Targeting AMPK-ULK1-mediated autophagy for combating BET inhibitor resistance in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells

Ji Eun Jang, Ju In Eom, Hoi Kyung Jeung, June Won Cheong, Jung Yeon Lee, Jinseok Kim, Yoo Hong Min

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) inhibitors are promising epigenetic agents for the treatment of various subsets of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the resistance of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) to BET inhibitors remains a major challenge. In this study, we evaluated the mechanisms underlying LSC resistance to the BET inhibitor JQ1. We evaluated the levels of apoptosis and macroautophagy/autophagy induced by JQ1 in LSC-like leukemia cell lines and primary CD34+ CD38 leukemic blasts obtained from AML cases with normal karyotype without recurrent mutations. JQ1 effectively induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in JQ1-sensitive AML cells. However, in JQ1-resistant AML LSCs, JQ1 induced little apoptosis and led to upregulation of BECN1/Beclin 1, increased LC3 lipidation, formation of autophagosomes, and downregulation of SQSTM1/p62. Inhibition of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitors or knockdown of BECN1 using specific siRNA enhanced JQ1-induced apoptosis in resistant cells, indicating that prosurvival autophagy occurred in these cells. Independent of MTOR signaling, activation of the AMPK (p-Thr172)-ULK1 (p-Ser555) pathway was found to be associated with JQ1-induced autophagy in resistant cells. AMPK inhibition using the pharmacological inhibitor compound C or by knockdown of PRKAA/AMPKα suppressed autophagy and promoted JQ1-induced apoptosis in AML LSCs. These findings revealed that prosurvival autophagy was one of the mechanisms involved in the resistance of AML LSCs to JQ1. Targeting the AMPK-ULK1 pathway or inhibition of autophagy could be an effective therapeutic strategy for combating resistance to BET inhibitors in AML and other types of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-762
Number of pages2
JournalAutophagy
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 3

Fingerprint

Myeloid Progenitor Cells
AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
Autophagy
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Leukemia
Stem Cells
Apoptosis
Pharmacology
Myeloid Cells
Karyotype
Epigenomics
Small Interfering RNA
Up-Regulation
Down-Regulation
Cell Line
Mutation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Jang, Ji Eun ; Eom, Ju In ; Jeung, Hoi Kyung ; Cheong, June Won ; Lee, Jung Yeon ; Kim, Jinseok ; Min, Yoo Hong. / Targeting AMPK-ULK1-mediated autophagy for combating BET inhibitor resistance in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells. In: Autophagy. 2017 ; Vol. 13, No. 4. pp. 761-762.
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abstract = "Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) inhibitors are promising epigenetic agents for the treatment of various subsets of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the resistance of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) to BET inhibitors remains a major challenge. In this study, we evaluated the mechanisms underlying LSC resistance to the BET inhibitor JQ1. We evaluated the levels of apoptosis and macroautophagy/autophagy induced by JQ1 in LSC-like leukemia cell lines and primary CD34+ CD38− leukemic blasts obtained from AML cases with normal karyotype without recurrent mutations. JQ1 effectively induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in JQ1-sensitive AML cells. However, in JQ1-resistant AML LSCs, JQ1 induced little apoptosis and led to upregulation of BECN1/Beclin 1, increased LC3 lipidation, formation of autophagosomes, and downregulation of SQSTM1/p62. Inhibition of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitors or knockdown of BECN1 using specific siRNA enhanced JQ1-induced apoptosis in resistant cells, indicating that prosurvival autophagy occurred in these cells. Independent of MTOR signaling, activation of the AMPK (p-Thr172)-ULK1 (p-Ser555) pathway was found to be associated with JQ1-induced autophagy in resistant cells. AMPK inhibition using the pharmacological inhibitor compound C or by knockdown of PRKAA/AMPKα suppressed autophagy and promoted JQ1-induced apoptosis in AML LSCs. These findings revealed that prosurvival autophagy was one of the mechanisms involved in the resistance of AML LSCs to JQ1. Targeting the AMPK-ULK1 pathway or inhibition of autophagy could be an effective therapeutic strategy for combating resistance to BET inhibitors in AML and other types of cancer.",
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Targeting AMPK-ULK1-mediated autophagy for combating BET inhibitor resistance in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells. / Jang, Ji Eun; Eom, Ju In; Jeung, Hoi Kyung; Cheong, June Won; Lee, Jung Yeon; Kim, Jinseok; Min, Yoo Hong.

In: Autophagy, Vol. 13, No. 4, 03.04.2017, p. 761-762.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

TY - JOUR

T1 - Targeting AMPK-ULK1-mediated autophagy for combating BET inhibitor resistance in acute myeloid leukemia stem cells

AU - Jang, Ji Eun

AU - Eom, Ju In

AU - Jeung, Hoi Kyung

AU - Cheong, June Won

AU - Lee, Jung Yeon

AU - Kim, Jinseok

AU - Min, Yoo Hong

PY - 2017/4/3

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N2 - Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) inhibitors are promising epigenetic agents for the treatment of various subsets of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the resistance of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) to BET inhibitors remains a major challenge. In this study, we evaluated the mechanisms underlying LSC resistance to the BET inhibitor JQ1. We evaluated the levels of apoptosis and macroautophagy/autophagy induced by JQ1 in LSC-like leukemia cell lines and primary CD34+ CD38− leukemic blasts obtained from AML cases with normal karyotype without recurrent mutations. JQ1 effectively induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in JQ1-sensitive AML cells. However, in JQ1-resistant AML LSCs, JQ1 induced little apoptosis and led to upregulation of BECN1/Beclin 1, increased LC3 lipidation, formation of autophagosomes, and downregulation of SQSTM1/p62. Inhibition of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitors or knockdown of BECN1 using specific siRNA enhanced JQ1-induced apoptosis in resistant cells, indicating that prosurvival autophagy occurred in these cells. Independent of MTOR signaling, activation of the AMPK (p-Thr172)-ULK1 (p-Ser555) pathway was found to be associated with JQ1-induced autophagy in resistant cells. AMPK inhibition using the pharmacological inhibitor compound C or by knockdown of PRKAA/AMPKα suppressed autophagy and promoted JQ1-induced apoptosis in AML LSCs. These findings revealed that prosurvival autophagy was one of the mechanisms involved in the resistance of AML LSCs to JQ1. Targeting the AMPK-ULK1 pathway or inhibition of autophagy could be an effective therapeutic strategy for combating resistance to BET inhibitors in AML and other types of cancer.

AB - Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) inhibitors are promising epigenetic agents for the treatment of various subsets of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the resistance of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) to BET inhibitors remains a major challenge. In this study, we evaluated the mechanisms underlying LSC resistance to the BET inhibitor JQ1. We evaluated the levels of apoptosis and macroautophagy/autophagy induced by JQ1 in LSC-like leukemia cell lines and primary CD34+ CD38− leukemic blasts obtained from AML cases with normal karyotype without recurrent mutations. JQ1 effectively induced apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in JQ1-sensitive AML cells. However, in JQ1-resistant AML LSCs, JQ1 induced little apoptosis and led to upregulation of BECN1/Beclin 1, increased LC3 lipidation, formation of autophagosomes, and downregulation of SQSTM1/p62. Inhibition of autophagy by pharmacological inhibitors or knockdown of BECN1 using specific siRNA enhanced JQ1-induced apoptosis in resistant cells, indicating that prosurvival autophagy occurred in these cells. Independent of MTOR signaling, activation of the AMPK (p-Thr172)-ULK1 (p-Ser555) pathway was found to be associated with JQ1-induced autophagy in resistant cells. AMPK inhibition using the pharmacological inhibitor compound C or by knockdown of PRKAA/AMPKα suppressed autophagy and promoted JQ1-induced apoptosis in AML LSCs. These findings revealed that prosurvival autophagy was one of the mechanisms involved in the resistance of AML LSCs to JQ1. Targeting the AMPK-ULK1 pathway or inhibition of autophagy could be an effective therapeutic strategy for combating resistance to BET inhibitors in AML and other types of cancer.

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M3 - Comment/debate

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