Overriding imatinib resistance with a novel ABL kinase inhibitor
Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl
Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive
Resistance to the ABL kinase inhibitor imatinib (STI571 or Gleevec) in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) occurs through selection for tumor cells harboring BCR-ABL kinase domain point mutations that interfere with drug binding. Crystallographic studies predict that most imatinib-resistant mutants should remain sensitive to inhibitors that bind ABL with less stringent conformational requirements. BMS-354825 is an orally bioavailable ABL kinase inhibitor with two-log increased potency relative to imatinib that retains activity against 14 of 15 imatinib-resistant BCR-ABL mutants. BMS-354825 prolongs survival of mice with BCR-ABL-driven disease and inhibits proliferation of BCR-ABL-positive bone marrow progenitor cells from patients with imatinib-sensitive and imatinib-resistant CML. These data illustrate how molecular insight into kinase inhibitor resistance can guide the design of second-generation targeted therapies.