Identification of an orally available compound with potent and broad FLT3 inhibition activity

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FLT3 internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) is an activating mutation found in 20-30% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which makes FLT3 an attractive target for the treatment of AML. Although FLT3-mutant patients respond to current FLT3 inhibitors, relapse usually happens because of the acquisition of resistant secondary mutations at the FLT3 catalytic domain, which is mainly on D835. In the search for compounds with broad FLT3 inhibition activities, we screened a kinase inhibitor library by using our unique FLT3 substrate and identified JAK3 inhibitor VI (designated JI6 hereafter) as a novel FLT3 inhibitor, which selectively targets FLT3 D835 mutants as well as FLT3-ITD. JI6 effectively inhibited FLT3-ITD-containing MV4-11 cells and HCD-57 cells transformed with FLT3-ITD and D835 mutants. Furthermore, administration of JI6 effectively targeted FLT3 signaling in vivo and suppressed the myeloproliferative phenotypes in FLT3-ITD knock-in mice, and significantly prolonged the survival of immunodeficient mice implanted with the transformed HCD-57 cells. Therefore, JI6 is a promising candidate for the development of next-generation anti-AML drugs.

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