The β-thalassemias are hereditary monogenic diseases characterized by a low or absent production of adult hemoglobin and excess in the content of α-globin. This excess is cytotoxic for the erythroid cells and responsible for the β-thalassemia-associated ineffective erythropoiesis. Therefore, the decrease in excess α-globin is a relevant clinical effect for these patients and can be realized through the induction of fetal hemoglobin, autophagy, or both. The in vivo effects of sirolimus (rapamycin) and analogs on the induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) are of key importance for therapeutic protocols in a variety of hemoglobinopathies, including β-thalassemias. In this research communication, we report data showing that a decrease in autophagy-associated p62 protein, increased expression of ULK-1, and reduction in excess α-globin are occurring in erythroid precursors (ErPCs) stimulated in vitro with low dosages of sirolimus. In addition, increased ULK-1 mRNA content and a decrease in α-globin content were found in ErPCs isolated from β-thalassemia patients recruited for the NCT03877809 clinical trial and treated with 0.5-2 mg/day sirolimus. Our data support the concept that autophagy, ULK1 expression, and α-globin chain reduction should be considered important endpoints in sirolimus-based clinical trials for β-thalassemias.

Decrease in α-Globin and Increase in the Autophagy-Activating Kinase ULK1 mRNA in Erythroid Precursors from β-Thalassemia Patients Treated with Sirolimus

Zurlo, Matteo
Primo
;
Zuccato, Cristina
Secondo
;
Cosenza, Lucia Carmela;Gasparello, Jessica;Gamberini, Maria Rita;Stievano, Alice;Fortini, Monica;Finotti, Alessia
Penultimo
;
Gambari, Roberto
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

The β-thalassemias are hereditary monogenic diseases characterized by a low or absent production of adult hemoglobin and excess in the content of α-globin. This excess is cytotoxic for the erythroid cells and responsible for the β-thalassemia-associated ineffective erythropoiesis. Therefore, the decrease in excess α-globin is a relevant clinical effect for these patients and can be realized through the induction of fetal hemoglobin, autophagy, or both. The in vivo effects of sirolimus (rapamycin) and analogs on the induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) are of key importance for therapeutic protocols in a variety of hemoglobinopathies, including β-thalassemias. In this research communication, we report data showing that a decrease in autophagy-associated p62 protein, increased expression of ULK-1, and reduction in excess α-globin are occurring in erythroid precursors (ErPCs) stimulated in vitro with low dosages of sirolimus. In addition, increased ULK-1 mRNA content and a decrease in α-globin content were found in ErPCs isolated from β-thalassemia patients recruited for the NCT03877809 clinical trial and treated with 0.5-2 mg/day sirolimus. Our data support the concept that autophagy, ULK1 expression, and α-globin chain reduction should be considered important endpoints in sirolimus-based clinical trials for β-thalassemias.
2023
Zurlo, Matteo; Zuccato, Cristina; Cosenza, Lucia Carmela; Gasparello, Jessica; Gamberini, Maria Rita; Stievano, Alice; Fortini, Monica; Prosdocimi, Marco; Finotti, Alessia; Gambari, Roberto
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2529810
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