Effects of the Bcr/abl kinase inhibitors STI571 and adaphostin (NSC 680410) on chronic myelogenous leukemia cells in vitro

Benjamin M.F. Mow, Joya Chandra, Phyllis A. Svingen, Christopher G. Hallgren, Ellen Weisberg, Timothy J. Kottke, Ven L. Narayanan, Mark R. Litzow, James D. Griffin, Edward A. Sausville, Ayalew Tefferi, Scott H. Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


The adenosine triphosphate binding-site-directed agent STI571 and the tyrphostin adaphostin are undergoing evaluation as bcr/abl kinase inhibitors. The current study compared the effects of these agents on the survival of K562 cells, bcr/abl-transduced FDC-P1 cells, and myeloid progenitors from patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) compared with healthy donors. Treatment of K562 cells with 10 μM adaphostin resulted in decreased p210bcr/abl polypeptide levels in the first 6 hours, followed by caspase activation and accumulation of apoptotic cells in less than 12 hours. By 24 hours, 90% of the cells were apoptotic and unable to form colonies, In contrast, 20 μM STI571 caused rapid inhibition of bcr/abl autophosphorylation without p210bcr/abl degradation. Although this was followed by the inhibition of Stat5 phosphorylation and the down-regulation of Bcl-XL and Mcl-1, only 7% ± 3% and 25% ± 9% of cells were apoptotic at 16 and 24 hours, respectively. Instead, the cytotoxic effects of STI571 became more pronounced with prolonged exposure, with IC90 values greater than 20 μM and 1.0 ± 0.6 μM after 24 and 48 hours, respectively. Consistent with these results, 24-hour adaphostin exposure inhibited CML granulocyte colony-forming units (CFU-G) (median IC50, 12 μM) but not normal CFU-G (median IC50, greater than 20 μM), whereas 24-hour STI571 treatment had no effect on CML or normal CFU-G. Additional experiments revealed that STI571-resistant K562 cells remained sensitive to adaphostin. Moreover, the combination of STI571 + adaphostin induced more cytotoxicity in K562 cells and in CML CFU-G than either agent alone did. Collectively, these results identify adaphostin as a mechanistically distinct CML-selective agent that retains activity in STI571-resistant cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-671
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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