Preclinical and clinical efficacy of XPO1/CRM1 inhibition by the karyopherin inhibitor KPT-330 in Ph+ leukemias.

Walker CJ, Oaks JJ, Santhanam R, Neviani P, Harb JG, Ferenchak G, Ellis JJ, Landesman Y, Eisfeld AK, Gabrail NY, Smith CL, Caligiuri MA, Hokland P, Roy DC, Reid A, Milojkovic D, Goldman JM, Apperley J, Garzon R, Marcucci G, Shacham S, Kauffman MG, Perrotti D
Blood 122 3034-44 10/24/2013


As tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) fail to induce long-term response in blast crisis chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML-BC) and Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph(+)) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), novel therapies targeting leukemia-dysregulated pathways are necessary. Exportin-1 (XPO1), also known as chromosome maintenance protein 1, regulates cell growth and differentiation by controlling the nucleocytoplasmic trafficking of proteins and RNAs, some of which are aberrantly modulated in BCR-ABL1(+) leukemias. Using CD34(+) progenitors from CML, B-ALL, and healthy individuals, we found that XPO1 expression was markedly increased, mostly in a TKI-sensitive manner, in CML-BC and Ph(+) B-ALL. Notably, XPO1 was also elevated in Ph(-) B-ALL. Moreover, the clinically relevant XPO1 inhibitor KPT-330 strongly triggered apoptosis and impaired the clonogenic potential of leukemic, but not normal, CD34(+) progenitors, and increased survival of BCR-ABL1(+) mice, 50% of which remained alive and, mostly, became BCR-ABL1 negative. Moreover, KPT-330 compassionate use in a patient with TKI-resistant CML undergoing disease progression significantly reduced white blood cell count, blast cells, splenomegaly, lactate dehydrogenase levels, and bone pain. Mechanistically, KPT-330 altered the subcellular localization of leukemia-regulated factors including RNA-binding heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 and the oncogene SET, thereby inducing reactivation of protein phosphatase 2A tumor suppressor and inhibition of BCR-ABL1 in CML-BC cells. Because XPO1 is important for leukemic cell survival, KPT-330 may represent an alternative therapy for TKI-refractory Ph(+) leukemias.

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