Presence of the activating length mutation (LM) in the juxtamembrane domain or point mutation in the kinase domain of FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT-3) mediates ligand-independent progrowth and prosurvival signaling in approximately one-third of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). PKC412, an inhibitor of FLT-3 kinase activity, is being clinically evaluated in AML. Present studies demonstrate that treatment of human acute leukemia MV4-11 cells (containing a FLT-3 LM) with the heat shock protein 90 inhibitor 17-allylamino-demethoxy geldanamycin (17-AAG) attenuated the levels of FLT-3 by inhibiting its chaperone association with heat shock protein 90, which induced the poly-ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation of FLT-3. Treatment with 17-AAG induced cell cycle G1 phase accumulation and apoptosis of MV4-11 cells. 17-AAG-mediated attenuation of FLT-3 and p-FLT-3 in MV4-11 cells was associated with decrease in the levels of p-AKT, p-ERK1/2, and p-STAT5, as well as attenuation of the DNA binding activity of STAT-5. Treatment with 17-AAG, downstream of STAT5, reduced the levels of c-Myc and oncostatin M, which are transactivated by STAT5. Cotreatment with 17-AAG and PKC412 markedly down-regulated the levels of FLT-3, p-FLT-3, p-AKT, p-ERK1/2, and p-STAT5, as well as induced more apoptosis of MV4-11 cells than either agent alone. Furthermore, the combination of 17-AAG and PKC412 exerted synergistic cytotoxic effects against MV4-11 cells. Importantly, 17-AAG and PKC412 induced more loss of cell viability of primary AML blasts containing FLT-3 LM, as compared with those that contained wild-type FLT-3. Collectively, these in vitro findings indicate that the combination of 17-AAG and PKC412 has high level of activity against AML cells with FLT-3 mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research