BMI1-Inhibitor PTC596 in Combination with MCL1 Inhibitor S63845 or MEK Inhibitor Trametinib in the Treatment of Acute Leukemia

Purpose: Prognosis for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients is poor, particularly in TP53 mutated AML, secondary, relapsed, and refractory AML, and in patients unfit for intensive treatment, thus highlighting an unmet need for novel therapeutic approaches. The combined use of compounds targeting the stem cell oncoprotein BMI1 and activating the tumor suppressor protein p53 may represent a promising novel treatment option for poor risk AML patients.

Experimental design: The BMI1 inhibitor PTC596, MCL1 inhibitor S63845, and MEK inhibitor trametinib, as well as the p53 activator APR-246 were assessed as single agents and in combination for their ability to induce apoptosis and cell death in leukemic cells. AML cells represented all major morphologic and molecular subtypes including FLT3-ITD and FLT3 wild type, NPM1 mutant and wild type, as well as TP53 mutant and wild type AML cell lines and a variety of patient derived AML cells.

Results: AML cell lines were variably susceptible to PTC596 and to combination treatments with PTC596 and MCL1 inhibitor S63845, MEK inhibitor trametinib, or TP53 activator APR-246, independent of TP53 mutational status. Susceptibility of patient samples for PTC596 in combination with S63845 or trametinib was significant for the majority of adverse risk primary and secondary AML with minimal efficacy in favorable risk AML, and correlated significantly with CD34 positivity of the samples. BMI1 and MN1 gene expression, and MCL1 and MEK1 protein levels were identified as biomarkers for response to PTC596 combination treatments.

Conclusions: The combination of PTC596 and S63845 may be an effective treatment in CD34+ adverse risk AML with elevated MN1 gene expression and MCL1 protein levels, while PTC596 and trametinib may be more effective in CD34+ adverse risk AML with elevated BMI1 gene expression and MEK protein levels.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S7724 Eprenetapopt (APR-246) Eprenetapopt (APR-246, PRIMA-1MET) is a small organic molecule that has been shown to restore tumour-suppressor function primarily to mutant p53 and also to induce cell death in various cancer types. APR-246 induces apoptosis and autophagy. (4)

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