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1430 Thymidylate Synthase Inhibition with Capped F10 Is Effective in TP53 Null Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 604. Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Resistance: Myeloid Neoplasms: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
drug development, Therapies
Saturday, December 9, 2023, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Charles Okechukwu1*, Kristin Pladna, MS2*, William Gmeiner, PhD3* and Timothy S Pardee, MD, PhD2

1Cancer Biology, Comprehensive Cancer Center of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Winston-Salem, NC
2Comprehensive Cancer Center of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Winston-Salem, NC
3Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer of the myeloid linage characterized by progressive marrow failure and death. Responses to therapy are between 50 and 80% but relapse is common and salvage rates once relapsed are low. The risk of relapse is greatly influenced by specific somatic mutations. One of the highest risk mutations in AML involves loss of the tumor suppressor TP53. Patients with AML harboring loss of TP53 function have a dismal prognosis and there is a clear need for new approaches. To identify novel agents with activity against TP53 null AML, a TP53 null and WT isogenic cell line pair was generated using CRISPR/CAS9 in a genetically defined murine AML cell line. Clonal isolates were generated by serial dilution and loss of detectable TP53 was confirmed by Western blotting. A high throughput screen of currently FDA approved agents was performed on these cell lines. When agents were ranked by equal cytotoxicity against TP53 null and WT AML cells 20% (6/30) of the top 30 agents either directly targeted thymidylate synthase or its substrates via inhibition of the folate cycle. This finding suggests that thymidylate synthase (TS) is a key enzyme in TP53 null AML cells. To confirm and extend these results, an additional murine AML TP53 null/WT cell line pair was generated. Chemotherapy resistance was confirmed in the TP53 null cell lines when treated with doxorubicin (Figure 1). Capped F10 (CF10) is a second generation fluoropyrimidine oligonucleotide that is a highly potent inhibitor of TS. In contrast to doxorubicin, CF10 treatment resulted in significant cell death when dosed in the low picomolar range with minimal differences between the null and WT cell lines (Figure 1). To extend this result TP53 null cells were injected into syngeneic recipients and upon engraftment mice were treated with CF10 at 300mg/kg twice weekly or doxorubicin 3mg/kg and cytarabine at 100 mg/kg daily for 5 days. CF10 provided a significant survival benefit in the TP53 null AML in this highly aggressive model where doxorubicin and cytarabine did not (p=0.0057, Figure 2). To confirm a TP53 independent mechanism, competition assays were performed with CAS9 expressing AML cells partially infected with a vector expressing an sgRNA targeting TP53 and containing a GFP reporter. When the mixed population was treated with a titration of doxorubicin there was a highly significant increase in GFP+ cells indicating the involvement of TP53 in doxorubicin mediated cell death. In contrast when cells were treated with a titration of CF10 there was a no significant increase in GFP+ population consistent with CF10 inducing a TP53 independent mechanism of cell death. For CF10 to of use clinically there must be an acceptable therapeutic window. Fluoropyrimidine based therapy can be myelosuppressive especially in patients with low dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) activity. To assess the tolerability of CF10, healthy WAG/RAJ rats were treated with the DPD inhibitor ethynyl uracil at 2mg/kg to mimic DPD deficiency. Animals were then treated with repeated doses of either 141 mg/kg CF10 or the molar equivalent of 50 mg/kg 5-flurouracil (5-FU) and weight determined. In contrast to 5-FU, CF10 treated animals maintained their weight compared to controls (data not shown). Taken together these data suggest that TS is a viable target in TP53 null AML and CF10 is well tolerated and provides a survival benefit in a highly aggressive, chemotherapy resistant model. Ongoing studies will explore the mechanisms involved in CF10 induced cell death.

Disclosures: Pardee: AbbVie Pharmaceuticals: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy, Research Funding; Genentech Pharmaceuticals: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Delta Fly Pharmaceuticals: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH