The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway plays a critical role in growth and survival of BCR-ABL transformed cells. AMPK kinase is a metabolic sensor that exhibits suppressive effects on the mTOR pathway and negatively regulates mTOR activity. We report that AMPK activators, such as metformin and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide, suppress activation of the mTOR pathway in BCR-ABL-expressing cells. Treatment with these inhibitors results in potent suppression of chronic myeloid leukemia leukemic precursors and Ph + acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells, including cells expressing the T315I-BCR-ABL mutation. Altogether, our data suggest that AMPK is an attractive target for the treatment of BCR-ABL-expressing malignancies and raise the potential for use of AMPK activators in the treatment of refractory chronic myeloid leukemia and Ph + acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology