In 15% to 30% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), aberrant proliferation is a consequence of a juxtamembrane mutation in the FLT3 gene (FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3-internal tandem duplication [FLT3-ITD]), causing constitutive kinase activity. ABT-869 (a multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor) inhibited the phosphorylation of FLT3, STAT5, and ERK, as well as Pim-1 expression in MV-4-11 and MOLM-13 cells (IC(50) approximately 1-10 nM) harboring the FLT3-ITD. ABT-869 inhibited the proliferation of these cells (IC(50) = 4 and 6 nM, respectively) through the induction of apoptosis (increased sub-G(0)/G(1) phase, caspase activation, and PARP cleavage), whereas cells harboring wild-type (wt)-FLT3 were less sensitive. In normal human blood spiked with AML cells, ABT-869 inhibited phosphorylation of FLT3 (IC(50) approximately 100 nM), STAT5, and ERK, and decreased Pim-1 expression. In methylcellulose-based colony-forming assays, ABT-869 had no significant effect up to 1000 nM on normal hematopoietic progenitor cells, whereas in AML patient samples harboring both FLT3-ITD and wt-FLT3, ABT-869 inhibited colony formation (IC(50) = 100 and 1000 nM, respectively). ABT-869 dose-dependently inhibited MV-4-11 and MOLM-13 flank tumor growth, prevented tumor formation, regressed established MV-4-11 xenografts, and increased survival by 20 weeks in an MV-4-11 engraftment model. In tumors, ABT-869 inhibited FLT3 phosphorylation, induced apoptosis (transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling [TUNEL]) and decreased proliferation (Ki67). ABT-869 is under clinical development for AML.