Small Molecule that Reverses Dexamethasone Resistance in T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (T-ALL)

ACS Med Chem Lett. 2014 Apr 25;5(7):754-9. doi: 10.1021/ml500044g. eCollection 2014 Jul 10.


Glucocorticoids are one of the most utilized and effective therapies in treating T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, patients often develop resistance to glucocorticoids, rendering these therapies ineffective. We screened 9517 compounds, selected for their lead-like properties, chosen from among 3 372 615 compounds, against a dexamethasone-resistant T-ALL cell line to identify small molecules that reverse glucocorticoid resistance. We synthesized analogues of the most effective compound, termed J9, from the screen in order to define the scaffold's structure-activity relationship. Active compounds restored sensitivity to glucocorticoids through upregulation of the glucocorticoid receptor. This compound and mechanism may provide a strategy for overcoming glucocorticoid resistance in patients with T-ALL.

Keywords: NOTCH1; T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; dexamethasone; glucocorticoid resistance.