ResearchPad - chronic-myeloid-leukemia https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Phosphorylation of BECLIN-1 by BCR-ABL suppresses autophagy in chronic myeloid leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11060 Autophagy is a genetically regulated process of adaptation to metabolic stress and was recently shown to be involved in the treatment response of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, in vivo data are limited and the molecular mechanism of autophagy regulators in the process of leukemogenesis is not completely understood. Here we show that Beclin-1 knockdown, but not Atg5 deletion in a murine CML model leads to a reduced leukemic burden and results in a significantly prolonged median survival of targeted mice. Further analyses of murine cell lines and primary patient material indicate that active BCR-ABL directly interacts with BECLIN-1 and phosphorylates its tyrosine residues 233 and 352, resulting in autophagy suppression. By using phosphorylation-deficient and phosphorylation-mimic mutants, we identify BCR-ABL induced BECLIN-1 phosphorylation as a crucial mechanism for BECLIN-1 complex formation: interaction analyses exhibit diminished binding of the positive autophagy regulators UVRAG, VPS15, ATG14 and VPS34 and enhanced binding of the negative regulator Rubicon to BCR-ABL-phosphorylated BECLIN-1. Taken together, our findings show interaction of BCR-ABL and BECLIN-1 thereby highlighting the importance of BECLIN-1-mediated autophagy in BCR-ABL+ cells.

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<![CDATA[Combined inhibition of MDM2 and BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase targets chronic myeloid leukemia stem/progenitor cells in a murine model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11008 Although highly effective, BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors do not target chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) stem cells. Most patients relapse upon tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy cessation. We reported previously that combined BCR-ABL1 and BCL-2 inhibition synergistically targets CML stem/progenitor cells. p53 induces apoptosis mainly by modulating BCL-2 family proteins. Although infrequently mutated in CML, p53 is antagonized by MDM2, which is regulated by BCR-ABL1 signaling. We hypothesized that MDM2 inhibition could sensitize CML cells to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Using an inducible transgenic Scl-tTa-BCR-ABL1 murine CML model, we found, by RT-PCR and CyTOF proteomics increased p53 signaling in CML bone marrow (BM) cells compared with controls in CD45+ and linage-SCA-1+C-KIT+ populations. CML BM cells were more sensitive to exogenous BH3 peptides than controls. Combined inhibition of BCR-ABL1 with imatinib and MDM2 with DS-5272 increased NOXA level, markedly reduced leukemic linage-SCA-1+C-KIT+ cells and hematopoiesis, decreased leukemia burden, significantly prolonged the survival of mice engrafted with BM cells from Scl-tTa-BCR-ABL1 mice, and significantly decreased CML stem cell frequency in secondary transplantations. Our results suggest that CML stem/progenitor cells have increased p53 signaling and a propensity for apoptosis. Combined MDM2 and BCR-ABL1 inhibition targets CML stem/progenitor cells and has the potential to improve cure rates for CML.

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<![CDATA[A new highly sensitive real-time quantitative-PCR method for detection of BCR-ABL1 to monitor minimal residual disease in chronic myeloid leukemia after discontinuation of imatinib]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f1d5eed0c4846393bf

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) targeting the BCR-ABL1 fusion protein, encoded by the Philadelphia chromosome, have drastically improved the outcomes for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Although several real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ-PCR) kits for the detection of BCR-ABL1 transcripts are commercially available, their accuracy and efficiency in laboratory practice require reevaluation. We have developed a new in-house RQ-PCR method to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) in CML cases. MRD was analyzed in 102 patients with CML from the DOMEST study, a clinical trial to study the rationale for imatinib mesylate discontinuation in Japan. The BCR-ABL1/ABL1 ratio was evaluated using the international standard (IS) ratio, where IS < 0.1% was defined as a major molecular response. At enrollment, BCR-ABL1 transcripts were undetectable in all samples using a widely-applied RQ-PCR method performed in the commercial laboratory, BML (BML Inc., Tokyo, Japan); however, the in-house method detected the BCR-ABL1 transcripts in five samples (5%) (mean IS ratio: 0.0062 ± 0.0010%). After discontinuation of imatinib, BCR-ABL1 transcripts were detected using the in-house RQ-PCR in 21 patients (21%) that were not positive using the BML method. Nineteen samples were also tested using a commercially available RQ-PCR assay kit with a detection limit of IS ratio, 0.0032 (ODK-1201, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Tokyo, Japan). This method detected low levels of BCR-ABL1 transcripts in 14 samples (74%), but scored negative for five samples (26%) that were positive using the in-house method. From the perspective of the in-house RQ-PCR method, number of patients confirmed loss of MMR was 4. These data suggest that our new in-house RQ-PCR method is effective for monitoring MRD in CML.

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<![CDATA[BCR-ABL1 mediated miR-150 downregulation through MYC contributed to myeloid differentiation block and drug resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c2d95d5eed0c48446473d

The fusion oncoprotein BCR-ABL1 exhibits aberrant tyrosine kinase activity and it has been proposed that it deregulates signaling networks involving both transcription factors and non-coding microRNAs that result in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Previously, microRNA expression profiling showed deregulated expression of miR-150 and miR-155 in CML. In this study, we placed these findings into the broader context of the MYC/miR-150/MYB/miR-155/PU.1 oncogenic network. We propose that up-regulated MYC and miR-155 in CD34+ leukemic stem and progenitor cells, in concert with BCR-ABL1, impair the molecular mechanisms of myeloid differentiation associated with low miR-150 and PU.1 levels. We revealed that MYC directly occupied the −11.7 kb and −0.35 kb regulatory regions in the MIR150 gene. MYC occupancy was markedly increased through BCR-ABL1 activity, causing inhibition of MIR150 gene expression in CML CD34+ and CD34 cells. Furthermore, we found an association between reduced miR-150 levels in CML blast cells and their resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Although TKIs successfully disrupted BCR-ABL1 kinase activity in proliferating CML cells, this treatment did not efficiently target quiescent leukemic stem cells. The study presents new evidence regarding the MYC/miR-150/MYB/miR-155/PU.1 leukemic network established by aberrant BCR-ABL1 activity. The key connecting nodes of this network may serve as potential druggable targets to overcome resistance of CML stem and progenitor cells.

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<![CDATA[BEST: Next-Generation Biomedical Entity Search Tool for Knowledge Discovery from Biomedical Literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7dab0ee8fa60b993f4

As the volume of publications rapidly increases, searching for relevant information from the literature becomes more challenging. To complement standard search engines such as PubMed, it is desirable to have an advanced search tool that directly returns relevant biomedical entities such as targets, drugs, and mutations rather than a long list of articles. Some existing tools submit a query to PubMed and process retrieved abstracts to extract information at query time, resulting in a slow response time and limited coverage of only a fraction of the PubMed corpus. Other tools preprocess the PubMed corpus to speed up the response time; however, they are not constantly updated, and thus produce outdated results. Further, most existing tools cannot process sophisticated queries such as searches for mutations that co-occur with query terms in the literature. To address these problems, we introduce BEST, a biomedical entity search tool. BEST returns, as a result, a list of 10 different types of biomedical entities including genes, diseases, drugs, targets, transcription factors, miRNAs, and mutations that are relevant to a user’s query. To the best of our knowledge, BEST is the only system that processes free text queries and returns up-to-date results in real time including mutation information in the results. BEST is freely accessible at http://best.korea.ac.kr.

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<![CDATA[DNA Methylation of the ABO Promoter Underlies Loss of ABO Allelic Expression in a Significant Proportion of Leukemic Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9aab0ee8fa60ba3359

Background

Loss of A, B and H antigens from the red blood cells of patients with myeloid malignancies is a frequent occurrence. Previously, we have reported alterations in ABH antigens on the red blood cells of 55% of patients with myeloid malignancies.

Methodology/Principal Findings

To determine the underlying molecular mechanisms of this loss, we assessed ABO allelic expression in 21 patients with ABH antigen loss previously identified by flow cytometric analysis as well as an additional 7 patients detected with ABH antigen changes by serology. When assessing ABO mRNA allelic expression, 6/12 (50%) patients with ABH antigen loss detected by flow cytometry and 5/7 (71%) of the patients with ABH antigen loss detected by serology had a corresponding ABO mRNA allelic loss of expression. We examined the ABO locus for copy number and DNA methylation alterations in 21 patients, 11 with loss of expression of one or both ABO alleles, and 10 patients with no detectable allelic loss of ABO mRNA expression. No loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the ABO locus was observed in these patients. However in 8/11 (73%) patients with loss of ABO allelic expression, the ABO promoter was methylated compared with 2/10 (20%) of patients with no ABO allelic expression loss (P = 0.03).

Conclusions/Significance

We have found that loss of ABH antigens in patients with hematological malignancies is associated with a corresponding loss of ABO allelic expression in a significant proportion of patients. Loss of ABO allelic expression was strongly associated with DNA methylation of the ABO promoter.

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<![CDATA[Loss of RhoB Expression Enhances the Myelodysplastic Phenotype of Mammalian Diaphanous-Related Formin mDia1 Knockout Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3cab0ee8fa60b88556

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and hyperplastic bone marrow. Complete loss or interstitial deletions of the long arm of chromosome 5 occur frequently in MDS. One candidate tumor suppressor on 5q is the mammalian Diaphanous (mDia)-related formin mDia1, encoded by DIAPH1 (5q31.3). mDia-family formins act as effectors for Rho-family small GTP-binding proteins including RhoB, which has also been shown to possess tumor suppressor activity. Mice lacking the Drf1 gene that encodes mDia1 develop age-dependent myelodysplastic features. We crossed mDia1 and RhoB knockout mice to test whether the additional loss of RhoB expression would compound the myelodysplastic phenotype. Drf1−/−RhoB−/− mice are fertile and develop normally. Relative to age-matched Drf1−/−RhoB+/− mice, the age of myelodysplasia onset was earlier in Drf1−/−RhoB−/− animals—including abnormally shaped erythrocytes, splenomegaly, and extramedullary hematopoiesis. In addition, we observed a statistically significant increase in the number of activated monocytes/macrophages in both the spleen and bone marrow of Drf1−/−RhoB−/− mice relative to Drf1−/−RhoB+/− mice. These data suggest a role for RhoB-regulated mDia1 in the regulation of hematopoietic progenitor cells.

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<![CDATA[A BCR-ABL Mutant Lacking Direct Binding Sites for the GRB2, CBL and CRKL Adapter Proteins Fails to Induce Leukemia in Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b87f82

The BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase is the defining feature of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and its kinase activity is required for induction of this disease. Current thinking holds that BCR-ABL forms a multi-protein complex that incorporates several substrates and adaptor proteins and is stabilized by multiple direct and indirect interactions. Signaling output from this highly redundant network leads to cellular transformation. Proteins known to be associated with BCR-ABL in this complex include: GRB2, c-CBL, p62DOK, and CRKL. These proteins in turn, link BCR-ABL to various signaling pathways indicated in cellular transformation. In this study we show that a triple mutant of BCR-ABL with mutations of the direct binding sites for GRB2, CBL, p62DOK and CRKL, is defective for transformation of primary hematopoietic cells in vitro and in a murine CML model, while it retains the capacity to induce IL-3 independence in 32D cells. Compared to BCR-ABL, the triple mutant's ability to activate the MAP kinase and PI3-kinase pathways is severely compromised, while STAT5 phosphorylation is maintained, suggesting that the former are crucial for the transformation of primary cells, but dispensable for transformation of factor dependent cell lines. Our data suggest that inhibition of BCR-ABL-induced leukemia by disrupting protein interactions could be possible, but would require blocking of multiple sites.

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<![CDATA[Functional Characterization of FLT3 Receptor Signaling Deregulation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia by Single Cell Network Profiling (SCNP)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba218

Background

Molecular characterization of the FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 receptor (FLT3) in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has recently been incorporated into clinical guidelines based on correlations between FLT3 internal tandem duplications (FLT3-ITD) and decreased disease-free and overall survival. These mutations result in constitutive activation of FLT3, and FLT3 inhibitors are currently undergoing trials in AML patients selected on FLT3 molecular status. However, the transient and partial responses observed suggest that FLT3 mutational status alone does not provide complete information on FLT3 biological activity at the individual patient level. Examination of variation in cellular responsiveness to signaling modulation may be more informative.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Using single cell network profiling (SCNP), cells were treated with extracellular modulators and their functional responses were quantified by multiparametric flow cytometry. Intracellular signaling responses were compared between healthy bone marrow myeloblasts (BMMb) and AML leukemic blasts characterized as FLT3 wild type (FLT3-WT) or FLT3-ITD. Compared to healthy BMMb, FLT3-WT leukemic blasts demonstrated a wide range of signaling responses to FLT3 ligand (FLT3L), including elevated and sustained PI3K and Ras/Raf/Erk signaling. Distinct signaling and apoptosis profiles were observed in FLT3-WT and FLT3-ITD AML samples, with more uniform signaling observed in FLT3-ITD AML samples. Specifically, increased basal p-Stat5 levels, decreased FLT3L induced activation of the PI3K and Ras/Raf/Erk pathways, decreased IL-27 induced activation of the Jak/Stat pathway, and heightened apoptotic responses to agents inducing DNA damage were observed in FLT3-ITD AML samples. Preliminary analysis correlating these findings with clinical outcomes suggests that classification of patient samples based on signaling profiles may more accurately reflect FLT3 signaling deregulation and provide additional information for disease characterization and management.

Conclusions/Significance

These studies show the feasibility of SCNP to assess modulated intracellular signaling pathways and characterize the biology of individual AML samples in the context of genetic alterations.

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<![CDATA[Combined targeting of STAT3 and STAT5: a novel approach to overcome drug resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4589e9463d7e4e5b6d083f

In chronic myeloid leukemia, resistance against BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors can develop because of BCR-ABL1 mutations, activation of additional pro-oncogenic pathways, and stem cell resistance. Drug combinations covering a broad range of targets may overcome resistance. CDDO-Me (bardoxolone methyl) is a drug that inhibits the survival of leukemic cells by targeting different pro-survival molecules, including STAT3. We found that CDDO-Me inhibits proliferation and survival of tyrosine kinase inhibitor-resistant BCR-ABL1+ cell lines and primary leukemic cells, including cells harboring BCR-ABL1T315I or T315I+ compound mutations. Furthermore, CDDO-Me was found to block growth and survival of CD34+/CD38 leukemic stem cells (LSC). Moreover, CDDO-Me was found to produce synergistic growth-inhibitory effects when combined with BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors. These drug-combinations were found to block multiple signaling cascades and molecules, including STAT3 and STAT5. Furthermore, combined targeting of STAT3 and STAT5 by shRNA and STAT5-targeting drugs also resulted in synergistic growth-inhibition, pointing to a new efficient concept of combinatorial STAT3 and STAT5 inhibition. However, CDDO-Me was also found to increase the expression of heme-oxygenase-1, a heat-shock-protein that triggers drug resistance and cell survival. We therefore combined CDDO-Me with the heme-oxygenase-1 inhibitor SMA-ZnPP, which also resulted in synergistic growth-inhibitory effects. Moreover, SMA-ZnPP was found to sensitize BCR-ABL1+ cells against the combination ‘CDDO-Me+ tyrosine kinase inhibitor’. Together, combined targeting of STAT3, STAT5, and heme-oxygenase-1 overcomes resistance in BCR-ABL1+ cells, including stem cells and highly resistant sub-clones expressing BCR-ABL1T315I or T315I-compound mutations. Whether such drug-combinations are effective in tyrosine kinase inhibitor-resistant patients with chronic myeloid leukemia remains to be elucidated.

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<![CDATA[α-Tomatine-Mediated Anti-Cancer Activity In Vitro and In Vivo through Cell Cycle- and Caspase-Independent Pathways]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7da02

α-Tomatine, a tomato glycoalkaloid, has been reported to possess antibiotic properties against human pathogens. However, the mechanism of its action against leukemia remains unclear. In this study, the therapeutic potential of α-tomatine against leukemic cells was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Cell viability experiments showed that α-tomatine had significant cytotoxic effects on the human leukemia cancer cell lines HL60 and K562, and the cells were found to be in the Annexin V-positive/propidium iodide-negative phase of cell death. In addition, α-tomatine induced both HL60 and K562 cell apoptosis in a cell cycle- and caspase-independent manner. α-Tomatine exposure led to a loss of the mitochrondrial membrane potential, and this finding was consistent with that observed on activation of the Bak and Mcl-1 short form (Mcl-1s) proteins. Exposure to α-tomatine also triggered the release of the apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) from the mitochondria into the nucleus and down-regulated survivin expression. Furthermore, α-tomatine significantly inhibited HL60 xenograft tumor growth without causing loss of body weight in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice. Immunohistochemical test showed that the reduced tumor growth in the α-tomatine-treated mice was a result of increased apoptosis, which was associated with increased translocation of AIF in the nucleus and decreased survivin expression ex vivo. These results suggest that α-tomatine may be a candidate for leukemia treatment.

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<![CDATA[Inhibition of Euchromatic Histone Methyltransferase 1 and 2 Sensitizes Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Cells to Interferon Treatment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbdf66

Background

H3K9 methylation is one of the essential histone post-translational modifications for heterochromatin formation and transcriptional repression. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that H3K9 methylation negatively regulates the type I interferon response.

Results

We report the application of EHMT1 and EHMT2 specific chemical inhibitors to sensitize CML cell lines to interferon and imatinib treatments. Inhibition of EHMT1 and EHMT2 with BIX01294 enhances the cytotoxicity of IFNα2a in four CML cell lines, K562, KCL22, BV173 and KT1 cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay shows that BIX01294 treatment enhances type I interferon response by reducing H3K9me2 at the promoters of interferon-stimulated genes. Additionally, BIX01294 treatment augments IFNα2a- and imatinib-mediated apoptosis in CML cell lines. Moreover, our data suggest that the expression level of EHMT1 and EHMT2 inversely correlates with the type I interferon responsiveness in CML cell lines.

Conclusions

Our study sheds light on the role of EHMT1 and EHMT2 as potential targets in improving the efficacy of standard treatments of CML.

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<![CDATA[JAK2 V617F Constitutive Activation Requires JH2 Residue F595: A Pseudokinase Domain Target for Specific Inhibitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b87e5c

The JAK2 V617F mutation present in over 95% of Polycythemia Vera patients and in 50% of Essential Thrombocythemia and Primary Myelofibrosis patients renders the kinase constitutively active. In the absence of a three-dimensional structure for the full-length protein, the mechanism of activation of JAK2 V617F has remained elusive. In this study, we used functional mutagenesis to investigate the involvement of the JH2 αC helix in the constitutive activation of JAK2 V617F. We show that residue F595, located in the middle of the αC helix of JH2, is indispensable for the constitutive activity of JAK2 V617F. Mutation of F595 to Ala, Lys, Val or Ile significantly decreases the constitutive activity of JAK2 V617F, but F595W and F595Y are able to restore it, implying an aromaticity requirement at position 595. Substitution of F595 to Ala was also able to decrease the constitutive activity of two other JAK2 mutants, T875N and R683G, as well as JAK2 K539L, albeit to a lower extent. In contrast, the F595 mutants are activated by erythropoietin-bound EpoR. We also explored the relationship between the dimeric conformation of EpoR and several JAK2 mutants. Since residue F595 is crucial to the constitutive activation of JAK2 V617F but not to initiation of JAK2 activation by cytokines, we suggest that small molecules that target the region around this residue might specifically block oncogenic JAK2 and spare JAK2 wild-type.

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<![CDATA[Intrinsic Structural Disorder Confers Cellular Viability on Oncogenic Fusion Proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0fab0ee8fa60b79237

Chromosomal translocations, which often generate chimeric proteins by fusing segments of two distinct genes, represent the single major genetic aberration leading to cancer. We suggest that the unifying theme of these events is a high level of intrinsic structural disorder, enabling fusion proteins to evade cellular surveillance mechanisms that eliminate misfolded proteins. Predictions in 406 translocation-related human proteins show that they are significantly enriched in disorder (43.3% vs. 20.7% in all human proteins), they have fewer Pfam domains, and their translocation breakpoints tend to avoid domain splitting. The vicinity of the breakpoint is significantly more disordered than the rest of these already highly disordered fusion proteins. In the unlikely event of domain splitting in fusion it usually spares much of the domain or splits at locations where the newly exposed hydrophobic surface area approximates that of an intact domain. The mechanisms of action of fusion proteins suggest that in most cases their structural disorder is also essential to the acquired oncogenic function, enabling the long-range structural communication of remote binding and/or catalytic elements. In this respect, there are three major mechanisms that contribute to generating an oncogenic signal: (i) a phosphorylation site and a tyrosine-kinase domain are fused, and structural disorder of the intervening region enables intramolecular phosphorylation (e.g., BCR-ABL); (ii) a dimerisation domain fuses with a tyrosine kinase domain and disorder enables the two subunits within the homodimer to engage in permanent intermolecular phosphorylations (e.g., TFG-ALK); (iii) the fusion of a DNA-binding element to a transactivator domain results in an aberrant transcription factor that causes severe misregulation of transcription (e.g. EWS-ATF). Our findings also suggest novel strategies of intervention against the ensuing neoplastic transformations.

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<![CDATA[Abcg2 Overexpression Represents a Novel Mechanism for Acquired Resistance to the Multi-Kinase Inhibitor Danusertib in BCR-ABL-Positive Cells In Vitro]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa5ab0ee8fa60ba73ef

The success of Imatinib (IM) therapy in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is compromised by the development of IM resistance and by a limited IM effect on hematopoietic stem cells. Danusertib (formerly PHA-739358) is a potent pan-aurora and ABL kinase inhibitor with activity against known BCR-ABL mutations, including T315I. Here, the individual contribution of both signaling pathways to the therapeutic effect of Danusertib as well as mechanisms underlying the development of resistance and, as a consequence, strategies to overcome resistance to Danusertib were investigated. Starting at low concentrations, a dose-dependent inhibition of BCR-ABL activity was observed, whereas inhibition of aurora kinase activity required higher concentrations, pointing to a therapeutic window between the two effects. Interestingly, the emergence of resistant clones during Danusertib exposure in vitro occurred considerably less frequently than with comparable concentrations of IM. In addition, Danusertib-resistant clones had no mutations in BCR-ABL or aurora kinase domains and remained IM-sensitive. Overexpression of Abcg2 efflux transporter was identified and functionally validated as the predominant mechanism of acquired Danusertib resistance in vitro. Finally, the combined treatment with IM and Danusertib significantly reduced the emergence of drug resistance in vitro, raising hope that this drug combination may also achieve more durable disease control in vivo.

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<![CDATA[Multifaceted Intervention by the Hsp90 Inhibitor Ganetespib (STA-9090) in Cancer Cells with Activated JAK/STAT Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db04ab0ee8fa60bc7cec

There is accumulating evidence that dysregulated JAK signaling occurs in a wide variety of cancer types. In particular, mutations in JAK2 can result in the constitutive activation of STAT transcription factors and lead to oncogenic growth. JAK kinases are established Hsp90 client proteins and here we show that the novel small molecule Hsp90 inhibitor ganetespib (formerly STA-9090) exhibits potent in vitro and in vivo activity in a range of solid and hematological tumor cells that are dependent on JAK2 activity for growth and survival. Of note, ganetespib treatment results in sustained depletion of JAK2, including the constitutively active JAK2V617F mutant, with subsequent loss of STAT activity and reduced STAT-target gene expression. In contrast, treatment with the pan-JAK inhibitor P6 results in only transient effects on these processes. Further differentiating these modes of intervention, RNA and protein expression studies show that ganetespib additionally modulates cell cycle regulatory proteins, while P6 does not. The concomitant impact of ganetespib on both cell growth and cell division signaling translates to potent antitumor efficacy in mouse models of xenografts and disseminated JAK/STAT-driven leukemia. Overall, our findings support Hsp90 inhibition as a novel therapeutic approach for combating diseases dependent on JAK/STAT signaling, with the multimodal action of ganetespib demonstrating advantages over JAK-specific inhibitors.

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<![CDATA[Reciprocal t(9;22) ABL/BCR Fusion Proteins: Leukemogenic Potential and Effects on B Cell Commitment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f4ab0ee8fa60b6fa54

Background

t(9;22) is a balanced translocation, and the chromosome 22 breakpoints (Philadelphia chromosome – Ph+) determine formation of different fusion genes that are associated with either Ph+ acute lymphatic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) or chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The “minor” breakpoint in Ph+ ALL encodes p185BCR/ABL from der22 and p96ABL/BCR from der9. The “major” breakpoint in CML encodes p210BCR/ABL and p40ABL/BCR. Herein, we investigated the leukemogenic potential of the der9-associated p96ABL/BCR and p40ABL/BCR fusion proteins and their roles in the lineage commitment of hematopoietic stem cells in comparison to BCR/ABL.

Methodology

All t(9;22) derived proteins were retrovirally expressed in murine hematopoietic stem cells (SL cells) and human umbilical cord blood cells (UCBC). Stem cell potential was determined by replating efficiency, colony forming - spleen and competitive repopulating assays. The leukemic potential of the ABL/BCR fusion proteins was assessed by in a transduction/transplantation model. Effects on the lineage commitment and differentiation were investigated by culturing the cells under conditions driving either myeloid or lymphoid commitment. Expression of key factors of the B-cell differentiation and components of the preB-cell receptor were determined by qRT-PCR.

Principal Findings

Both p96ABL/BCR and p40ABL/BCR increased proliferation of early progenitors and the short term stem cell capacity of SL-cells and exhibited own leukemogenic potential. Interestingly, BCR/ABL gave origin exclusively to a myeloid phenotype independently from the culture conditions whereas p96ABL/BCR and to a minor extent p40ABL/BCR forced the B-cell commitment of SL-cells and UCBC.

Conclusions/Significance

Our here presented data establish the reciprocal ABL/BCR fusion proteins as second oncogenes encoded by the t(9;22) in addition to BCR/ABL and suggest that ABL/BCR contribute to the determination of the leukemic phenotype through their influence on the lineage commitment.

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<![CDATA[Human AQP5 Plays a Role in the Progression of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0cab0ee8fa60bca9bf

Aquaporins (AQPs) have previously been associated with increased expression in solid tumors. However, its expression in hematologic malignancies including CML has not been described yet. Here, we report the expression of AQP5 in CML cells by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. While normal bone marrow biopsy samples (n = 5) showed no expression of AQP5, 32% of CML patient samples (n = 41) demonstrated AQP5 expression. In addition, AQP5 expression level increased with the emergence of imatinib mesylate resistance in paired samples (p = 0.047). We have found that the overexpression of AQP5 in K562 cells resulted in increased cell proliferation. In addition, small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting AQP5 reduced the cell proliferation rate in both K562 and LAMA84 CML cells. Moreover, by immunoblotting and flow cytometry, we show that phosphorylation of BCR-ABL1 is increased in AQP5-overexpressing CML cells and decreased in AQP5 siRNA-treated CML cells. Interestingly, caspase9 activity increased in AQP5 siRNA-treated cells. Finally, FISH showed no evidence of AQP5 gene amplification in CML from bone marrow. In summary, we report for the first time that AQP5 is overexpressed in CML cells and plays a role in promoting cell proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis. Furthermore, our findings may provide the basis for a novel CML therapy targeting AQP5.

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<![CDATA[JAK2 V617F-Dependent Upregulation of PU.1 Expression in the Peripheral Blood of Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b693d7

Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are multiple disease entities characterized by clonal expansion of one or more of the myeloid lineages (i.e. granulocytic, erythroid, megakaryocytic and mast cell). JAK2 mutations, such as the common V617F substitution and the less common exon 12 mutations, are frequently detected in such tumor cells and have been incorporated into the diagnostic criteria published by the World Health Organization since 2008. However, the mechanism by which these mutations contribute to MPN development is poorly understood. We examined gene expression profiles of MPN patients focusing on genes in the JAK–STAT signaling pathway using low-density real-time PCR arrays. We identified the following 2 upregulated genes in MPN patients: a known target of the JAK–STAT axis, SOCS3, and a potentially novel target, SPI1, encoding PU.1. Induction of PU.1 expression by JAK2 V617F in JAK2-wildtype K562 cells and its downregulation by JAK2 siRNA transfection in JAK2 V617F-positive HEL cells supported this possibility. We also found that the ABL1 kinase inhibitor imatinib was very effective in suppressing PU.1 expression in BCR-ABL1-positive K562 cells but not in HEL cells. This suggests that PU.1 expression is regulated by both JAK2 and ABL1. The contribution of the two kinases in driving PU.1 expression was dominant for JAK2 and ABL1 in HEL and K562 cells, respectively. Therefore, PU.1 may be a common transcription factor upregulated in MPN. PU.1 is a transcription factor required for myeloid differentiation and is implicated in erythroid leukemia. Therefore, expression of PU.1 downstream of activated JAK2 may explain why JAK2 mutations are frequently observed in MPN patients.

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<![CDATA[Aberrant DNA Methylation Is Associated with Disease Progression, Resistance to Imatinib and Shortened Survival in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4aab0ee8fa60bd9e1f

The epigenetic impact of DNA methylation in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is not completely understood. To elucidate its role we analyzed 120 patients with CML for methylation of promoter-associated CpG islands of 10 genes. Five genes were identified by DNA methylation screening in the K562 cell line and 3 genes in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. The CDKN2B gene was selected for its frequent methylation in myeloid malignancies and ABL1 as the target of BCR-ABL translocation. Thirty patients were imatinib-naïve (mostly treated by interferon-alpha before the imatinib era), 30 were imatinib-responsive, 50 were imatinib-resistant, and 10 were imatinib-intolerant. We quantified DNA methylation by bisulfite pyrosequencing. The average number of methylated genes was 4.5 per patient in the chronic phase, increasing significantly to 6.2 in the accelerated and 6.4 in the blastic phase. Higher numbers of methylated genes were also observed in patients resistant or intolerant to imatinib. These patients also showed almost exclusive methylation of a putative transporter OSCP1. Abnormal methylation of a Src suppressor gene PDLIM4 was associated with shortened survival independently of CML stage and imatinib responsiveness. We conclude that aberrant DNA methylation is associated with CML progression and that DNA methylation could be a marker associated with imatinib resistance. Finally, DNA methylation of PDLIM4 may help identify a subset of CML patients that would benefit from treatment with Src/Abl inhibitors.

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