Ponatinib-induced cardiotoxicity: Delineating the signalling mechanisms and potential rescue strategies

Academic Article


  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have revolutionized the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML). However, cardiotoxicity of these agents remains a serious concern. The underlying mechanism of these adverse cardiac effects is largely unknown. Delineation of the underlying mechanisms of TKIs associated cardiac dysfunction could guide potential prevention strategies, rescue approaches, and future drug design. This study aimed to determine the cardiotoxic potential of approved CML TKIs, define the associated signalling mechanism and identify potential alternatives. In this study, we employed a zebrafish transgenic BNP reporter line that expresses luciferase under control of the nppb promoter (nppb:F-Luciferase) to assess the cardiotoxicity of all approved CML TKIs. Our in vivo screen identified ponatinib as the most cardiotoxic agent among the approved CML TKIs. Then using a combination of zebrafish and isolated neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, we delineated the signalling mechanism of ponatinib-induced cardiotoxicity by demonstrating that ponatinib inhibits cardiac prosurvival signalling pathways AKT and extra-cellular-signalregulated kinase (ERK), and induces cardiomyocyte apoptosis. As a proof of concept, we augmented AKT and ERK signalling by administration of Neuregulin-1b (NRG-1b), and this prevented ponatinib-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. We also demonstrate that ponatinib-induced cardiotoxicity is not mediated by inhibition of fibroblast growth factor signalling, a well-known target of ponatinib. Finally, our comparative profiling for the cardiotoxic potential of CML approved TKIs, identified asciminib (ABL001) as a potentially much less cardiotoxic treatment option for CML patients with the T315I mutation. Herein, we used a combination of in vivo and in vitro methods to systematically screen CML TKIs for cardiotoxicity, identify novel molecular mechanisms for TKI cardiotoxicity, and identify less cardiotoxic alternatives.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Singh AP; Glennon MS; Umbarkar P; Gupte M; Galindo CL; Zhang Q; Force T; Becker JR; Lal H
  • Start Page

  • 966
  • End Page

  • 977
  • Volume

  • 115
  • Issue

  • 5