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SU11652 Inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of FLT3 and growth of MV-4-11 cells

Yao Guo12, Yun Chen2, Xuesong Xu13, Xueqi Fu1* and Zhizhuang Joe Zhao12*

Author Affiliations

1 Edmond H. Fischer Signal Transduction Laboratory, College of Life Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, China

2 Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73104, USA

3 Clinical Laboratory, China Japan Union Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun, China

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Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:72  doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-72

Published: 6 December 2012



FLT3-ITD and FLT3-TKD mutations are frequently found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This makes tyrosine kinase FLT3 a highly attractive target for therapeutic drug development. However, effective drugs have not yet emerged. This study is intended to identify and to characterize new FLT3 inhibitors.


By using the protein substrate GST-FLT3S to analyze kinase activity of recombinant proteins carrying the catalytic domain of wild type and mutant forms of FLT3, we screened a chemical library containing 80 known protein kinase inhibitors. We identified SU11652 as a potent FLT3 inhibitor and further employed FLT3-ITD-positive MV- 4–11 cells to study its effects on cell growth, apoptosis, cell cycles, and cell signaling.


SU11652 strongly inhibited the activity of wild type, D835Y, and D835H mutant forms of FLT3 with IC50 values of 1.5, 16, and 32 nM, respectively. It effectively blocked the growth of FLT3-ITD -positive MV-4-11 cells at nanomolar concentrations but exhibited much less effects on several other cells which do not carry mutations of FLT3. SU11652 inhibited growth of MV-4-11 cells by inducing apoptosis, causing cell cycle arrest, and blocking activation of the ERK, Akt, and STAT signaling pathways.


SU11652 is a potent FLT3 inhibitor which selectively targets FLT3-ITD-positive cells. It should serve as a good candidate for development of therapeutic drugs to treat AML.

Tyrosine kinase; FLT3; Inhibitor screening; SU11652; Acute myeloid leukemia