Phosphorylation of a constrained azacyclic FTY720 analog enhances anti-leukemic activity without inducing S1P receptor activation.

McCracken, A N; McMonigle, R J; Tessier, J; Fransson, R; Perryman, M S; Chen, B; Keebaugh, A; Selwan, E; Barr, S A; Kim, S M; Roy, S G; Liu, G; Fallegger, D; Sernissi, L; Brandt, C; Moitessier, N; Snider, A J; Clare, S; Müschen, M; Huwiler, Andrea; ... (2017). Phosphorylation of a constrained azacyclic FTY720 analog enhances anti-leukemic activity without inducing S1P receptor activation. Leukemia, 31(3), pp. 669-677. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/leu.2016.244

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The frequency of poor outcomes in relapsed leukemia patients underscores the need for novel therapeutic approaches. The Food and Drug Administration-approved immunosuppressant FTY720 limits leukemia progression by activating protein phosphatase 2A and restricting nutrient access. Unfortunately, FTY720 cannot be re-purposed for use in cancer patients due to on-target toxicity associated with S1P receptor activation at the elevated, anti-neoplastic dose. Here we show that the constrained azacyclic FTY720 analog SH-RF-177 lacks S1P receptor activity but maintains anti-leukemic activity in vitro and in vivo. SH-RF-177 was not only more potent than FTY720, but killed via a distinct mechanism. Phosphorylation is dispensable for FTY720's anti-leukemic actions. However, chemical biology and genetic approaches demonstrated that the sphingosine kinase 2 (SPHK2)-mediated phosphorylation of SH-RF-177 led to engagement of a pro-apoptotic target and increased potency. The cytotoxicity of membrane-permeant FTY720 phosphonate esters suggests that the enhanced potency of SH-RF-177 stems from its more efficient phosphorylation. The tight inverse correlation between SH-RF-177 IC50 and SPHK2 mRNA expression suggests a useful biomarker for SH-RF-177 sensitivity. In summary, these studies indicate that FTY720 analogs that are efficiently phosphorylated but fail to activate S1P receptors may be superior anti-leukemic agents compared to compounds that avoid cardiotoxicity by eliminating phosphorylation.Leukemia advance online publication, 30 September 2016; doi:10.1038/leu.2016.244.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology

UniBE Contributor:

Huwiler, Andrea

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0887-6924

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jana Berger

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2017 09:12

Last Modified:

21 Mar 2017 09:12

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/leu.2016.244

PubMed ID:

27573555

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.95284

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/95284

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