Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) shows unique clinicopathological and biological features. HCL responds well to purine analogs but relapses are frequent and novel therapies are required. BRAF-V600E is the key driver mutation in HCL and distinguishes it from other B-cell lymphomas, including HCL-like leukemias/lymphomas (HCL-variant and splenic marginal zone lymphoma). The kinase-activating BRAF-V600E mutation also represents an ideal therapeutic target in HCL. Here, we investigated the biological and therapeutic importance of the activated BRAF-mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in HCL by exposing in vitro primary leukemic cells purified from 26 patients to clinically available BRAF (vemurafenib; dabrafenib) orMEK(trametinib) inhibitors. Results were validated in vivo in samples from vemurafenib-treatedHCL patients within a phase 2 clinical trial. BRAF and MEK inhibitors caused, specifically in HCL(but not HCL-like) cells, marked MEK/ERK dephosphorylation, silencing of the BRAF-MEK-ERK pathway transcriptional output, loss of the HCL-specific gene expression signature, downregulation of the HCL markers CD25, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, and cyclin D1, smoothening of leukemic cells' hairy surface, and, eventually, apoptosis.Apoptosiswas partially blunted by coculturewith bonemarrowstromal cells antagonizing MEK-ERK dephosphorylation. This protective effect could be counteracted by combined BRAF and MEK inhibition. Our results strongly support and inform the clinical use of BRAF and MEK inhibitors in HCL.

BRAF inhibitors reverse the unique molecular signature and phenotype of hairy cell leukemia and exert potent antileukemic activity

Imperi E.;Spanhol-Rosseto A.;Sportoletti P.;Martelli M. P.;Falini B.;Tiacci E.
2015

Abstract

Hairy cell leukemia (HCL) shows unique clinicopathological and biological features. HCL responds well to purine analogs but relapses are frequent and novel therapies are required. BRAF-V600E is the key driver mutation in HCL and distinguishes it from other B-cell lymphomas, including HCL-like leukemias/lymphomas (HCL-variant and splenic marginal zone lymphoma). The kinase-activating BRAF-V600E mutation also represents an ideal therapeutic target in HCL. Here, we investigated the biological and therapeutic importance of the activated BRAF-mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway in HCL by exposing in vitro primary leukemic cells purified from 26 patients to clinically available BRAF (vemurafenib; dabrafenib) orMEK(trametinib) inhibitors. Results were validated in vivo in samples from vemurafenib-treatedHCL patients within a phase 2 clinical trial. BRAF and MEK inhibitors caused, specifically in HCL(but not HCL-like) cells, marked MEK/ERK dephosphorylation, silencing of the BRAF-MEK-ERK pathway transcriptional output, loss of the HCL-specific gene expression signature, downregulation of the HCL markers CD25, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, and cyclin D1, smoothening of leukemic cells' hairy surface, and, eventually, apoptosis.Apoptosiswas partially blunted by coculturewith bonemarrowstromal cells antagonizing MEK-ERK dephosphorylation. This protective effect could be counteracted by combined BRAF and MEK inhibition. Our results strongly support and inform the clinical use of BRAF and MEK inhibitors in HCL.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11391/1466670
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 26
  • Scopus 68
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 63
social impact