Panobinostat enhances cytarabine and daunorubicin sensitivities in AML cells through suppressing the expression of BRCA1, CHK1, and Rad51.
ABSTRACT: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains a challenging disease to treat and urgently requires new therapies to improve its treatment outcome. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the cooperative antileukemic activities of panobinostat and cytarabine or daunorubicin (DNR) in AML cell lines and diagnostic blast samples in vitro and in vivo. Panobinostat suppressed expression of BRCA1, CHK1, and RAD51 in AML cells in a dose-dependent manner. Further, panobinostat significantly increased cytarabine- or DNR-induced DNA double-strand breaks and apoptosis, and abrogated S and/or G2/M cell cycle checkpoints. Analogous results were obtained by shRNA knockdown of BRCA1, CHK1, or RAD51. Cotreatment of NOD-SCID-IL2R?(null) mice bearing AML xenografts with panobinostat and cytarabine significantly increased survival compared to either cytarabine or panobinostat treatment alone. Additional studies revealed that panobinostat suppressed the expression of BRCA1, CHK1, and RAD51 through downregulation of E2F1 transcription factor. Our results establish a novel mechanism underlying the cooperative antileukemic activities of these drug combinations in which panobinostat suppresses expression of BRCA1, CHK1, and RAD51 to enhance cytarabine and daunorubicin sensitivities in AML cells.
Project description:CPX-351 is a liposomally encapsulated 5:1 molar ratio of cytarabine and daunorubicin that recently received regulatory approval for the treatment of therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes based on improved overall survival compared to standard cytarabine/daunorubicin therapy. Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1), which is activated by DNA damage and replication stress, diminishes sensitivity to cytarabine and anthracyclines as single agents, suggesting that CHK1 inhibitors might increase the effectiveness of CPX-351. The present studies show that CPX-351 activates CHK1 as well as the S and G2/M cell cycle checkpoints. Conversely, CHK1 inhibition diminishes the cell cycle effects of CPX-351. Moreover, CHK1 knockdown or addition of a CHK1 inhibitor such as MK-8776, rabusertib or prexasertib enhances CPX-351-induced apoptosis in multiple TP53-null and TP53-wildtype AML cell lines. Likewise, CHK1 inhibition increases the antiproliferative effect of CPX-351 on primary AML specimens ex vivo, offering the possibility that CPX-351 may be well suited to combine with CHK1-targeted agents.
Project description:Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) continues to be a challenging disease to treat, thus new treatment strategies are needed. In this study, we investigated the antileukemic effects of ATR inhibition alone or combined with cytarabine in AML cells. Treatment with the ATR-selective inhibitor AZ20 caused proliferation inhibition in AML cell lines and primary patient samples. It partially abolished the G2 cell cycle checkpoint and caused DNA replication stress and damage, accompanied by CDK1-independent apoptosis and downregulation of RRM1 and RRM2. AZ20 synergistically enhanced cytarabine-induced proliferation inhibition and apoptosis, abolished cytarabine-induced S and G2/M cell cycle arrest, and cooperated with cytarabine in inducing DNA replication stress and damage in AML cell lines. These key findings were confirmed with another ATR-selective inhibitor AZD6738. Therefore, the cooperative induction of DNA replication stress and damage by ATR inhibition and cytarabine, and the ability of ATR inhibition to abrogate the G2 cell cycle checkpoint both contributed to the synergistic induction of apoptosis and proliferation inhibition in AML cell lines. Synergistic antileukemic interactions between AZ20 and cytarabine were confirmed in primary AML patient samples. Our findings provide insight into the mechanism of action underlying the synergistic antileukemic activity of ATR inhibition in combination with cytarabine in AML.
Project description:Cytarabine (Ara-C) and Daunorubicin (Dnr) forms the backbone of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy. Drug resistance and toxic side effects pose a major threat to treatment success and hence alternate less toxic therapies are warranted. NF-E2 related factor-2 (Nrf2), a master regulator of antioxidant response is implicated in chemoresistance in solid tumors. However, little is known about the role of Nrf2 in AML chemoresistance and the effect of pharmacological inhibitor brusatol in modulating this resistance. Primary AML samples with high ex-vivo IC50 to Ara-C, ATO, Dnr had significantly high NRF2 RNA expression. Gene-specific knockdown of NRF2 improved sensitivity to these drugs in resistant AML cell lines by decreasing the expression of downstream antioxidant targets of Nrf2 by compromising the cell's ability to scavenge the ROS. Treatment with brusatol, a pharmacological inhibitor of Nrf2, improved sensitivity to Ara-C, ATO, and Dnr and reduced colony formation capacity. AML cell lines stably overexpressing NRF2 showed increased resistance to ATO, Dnr and Ara-C and increased expression of downstream targets. This study demonstrates that Nrf2 could be an ideal druggable target in AML, more so to the drugs that function through ROS, suggesting the possibility of using Nrf2 inhibitors in combination with chemotherapeutic agents to modulate drug resistance in AML.
Project description:PURPOSE:Chemotherapy drug resistance and relapse of the disease have been the major factors limiting the success of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy. Several factors, including the pharmacokinetics (PK) of Cytarabine (Ara-C) and Daunorubicin (Dnr), could contribute to difference in treatment outcome in AML. METHODS:In the present study, we evaluated the plasma PK of Dnr, the influence of genetic polymorphisms of genes involved in transport and metabolism of Dnr on the PK, and also the influence of these factors on clinical outcome. Plasma levels of Dnr and its major metabolite, Daunorubicinol (DOL), were available in 70 adult de novo AML patients. PK parameters (Area under curve (AUC) and clearance (CL)) of Dnr and DOL were calculated using nonlinear mixed-effects modeling analysis performed with Monolix. Genetic variants in ABCB1, ABCG2, CBR1, and CBR3 genes as well as RNA expression of CBR1, ABCB1, and ABCG2 were compared with Dnr PK parameters. RESULTS:The AUC and CL of Dnr and DOL showed wide inter-individual variation. Patients with an exon1 variant of rs25678 in CBR1 had significantly higher plasma Dnr AUC [p = 0.05] compared to patients with wild type. Patients who achieved complete remission (CR) had significantly lower plasma Dnr AUC, Cmax, and higher CL compared to patients who did not achieve CR. CONCLUSION:Further validation of these findings in a larger cohort of AML patients is warranted before establishing a therapeutic window for plasma Dnr levels and targeted dose adjustment.
Project description:In the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the "7?+?3"-based strategy, combining cytarabine 100-200 mg/m2 for 7 days with an anthracycline for 3 days, remains the standard of care for younger and medically fit patients. Daunorubicin (DNR) and idarubicin (IDA) are the two anthracyclines most commonly used. DNR and IDA are used interchangeably with different conversion factors, as there is no high-level evidence on the equipotency of these two agents for AML treatment. To determine the equipotent doses of DNR and IDA, we first systematically reviewed studies directly comparing the clinical outcomes of AML induction therapy utilizing DNR and IDA. We found 15 articles that met our inclusion criteria and compared time-to-event survival end points as well as complete remission rates post-induction. The DNR:IDA equipotency ratio was estimated at 5.90 with 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-20.7. To validate the estimate from our meta-analysis biologically, we conducted in vitro tests comparing anti-AML activity of DNR and IDA against six AML cell lines and two primary AML cells from patients with different cytogenetic and molecular characteristics. Based on these in vitro data, the equipotency dose ratio between DNR and IDA was 4.06 with 95% CI 3.64-4.49. Combining the estimates from the meta-analysis and the in vitro data using inverse-variance weighting, the current best estimate of the DNR:IDA equipotent ratio is 4.1 with 95% CI 3.9-4.3. This estimate, however, is largely driven by the in vitro chemo-sensitivity data. Given clinical studies demonstrating the safety of IDA at higher doses, our work implies that dose intensification of IDA could be investigated in future clinical trials in AML.
Project description:Ubiquitin and the ubiquitin-like SUMO are covalently conjugated to thousands of proteins to modulate their function and fate. Many of the enzymes involved in their conjugation are dysregulated in cancers and involved in cancer cell response to therapies. We describe here the identification of biomarkers of the activity of these enzymes and their use to predict acute myeloid leukemias (AML) response to standard chemotherapy (daunorubicin-DNR and cytarabine-Ara-C). We compared the ability of extracts from chemosensitive and chemoresistant AML cells to conjugate ubiquitin or SUMO-1 on 9,000 proteins spotted on protein arrays. We identified 122 proteins whose conjugation by these posttranslational modifiers marks AML resistance to DNR and/or Ara-C. Based on this signature, we defined a statistical score predicting AML patient response to standard chemotherapy. We finally developed a miniaturized assay allowing for easy assessment of modification levels of the selected biomarkers and validated it in patient cell extracts. Thus, our work identifies a new type of ubiquitin-based biomarkers that could be used to predict cancer patient response to treatments.
Project description:The right dose of daunorubicin (DNR) for the treatment of newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is uncertain. Previous trials have shown conflicting results concerning the efficacy of high or low doses of daunorubicin to induction chemotherapy for newly diagnosed AML. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to resolve this controversial issue. We compared the efficacy and safety of high doses of daunorubicin (HD-DNR) and traditional low doses of daunorubicin (LD-DNR) or idarubicin (IDA) during induction therapy of newly diagnosed AML. Data of 3,824 patients from 1,796 articles in the literature were retrieved and six randomized controlled trials were analyzed. The primary outcomes were overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and event-free survival (EFS). The secondary outcomes included complete remission (CR), relapse, and toxicity. The meta-analysis results suggest that comparing HD-DNR with LD-DNR, there were significant differences in CR (RR = 1.19, 95%CI[1.12,1.18], p<0.00001), OS(HR = 0.88, 95%CI[0.79,0.99], p = 0.002), and EFS (HR = 0.86, 95%CI [0.74, 1.00], p = 0.008), but not in DFS, relapse, and toxicity. There were no statistically significant differences in any other outcomes between HD-DNR and IDA. The analysis indicates that compared with LD-DNR, HD-DNR can significantly improve CR, OS and EFS but not DFS, and did not increase occurrence of relapse and toxicity.
Project description:The IPC-81 cell line is derived from the transplantable BNML model of acute myelogenic leukemia (AML), known to be a reliable predictor of the clinical efficiency of antileukemic agents, like the first-line AML anthracycline drug daunorubicin (DNR). We show here that cAMP acted synergistically with DNR to induce IPC cell death. The DNR-induced death differed from that induced by cAMP by (1) not involving Bim induction, (2) being abrogated by GSK3? inhibitors, (3) by being promoted by the HSP90/p23 antagonist geldanamycin and truncated p23 and (4) by being insensitive to the CRE binding protein (CREB) antagonist ICER and to cyclin-dependent protein kinase (CDK) inhibitors. In contrast, the apoptosis induced by cAMP correlated tightly with Bim protein expression. It was abrogated by Bim (BCL2L11) downregulation, whether achieved by the CREB antagonist ICER, by CDK inhibitors, by Bim-directed RNAi, or by protein synthesis inhibitor. The forced expression of BimL killed IPC-81(WT) cells rapidly, Bcl2-overexpressing cells being partially resistant. The pivotal role of CREB and CDK activity for Bim transcription is unprecedented. It is also noteworthy that newly developed cAMP analogs specifically activating PKA isozyme I (PKA-I) were able to induce IPC cell apoptosis. Our findings support the notion that AML cells may possess targetable death pathways not exploited by common anti-cancer agents.
Project description:Aberrantly expressed tyrosine kinases have emerged as promising targets for drug development in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We report that AKN-028, a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), is a potent FMS-like receptor tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) inhibitor (IC(50)=6?nM), causing dose-dependent inhibition of FLT3 autophosphorylation. Inhibition of KIT autophosphorylation was shown in a human megakaryoblastic leukemia cell line overexpressing KIT. In a panel of 17 cell lines, AKN-028 showed cytotoxic activity in all five AML cell lines included. AKN-028 triggered apoptosis in MV4-11 by activation of caspase 3. In primary AML samples (n=15), AKN-028 induced a clear dose-dependent cytotoxic response (mean IC(50) 1??M). However, no correlation between antileukemic activity and FLT3 mutation status, or to the quantitative expression of FLT3, was observed. Combination studies showed synergistic activity when cytarabine or daunorubicin was added simultaneously or 24?h before AKN-028. In mice, AKN-028 demonstrated high oral bioavailability and antileukemic effect in primary AML and MV4-11 cells, with no major toxicity observed in the experiment. In conclusion, AKN-028 is a novel TKI with significant preclinical antileukemic activity in AML. Possible sequence-dependent synergy with standard AML drugs and good oral bioavailability has made it a candidate drug for clinical trials (ongoing).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recent evidence demonstrated that the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells with daunorubicin (DNR) but not cytarabine (Ara-C) results in immunogenic cell death (ICD). In the clinical setting, chemotherapy including anthracyclines and Ara-C remains a gold standard for AML treatment. In the last decade, etoposide (Eto) and fludarabine (Flu) have been added to the standard treatment for AML to potentiate its therapeutic effect and have been tested in many trials. Very little data are available about the ability of these drugs to induce ICD. METHODS:AML cells were treated with all four drugs. Calreticulin and heat shock protein 70/90 translocation, non-histone chromatin-binding protein high mobility group box 1 and adenosine triphosphate release were evaluated. The treated cells were pulsed into dendritic cells (DCs) and used for in vitro immunological tests. RESULTS:Flu and Ara-C had no capacity to induce ICD-related events. Interestingly, Eto was comparable to DNR in inducing all ICD events, resulting in DC maturation. Moreover, Flu was significantly more potent in inducing suppressive T regulatory cells compared to other drugs. CONCLUSIONS:Our results indicate a novel and until now poorly investigated feature of antineoplastic drugs commonly used for AML treatment, based on their different immunogenic potential.