Curcumol and FTY720 synergistically induce apoptosis and differentiation in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia via multiple signaling pathways.
Phytother Res. 2021 Apr ;35(4):2157-2170. Epub 2020 Dec 4. PMID: 33274566
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CML) is a myeloid tumor characterized by MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) and MPN (myeloproliferative neoplasms). Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, chemotherapy, interferon, and targeted therapy are the main treatment methods for CML. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are also a treatment option, and patients are currently recommended to take these drugs throughout their lives to prevent CML recurrence. Therefore, there is a need to investigate and identify other potential chemotherapy drugs. Currently, research on CML treatment with a single drug has shown little progress. Fingolimod (FTY720), an FDA-approved drug used to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis, has also shown great potential in the treatment of lymphocytic leukemia. In our study, we find that FTY720 and curcumol have a significant inhibitory effect on K562 cells, K562/ADR cells, and CD34cells from CML patients. RNAseq data analysis shows that regulation of apoptosis and differentiation pathways are key pathways in this process. Besides, BCR/ABL-Jak2/STAT3 signaling, PI3K/Akt-Jnk signaling, and activation of BH3-only genes are involved in CML inhibition. In a K562 xenograft mouse model, therapy with curcumol and FTY720 led to significant inhibition of tumor growth and induction of apoptosis. To summarize, curcumol and FTY720 synergistically inhibit proliferation involved in differentiation and induce apoptosis in CML cells. Therefore, synergistic treatment with two drugs could be the next choice of treatment for CML.