Antileukemic effects of AMPK activators on BCR-ABL-expressing cells

Eliza Vakana, Jessica K. Altman, Heather Glaser, Nicholas J. Donato, Leonidas C. Platanias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6399-6402
Number of pages4
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 8 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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