ABSTRACT: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a hematopoietic stem-cell disorder, cannot be eradicated by conventional chemotherapy or the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate (IM). To target CML stem/progenitor cells, we investigated BMS-214662, a cytotoxic farnesyltransferase inhibitor, previously reported to kill nonproliferating tumor cells. IM or dasatinib alone reversibly arrested proliferation of CML stem/progenitor cells without inducing apoptosis. In contrast, BMS-214662, alone or in combination with IM or dasatinib, potently induced apoptosis of both proliferating and quiescent CML stem/progenitor cells with less than 1% recovery of Philadelphia-positive long-term culture-initiating cells. Normal stem/progenitor cells were relatively spared by BMS-214662, suggesting selectivity for leukemic stem/progenitor cells. The ability to induce selective apoptosis of leukemic stem/progenitor cells was unique to BMS-214662 and not seen with a structurally similar agent BMS-225975. BMS-214662 was cytotoxic against CML blast crisis stem/progenitor cells, particularly in combination with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and equally effective in cell lines harboring wild-type vs mutant BCR-ABL, including the T315I mutation. This is the first report of an agent with activity in resistant and blast crisis CML that selectively kills CML stem/progenitor cells through apoptosis and offers potential for eradication of chronic phase CML.
Blood 04/2008; 111(5):2843-53. · 9.90 Impact Factor