Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase dephosphorylates BAD and promotes apoptosis in myeloid leukemias.
ABSTRACT The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT protein kinase pathway is involved in cell growth, proliferation, and apoptosis. The functional activation of PI3K/AKT provides survival signals and blockade of this pathway may facilitate cell death. Downstream targets of PI3K-AKT include the proapoptotic protein BAD, caspase-9, NF-kappaB, and Forkhead. We have previously reported that BAD is constitutively phosphorylated in primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells, a post-transcriptional modification, which inactivates its proapoptotic function. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the inhibition of PI3K by LY294002 results in the dephosphorylation of AKT and BAD, and thus promote leukemia cell apoptosis. We investigated the effects of LY294002 in megakaryocytic leukemia-derived MO7E cells, primary AML and normal bone marrow progenitor cells. In MO7E cells, LY294002 reduced AKT kinase activity, induced dephosphorylation of AKT and BAD, and increased apoptosis. Concomitant inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling or combination with all-trans retinoic acid further enhanced apoptosis of leukemic cells. In primary AML samples, clonogenic cell growth was significantly reduced. Normal hematopoietic progenitors were less affected, suggesting preferential targeting of leukemia cells. In conclusion, the data suggest that the inhibition of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway restores apoptosis in AML and may be explored as a novel target for molecular therapeutics in AML.
Article: Single cell analysis of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt and ERK activation in acute myeloid leukemia by flow cytometry.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Abnormal activation of several signal transduction pathways such as phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and MAP kinases has been reported in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). To test new targeted therapeutics, it is critical to develop sensitive analytical tools to detect abnormal activation of these pathways and to monitor their inhibition in response to treatment. We analyzed Akt and ERK phosphorylation in 32 samples from patients using western blot and a two-color flow cytometry protocol using CD34. To circumvent the CD34 negative AML found in our series, we developed a two-color protocol using CD45 to isolate the blast cell population. Finally, a four-color protocol was used to detect phosphorylation in an enriched population of AML stem cells. We compared western blot analysis and flow cytometry for the detection of PI3K/Akt and ERK activation and found a 100% correlation between the two techniques in a series of 32 AML samples. Using a flow cytometry protocol, we were able to analyze all the patients' samples, even those with low blast infiltration or CD34 negative blast cells. We were also able to detect the phosphorylated proteins in the most immature blast cell population with the CD34+ CD38-/low CD123+ phenotype. Interpretations and Our study shows that flow cytometry is a reliable method for detecting Akt and ERK phosphorylation in all patients' samples. Activation can also be detected in the most immature blast cells, which represent exquisite target cells for new therapeutics.Haematologica 07/2006; 91(6):757-64. · 6.42 Impact Factor
Article: Hyperforin inhibits Akt1 kinase activity and promotes caspase-mediated apoptosis involving Bad and Noxa activation in human myeloid tumor cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The natural phloroglucinol hyperforin HF displays anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral properties of potential pharmacological interest. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells abnormally proliferate and escape apoptosis. Herein, the effects and mechanisms of purified HF on AML cell dysfunction were investigated in AML cell lines defining distinct AML subfamilies and primary AML cells cultured ex vivo. HF inhibited in a time- and concentration-dependent manner the growth of AML cell lines (U937, OCI-AML3, NB4, HL-60) by inducing apoptosis as evidenced by accumulation of sub-G1 population, phosphatidylserine externalization and DNA fragmentation. HF also induced apoptosis in primary AML blasts, whereas normal blood cells were not affected. The apoptotic process in U937 cells was accompanied by downregulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, upregulation of pro-apoptotic Noxa, mitochondrial membrane depolarization, activation of procaspases and cleavage of the caspase substrate PARP-1. The general caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk and the caspase-9- and -3-specific inhibitors, but not caspase-8 inhibitor, significantly attenuated apoptosis. HF-mediated apoptosis was associated with dephosphorylation of active Akt1 (at Ser(473)) and Akt1 substrate Bad (at Ser(136)) which activates Bad pro-apoptotic function. HF supppressed the kinase activity of Akt1, and combined treatment with the allosteric Akt1 inhibitor Akt-I-VIII significantly enhanced apoptosis of U937 cells. Our data provide new evidence that HF's pro-apoptotic effect in AML cells involved inhibition of Akt1 signaling, mitochondria and Bcl-2 members dysfunctions, and activation of procaspases -9/-3. Combined interruption of mitochondrial and Akt1 pathways by HF may have implications for AML treatment.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25963. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Novel targeted therapies to overcome imatinib mesylate resistance in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec) was developed as the first molecularly targeted therapy that specifically inhibits the BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity in patients with Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Due to its excellent hematologic and cytogenetic responses, particularly in patients with chronic phase CML, imatinib has moved towards first-line treatment for newly diagnosed CML. Nevertheless, resistance to the drug has been frequently reported and is attributed to the fact that transformation of hematopoietic stem cells by BCR-ABL is associated with genomic instability. Point mutations within the ABL tyrosine kinase of the BCR-ABL oncoprotein are the major cause of resistance, though overexpression of the BCR-ABL protein and novel acquired cytogenetic aberrations have also been reported. A variety of strategies derived from structural studies of the ABL-imatinib complex have been developed, resulting in the design of novel ABL inhibitors, including AMN107, BMS-354825, ON012380 and others. The major goal of these efforts is to create new drugs that are more potent than imatinib and/or more effective against imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL clones. Some of these drugs have already been successfully tested in preclinical studies where they show promising results. Additional approaches are geared towards targeting the expression or stability of the BCR-ABL kinase itself or targeting signaling pathways that are chronically activated and required for transformation. In this review, we will discuss the underlying mechanisms of resistance to imatinib and novel targeted approaches to overcome imatinib resistance in CML.Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology 03/2006; 57(2):145-64. · 4.41 Impact Factor