SIRT1 activation by a c-MYC oncogenic network promotes the maintenance and drug resistance of human FLT3-ITD acute myeloid leukemia stem cells

Academic Article


  • The FLT3-ITD mutation is frequently observed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is associated with poor prognosis. In such patients, FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are only partially effective and do not eliminate the leukemia stem cells (LSCs) that are assumed to be the source of treatment failure. Here, we show that the NAD-dependent SIRT1 deacetylase is selectively overexpressed in primary human FLT3-ITD AML LSCs. This SIRT1 overexpression is related to enhanced expression of the USP22 deubiquitinase induced by c-MYC, leading to reduced SIRT1 ubiquitination and enhanced stability. Inhibition of SIRT1 expression or activity reduced the growth of FLT3-ITD AML LSCs and significantly enhanced TKI-mediated killing of the cells. Therefore, these results identify a c-MYC-related network that enhances SIRT1 protein expression in human FLT3-ITD AML LSCs and contributes to their maintenance. Inhibition of this oncogenic network could be an attractive approach for targeting FLT3-ITD AML LSCs to improve treatment outcomes.
  • Published In

  • Cell Stem Cell  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Li L; Osdal T; Ho Y; Chun S; McDonald T; Agarwal P; Lin A; Chu S; Qi J; Li L
  • Start Page

  • 431
  • End Page

  • 446
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 4