T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is a heterogeneous disease of the blood affecting children, adolescents and adults. Although current treatment protocols for T-ALL have improved overall survival, a portion of T-ALL patients still experiences treatment failure. Thus, the development of novel therapies is needed. In this study, we used several patient-derived T-ALL cell lines to screen for an effective drug for T-ALL. Using a panel of 378 inhibitors against different kinases, we identified the CDK inhibitor dinaciclib as a potential drug for T-ALL. Dinaciclib treatment significantly reduced cell viability and completely blocked colony formation. Furthermore, cells treated with dinaciclib showed decreased expression of several pro-survival proteins including survivin, cyclin T1 and c-MYC. Dinaciclib treatment also increased accumulation of cells in G2/M phase and significantly induced apoptosis. Finally, dinaciclib extended survival of mice in a T-ALL cell xenograft model. Collectively, these data suggest that the CDK inhibitor dinaciclib is an active drug for T-ALL in the preclinical settings.
Keywords: Apoptosis; CDK inhibitor; Cell cycle; T-ALL.
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