Lopez-Millan B, Costales P, Gutiérrez-Agüera F, Díaz de la Guardia R, Roca-Ho H, Vinyoles M, Rubio-Gayarre A, Safi R, Castaño J, Romecín PA, Ramírez-Orellana M, Anguita E, Jeremias I, Zamora L, Rodríguez-Manzaneque JC, Bueno C, Morís F, Menendez P
The Multi-Kinase Inhibitor EC-70124 Is a Promising Candidate for the Treatment of FLT3-ITD-Positive Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Cancers (Basel)21 Mar 2022, 14(6) . Epub 21 Mar 2022
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common acute leukemia in adults. Patients with AML harboring a constitutively active internal tandem duplication mutation (ITDMUT) in the FMS-like kinase tyrosine kinase (FLT3) receptor generally have a poor prognosis. Several tyrosine kinase/FLT3 inhibitors have been developed and tested clinically, but very few (midostaurin and gilteritinib) have thus far been FDA/EMA-approved for patients with newly diagnosed or relapse/refractory FLT3-ITDMUT AML. Disappointingly, clinical responses are commonly partial or not durable, highlighting the need for new molecules targeting FLT3-ITDMUT AML. Here, we tested EC-70124, a hybrid indolocarbazole analog from the same chemical space as midostaurin with a potent and selective inhibitory effect on FLT3. In vitro, EC-70124 exerted a robust and specific antileukemia activity against FLT3-ITDMUT AML primary cells and cell lines with respect to cytotoxicity, CFU capacity, apoptosis and cell cycle while sparing healthy hematopoietic (stem/progenitor) cells. We also analyzed its efficacy in vivo as monotherapy using two different xenograft models: an aggressive and systemic model based on MOLM-13 cells and a patient-derived xenograft model. Orally disposable EC-70124 exerted a potent inhibitory effect on the growth of FLT3-ITDMUT AML cells, delaying disease progression and debulking the leukemia. Collectively, our findings show that EC-70124 is a promising and safe agent for the treatment of AML with FLT3-ITDMUT.
Diaz de la Guardia R, Velasco-Hernandez T, Gutierrez-Agüera F, Roca-Ho H, Molina O, Nombela-Arrieta C, Bataller A, Fuster JL, Anguita E, Vives S, Zamora L, Nomdedeu JF, Gomez-Casares MT, Ramírez-Orellana M, Lapillonne H, Ramos-Mejia V, Rodríguez-Manzaneque JC, Bueno C, Lopez-Millan B, Menendez P
Engraftment characterization of risk-stratified AML patients in NSGS mice.
Blood Adv1 Sep 2021, . Epub 1 Sep 2021
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the commonest acute leukemia in adults. Disease heterogeneity is well-documented and patient stratification determines treatment decisions. Patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of risk-stratified AMLs are crucial for studying AML biology and testing novel therapeutics. Despite recent advances in PDX modeling of AML, reproducible engraftment of human AML is mainly limited to high-risk (HR) cases, with inconsistent or very protracted engraftment observed for favorable-risk (FR) and intermediate-risk (IR) patients. We have characterized the engraftment robustness/kinetics in NSGS mice of 28 AML patients grouped according to molecular/cytogenetic classification, and have assessed whether the orthotopic co-administration of patient-matched bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) improves AML engraftment. PDX event-free survival correlated well with the predictable prognosis of risk-stratified AML patients. The majority (85%-94%) of the mice were engrafted in BM independently of the risk group, although HR-AML patients showed engraftment levels significantly superior to those of FR- and IR-AML patients. Importantly, the engraftment levels observed in NSGS mice by week 6 remained stable overtime. Serial transplantation and long-term culture-initiating cell (LTC-IC) assays revealed long-term engraftment limited to HR-AML patients, fitter leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) in HR- than in FR- or IR-AML samples, and the presence of AML-LICs in the CD34- leukemic fraction, regardless the risk group. Finally, orthotopic co-administration of patient-matched BM-MSCs with AML cells resulted dispensable for BM engraftment levels but favored peripheralization of engrafted AML cells. This comprehensive characterization of human AML engraftment in NSGS mice offers a valuable platform for in vivo testing of targeted therapies in risk-stratified AML patient samples.
Zanetti SR, Velasco-Hernandez T, Gutierrez-Agüera F, Díaz VM, Romecín PA, Roca-Ho H, Sánchez-Martínez D, Tirado N, Baroni ML, Petazzi P, Torres-Ruiz R, Molina O, Bataller A, Fuster JL, Ballerini P, Juan M, Jeremias I, Bueno C, Menéndez P
A novel and efficient tandem CD19- and CD22-directed CAR for B-cell ALL.
Mol Ther31 Aug 2021, . Epub 31 Aug 2021
CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells have yielded impressive response rates in refractory/relapse B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL);however, most patients ultimately relapse due to poor CAR T-cell persistence or resistance of either CD19+ or CD19- B-ALL clones. CD22 is a pan-B marker whose expression is maintained in both CD19+ and CD19- relapses. Indeed, CD22-CAR T-cells have been clinically used in B-ALL patients, although relapse also occurs. Tcells engineered with a tandem CAR (Tan-CAR) containing in a single contruct both CD19 and CD22 scFvs, might be advantageus in achieving higher remission rates and/or preventing antigen loss. We have generated and functionally validated using cutting-edge assays a 4-1BB-based CD22/CD19 Tan-CAR using in-house-developed novel CD19 and CD22 scFvs. Tan-CAR-expressing T-cells showed similar in vitro expansion than CD19-CAR T-cells with no increased of tonic signaling. CRISPR/Cas9-edited B-ALL cells confirmed the bispecificity of the Tan-CAR. Tan-CAR was as efficient as CD19-CAR in vitro and in vivo using B-ALL cell lines, patient samples and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs). Strikingly, the robust anti-leukemic activity of the Tan-CAR was slightly more effective in controling the disease in long-term follow-up PDX models. This Tan-CAR construct warrants a clinical appraisal to test whether simultaneous targeting of CD19 and CD22 enhances leukemia eradication and reduces/delays relapse rates and antigen loss.
During the past half century, evidence for inheritance of variable traits has accumulated from experiments in plants and animals and epidemiological studies in humans. Here, we summarize some of the reported cases of epigenetic inheritance and the proposed mechanisms involved in the transmission of non-genetic information between generations in plants, nematodes, flies and mammals. It has long been accepted that information is epigenetically inherited in plants. Although many questions regarding the underlying mechanisms remain to be answered, it is now evident that epigenetic mechanisms are also responsible for the transmission of phenotypes in animals. We highlight similarities and differences between models and species.
Molina O, Vinyoles M, Granada I, Roca-Ho H, Gutierrez-Agüera F, Valledor L, López-López CM, Rodríguez-González P, Trincado JL, Tirados-Menéndez S, Pal D, Ballerini P, Den Boer ML, Plensa I, Perez-Iribarne MDM, Rodriguez-Perales S, Calasanz MJ, Ramírez M, Rodríguez R, Camos M, Calvo M, Bueno C, Menendez P
Impaired Condensin Complex and Aurora B kinase underlie mitotic and chromosomal defects in hyperdiploid B-cell ALL.
Blood22 Apr 2020, . Epub 22 Apr 2020
B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) is the most common pediatric cancer, and high-hyperdiploidy (HyperD) identifies the most common subtype of pediatric B-ALL. Despite HyperD is an initiating oncogenic event affiliated to childhood B-ALL, the mitotic and chromosomal defects associated to HyperD B-ALL (HyperD-ALL) remain poorly characterized. Here, we have used 54 primary pediatric B-ALL samples to characterize the cellular-molecular mechanisms underlying the mitotic/chromosome defects predicated to be early pathogenic contributors in HyperD-ALL. We report that HyperD-ALL blasts are low proliferative and show a delay in early mitosis at prometaphase, associated to chromosome alignment defects at the metaphase plate leading to robust chromosome segregation defects and non-modal karyotypes. Mechanistically, biochemical, functional and mass-spectrometry assays revealed that condensin complex is impaired in HyperD-ALL cells, leading to chromosome hypocondensation, loss of centromere stiffness and mis-localization of the chromosome passenger complex proteins Aurora B Kinase (AURKB) and Survivin in early mitosis. HyperD-ALL cells show chromatid cohesion defects and impaired spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) thus undergoing mitotic slippage due to defective AURKB and impaired SAC activity, downstream of condensin complex defects. Chromosome structure/condensation defects and hyperdiploidy were reproduced in healthy CD34+ stem/progenitor cells upon inhibition of AURKB and/or SAC. Collectively, hyperdiploid B-ALL is associated to defective condensin complex, AURKB and SAC.
Prieto C, López-Millán B, Roca-Ho H, Stam RW, Romero-Moya D, Rodríguez-Baena FJ, Sanjuan-Pla A, Ayllón V, Ramírez M, Bardini M, De Lorenzo P, Valsecchi MG, Stanulla M, Iglesias M, Ballerini P, Carcaboso ÁM, Mora J, Locatelli F, Bertaina A, Padilla L, Carlos Rodríguez-Manzaneque J, Bueno C, Menéndez P
NG2 antigen is involved in leukemia invasiveness and central nervous system infiltration in MLL-rearranged infant B-ALL.
LeukemiaMar 2018, 32(3)633-644. Epub 25 Sep 2017
Mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL)-rearranged (MLLr) infant B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (iMLLr-B-ALL) has a dismal prognosis and is associated with a pro-B/mixed phenotype, therapy refractoriness and frequent central nervous system (CNS) disease/relapse. Neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2) is specifically expressed in MLLr leukemias and is used in leukemia immunophenotyping because of its predictive value for MLLr acute leukemias. NG2 is involved in melanoma metastasis and brain development; however, its role in MLL-mediated leukemogenesis remains elusive. Here we evaluated whether NG2 distinguishes leukemia-initiating/propagating cells (L-ICs) and/or CNS-infiltrating cells (CNS-ICs) in iMLLr-B-ALL. Clinical data from the Interfant cohort of iMLLr-B-ALL demonstrated that high NG2 expression associates with lower event-free survival, higher number of circulating blasts and more frequent CNS disease/relapse. Serial xenotransplantation of primary MLL-AF4
Treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains suboptimal and many patients remain refractory or relapse upon standard chemotherapy based on nucleoside analogs plus anthracyclines. The crosstalk between AML cells and the BM stroma is a major mechanism underlying therapy resistance in AML. Lenalidomide and pomalidomide, a new generation immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), possess pleiotropic anti-leukemic properties including potent immune-modulating effects and are commonly used in hematological malignances associated with intrinsic dysfunctional BM such as myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple myeloma. Whether IMiDs may improve the efficacy of current standard treatment in AML remains understudied. Here, we have exploited
We report the generation-characterization of a fetal liver (FL) B-cell progenitor (BCP)-derived human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) line CRISPR/Cas9-edited to carry/express a single copy of doxycycline-inducible Cas9 gene in the "safe locus" AAVS1 (iCas9-FL-BCP-hiPSC). Gene-edited iPSCs remained pluripotent after CRISPR/Cas9 genome-edition. Correct genomic integration of a unique copy of Cas9 was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot. Cas9 was robustly and specifically expressed on doxycycline exposure. T7-endonuclease assay demonstrated that iCas9 induces robust gene-edition when gRNAs against hematopoietic transcription factors were tested. This iCas9-FL-BCP-hiPSC will facilitate gene-editing approaches for studies on developmental biology, drug screening and disease modeling.