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Blood. 2000 Aug 1;96(3):925-32.

Inhibition of c-kit receptor tyrosine kinase activity by STI 571, a selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

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  • 1Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, USA.


STI 571 (formerly known as CGP 57148B) is a known inhibitor of the c-abl, bcr-abl, and platelet-derived growth-factor receptor (PDGFR) tyrosine kinases. This compound is being evaluated in clinical trials for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia. We sought to extend the activity profile of STI 571 by testing its ability to inhibit the tyrosine kinase activity of c-kit, a receptor structurally similar to PDGFR. We treated a c-kit expressing a human myeloid leukemia cell line, M-07e, with STI 571 before stimulation with Steel factor (SLF). STI 571 inhibited c-kit autophosphorylation, activation of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, and activation of Akt without altering total protein levels of c-kit, MAP kinase, or Akt. The concentration that produced 50% inhibition for these effects was approximately 100 nmol/L. STI 571 also significantly decreased SLF-dependent growth of M-07e cells in a dose-dependent manner and blocked the antiapoptotic activity of SLF. In contrast, the compound had no effect on MAP kinase activation or cellular proliferation in response to granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. We also tested the activity of STI 571 in a human mast cell leukemia cell line (HMC-1), which has an activated mutant form of c-kit. STI 571 had a more potent inhibitory effect on the kinase activity of this mutant receptor than it did on ligand-dependent activation of the wild-type receptor. These findings show that STI 571 selectively inhibits c-kit tyrosine kinase activity and downstream activation of target proteins involved in cellular proliferation and survival. This compound may be useful in treating cancers associated with increased c-kit kinase activity.

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