We report here the biological effects of inhibiting Pim-1, -2 and -3 serine/threonine protein kinases in cells and in vivo using a novel, potent and selective small molecule inhibitor directed against these kinases. In vitro enzyme assays revealed potent inhibition of all three Pim kinase isoforms while maintaining selectivity against more than 220 other protein kinases. In cells, compound treatment produced biological effects consistent with Pim inhibition, including a reduction in BAD protein phosphorylation. Moreover, this biological activity corresponds well with the compound’s anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity in the IL-3 dependent mouse pro-B cell line Ba/F3 and in factor-indpendent Ba/F3 cell lines dependent upon the expression of BCR-Abl or TEL-JAK2 for growth and survival. Importantly, compared to the BCR-Abl driven Ba/F3 cell line, this compound was equally effective at blocking the growth of an Imatinib-resistant BCR-Abl[ T315I]-driven Ba/F3 cell line. Finally, this compound possesses pharmacokinetic properties that predict the potential for in vivo activity. Therefore, we assessed the effect of Pim kinase inhibition on tumor growth in a mouse subcutaneous tumor xenograft model employing a cell line driven by the TEL-JAK2 oncogene. Results demonstrated that the compound significantly inhibited tumor growth in a dose-dependent manner. In terms of potential clinical utility, these data show that Pim kinase inhibition could be an effective therapeutic strategy for numerous hematologic malignancies including chronic and acute myelogenous leukemias, particularly in those patients that have become resistant to existing therapies such as Imatinib.

Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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