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Concurrent targeting Akt and sphingosine kinase 1 by A-674563 in acute myeloid leukemia cells

Xu, Lin, Zhang, Yanan, Gao, Meng, Wang, Guangping, Fu, Yunfeng
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2016 v.472 pp. 662-668
apoptosis, ceramides, cytotoxicity, humans, intraperitoneal injection, mice, mononuclear leukocytes, myeloid leukemia, neoplasm cells, sphingosine, stem cells
Akt signaling plays a pivotal role in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) development and progression. In the present study, we evaluated the potential anti-AML activity by a novel Akt kinase inhibitor A-674563. Our results showed that A-674563 dose-dependently inhibited survival and proliferation of U937 AML cells and six lines of human AML progenitor cells, yet sparing human peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBMCs). A-674563 activated caspase-3/9 and apoptosis in the AML cells. Reversely, the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD-CHO dramatically alleviated A-674563-induced AML cell apoptosis and cytotoxicity. For the molecular study, we showed that A-674563 blocked Akt activation in U937 cells and human AML progenitor cells. Further, A-674563 decreased sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) activity in above AML cells to deplete pro-survival sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and boost pro-apoptotic ceramide production. Such an effect on SphK1 signaling by A-674563 appeared independent of Akt blockage. Significantly, K6PC-5, a novel SphK1 activator, or supplement with S1P attenuated A-674563-induced ceramide production, and subsequent U937 cell death and apoptosis. Importantly, intraperitoneal injection of A-674563 at well-tolerated doses suppressed U937 leukemic xenograft tumor growth in nude mice, whiling significantly improving the animal survival. The results of the current study demonstrate that A-674563 exerts potent anti-leukemic activity in vitro and in vivo, possibly via concurrent targeting Akt and SphK1 signalings.