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Targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia and its therapeutic potential.

Leukemia (2013-07-31)
L M Neri, A Cani, A M Martelli, C Simioni, C Junghanss, G Tabellini, F Ricci, P L Tazzari, P Pagliaro, J A McCubrey, S Capitani
ABSTRACT

B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-pre ALL) is a malignant disorder characterized by the abnormal proliferation of B-cell progenitors. The prognosis of B-pre ALL has improved in pediatric patients, but the outcome is much less successful in adults. Constitutive activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), Akt and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) network is a feature of B-pre ALL, where it strongly influences cell growth and survival. RAD001, a selective mTORC1 inhibitor, has been shown to be cytotoxic against many types of cancer including hematological malignancies. To investigate whether mTORC1 could represent a target in the therapy of B-pre ALL, we treated cell lines and adult patient primary cells with RAD001. We documented that RAD001 decreased cell viability, induced cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 phase and caused apoptosis in B-pre ALL cell lines. Autophagy was also induced, which was important for the RAD001 cytotoxic effect, as downregulation of Beclin-1 reduced drug cytotoxicity. RAD001 strongly synergized with the novel allosteric Akt inhibitor MK-2206 in both cell lines and patient samples. Similar results were obtained with the combination CCI-779 plus GSK 690693. These findings point out that mTORC1 inhibitors, either as a single agent or in combination with Akt inhibitors, could represent a potential therapeutic innovative strategy in B-pre ALL.

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Supelco
Everolimus solution, 1.0 mg/mL in acetonitrile, ampule of 1 mL, certified reference material, Cerilliant®