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Blood. 2008 Jun 15;111(12):5663-71. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Lestaurtinib (CEP701) is a JAK2 inhibitor that suppresses JAK2/STAT5 signaling and the proliferation of primary erythroid cells from patients with myeloproliferative disorders.

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  • 1Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.


Recent studies have demonstrated that patients with myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) frequently have acquired activating mutations in the JAK2 tyrosine kinase. A multikinase screen determined that lestaurtinib (formerly known as CEP-701) inhibits wild type JAK2 kinase activity with a concentration that inhibits response by 50% (IC(50)) of 1 nM in vitro. We hypothesized that lestaurtinib would inhibit mutant JAK2 kinase activity and suppress the growth of cells from patients with MPDs. We found that lestaurtinib inhibits the growth of HEL92.1.7 cells, which are dependent on mutant JAK2 activity for growth in vitro and in xenograft models. Erythroid cells expanded from primary CD34(+) cells from patients with MPDs were inhibited by lestaurtinib at concentrations of 100 nM or more in 15 of 18 subjects, with concomitant inhibition of phosphorylation of STAT5 and other downstream effectors of JAK2. By contrast, growth of erythroid cells derived from 3 healthy controls was not significantly inhibited. These results demonstrate that lestaurtinib, in clinically achievable concentrations, inhibits proliferation and JAK2/STAT5 signaling in cells from patients with MPDs, and therefore holds promise as a therapeutic agent for patients with these disorders.

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