T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematologic malignancy. Despite recent advances in treatments with intensified chemotherapy regimens, relapse rates and associated morbidities remain high. In this context, metabolic dependencies have emerged as a druggable opportunity for the treatment of leukemia. Here, we tested the antileukemic effects of MB1-47, a newly developed mitochondrial uncoupling compound. MB1-47 treatment in T-ALL cells robustly inhibited cell proliferation via both cytostatic and cytotoxic effects as a result of compromised mitochondrial energy and metabolite depletion, which severely impaired nucleotide biosynthesis. Mechanistically, acute treatment with MB1-47 in primary leukemias promoted adenosine monophosphate–activated serine/threonine protein kinase (AMPK) activation and downregulation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, stalling anabolic pathways that support leukemic cell survival. Indeed, MB1-47 treatment in mice harboring either murine NOTCH1-induced primary leukemias or human T-ALL patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) led to potent antileukemic effects with a significant extension in survival without overlapping toxicities. Overall, our findings demonstrate a critical role for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in T-ALL and uncover MB1-47–driven mitochondrial uncoupling as a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of this disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology