The identification of arsenic direct-binding proteins is essential for determining the mechanism by which arsenic trioxide achieves its chemotherapeutic effects. At least two cysteines close together in the amino acid sequence are crucial to the binding of arsenic and essential to the identification of arsenic-binding proteins. In the present study, arsenic binding proteins were pulled down with streptavidin and identified using a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS). More than 40 arsenic-binding proteins were separated, and redox-related proteins, glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1), heat shock 70 kDa protein 9 (HSPA9) and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), were further studied using binding assays in vitro
. Notably, PKM2 has a high affinity for arsenic. In contrast to PKM2, GSTP1and HSPA9 did not combine with arsenic directly in vitro
. These observations suggest that arsenic-mediated acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL) suppressive effects involve PKM2. In summary, we identified several arsenic binding proteins in APL cells and investigated the therapeutic mechanisms of arsenic trioxide for APL. Further investigation into specific signal pathways by which PKM2 mediates APL developments may lead to a better understanding of arsenic effects on APL.
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