Duncan H. F. Mak

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Recently, strategies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy have been developed that target anti-apoptotic BCL2 family members using BH3-mimetic drugs such as ABT-737. Though effective against BCL2 and BCL-X(L), ABT-737 poorly inhibits MCL-1. Here we report that, unexpectedly, ABT-737 induces activation of the extracellular receptor activated kinase and(More)
Changes in tissue glutathione antioxidant system in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats for a period of 15 weeks were examined. Total glutathione level was significantly increased in kidney tissue, but were slightly decreased and increased in liver and heart tissues, respectively. The small changes in total glutathione level in the liver and heart, though(More)
The 'Yin-Yang' theory is an ancient Chinese philosophy that underlies the practice of traditional Chinese medicine. Although Yang-tonic herbs tend to boost body function possibly through enhancing the mitochondrial oxidative processes, the Yin property (i.e. antioxidant potential) of these herbs can also play a role in safeguarding mitochondrial ATP(More)
Triptolide, a diterpenoid isolated from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook.f, has shown antitumor activities in a broad range of solid tumors. Here, we examined its effects on leukemic cells and found that, at 100 nM or less, it potently induced apoptosis in various leukemic cell lines and primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts. We then(More)
Effects of Sheng Mai San (SMS), a traditional Chinese medicine used for the treatment of coronary heart disease, and the lignan-enriched extract of Fructus Schisandrae (FS), an antioxidant component of SMS, were examined in an in vivo model of myocardial infarction and an ex vivo model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. Pretreatment with SMS(More)
Survivin, a member of the inhibitors of apoptosis protein family, plays important roles in cell proliferation and survival and is highly expressed in various malignancies, including leukemias. To better understand its role in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), we profiled survivin expression in samples obtained from 511 newly diagnosed AML patients and in(More)
KBM5 cells, derived from a patient with blast crisis Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and imatinib-resistant KBM5 (KBM5-STI571) cells were found to express high levels of survivin. Inhibition of Bcr-Abl by imatinib significantly decreased survivin expression and cell viability in KBM5, but much less so in(More)
Despite being highly effective for newly diagnosed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), imatinib not only is inactive against quiescent CML stem cells, but also has limited activity against blast crisis (BC) CML. The relative activity of Bcr-Abl and the expression levels of antiapoptotic proteins in proliferating and quiescent CD34(+) BC CML progenitor cells and(More)
Activation of p53 by murine double minute (MDM2) antagonist nutlin-3a or inhibition of X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) induces apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. We demonstrate that concomitant inhibition of MDM2 by nutlin-3a and of XIAP by small molecule antagonists synergistically induced apoptosis in p53 wild-type OCI-AML3 and Molm13(More)
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells are relatively resistant to tumor necrosis factor alpha-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). We previously reported that triptolide, a potent anticancer agent from a Chinese herb, decreases XIAP in leukemic cells. We evaluated the combination of triptolide and TRAIL and found synergistic promotion of apoptosis in AML(More)