Research Papers:

FLT3-ITD confers resistance to the PI3K/Akt pathway inhibitors by protecting the mTOR/4EBP1/Mcl-1 pathway through STAT5 activation in acute myeloid leukemia

Ayako Nogami _, Gaku Oshikawa, Keigo Okada, Shusaku Fukutake, Yoshihiro Umezawa, Toshikage Nagao, Tetsuya Kurosu and Osamu Miura

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:9189-9205. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3279

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Ayako Nogami1, Gaku Oshikawa1, Keigo Okada1, Shusaku Fukutake1, Yoshihiro Umezawa1, Toshikage Nagao1, Tetsuya Kurosu1, Osamu Miura1

1Department of Hematology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence to:

Osamu Miura, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: AML, FLT3, PI3K, STAT5, MCL-1

Received: December 02, 2014     Accepted: February 07, 2015     Published: March 16, 2015


FLT3-ITD and FLT3-TKD are the most frequent tyrosine kinase mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with the former associated with poor prognosis. Here, we show that the PI3K inhibitor GDC-0941 or the Akt inhibitor MK-2206 induced apoptosis through the mitochondria-mediated intrinsic pathway more efficiently in hematopoietic 32D cells driven by FLT3-TKD (32D/TKD) than FLT3-ITD (32D/ITD), which robustly activated STAT5. The resistance to GDC-0941 and MK-2206 was gained by expression of the constitutively activated STAT5 mutant STAT5A1*6 in 32D/TKD cells, while it was abrogated by the STAT5 inhibitor pimozide in 32D/ITD cells or FLT3-ITD-expressing human leukemic MV4–11 cells. GDC-0941 or MK-2206 induced dephosphorylation of 4EBP1 more conspicuously in 32D/TKD than in 32D/ITD, which was prevented or augmented by STAT5A1*6 or pimozide, respectively, and correlated with downregulation of the eIF4E/eIF4G complex formation and Mcl-1 expression. Furthermore, exogenous expression of Mcl-1 endowed resistance to GDC-0941 and MK-2206 on 32D/TKD cells. Finally, it was confirmed in primary AML cells with FLT3-ITD that pimozide enhanced 4EBP1 dephosphorylation and Mcl-1 downregulation to augment cytotoxicity of GDC-0941. These data suggest that the robust STAT5 activation by FLT3-ITD protects cells treated with the PI3K/Akt pathway inhibitors from apoptosis by maintaining Mcl-1 expression through the mTORC1/4EBP1/eIF4E pathway.

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