Prodifferentiation activity of novel vitamin D2 analogs PRI-1916 and PRI-1917 and their combinations with a plant polyphenol in acute myeloid leukemia cells Academic Article uri icon


  • 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃ (1,25D3) is a powerful differentiation inducer for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. However, 1,25D3 doses required for differentiation of AML cells may cause lethal hypercalcemia in vivo. There is evidence that vitamin D₂ is less toxic than vitamin D₃ in animals. Here, we determined the differentiation effects of novel analogs of 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₂ (1,25D2), PRI-1916 and PRI-1917, in which the extended side chains of their previously reported precursors (PRI-1906 and PRI-1907, respectively) underwent further 24Z (24-cis) modification. Using four human AML cell lines representing different stages of myeloid maturation (KG-1a, HL60, U937, and MOLM-13), we found that the potency of PRI-1916 was slightly higher or equal to that of PRI-1906 while PRI-1917 was significantly less potent than PRI-1907. We also demonstrated that 1,25D2 was a less effective differentiation agent than 1,25D3 in these cell lines. Irrespective of their differentiation potency, all the vitamin D₂ derivatives tested were less potent than 1,25D3 in transactivating the DR3-type vitamin D response elements. However, similar to 1,25D3, both 1,25D2 and its analogs could strongly cooperate with the plant polyphenol carnosic acid in inducing cell differentiation and inhibition of G1-S cell cycle transition. These results indicate that the 24Z modification has contrasting effects on the differentiation ability of PRI-1906 and PRI-1907 and that the addition of a plant polyphenol could result in a similar extent of cell differentiation induced by different vitamin D compounds. The enhanced antileukemic effects of the tested combinations may constitute the basis for the development of novel approaches for differentiation therapy of AML.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016