A novel pyridopyrimidine inhibitor of Abl kinase is a picomolar inhibitor of Bcr-abl-driven K562 cells and is effective against STI571-resistant Bcr-abl mutants
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-abl
Inhibition of the constitutively active Bcr-abl tyrosine kinase(TK) by STI571 has proven to be a highly effective treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). However, STI571 is only transiently effective in blast crisis, and drug resistance emerges by amplification of or development of mutational changes in Bcr-abl. We have screened a family of TK inhibitors of the pyrido [2,3-d]pyrimidine class, unrelated to STI571, and describe here a compound with substantial activity against STI-resistant mutant Bcr-abl proteins. This compound, PD166326, is a dual specificity TK inhibitor and inhibits src and abl in vitro with IC(50)s of 6 and 8 nM respectively. PD166326 inhibits the growth of K562 cells with IC(50) of 300 pM, leading to apoptotic G(1) arrest, whereas non-Bcr-abl cell types require >1000 times higher concentrations. We tested the effects of PD166326 on two of the clinically observed STI571-resistant Bcr-abl mutants. PD166326 potently inhibits the E255K mutant Bcr-abl protein and the growth of Bcr-ablE255K-driven cells. The T315I mutant Bcr-abl protein, which is mutated within the ATP-binding pocket, is resistant to PD166326; however, the growth of Bcr-ablT315I-driven cells is partially sensitive to this compound, likely through the inhibition of Bcr-abl effector pathways. These findings show that TK drug resistance is a structure-specific phenomenon and can be overcome by TK inhibitors of other structural classes, suggesting new approaches for future anticancer drug development. PD166326 is a prototype of a new generation of anti-Bcr-abl compounds with picomolar potency and substantial activity against STI571-resistant mutants.