Proapoptotic activity and chemosensitizing effect of the novel Akt inhibitor perifosine in acute myelogenous leukemia cells

V. Papa, P. L. Tazzari, F. Chiarini, A. Cappellini, F. Ricci, A. M. Billi, C. Evangelisti, E. Ottaviani, G. Martinelli, N. Testoni, J. A. McCubrey, A. M. Martelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The serine/threonine kinase Akt, a downstream effector of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), is known to play an important role in antiapoptotic signaling and has been implicated in the aggressiveness of a number of different human cancers including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). We have investigated the therapeutic potential of the novel Akt inhibitor, perifosine, on human AML cells. Perifosine is a synthetic alkylphospholipid, a new class of antitumor agents, which target plasma membrane and inhibit signal transduction networks. Perifosine was tested on THP-1 and MV 4-11 cell lines, as well as primary leukemia cells. Perifosine treatment induced cell death by apoptosis in AML cell lines. Perifosine caused Akt and ERK 1/2 dephosphorylation as well as caspase activation. In THP-1 cells, the proapoptotic effect of perifosine was partly dependent on the Fas/FasL system and c-jun-N-kinase activation. In MV 4-11 cells, perifosine downregulated phosphorylated Akt, but not phosphorylated FLT3. Moreover, perifosine reduced the clonogenic activity of AML, but not normal, CD34+ cells, and markedly increased blast cell sensitivity to etoposide. Our findings indicate that perifosine, either alone or in combination with existing drugs, might be a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of those AML cases characterized by upregulation of the PI3K-Akt survival pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalLeukemia
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cancer Research

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    Papa, V., Tazzari, P. L., Chiarini, F., Cappellini, A., Ricci, F., Billi, A. M., Evangelisti, C., Ottaviani, E., Martinelli, G., Testoni, N., McCubrey, J. A., & Martelli, A. M. (2008). Proapoptotic activity and chemosensitizing effect of the novel Akt inhibitor perifosine in acute myelogenous leukemia cells. Leukemia, 22(1), 147-160. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.leu.2404980