Author(s): Bartalucci N, Guglielmelli P, Vannucchi AM
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Abstract The chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), are characterized by a Janus Kinase (JAK)-2 V617F point mutation but this molecular abnormality does not explain by itself the pathogenesis of these disorders, or the phenotypic diversity associated with essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera (PV), and myelofibrosis. Beyond the JAK/signal transducer and activator of transcription network, a wide number of molecular alterations were described in MPN including the fosfatidilinositolo-3-chinasi (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt)/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway constitutive activation. Several pathway inhibitors were developed, including everolimus, up to the latest class of catalytic inhibitors such as BKM120 and BEZ235. In this review, we present some clinical and experimental evidence showing that the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway could represent a therapeutic target in MPNs. In in vitro studies, everolimus has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and clonogenic potential in human and murine JAK2 V617F mutated cell lines. Patients with PV and primary myelofibrosis hematopoietic progenitors were significantly more sensitive to everolimus compared with healthy control subjects. Of much interest, a combination of everolimus and the JAK1/2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib, showed strong synergism in inducing cell cycle arrest and blockade of cell proliferation. Similar data were obtained using a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, BEZ235, with activity that was also shown in preclinical murine models. A multicenter phase I/II trial with everolimus in myelofibrosis documented a well tolerated clinical efficiency in terms of spleen size reduction and resolution of systemic symptoms and pruritus. These observations indicate that the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway might represent a novel target for treatment in MPN. The synergism demonstrated in vitro with JAK2 inhibitors could open additional therapeutic possibilities based on concurrent targeting of different pathways that might optimize efficacy and reduce toxicity in patients. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access