SU5416 and SU6668 are potent antiangiogenic small-molecule inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases, including those of the vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor receptor families. The stem cell factor (SCF) receptor, c-kit, is structurally related to these receptors and, although not expressed on mature peripheral blood cells, is expressed in leukemic blasts derived from 60% to 80% of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. The c-kit kinase inhibitory activity of SU5416 and SU6668 was evaluated in MO7E cells, a human myeloid leukemia cell line. Tyrosine auto-phosphorylation of the receptor, induced by SCF, was inhibited in these cells by SU5416 and SU6668 in a dose-dependent manner (inhibitory concentration of 50% [IC50] 0.1-1 μM). Inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, a signaling event downstream of c-kit activation, was also inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. Both compounds also inhibited SCF-induced proliferation of MO7E cells (IC50 0.1 μM for SU5416; 0.29 μM for SU6668). Furthermore, both SU5416 and SU6668 induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner as measured by the increase in activated caspase-3 and the enhanced cleavage of its substrate poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. These findings with MO7E cells were extended to leukemic blasts from c-kit+ patients. In patient blasts, both SU5416 and SU6668 inhibited SCF-induced phosphorylafion of c-kit and ERK1/2 and induced apoptosis. These studies indicate that SU5416 and SU6668 inhibit biologic functions of c-kit in addition to exhibiting antiangiogenic properties and suggest that the combination of these activities may provide a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of AML.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology