ON 01910.Na Is Selectively Cytotoxic for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells through a Dual Mechanism of Action Involving PI3K/AKT Inhibition and Induction of Oxidative Stress

Hematology Branch, NHLBI, NIH, Bld 10, CRC 3-5140, 10 Center Drive, 20892-1202 Bethesda, MD, USA.
Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.72). 02/2012; 18(7):1979-91. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2113
Source: PubMed


Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a malignancy of mature B cells, is incurable with chemotherapy. Signals from the microenvironment support leukemic cell survival and proliferation and may confer chemotherapy resistance. ON 01910.Na (Rigosertib), a multikinase phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, is entering phase III trials for myelodysplastic syndrome. Our aim was to analyze the efficacy of ON 01910.Na against CLL cells in vitro and investigate the molecular effects of this drug on tumor biology.
Cytotoxicity of ON 01910.Na against CLL cells from 34 patients was determined in vitro with flow cytometry of cells stained with Annexin V and CD19. Global gene expression profiling on Affymetrix microarrays, flow cytometry, Western blotting, and cocultures with stroma cells were used to delineate ON 01910.Na mechanism of action.
ON 01910.Na induced apoptosis in CLL B cells without significant toxicity against T cells or normal B cells. ON 01910.Na was equally active against leukemic cells associated with a more aggressive disease course [immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region unmutated, adverse cytogenetics] than against cells without these features. Gene expression profiling revealed two main mechanisms of action: PI3K/AKT inhibition and induction of ROS that resulted in an oxidative stress response through activating protein 1 (AP-1), c-jun-NH(2)-terminal kinase, and ATF3 culminating in the upregulation of NOXA. ROS scavengers and shRNA mediated knockdown of ATF3- and NOXA-protected cells from drug-induced apoptosis. ON 01910.Na also abrogated the prosurvival effect of follicular dendritic cells on CLL cells and reduced SDF-1-induced migration of leukemic cells.
These data support the clinical development of ON 01910.Na in CLL.

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    • "Furthermore, ON 01910.Na showed absent or only minimal cytotoxicity for normal B and T cells (Figure S3 in File S1). Given that ON 01910.Na is currently under a randomized phase III trial for patients with refractory myelodysplastic syndrome [47], this drug would be very promising for the RanGAP1-targeted lymphoma therapy. "
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