- The effect of the dual Src/Abl kinase inhibitor AZD0530 on Philadelphia positive leukaemia cell lines (2009)
- Background Imatinib mesylate, a selective inhibitor of Abl tyrosine kinase, is efficacious in treating chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). However, most advanced-phase CML and Ph+ ALL patients relapse on Imatinib therapy. Several mechanisms of refractoriness have been reported, including the activation of the Src-family kinases (SFK). Here, we investigated the biological effect of the new specific dual Src/Abl kinase inhibitor AZD0530 on Ph+ leukaemic cells. Methods Cell lines used included BV173 (CML in myeloid blast crisis), SEM t(4;11), Ba/F3 (IL-3 dependent murine pro B), p185Bcr-Abl infected Ba/F3 cells, p185Bcr-Abl mutant infected Ba/F3 cells, SupB15 (Ph+ ALL) and Imatinib resistant SupB15 (RTSupB15) (Ph+ ALL) cells. Cells were exposed to AZD0530 and Imatinib. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, survival and signalling pathways were assessed by dye exclusion, flow cytometry and Western blotting respectively. Results AZD0530 specifically inhibited the growth of, and induced apoptosis in CML and Ph+ ALL cells in a dose dependent manner, but showed only marginal effects on Ph- ALL cells. Resistance to Imatinib due to the mutation Y253F in p185Bcr-Abl was overcome by AZD0530. Combination of AZD0530 and Imatinib showed an additive inhibitory effect on the proliferation of CML BV173 cells but not on Ph+ ALL SupB15 cells. An ongoing transphosphorylation was demonstrated between SFKs and Bcr-Abl. AZD0530 significantly down-regulated the activation of survival signalling pathways in Ph+ cells, resistant or sensitive to Imatinib, with the exception of the RTSupB15. Conclusion Our results indicate that AZD0530 targets both Src and Bcr-Abl kinase activity and reduces the leukaemic maintenance by Bcr-Abl.
- Targeting the oligomerization of BCR/ABL by membrane permeable competitive peptides inhibits the proliferation of Philadelphia Chromosome positive leukemic cells (2011)
- The BCR/ABL fusion protein is the hallmark of Philadelphia Chromosome positive (Ph+) leukemia. The constitutive activation of the ABL-kinase in BCR/ABL cells induces the leukemic phenotype. Targeted inhibition of BCR/ABL by small molecule inhibitors reverses the transformation potential of BCR/ABL. Recently, we definitively proved that targeting the tetramerization of BCR/ABL mediated by the N-terminal coiled-coil domain (CC) using competitive peptides, representing the helix-2 of the CC, represents a valid therapeutic approach for treating Ph+ leukemia. To further develop competitive peptides for targeting BCR/ABL, we created a membrane permeable helix-2 peptide (MPH-2) by fusing the helix-2 peptide with a peptide transduction tag. In this study, we report that the MPH-2: (i) interacted with BCR/ABL in vivo; (ii) efficiently inhibited the autophosphorylation of BCR/ABL; (iii) suppressed the growth and viability of Ph+ leukemic cells; and (iv) was efficiently transduced into mononuclear cells (MNC) in an in vivo mouse model. This study provides the first evidence that an efficient peptide transduction system facilitates the employment of competitive peptides to target the oligomerization interface of BCR/ABL in vivo.
- Sulindac sulfide reverses aberrant self-renewal of progenitor cells induced by the AML-associated fusion proteins PML/RARalpha and PLZF/RARalpha (2011)
- Chromosomal translocations can lead to the formation of chimeric genes encoding fusion proteins such as PML/RARalpha, PLZF/RARalpha, and AML-1/ETO, which are able to induce and maintain acute myeloid leukemia (AML). One key mechanism in leukemogenesis is increased self renewal of leukemic stem cells via aberrant activation of the Wnt signaling pathway. Either X-RAR, PML/RARalpha and PLZF/RARalpha or AML-1/ETO activate Wnt signaling by upregulating gamma-catenin and beta-catenin. In a prospective study, a lower risk of leukemia was observed with aspirin use, which is consistent with numerous studies reporting an inverse association of aspirin with other cancers. Furthermore, a reduction in leukemia risk was associated with use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), where the effects on AML risk was FAB subtype-specific. To better investigate whether NSAID treatment is effective, we used Sulindac Sulfide in X-RARalpha-positive progenitor cell models. Sulindac Sulfide (SSi) is a derivative of Sulindac, a NSAID known to inactivate Wnt signaling. We found that SSi downregulated both beta-catenin and gamma-catenin in X-RARalpha-expressing cells and reversed the leukemic phenotype by reducing stem cell capacity and increasing differentiation potential in X-RARalpha-positive HSCs. The data presented herein show that SSi inhibits the leukemic cell growth as well as hematopoietic progenitors cells (HPCs) expressing PML/RARalpha, and it indicates that Sulindac is a valid molecular therapeutic approach that should be further validated using in vivo leukemia models and in clinical settings.
- Reciprocal t(9;22) ABL/BCR fusion proteins: leukemogenic potential and effects on B cell commitment (2009)
- 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.
- p185(BCR/ABL) has a lower sensitivity than p210(BCR/ABL) to the allosteric inhibitor GNF-2 in Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia (2011)
- BACKGROUND: The t(9;22) translocation leads to the formation of the chimeric breakpoint cluster region/c-abl oncogene 1 (BCR/ABL) fusion gene on der22, the Philadelphia chromosome. The p185(BCR/ABL) or the p210(BCR/ABL) fusion proteins are encoded as a result of the translocation, depending on whether a "minor" or "major" breakpoint occurs, respectively. Both p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) exhibit constitutively activated ABL kinase activity. Through fusion to BCR the ABL kinase in p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) "escapes" the auto-inhibition mechanisms of c-ABL, such as allosteric inhibition. A novel class of compounds including GNF-2 restores allosteric inhibition of the kinase activity and the transformation potential of BCR/ABL. Here we investigated whether there are differences between p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) regarding their sensitivity towards allosteric inhibition by GNF-2 in models of Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia. DESIGN AND METHODS: We investigated the anti-proliferative activity of GNF-2 in different Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia models, such as cell lines, patient-derived long-term cultures and factor-dependent lymphatic Ba/F3 cells expressing either p185(BCR/ABL) or p210(BCR/ABL) and their resistance mutants. RESULTS: The inhibitory effects of GNF-2 differed constantly between p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) expressing cells. In all three Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia models, p210(BCR/ABL)-transformed cells were more sensitive to GNF-2 than were p185BCR/ABL-positive cells. Similar results were obtained for p185(BCR/ABL) and the p210(BCR/ABL) harboring resistance mutations. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide the first evidence of a differential response of p185(BCR/ABL)- and p210(BCR/ABL)- transformed cells to allosteric inhibition by GNF-2, which is of importance for the treatment of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia.
- Overcoming Bcr-Abl T315I mutation by combination of GNF-2 and ATP competitors in an Abl-independent mechanism (2012)
- ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: 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. METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.
- Novel role of Ras-GTPase Activating Protein SH3 Domain-Binding Protein G3BP in adhesion and migration of 32D myeloid progenitor cells (2012)
- Rho GTPases are involved in homing and mobilization of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells due to their impact on cytoskeleton remodeling. We have previously shown that inhibition of Rho, Rac and Cdc42 clearly impairs adhesion of normal and leukemic hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) to fibronectin and migration in a three-dimensional stromal cell model. Here, we identified the Ras GTPase-Activating Protein SH3 Domain-Binding Protein (G3BP) as a target gene of Rho GTPases and analysed its role in regulating HPC motility. Overexpression of G3BP significantly enhanced adhesion of murine 32D HPC to fibronectin and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, increased the proportion of adherent cells in a flow chamber assay and promoted cell migration in a transwell assay and a three-dimensional stromal cell model suggesting a strong impact on the cytoskeleton. Immunofluorescent staining of G3BP-overexpressing fibroblasts revealed a Rho-like phenotype characterized by formation of actin stress fibers in contrast to the Rac-like phenotype of control fibroblasts. This is the first report implicating a role for G3BP in Rho GTPase-mediated signalling towards adhesion and migration of HPC. Our results may be of clinical importance, since G3BP was found overexpressed in human cancers.
- Differential effects of selective inhibitors targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2013)
- Purpose: Aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling has been linked to oncogenesis and therapy resistance in various malignancies including leukemias. In Philadelphia chromosome (Ph) positive leukemias, activation of PI3K by dysregulated BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase (TK) contributes to the pathogenesis and development of resistance to ABL-TK inhibitors (TKI). The PI3K pathway thus is an attractive therapeutic target in BCR-ABL positive leukemias, but its role in BCR-ABL negative ALL is conjectural. Moreover, the functional contribution of individual components of the PI3K pathway in ALL has not been established. Experimental Design: We compared the activity of the ATP-competitive pan-PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120, the allosteric mTORC1 inhibitor RAD001, the ATP-competitive dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors NVP-BEZ235 and NVP-BGT226 and the combined mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibitors Torin 1, PP242 and KU-0063794 using long-term cultures of ALL cells (ALL-LTC) from patients with B-precursor ALL that expressed the BCR-ABL or TEL-ABL oncoproteins or were BCR-ABL negative. Results: Dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors profoundly inhibited growth and survival of ALL cells irrespective of their genetic subtype and their responsiveness to ABL-TKI. Combined suppression of PI3K, mTORC1 and mTORC2 displayed greater antileukemic activity than selective inhibitors of PI3K, mTORC1 or mTORC1 and mTORC2. Conclusions: Inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR pathway is a promising therapeutic approach in patients with ALL. Greater antileukemic activity of dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors appears to be due to the redundant function of PI3K and mTOR. Clinical trials examining dual PI3K/mTORC1/C2 inhibitors in patients with B-precursor ALL are warranted, and should not be restricted to particular genetic subtypes.
- BCR and its mutants, the reciprocal t(9;22)-associated ABL/BCR fusion proteins, differentially regulate the cytoskeleton and cell motility (2006)
- Background The reciprocal (9;22) translocation fuses the bcr (breakpoint cluster region) gene on chromosome 22 to the abl (Abelson-leukemia-virus) gene on chromosome 9. Depending on the breakpoint on chromosome 22 (the Philadelphia chromosome – Ph+) the derivative 9+ encodes either the p40(ABL/BCR) fusion transcript, detectable in about 65% patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukemia, or the p96(ABL/BCR) fusion transcript, detectable in 100% of Ph+ acute lymphatic leukemia patients. The ABL/BCRs are N-terminally truncated BCR mutants. The fact that BCR contains Rho-GEF and Rac-GAP functions strongly suggest an important role in cytoskeleton modeling by regulating the activity of Rho-like GTPases, such as Rho, Rac and cdc42. We, therefore, compared the function of the ABL/BCR proteins with that of wild-type BCR. Methods We investigated the effects of BCR and ABL/BCRs i.) on the activation status of Rho, Rac and cdc42 in GTPase-activation assays; ii.) on the actin cytoskeleton by direct immunofluorescence; and iii) on cell motility by studying migration into a three-dimensional stroma spheroid model, adhesion on an endothelial cell layer under shear stress in a flow chamber model, and chemotaxis and endothelial transmigration in a transwell model with an SDF-1α gradient. Results Here we show that both ABL/BCRs lost fundamental functional features of BCR regarding the regulation of small Rho-like GTPases with negative consequences on cell motility, in particular on the capacity to adhere to endothelial cells. Conclusion Our data presented here describe for the first time an analysis of the biological function of the reciprocal t(9;22) ABL/BCR fusion proteins in comparison to their physiological counterpart BCR.
- Allosteric inhibition enhances the efficacy of ABL kinase inhibitors to target unmutated BCR-ABL and BCR-ABL-T315I (2012)
- Background: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute lymphatic leukemia (Ph + ALL) are caused by the t(9;22), which fuses BCR to ABL resulting in deregulated ABL-tyrosine kinase activity. The constitutively activated BCR/ABL-kinase "escapes" the auto-inhibition mechanisms of c-ABL, such as allosteric inhibition. The ABL-kinase inhibitors (AKIs) Imatinib, Nilotinib or Dasatinib, which target the ATP-binding site, are effective in Ph + leukemia. Another molecular therapy approach targeting BCR/ABL restores allosteric inhibition. Given the fact that all AKIs fail to inhibit BCR/ABL harboring the 'gatekeeper' mutation T315I, we investigated the effects of AKIs in combination with the allosteric inhibitor GNF2 in Ph + leukemia. Methods: The efficacy of this approach on the leukemogenic potential of BCR/ABL was studied in Ba/F3 cells, primary murine bone marrow cells, and untransformed Rat-1 fibroblasts expressing BCR/ABL or BCR/ABL-T315I as well as in patient-derived long-term cultures (PDLTC) from Ph + ALL-patients. Results: Here, we show that GNF-2 increased the effects of AKIs on unmutated BCR/ABL. Interestingly, the combination of Dasatinib and GNF-2 overcame resistance of BCR/ABL-T315I in all models used in a synergistic manner. Conclusions: Our observations establish a new approach for the molecular targeting of BCR/ABL and its resistant mutants using a combination of AKIs and allosteric inhibitors.