Reverse-phase protein microarrays (RPPA) as a diagnostic and therapeutic guide in multidrug resistant leukemia

Tullia Maraldi, Jessika Bertacchini, Marta Benincasa, Marianna Guida, Anto De Pol, Lance A. Liotta, Emanuel Petricoin, Lucio Cocco, Sandra Marmiroli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Reverse-phase microarray assays using phospho-specific antibodies (RPPA) can directly measure levels of phosphorylated protein isoforms. In the current study, lysates from parental and multidrug resistant (MDR) CEM leukemia cells were spotted onto reverse-phase protein microarrays and probed with a panel of phospho-antibodies to ERK, PCK and Akt pathways. In particular, the Akt pathway is considered to play significant roles in leukemia and Akt inhibitor therapy has been proposed as a potential tool in the treatment of this disease. The RPPA data prompted us to investigate deeper this pathway. Here, we found that whereas total Akt1 protein level is higher in parental CEM cells, the activated isoform content, p-Akt1, increases in doxorubicin-selected CEM cells (MDR-CEM). This was backed up by Western blot analysis, confirming that Akt1 activity/phosphorylation may be upregulated in MDR-CEM cells. Further exploration of inhibitory therapy in this system was evaluated. The TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, TRAIL, has been shown to selectively kill tumor cells. Herein, we describe that in MDRCEM cells TRAIL responsiveness correlates with a reduced expression of endogenous Akt1, suggesting that the MDR phenotype associated to P-gp sensitizes cells to TRAIL therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Akt/PKB
  • MDR
  • Phosphorylation
  • RPPA


Dive into the research topics of 'Reverse-phase protein microarrays (RPPA) as a diagnostic and therapeutic guide in multidrug resistant leukemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this