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Blood. 2013 Nov 28;122(23):3778-83. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-06-507426. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Eradicating acute myeloid leukemia in a Mll(PTD/wt):Flt3(ITD/wt) murine model: a path to novel therapeutic approaches for human disease.

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  • 1The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH;


The coexpression of the MLL partial tandem duplication (PTD) and the FLT3 internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations associate with a poor outcome in cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In mice, a double knock-in (dKI) of Mll(PTD/wt) and Flt3(ITD/wt) mutations induces spontaneous AML with an increase in DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt1, 3a, and 3b) and global DNA methylation index, thereby recapitulating its human AML counterpart. We determined that a regulator of Dnmts, miR-29b, is downregulated in bone marrow of dKI AML mice. Bortezomib exerted a dose-dependent increase in miR-29b expression in AML blasts ex vivo, followed by decreased Dnmts, reduced proliferation, and increased apoptosis. In vivo, bortezomib was not active against dKI AML, yet liposomal-encapsulated bortezomib, as a single agent, reversed downregulation of miR-29b in vivo and induced a long-term (90-day) disease-free remission in 80% of dKI AML mice that exhibited high leukemic burden at the start of therapy, yet showed no signs of relapse at autopsy. Taken together, these data support that liposomal bortezomib, as a single agent, eradicates Mll(PTD/wt):Flt3(ITD/wt) AML in mouse and may represent a powerful and potentially curative approach to high-risk human disease.

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