Efficacy of the investigational mTOR kinase inhibitor MLN0128/INK128 in models of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Leukemia. 2013 Mar;27(3):586-94. doi: 10.1038/leu.2012.276. Epub 2012 Oct 1.


The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase whose activity contributes to leukemia proliferation and survival. Compounds targeting the mTOR active site inhibit rapamycin-resistant functions and have enhanced anticancer activity in mouse models. MLN0128 (formerly known as INK128) is a novel, orally active mTOR kinase inhibitor currently in clinical development. Here, we evaluated MLN0128 in preclinical models of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). MLN0128 suppressed proliferation of B-ALL cell lines in vitro and reduced colony formation by primary human leukemia cells from adult and pediatric B-ALL patients. MLN0128 also boosted the efficacy of dasatinib (DA) in Philadelphia Chromosome-positive (Ph+) specimens. In a syngeneic mouse model of lymphoid BCR-ABL+ disease, daily oral dosing of MLN0128 rapidly cleared leukemic outgrowth. In primary xenografts of Ph+ B-ALL specimens, MLN0128 significantly enhanced the efficacy of DA. In non-Ph B-ALL xenografts, single agent MLN0128 had a cytostatic effect that was most pronounced in mice with low disease burden. In all in vivo models, MLN0128 was well tolerated and did not suppress endogenous bone marrow proliferation. These findings support the rationale for clinical testing of MLN0128 in both adult and pediatric B-ALL and provide insight towards optimizing therapeutic efficacy of mTOR kinase inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Benzoxazoles / pharmacology*
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Philadelphia Chromosome
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / mortality
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / prevention & control*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Benzoxazoles
  • INK128
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases