Xu L, et al. Int J Med Sci 2020.
Cladribine is a purine nucleoside analog used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia, also functions as an inhibitor of DNA synthesis to block the repair of the damaged DNA. The therapeutic role of cladribine against diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells (DLBCL) is still undefined. In the present study, we demonstrated that cladribine inhibited cell proliferation and induced G1 phase arrest in human DLBCL cells. Furthermore, we showed that cladribine induced apoptosis by decreasing the expression of c-FLIPL and increasing the expression of DR4 and the cleaved form of caspase8. Cladribine also upregulated the expression of Bax, and downregulated the expression of Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 in a dose-dependent manner. It also activated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and ATF4 expression was required for cladribine induced apoptosis. Also, we showed that suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) enhanced the pro-apoptotic role of cladribine. Collectively, cladribine activated extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic signaling pathways via stimulating ER stress signaling pathway and eliciting synergistic effect with SAHA in DLBCL cells.