Medline ® Abstract for Reference 103
of 'Cellular and molecular biology of chronic myeloid leukemia'
Activity of the farnesyl protein transferase inhibitor SCH66336 against BCR/ABL-induced murine leukemia and primary cells from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia.
Peters DG, Hoover RR, Gerlach MJ, Koh EY, Zhang H, Choe K, Kirschmeier P, Bishop WR, Daley GQ
BCR/ABL, the oncoprotein responsible for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), transforms hematopoietic cells through both Ras-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Farnesyl protein transferase inhibitors (FTIs) were designed to block mutant Ras signaling, but they also inhibit the growth of transformed cells with wild-type Ras, implying that other farnesylated targets contribute to FTI action. In the current study, the clinical candidate FTI SCH66336 was characterized for its ability to inhibit BCR/ABL transformation. When tested against BCR/ABL-BaF3 cells, a murine cell line that is leukemogenic in mice, SCH66336 potently inhibited soft agar colony formation, slowed proliferation, and sensitized cells to apoptotic stimuli. Quantification of activated guanosine triphosphate (GTP)-bound Ras protein and electrophoretic mobility shift assays for AP-1 DNA binding showed that Ras effector pathways are inhibited by SCH66336. However, SCH66336 was more inhibitory than dominant-negative Ras in assays of soft agar colony formation and cell proliferation, suggesting activity against targets other than Ras. Cell cycle analysis of BCR/ABL-BaF3 cells treated with SCH66336 revealed G2/M blockade, consistent with recent reports that centromeric proteins that regulate the G2/M checkpoint are critical farnesylated targets of FTI action. Mice injected intravenously with BCR/ABL-BaF3 cells developed acute leukemia and died within 4 weeks with massive splenomegaly, elevated white blood cell counts, and anemia. In contrast, nearly all mice treated with SCH66336 survived and have remained disease-free for more than a year. Furthermore, SCH66336 selectively inhibited the hematopoietic colony formation of primary human CML cells. As an oral, nontoxic compound with a mechanism of action distinct from that of ABL tyrosine kinase inhibition, FTI SCH66336 shows promise for the treatment of BCR/ABL-induced leukemia.
Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, MA; Division of Hematology/ Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02142, USA.