Yan Li, Dmitriy Berenzon, Xiaoli Wang, John Mascarenhas, Mingjiang Xu, Ronald Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Polycythemia vera (PV) treatment with interferon α (IFNα) is frequently limited by dose-related toxicity. PV CD34+ cells are characterized by overexpression of Bcl-xL, which can be antagonized by ABT-737 leading to apoptosis. We explored the effects of ABT-737 and IFNα on PV hematopoiesis. Both IFNα and ABT-737 alone or in combination had a modest effect on normal hematopoiesis but each individually were able to markedly induce PV CD34+ cell apoptosis and suppress hematopoietic colony formation. The inhibitory activities of these agents in combination were greater against PV hematopoiesis than either agent alone. The exposure of PV CD34 + cells to low doses of IFNα and ABT-737 in combination resulted in the reduction of the proportion of JAK2V617F+ colonies similar to that observed with higher doses of IFNα. These data provide the rationale for combination therapy with low doses of IFNα and a BH3 mimetic for patients with PV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4284-4287
Number of pages4
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 18 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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