The CXCR4 inhibitor BL-8040 induces the apoptosis of AML blasts by downregulating ERK, BCL-2, MCL-1 and cyclin-D1 via altered miR-15a/16-1 expression

M. Abraham, S. Klein, B. Bulvik, H. Wald, I. D. Weiss, D. Olam, L. Weiss, K. Beider, O. Eizenberg, O. Wald, E. Galun, A. Avigdor, O. Benjamini, A. Nagler, Y. Pereg, S. Tavor, A. Peled

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CXCR4 is a key player in the retention and survival of human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. We studied the effects of the CXCR4 antagonist BL-8040 on the survival of AML blasts, and investigated the molecular mechanisms by which CXCR4 signaling inhibition leads to leukemic cell death. Treatment with BL-8040 induced the robust mobilization of AML blasts from the BM. In addition, AML cells exposed to BL-8040 underwent differentiation. Furthermore, BL-8040 induced the apoptosis of AML cells in vitro and in vivo. This apoptosis was mediated by the upregulation of miR-15a/miR-16-1, resulting in downregulation of the target genes BCL-2, MCL-1 and cyclin-D1. Overexpression of miR-15a/miR-16-1 directly induced leukemic cell death. BL-8040-induced apoptosis was also mediated by the inhibition of survival signals via the AKT/ERK pathways. Importantly, treatment with a BCL-2 inhibitor induced apoptosis and act together with BL-8040 to enhance cell death. BL-8040 also synergized with FLT3 inhibitors to induce AML cell death. Importantly, this combined treatment prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice and reduced minimal residual disease in vivo. Our results provide a rationale to test combination therapies employing BL-8040 and BCL-2 or FLT3 inhibitors to achieve increased efficacy of these agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2336-2346
Number of pages11
JournalLeukemia
Volume31
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The CXCR4 inhibitor BL-8040 induces the apoptosis of AML blasts by downregulating ERK, BCL-2, MCL-1 and cyclin-D1 via altered miR-15a/16-1 expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this