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Small-Molecule Targeting of Oncogenic FTO Demethylase in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Cancer cell (2019-04-17)
Yue Huang, Rui Su, Yue Sheng, Lei Dong, Ze Dong, Hongjiao Xu, Tengfeng Ni, Zijie Scott Zhang, Tao Zhang, Chenying Li, Li Han, Zhenyun Zhu, Fulin Lian, Jiangbo Wei, Qiangqiang Deng, Yungui Wang, Mark Wunderlich, Zhiwei Gao, Guoyu Pan, Dafang Zhong, Hu Zhou, Naixia Zhang, Jianhua Gan, Hualiang Jiang, James C Mulloy, Zhijian Qian, Jianjun Chen, Cai-Guang Yang
ABSTRACT

FTO, an mRNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) demethylase, was reported to promote leukemogenesis. Using structure-based rational design, we have developed two promising FTO inhibitors, namely FB23 and FB23-2, which directly bind to FTO and selectively inhibit FTO's m6A demethylase activity. Mimicking FTO depletion, FB23-2 dramatically suppresses proliferation and promotes the differentiation/apoptosis of human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell line cells and primary blast AML cells in vitro. Moreover, FB23-2 significantly inhibits the progression of human AML cell lines and primary cells in xeno-transplanted mice. Collectively, our data suggest that FTO is a druggable target and that targeting FTO by small-molecule inhibitors holds potential to treat AML.