Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is initiated and maintained by the tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL which activates a number of signal transduction pathways, including PI3K/AKT signaling and consequently inactivates FOXO transcription factors. ABL-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) induce minimal apoptosis in CML progenitor cells, yet exert potent antiproliferative effects, through as yet poorly understood mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that in CD34+ CML cells, FOXO1 and 3a are inactivated and relocalized to the cytoplasm by BCR-ABL activity. TKIs caused a decrease in phosphorylation of FOXOs, leading to their relocalization from cytoplasm (inactive) to nucleus (active), where they modulated the expression of key FOXO target genes, such as Cyclin D1, ATM, CDKN1C, and BCL6 and induced G1 arrest. Activation of FOXO1 and 3a and a decreased expression of their target gene Cyclin D1 were also observed after 6 days of in vivo treatment with dasatinib in a CML transgenic mouse model. The over-expression of FOXO3a in CML cells combined with TKIs to reduce proliferation, with similar results seen for inhibitors of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling. While stable expression of an active FOXO3a mutant induced a similar level of quiescence to TKIs alone, shRNA-mediated knockdown of FOXO3a drove CML cells into cell cycle and potentiated TKI-induced apoptosis. These data demonstrate that TKI-induced G1 arrest in CML cells is mediated through inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway and reactivation of FOXOs. This enhanced understanding of TKI activity and induced progenitor cell quiescence suggests that new therapeutic strategies for CML should focus on manipulation of this signaling network.


Journal article


Stem Cells


AlphaMed Press, Inc.

Publication Date





2324 - 2337