ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy induces clinical remission in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients but early relapses and later emergence of TKI-resistant disease remain problematic. We recently demonstrated that the AHI-1 oncogene physically interacts with BCR-ABL and JAK2 and mediates cellular resistance to TKI in CML stem/progenitor cells. We now show that deletion of the SH3 domain of AHI-1 significantly enhances apoptotic response of BCR-ABL(+) cells to TKIs compared to cells expressing full-length AHI-1. We have also discovered a novel interaction between AHI-1 and Dynamin-2, a GTPase, through the AHI-1 SH3 domain. The crystal structure of the AHI-1 SH3 domain at 1.53-Å resolution reveals that it adopts canonical SH3 folding, with the exception of an unusual C-terminal α helix. PD1R peptide, known to interact with the PI3K SH3 domain, was used to model the binding pattern between the AHI-1 SH3 domain and its ligands. These studies showed that an "Arg-Arg-Trp" stack may form within the binding interface, providing a potential target site for designing specific drugs. The crystal structure of the AHI-1 SH3 domain thus provides a valuable tool for identification of key interaction sites in regulation of drug resistance and for the development of small molecule inhibitors for CML.
© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.