Evaluation of BH3 mimetics as a novel therapeutic strategy in acute myeloid leukemia

  • BH3 mimetics are novel anticancer therapeutics that induce apoptosis by targeting anti‐apoptotic BCL‐2 proteins. Highly specific inhibitors of the main anti-apoptotic proteins BCL-2, BCL‐XL and MCL‐1 promise new opportunities for the treatment of AML. However, it is currently unclear which of these anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins represents the most promising target in AML. Therefore, we investigated the effect of BH3 mimetics targeting either BCL-2 (ABT-199, S55746), BCL-XL (A-1331852) or MCL-1 (S63845) on eleven AML cell lines. Drug sensitivity screening revealed heterogeneous sensitivity towards the different BH3 mimetics, with the best responses observed upon targeting of MCL-1. Selected cell lines that displayed sensitivity towards the specific BH3 mimetics underwent intrinsic apoptosis, which was characterized by loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, exposure of phosphatidylserine and activation of caspases. Furthermore, S63845 turned out to displace BIMS and NOXA from MCL-1 to induce apoptotic cell death. Importantly, the translational relevance of this study was demonstrated by experiments in primary AML blasts, which displayed similar sensitivity towards BH3 mimetics as the cell lines did. Additionally, experiments with nonmalignant cells could confirm the clinical relevance of the MCL-1 inhibitor. There we could show, that S63845 does not cause cytotoxicity on HPCs at efficacious doses. In conclusion, our findings reveal that the inhibition of BCL-2 proteins, especially MCL-1, by BH3 mimetics can be a promising strategy in AML treatment.

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Author:Larissa Ewald
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Simone FuldaORCiDGND, Thomas OellerichORCiD, Daniela Sandra KrauseORCiDGND
Advisor:Simone Fulda
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2021/08/10
Year of first Publication:2020
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2021/08/04
Release Date:2021/11/09
Page Number:98
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht