Inhibition of BCL2A1 by STAT5 inactivation overcomes resistance to targeted therapies of FLT3-ITD/D835 mutant AML

Kotoko Yamatani, Tomohiko Ai, Kaori Saito, Koya Suzuki, Atsushi Hori, Sonoko Kinjo, Kazuho Ikeo, Vivian Ruvolo, Weiguo Zhang, Po Yee Mak, Bogumil Kaczkowski, Hironori Harada, Kazuhiro Katayama, Yoshikazu Sugimoto, Jered Myslinski, Takashi Hato, Takashi Miida, Marina Konopleva, Yoshihide Hayashizaki, Bing Z. CarterYoko Tabe, Michael Andreeff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are established drugs in the therapy of FLT3-ITD mutated acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, acquired mutations, such as D835 in the tyrosine kinase domain (FLT3-ITD/D835), can induce resistance to TKIs. A cap analysis gene expression (CAGE) technology revealed that the gene expression of BCL2A1 transcription start sites was increased in primary AML cells bearing FLT3-ITD/D835 compared to FLT3-ITD. Overexpression of BCL2A1 attenuated the sensitivity to quizartinib, a type II TKI, and venetoclax, a selective BCL2 inhibitor, in AML cell lines. However, a type I TKI, gilteritinib, inhibited the expression of BCL2A1 through inactivation of STAT5 and alleviated TKI resistance of FLT3-ITD/D835. The combination of gilteritinib and venetoclax showed synergistic effects in the FLT3-ITD/D835 positive AML cells. The promoter region of BCL2A1 contains a BRD4 binding site. Thus, the blockade of BRD4 with a BET inhibitor (CPI-0610) downregulated BCL2A1 in FLT3-mutated AML cells and extended profound suppression of FLT3-ITD/D835 mutant cells. Therefore, we propose that BCL2A1 has the potential to be a novel therapeutic target in treating FLT3-ITD/D835 mutated AML.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101354
JournalTranslational Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr


  • AML
  • BCL2A1
  • CAGE
  • FLT3
  • Venetoclax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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