Bcr-Abl plays a central role in the development of chromosome positive leukaemia. Chronic Myeloid leukaemia occurs due to increase proliferation and resistance to apoptosis by Bcr-Abl positive cells. Imatinib (STI571) is the first drug in the family of Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitors while Nilotinib (AMN107) and Dasatinib (BMS-345825) are second generation drugs that are intended to have less resistance and intolerance than imatinib. Ponatinib (AP24534) an orally active Bcr-Abl Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor and Bafetinib (INNO-406) have efficacy against various point mutations in the Bcr-Abl kinase. 1, 3, 4 thiadiazole derivatives has also displayed moderate inhibitory action on both Abl and Src kinase family. However there are varieties of Bcr-Abl inhibitors but Nilotinib is still the frontline tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
The advent of Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) has revolutionized the treatment of CML. However, resistance evolves due to BCR-ABL mutations and other mechanisms. Furthermore, patients with blast crisis (BC) CML are less responsive and quiescent CML stem cells are insensitive to these inhibitors. We found that triptolide, a diterpenoid, at nM concentrations, promoted equally significant death of KBM5 cells, a cell line derived from a Bcr-Abl-bearing BC CML patient and KBM5STI571 cells, an imatinib-resistant KBM5 subline bearing the T315I mutation. Similarly, Ba/F3 cells harboring mutated BCR-ABL were as sensitive as Ba/F3Bcr-Ablp210wt cells to triptolide. Importantly, triptolide induced apoptosis in primary samples from BC CML patients, who showed resistance to Bcr-Abl TKIs in vivo, with less toxicity to normal cells. Triptolide decreased XIAP, Mcl-1, and Bcr-Abl protein levels in K562, KBM5, KBM5STI571 cells and in cells from BC CML patients. It sensitized KBM5, but not KBM5STI571 cells to imatinib. More importantly, triptolide also induced death of quiescent CD34+ CML progenitor cells, a major problem in the therapy of CML with TKIs. Collectively, these results suggest that triptolide potently induces BC CML cell death independent of the cellular responses to Bcr-Abl TKIs, suggesting that triptolide could eradicate residual quiescent CML progenitor cells in TKI-treated patients and benefit TKI-resistant BC CML patients.
triptolide; XIAP; Mcl-1; Bcr-Abl; quiescent CD34+ CML cells
The BCR-ABL1 oncogene is a tyrosine kinase that activates many signaling pathways, resulting in the induction of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Kinase inhibitors, such as imatinib, have been developed for the treatment of CML; however, the terminal, blast crisis phase of the disease remains a clinical challenge. Blast crisis CML is difficult to treat due to resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, increased genomic instability and acquired secondary mutations. Our recent studies uncovered a role for Fyn in promoting BCR-ABL1 mediated cell growth and sensitivity to imatinib. Here we demonstrate that Fyn contributes to BCR-ABL1 induced genomic instability, a feature of blast crisis CML. Bone marrow cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts derived from Fyn knockout mice transduced with BCR-ABL1 display slowed growth and clonogenic potential as compared to Fyn wild-type BCR-ABL1 expressing counterparts. K562 cells overexpressing constitutively active Fyn kinase were larger in size and displayed an accumulation of genomic abnormalities such as chromosomal aberrations and polyploidy. Importantly, loss of Fyn protected mouse embryonic fibroblast cells from increased number of chromosomal aberrations and fragments induced by BCR-ABL1. Together, these results reveal a novel role for Fyn in regulating events required for genomic maintenance and suggest that Fyn kinase activity plays a role in the progression of CML to blast crisis.
BCR-ABL transforms bone marrow progenitor cells and promotes genome instability, leading to development of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib effectively treats CML, but acquired resistance can develop due to BCR-ABL mutations. Mechanisms for acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations are not fully understood. Using a novel culture model of CML acquired resistance, we show that inhibition of SIRT1 deacetylase by small molecule inhibitors or gene knockdown blocks acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations and relapse of CML cells on tyrosine kinase inhibitors. SIRT1 knockdown also suppresses de novo genetic mutations of HPRT (hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase) gene in CML and non-CML cells upon treatment with DNA damaging agent camptothecin. Although SIRT1 can enhance cellular DNA damage response, it alters functions of DNA repair machineries in CML cells and stimulates activity of error-prone DNA damage repair, in association with acquisition of genetic mutations. These results reveal a previously unrecognized role of SIRT1 for promoting mutation acquisition in cancer, and have implication for targeting SIRT1 to overcome CML drug resistance.
Development of resistance to imatinib mesylate (IM) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients is mediated by different mechanisms that can be classified as BCR-ABL dependent or BCR-ABL independent pathways. BCR-ABL dependent mechanisms are most frequently associated with point mutations in tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) of BCR-ABL1 and also with BCR-ABL gene amplification. Many different types and frequencies of mutations have been reported in different studies, probably due to the different composition of study cohorts. Since no reports are available from Malaysia, this study was undertaken to investigate the frequency and pattern of BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations using dHPLC followed by sequencing, and also status of BCR-ABL gene amplification using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on 40 IM resistant Malaysian CML patients. Mutations were detected in 13 patients (32.5%). Five different types of mutations (T315I, E255K, Y253H, M351T, V289F) were identified in these patients. In the remaining 27 IM resistant CML patients, we investigated the contribution made by BCR-ABL gene amplification, but none of these patients showed amplification. It is presumed that the mechanisms of resistance in these 27 patients might be due to BCR-ABL independent pathways. Different mutations confer different levels of resistance and, therefore, detection and characterization of TKD mutations is highly important in order to guide therapy in CML patients.
chronic myeloid leukemia; imatinib mesylate; BCR-ABL dependent mechanisms; tyrosine kinase domain; mutation.
Despite the success of imatinib mesylate (IM) in the early chronic phase of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), patients are resistant to IM and other kinase inhibitors in the later stages of CML. Our findings indicate that inhibition of Janus kinase 2 (Jak2) in Bcr–Abl+ cells overcomes IM resistance although the precise mechanism of Jak2 action is unknown. Knocking down Jak2 in Bcr–Abl+ cells reduced levels of the Bcr–Abl protein and also the phosphorylation of Tyr177 of Bcr–Abl, and Jak2 overexpression rescued these knockdown effects. Treatment of Bcr–Abl+ cells with Jak2 inhibitors for 4–6 h but not with IM also reduced Bcr–Abl protein and pTyr177 levels. In vitro kinase experiments performed with recombinant Jak2 showed that Jak2 readily phosphorylated Tyr177 of Bcr–Abl (a Jak2 consensus site, YvnV) whereas c-Abl did not. Importantly, Jak2 inhibition decreased pTyr177 Bcr–Abl in immune complexes but did not reduce levels of Bcr–Abl, suggesting that the reduction of Bcr–Abl by Jak2 inhibition is a separate event from phosphorylation of Tyr177. Jak2 inhibition by chemical inhibitors (TG101209/WP1193) and Jak2 knockdown diminished the activation of Ras, PI-3 kinase pathways and reduced levels of pTyrSTAT5. These findings suggest that Bcr–Abl stability and oncogenic signaling in CML cells are under the control of Jak2.
chronic myeloid leukemia; Jak2; Bcr–Abl; Bcr–Abl ptyrosine 177; Jak2 inhibitors
Chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) are caused by the BCR-ABL oncogene. Imatinib inhibits the tyrosine kinase activity of the BCR-ABL protein and is an effective, frontline therapy for chronic-phase CML. However, accelerated or blast-crisis phase CML patients and Ph+ ALL patients often relapse due to drug resistance resulting from the emergence of imatinib-resistant point mutations within the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase domain. This has stimulated the development of new kinase inhibitors that are able to over-ride resistance to imatinib. The novel, selective BCR-ABL inhibitor, AMN107, was designed to fit into the ATP-binding site of the BCR-ABL protein with higher affinity than imatinib. In addition to being more potent than imatinib (IC50<30 nM) against wild-type BCR-ABL, AMN107 is also significantly active against 32/33 imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL mutants. In preclinical studies, AMN107 demonstrated activity in vitro and in vivo against wild-type and imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL-expressing cells. In phase I/II clinical trials, AMN107 has produced haematological and cytogenetic responses in CML patients, who either did not initially respond to imatinib or developed imatinib resistance. Dasatinib (BMS-354825), which inhibits Abl and Src family kinases, is another promising new clinical candidate for CML that has shown good efficacy in CML patients. In this review, the early characterisation and development of AMN107 is discussed, as is the current status of AMN107 in clinical trials for imatinib-resistant CML and Ph+ ALL. Future trends investigating prediction of mechanisms of resistance to AMN107, and how and where AMN107 is expected to fit into the overall picture for treatment of early-phase CML and imatinib-refractory and late-stage disease are discussed.
BCR-ABL; AMN107; nilotinib; dasatinib; imatinib-resistance
The BCR-ABL kinase inhibitor imatinib has shown significant efficacy in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and is the standard front-line therapy for patients in chronic phase. However, a substantial number of patients are either primarily refractory or acquire resistance to imatinib. While a number of mechanisms are known to confer resistance to imatinib, increasing evidence has demonstrated a role for BCR-ABL–independent pathways. The Src-family kinases (SFKs) are one such pathway and have been implicated in imatinib resistance. Additionally, these kinases are key to the progression of CML and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). The dual SFK/BCR-ABL inhibitor dasatinib is now clinically available and has markedly greater potency compared with imatinib against native BCR-ABL and the majority of imatinib resistant BCR-ABL mutants. Therefore, this agent, as well as other dual SFK/BCR-ABL inhibitors under development, could provide added therapeutic advantages by overcoming both BCR-ABL– dependent (i.e., BCR-ABL mutations) and – independent forms of imatinib resistance and delaying transition to advanced phase disease. In this review, we discuss the preclinical and clinical evidence demonstrating the involvement of SFKs in imatinib resistance and the progression of CML and Ph+ ALL, as well as the potential role of dual SFK/BCR-ABL inhibition in the management of these diseases.
Src; leukemia; BCR-ABL; dasatinib; imatinib resistant
Philadelphia positive leukemias are characterized by the presence of Bcr-Abl fusion protein which exhibits an abnormal kinase activity. Selective Abl kinase inhibitors have been successfully established for the treatment of Ph (+) leukemias. Despite high rates of clinical response, Ph (+) patients can develop resistance against these kinase inhibitors mainly due to point mutations within the Abl protein. Of special interest is the ‘gatekeeper’ T315I mutation, which confers complete resistance to Abl kinase inhibitors. Recently, GNF-2, Abl allosteric kinase inhibitor, was demonstrated to possess cellular activity against Bcr-Abl transformed cells. Similarly to Abl kinase inhibitors (AKIs), GNF-2 failed to inhibit activity of mutated Bcr-Abl carrying the T315I mutation.
Ba/F3 cells harboring native or T315I mutated Bcr-Abl constructs were treated with GNF-2 and AKIs. We monitored the effect of GNF-2 with AKIs on the proliferation and clonigenicity of the different Ba/F3 cells. In addition, we monitored the auto-phosphorylation activity of Bcr-Abl and JAK2 in cells treated with GNF-2 and AKIs.
In this study, we report a cooperation between AKIs and GNF-2 in inhibiting proliferation and clonigenicity of Ba/F3 cells carrying T315I mutated Bcr-Abl. Interestingly, cooperation was most evident between Dasatinib and GNF-2. Furthermore, we showed that GNF-2 was moderately active in inhibiting the activity of JAK2 kinase, and presence of AKIs augmented GNF-2 activity.
Our data illustrated the ability of allosteric inhibitors such as GNF-2 to cooperate with AKIs to overcome T315I mutation by Bcr-Abl-independent mechanisms, providing a possibility of enhancing AKIs efficacy and overcoming resistance in Ph+ leukemia cells.
Philadelphia chromosome; Bcr-Abl; “gatekeeper” mutation T315I; Allosteric inhibition; Abl kinase inhibitors
Chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP) cells that harbor oncogenic BCR-ABL1 and normal ABL1 allele often become resistant to the ABL1 kinase inhibitor imatinib. Here we report that loss of the remaining normal ABL1 allele in these tumors, which results from cryptic interstitial deletion in 9q34 in patients who did not achieve a complete cytogenetic remission during treatment, engenders a novel unexpected mechanism of imatinib resistance. BCR-ABL1-positive Abl1−/− leukemia cells were refractory to imatinib as indicated by persistent BCR-ABL1 -mediated tyrosine phosphorylation, lack of BCR-ABL1 protein degradation, increased cell survival and clonogenic activity. Expression of ABL1 kinase, but not a kinase-dead mutant, restored the anti-leukemic effects of imatinib in ABL1-negative CML cells and in BCR-ABL1-positive Abl1−/− murine leukemia cells. The intracellular concentration of imatinib and expression of its transporters were not affected, while proteins involved in BCR-ABL1 degradation were downregulated in Abl1−/− cells. Furthermore, twelve genes associated with imatinib resistance were favorably deregulated in Abl1−/− leukemia. Taken together, our results indicate that loss of the normal ABL1 kinase may serve as a key prognostic factor that exerts major impact on CML treatment outcomes.
The BCR–ABL fusion kinase is the driving mutation of chronic myelogenous leukemias and is also expressed in a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukemias. Recent advances in elucidating the structure, regulation, and signaling of BCR–ABL have led to the identification of allosteric sites that are distant from the ATP-binding pocket and are critical for BCR–ABL–dependent oncogenic transformation. Here, we review the available data regarding the molecular mechanism of action and the specificity of ATP-competitive tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting BCR–ABL. In addition, we discuss how targeting of allosteric sites could provide new opportunities to inhibit resistant BCR–ABL mutants, either alone or in combination with conventional ATP-competitive inhibitors.
The abnormal BCR-ABL oncoprotein is a constitutively active tyrosine kinase driving aberrant proliferation of transformed hematopoietic cells. BCR-ABL regulates activation of many mitogenic and pro-survival pathways, including the PI 3'K/AKT/mTOR pathway that controls various effectors and regulates initiation of mRNA translation in mammalian cells. Although tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) that target the ABL kinase domain have remarkable clinical activity and have dramatically changed the natural history of Ph+ leukemias, resistance to these agents also develops via a wide range of mechanisms. Efforts to target the PI3'K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway using kinase inhibitors have been the focus of extensive ongoing investigations by several research groups. Here we review the effects of activation of the AMPK kinase, which regulates downstream targeting and inhibition of mTOR. The potential for future clinical-translational applications of AMPK activators such as AICAR, metformin and resveratrol for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are discussed.
leukemia; cancer; target; oncotarget; AMPK; mTOR; metformin
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is a hematopoietic stem cell disease caused by the oncoprotein BCR-ABL, which exhibits a constitutive tyrosine kinase activity. Imatinib mesylate (IM), an inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase activity of BCR-ABL, has been used as a first-line therapy for CML. However, IM is less effective in the accelerated phase and blastic phases of CML and certain patients develop IM resistance due to the mutation and amplification of the BCR-ABL gene. Fangchinoline, an important chemical constituent from the dried roots of Stephaniae tetrandrae S. Moore, exhibits significant antitumor activity in various types of cancers, including breast, prostate and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the effects and the underlying mechanisms of fangchinoline in CML remain unclear. In the present study, we identified that fangchinoline inhibits cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner in K562 cells derived from the blast crisis of CML. Additional experiments revealed that fangchinoline induces cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase and has no effect on apoptosis, which is mediated through the upregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-N1A and MCL-1 mRNA levels, as well as the downregulation of cyclin D2 (CCND2) mRNA levels. These findings suggest the potential of fangchinoline as an effective antitumor agent in CML.
fangchinoline; chronic myelogenous leukemia; G0/G1 arrest; cyclin-dependent kinase N1A; cyclin D2
The human BCR-ABL oncogenes encoded by the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) affect the pathogenesis of diverse types of leukemia and yet are rarely associated with T-lymphoid leukemia. To determine whether BCR-ABL kinases are inefficient in transforming T lymphocytes, BCR-ABL-expressing retroviruses were injected intrathymically into mice. Thymomas that expressed BCR-ABL kinase developed after a relatively long latent period. In most thymomas, deletion of 3' proviral sequences resulted in loss of tk-neo and occasionally caused expression of kinase-active carboxy-terminally truncated BCR-ABL oncoprotein. In contrast, deletion of 3' proviral sequences was not observed in thymomas induced with Abelson murine leukemia virus (A-MuLV). BCR-ABL viruses induced distinct patterns of disease and involved different thymocyte subsets than A-MuLV and Moloney murine leukemia virus (Mo-MuLV). While Mo-MuLV only induced Thy-1+ thymomas, v-abl- and BCR-ABL-induced thymomas often contained mixed populations of B220+ and Thy-1+ lymphocytes in the same tumor. In most v-abl and BCR-ABL tumors, Thy-1+ lymphoid cells expressed CD8 and a continuum of CD4 ranging from negative to positive. Conversely, Mo-MuLV thymomas contained distinct populations of CD4+ cells that were either CD8+ or CD8-. A-MuLV-transformed T-lymphoid cells did not express the CD3/T-cell receptor complex, while BCR-ABL tumors were CD3+. Thus, BCR-ABL viruses preferentially induce somewhat more differentiated T lymphocytes than are transformed by A-MuLV. Furthermore, rare B220+ lymphocytes may represent preferred v-abl and BCR-ABL transformation targets in the thymus.
Acquired point mutations within the BCR-ABL kinase domain represent a common mechanism of resistance to ABL inhibitor therapy in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The BCR-ABLT315I mutant is highly resistant to imatinib, nilotinib, and dasatinib and is frequently detected in relapsed patients. This critical gap in resistance coverage drove development of DCC-2036, an ABL inhibitor which binds the switch control pocket involved in conformational regulation of the kinase domain. We evaluated the efficacy of DCC-2036 against BCR-ABLT315I and other mutants in cellular and biochemical assays and conducted cell-based mutagenesis screens. DCC-2036 inhibited autophosphorylation of ABL and ABLT315I enzymes, and this activity was consistent with selective efficacy against Ba/F3 cells expressing BCR-ABL (IC50: 19 nmol/L), BCR-ABLT315I (IC50: 63 nmol/L), and most kinase domain mutants. Ex vivo exposure of CML cells from patients harboring BCR-ABL or BCR-ABLT315I to DCC-2036 revealed marked inhibition of colony formation and reduced phosphorylation of the direct BCR-ABL target CrkL. Cell-based mutagenesis screens identified a resistance profile for DCC-2036 centered around select P-loop mutations (G250E, Q252H, Y253H, E255K/V), although a concentration of 750 nmol/L DCC-2036 suppressed the emergence of all resistant clones. A decreased concentration of DCC-2036 (160 nmol/L) in dual-combination with either nilotinib or dasatinib achieved the same zero outgrowth result. Further screens for resistance due to BCR-ABL compound mutations (two mutations in the same clone) identified BCR-ABLE255V / T315I as the most resistant mutant. Taken together, these findings support continued evaluation of DCC-2036 as an important new agent for treatment-refractory CML.
BCR-ABL; imatinib resistance; DCC-2036
Imatinib mesylate (IM) induces clinical remission of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The Abelson helper integration site 1 (AHI-1) oncoprotein interacts with BCR-ABL and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) to mediate IM response of primitive CML cells, but the effect of the interaction complex on the response to ABL and JAK2 inhibitors is unknown.
The AHI-1–BCR-ABL–JAK2 interaction complex was analyzed by mutational analysis and coimmunoprecipitation. Roles of the complex in regulation of response or resistance to ABL and JAK2 inhibitors were investigated in BCR-ABL
+ cells and primary CML stem/progenitor cells and in immunodeficient NSG mice. All statistical tests were two-sided.
The WD40-repeat domain of AHI-1 interacts with BCR-ABL, whereas the N-terminal region interacts with JAK2; loss of these interactions statistically significantly increased the IM sensitivity of CML cells. Disrupting this complex with a combination of IM and an orally bioavailable selective JAK2 inhibitor (TG101209 [TG]) statistically significantly induced death of AHI-1–overexpressing and IM-resistant cells in vitro and enhanced survival of leukemic mice, compared with single agents (combination vs TG alone: 63 vs 53 days, ratio = 0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.6 to 1.1, P = .004; vs IM: 57 days, ratio = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.61 to 1.2, P = .003). Combination treatment also statistically significantly enhanced apoptosis of CD34+ leukemic stem/progenitor cells and eliminated their long-term leukemia-initiating activity in NSG mice. Importantly, this approach was effective against treatment-naive CML stem cells from patients who subsequently proved to be resistant to IM therapy.
Simultaneously targeting BCR-ABL and JAK2 activities in CML stem/progenitor cells may improve outcomes in patients destined to develop IM resistance.
The use of imatinib, an ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor, has led to a dramatic change in the management of BCR-ABL-positive leukemia patients. However, resistance to imatinib mediated by mutations in the BCR-ABL domain has become a major problem in the treatment of these patients.
In the present study, we examined the activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in combination with an Aurora kinase inhibitor in BCR-ABL-expressing cells.
We found the HDAC inhibitors vorinostat and/or pracinostat (SB939) induced apoptosis in BCR-ABL-expressing cells. Additionally, HDAC inhibitors reduced levels of Aurora A and B protein. An Aurora kinase inhibitor, tozasertib (VX-680), inhibited growth, promoted pro-apoptotic activity, reduced the phosphorylation of BCR-ABL and Crk-L, and activated caspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) in BCR-ABL-positive cells. Moreover, after treatment with tozasertib, HDAC protein expression was decreased. Combination of vorinostat or pracinostat with tozasertib had a synergistic inhibitory effect on the proliferation of T315I cells. Phosphorylation of Crk-L decreased, and PARP activation increased after treatment with vorinostat or pracinostat and tozasertib. Moreover, combination of vorinostat or pracinostat and tozasertib significantly increased the extent of apoptosis in primary chronic myeloid leukemia cells.
This study demonstrated that combination of HDAC and Aurora inhibitors was highly effective against BCR-ABL-expressing cells.
HDAC inhibitor; Aurora kinase inhibitor; T315I mutation
The oncogenic kinase Bcr-Abl is thought to cause chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) by altering the transcription of specific genes with growth- and survival-promoting functions. Recently Bcr-Abl has also been shown to activate an important regulator of protein synthesis, the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which suggests that dysregulated translation may also contribute to CML pathogenesis. In this study, we found that both Bcr-Abl and the rapamycin-sensitive mTORC1 complex contribute to the phosphorylation (inactivation) of 4E-BP1, an inhibitor of the eIF4E translation initiation factor. Experiments with rapamycin and the Bcr-Abl inhibitor, imatinib mesylate, in Bcr-Abl-expressing cell lines and primary CML cells indicated that Bcr-Abl and mTORC1 induced formation of the translation initiation complex, eIF4F. This was characterized by reduced 4E-BP1- and increased eIF4G-binding to eIF4E, two events that lead to assembly of eIF4F. One target transcript is cyclin D3, which is regulated in Bcr-Abl-expressing cells by both Bcr-Abl and mTORC1 in a translational manner. In addition, the combination of imatinib and rapamycin was found to act synergistically against committed CML progenitors from chronic and blast phase patients. These experiments establish a novel mechanism of action for Bcr-Abl, and they provide insights into the modes of action of imatinib mesylate and rapamycin in treatment of CML. They also suggest that aberrant cap-dependent mRNA translation may be a therapeutic target in Bcr-Abl-driven malignancies.
CML; eIF4F; mTOR; cap-dependent translation
Treatment of Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemias (Ph-positive ALL) with clinically approved inhibitors of the Bcr/Abl tyrosine kinase frequently results in the emergence of a leukemic clone carrying the T315I mutation in Bcr/Abl, which confers resistance to these drugs. PHA-739358, an Aurora kinase inhibitor, was reported to inhibit the Bcr/Abl T315I mutant in CML cells but no preclinical studies have examined this in detail in human ALL.
We compared the sensitivity of human Bcr/Abl T315I, Bcr/Abl wild type and non-Bcr/Abl ALL cells to this drug. PHA-739358 inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis independently of Bcr/Abl, the T315I mutation, or presence of the tumor suppressor p53, but the degree of effectiveness varied between different ALL samples. Since short-term treatment with a single dose of drug only transiently inhibited proliferation, we tested combination treatments of PHA-739358 with the farnesyltransferase inhibitor Lonafarnib, with vincristine and with dasatinib. All combinations reduced viability and cell numbers compared to treatment with a single drug. Clonogenic assays showed that 25 nM PHA-739358 significantly reduced the colony growth potential of Ph-positive ALL cells, and combined treatment with a second drug abrogated colony growth in this assay. PHA-739358 further effectively blocked Bcr/Abl tyrosine kinase activity and Aurora kinase B in vivo, and mice transplanted with human Bcr/Abl T315I ALL cells treated with a 3x 7-day cycle of PHA-739358 as mono-treatment had significantly longer survival.
PHA-739358 represents an alternative drug for the treatment of both Ph-positive and negative ALL, although combined treatment with a second drug may be needed to eradicate the leukemic cells.
Ph-positive; Aurora kinase inhibition; Drug resistance; Stromal support; Co-culture; Farnesyltransferase inhibitor, Lonafarnib; Dasatinib, p53, Combination drug treatment
The emergence of resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors due to point mutations in Bcr/Abl is a challenging problem for Philadelphia-chromosome positive (Ph-positive) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients, especially for those with the T315I mutation, against which neither nilotinib or dasatinib shows significant activity. VX-680 is a pan-Aurora kinase inhibitor active against all Bcr/Abl proteins but has not been extensively examined in preclinical models of Ph-positive ALL. Here, we have tested VX-680 for treatment of Bcr/Abl positive ALL when leukemic cells are protected by the presence of stroma. Under these conditions, VX-680 showed significant effects on primary human Ph-positive ALL cells both with and without the T315I mutation, including ablation of tyrosine phosphorylation downstream of Bcr/Abl, decreased viability and induction of apoptosis. However, drug treatment of human Ph-positive ALL cells for 3 days followed by drug removal allowed the outgrowth of abnormal cells 21 days later, and upon culture of mouse Bcr/Abl ALL cells on stroma with lower concentrations of VX-680, drug-resistant cells emerged. Combined treatment of human ALL cells lacking the T315I mutation with both VX-680 and dasatinib caused significantly more cytotoxicity than each drug alone. We suggest that use of VX-680 together with a second effective drug as first-line treatment for Ph-positive ALL is likely to be safer and more useful than second-line treatment with VX-680 as monotherapy for drug-resistant T315I Ph-positive ALL.
Aurora kinase inhibition; dasatinib; stromal support; environmental-mediated drug resistance
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is initially driven by the bcr–abl fusion oncoprotein. The identification of bcr–abl led to the discovery and rapid translation into the clinic of bcr–abl kinase inhibitors. Although, bcr–abl inhibitors are efficacious, experimental evidence indicates that targeting bcr–abl is not sufficient for elimination of minimal residual disease found within the bone marrow (BM). Experimental evidence indicates that the failure to eliminate the leukemic stem cell contributes to persistent minimal residual disease. Thus curative strategies will likely need to focus on strategies where bcr–abl inhibitors are given in combination with agents that specifically target the leukemic stem cell or the leukemic stem cell niche. One potential target to be exploited is the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway. Recently using STAT3 conditional knock-out mice it was shown that STAT3 is critical for initiating the disease. Interestingly, in the absence of treatment, STAT3 was not shown to be required for maintenance of the disease, suggesting that STAT3 is required only in the tumor initiating stem cell population (Hoelbl et al., 2010). In the context of the BM microenvironment, STAT3 is activated in a bcr–abl independent manner by the cytokine milieu. Activation of JAK/STAT3 was shown to contribute to cell survival even in the event of complete inhibition of bcr–abl activity within the BM compartment. Taken together, these studies suggest that JAK/STAT3 is an attractive therapeutic target for developing strategies for targeting the JAK–STAT3 pathway in combination with bcr–abl kinase inhibitors and may represent a viable strategy for eliminating or reducing minimal residual disease located in the BM in CML.
STAT3; bone marrow microenvironment; drug resistance; transformation; chronic myeloid leukemia
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors have revolutionized the treatment of several malignancies, converting lethal diseases in a manageable
aspect. Imitanib, a small molecule ABL kinase inhibitor is a highly effective therapy for early phase chronic myeloid leukemia
(CML), which has constitutively active ABL kinase activity owing to the over expression of the BCR-ABL fusion protein. But some
patients develop imatinib resistance, particularly in the advanced phases of CML.The discovery of resistance mechanisms of
imitanib; urge forward the development of second generation drugs. Nilotinib, a second generation drug is more potent inhibitor
of BCR-ABL than imatinib. But nilotinib also develops dermatologic events and headache in patients. Large information about
BCR-ABL structure and its inhibitors are now available. Based on the pharmacophore modeling approaches, it is possible to
decipher the molecular determinants to inhibit BCR-ABL. We conducted a structure based and ligand based study to identify
potent natural compounds as BCR-ABL inhibitor. First kinase inhibitors were docked with the receptor (BCR-ABL) and nilotinib
was selected as a pharmacophore due its high binding efficiency. Eleven compounds were selected out of 1457 substances which
have mutual pharmacopohre features with nilotinib. These eleven compounds were validated and used for docking study to find
the drug like molecules. The best molecules from the final set of screening candidates can be evaluated in cell lines and may
represent a novel class of BCR-ABL inhibitors.
CML - Chronic myeloid leukemia,
PDGFR - Platelet derived growth factor receptor,
TKI - Tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Ligand docking; BCR-ABL; Nilotinib; Glide score; Pharmacophore modeling
The malignant phenotype of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is due to the abnormal tyrosine kinase activity of the BCR-ABL oncoprotein, which signals several downstream cell survival pathways, including phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT, signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. In patients with CML, tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are used to suppress the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase, resulting in impressive response rates. However, resistance can occur, especially in acute-phase CML, through various mechanisms. Here, we show that the glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper protein (GILZ) modulates imatinib and dasatinib resistance and suppresses tumor growth by inactivating the mammalian target of rapamycin complex-2 (mTORC2)/AKT signaling pathway. In mouse and human models, GILZ binds to mTORC2, but not to mTORC1, inhibiting phosphorylation of AKT (at Ser473) and activating FoxO3a-mediated transcription of the pro-apoptotic protein Bim; these results demonstrate that GILZ is a key inhibitor of the mTORC2 pathway. Furthermore, CD34+ stem cells isolated from relapsing CML patients underwent apoptosis and showed inhibition of mTORC2 after incubation with glucocorticoids and imatinib. Our findings provide new mechanistic insights into the role of mTORC2 in BCR-ABL+ cells and indicate that regulation by GILZ may influence TKI sensitivity.
GILZ; imatinib; dasatinib; BCR-ABL; mTORC2; AKT
Chronic myeloid leukemia (cml) results from expression of the constitutive tyrosine kinase activity of the Bcr-Abl oncoprotein. Imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (tki), is highly effective in the treatment of cml. However, some patients treated with imatinib will fail to respond, will respond suboptimally, or will relapse because of primary or acquired resistance or intolerance. Research activities focusing on the mechanisms that underlie imatinib resistance have identified mutations in the BCR-ABL gene, clonal evolution, and amplification of the BCR-ABL gene as common causes. Cytogenetic and molecular techniques are currently used to monitor cml therapy for both response and relapse. With multiple and more potent therapeutic options now available, monitoring techniques can permit treatment to be tailored to the individual patient based on disease characteristics—for example, according to BCR-ABL mutation profile or to patient characteristics such as certain comorbid conditions. This approach should benefit patients by increasing the potential for better long-term outcomes.
Chronic myeloid leukemia; protein kinase inhibitors; imatinib; drug resistance; drug monitoring
Serine/threonine kinase Aurora A is essential for regulating mammalian cell division and is overexpressed in many types of human cancer. However, the role of Aurora A in chemoresistance of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is not well understood. Using the KCL-22 cell culture model we have recently developed for studying mechanisms of CML acquired resistance, we found that Aurora A expression was partially reduced in these cells upon treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib, which accompanied the acquisition of BCR-ABL mutation for imatinib resistance. Gene knockdown of BCR-ABL also reduced Aurora A expression, and conversely, Aurora A expression increased in hematopoietic progenitor cells after BCR-ABL expression. Inhibition of Aurora A induced apoptosis of CML cells with or without T315I BCR-ABL mutation and suppressed CML cell growth. Inhibition of Aurora A by gene knockdown or a highly specific small molecule inhibitor sensitized CML cells to imatinib treatment and effectively blocked acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations and KCL-22 cell relapse on imatinib, nilotinib or dasatinib. Our results show that Aurora A plays an important role for facilitating acquisition of BCR-ABL mutation and acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the culture model and suggest that inhibition of Aurora A may provide an alternative strategy to improve CML treatment to overcome resistance.