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See detailThe HDAC6 inhibitor 7b induces BCR-ABL ubiquitination and downregulation and synergizes with imatinib to trigger apoptosis in chronic myeloid leukemia
Losson, Hélène; Gajulapalli, Sruthi Reddy; Lernoux, Manon et al

in Pharmacological Research (2020), 160

Despite the discovery of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for the treatment of breakpoint cluster region-Abelson (BCR-ABL)+ cancer types, patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treated with TKIs ... [more ▼]

Despite the discovery of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for the treatment of breakpoint cluster region-Abelson (BCR-ABL)+ cancer types, patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treated with TKIs develop resistance and severe adverse effects. Combination treatment, especially with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) 6 inhibitor (HDAC6i), appears to be an attractive option to prevent TKI resistance, considering the potential capacity of an HDAC6i to diminish BCR-ABL expression. We first validated the in vivo anti-cancer potential of the compound 7b by significantly reducing the tumor burden of BALB/c mice xenografted with K-562 cells, without notable organ toxicity. Here, we hypothesize that the HDAC6i compound 7b can lead to BCR-ABL downregulation in CML cells and sensitize them to TKI treatment. The results showed that combination treatment with imatinib and 7b resulted in strong synergistic caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death and drastically reduced the proportion of leukemia stem cells, whereas this treatment only moderately affected healthy cells. Ultimately, the combination significantly decreased colony formation in a semisolid methylcellulose medium and tumor mass in xenografted zebrafish compared to each compound alone. Mechanistically, the combination induced BCR-ABL ubiquitination and downregulation followed by disturbance of key proteins in downstream pathways involved in CML proliferation and survival. Taken together, our results suggest that an HDAC6i potentiates the effect of imatinib and could overcome TKI resistance in CML cells. [less ▲]

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See detailNovel HDAC inhibitor MAKV-8 and imatinib synergistically kill chronic myeloid leukemia cells via inhibition of BCR-ABL/MYC-signaling: effect on imatinib resistance and stem cells
Lernoux, Manon; Schnekenburger, Michael; Losson, Hélène et al

in Clinical Epigenetics (2020), 12(1), 69

BACKGROUND: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) pathogenesis is mainly driven by the oncogenic breakpoint cluster region-Abelson murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (BCR-ABL) fusion protein. Since BCR-ABL ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) pathogenesis is mainly driven by the oncogenic breakpoint cluster region-Abelson murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (BCR-ABL) fusion protein. Since BCR-ABL displays abnormal constitutive tyrosine kinase activity, therapies using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKis) such as imatinib represent a major breakthrough for the outcome of CML patients. Nevertheless, the development of TKi resistance and the persistence of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) remain barriers to cure the disease, justifying the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Since the activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC) is deregulated in numerous cancers including CML, pan-HDAC inhibitors may represent promising therapeutic regimens for the treatment of CML cells in combination with TKi. RESULTS: We assessed the anti-leukemic activity of a novel hydroxamate-based pan-HDAC inhibitor MAKV-8, which complied with the Lipinski's "rule of five," in various CML cells alone or in combination with imatinib. We validated the in vitro HDAC-inhibitory potential of MAKV-8 and demonstrated efficient binding to the ligand-binding pocket of HDAC isoenzymes. In cellulo, MAKV-8 significantly induced target protein acetylation, displayed cytostatic and cytotoxic properties, and triggered concomitant ER stress/protective autophagy leading to canonical caspase-dependent apoptosis. Considering the specific upregulation of selected HDACs in LSCs from CML patients, we investigated the differential toxicity of a co-treatment with MAKV-8 and imatinib in CML versus healthy cells. We also showed that beclin-1 knockdown prevented MAKV-8-imatinib combination-induced apoptosis. Moreover, MAKV-8 and imatinib co-treatment synergistically reduced BCR-ABL-related signaling pathways involved in CML cell growth and survival. Since our results showed that LSCs from CML patients overexpressed c-MYC, importantly MAKV-8-imatinib co-treatment reduced c-MYC levels and the LSC population. In vivo, tumor growth of xenografted K-562 cells in zebrafish was completely abrogated upon combined treatment with MAKV-8 and imatinib. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, the present findings show that combinations HDAC inhibitor-imatinib are likely to overcome drug resistance in CML pathology. [less ▲]

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