Targeting survival cascades induced by activation of Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/PTEN/Akt/mTOR and Jak/STAT pathways for effective leukemia therapy

Academic Article


  • The Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/PTEN/Akt/mTOR and Jak/STAT pathways are frequently activated in leukemia and other hematopoietic disorders by upstream mutations in cytokine receptors, aberrant chromosomal translocations as well as other genetic mechanisms. The Jak2 kinase is frequently mutated in many myeloproliferative disorders. Effective targeting of these pathways may result in suppression of cell growth and death of leukemic cells. Furthermore it may be possible to combine various chemotherapeutic and antibody-based therapies with low molecular weight, cell membrane-permeable inhibitors which target the Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/ PTEN/Akt/mTOR and Jak/STAT pathways to ultimately suppress the survival pathways, induce apoptosis and inhibit leukemic growth. In this review, we summarize how suppression of these pathways may inhibit key survival networks important in leukemogenesis and leukemia therapy as well as the treatment of other hematopoietic disorders. Targeting of these and additional cascades may also improve the therapy of chronic myelogenous leukemia, which are resistant to BCR-ABL inhibitors. Furthermore, we discuss how targeting of the leukemia microenvironment and the leukemia stem cell are emerging fields and challenges in targeted therapies.
  • Published In

  • Leukemia  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McCubrey JA; Steelman LS; Abrams SL; Bertrand FE; Ludwig DE; Bäsecke J; Libra M; Stivala F; Milella M; Tafuri A
  • Start Page

  • 708
  • End Page

  • 722
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 4