Targeting PI3K Signaling in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Author Type(s)


Document Type


Publication Date

January 2019

Journal Title

International Journal of Molecular Sciences


Adhesion of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells to bone marrow stroma cells triggers intracellular signals regulating cell-adhesion-mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR). Stromal cell protection of ALL cells has been shown to require active AKT. In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), adhesion-mediated activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway is reported. A novel FDA-approved PI3Kdelta inhibitor, CAL-101/idelalisib, leads to downregulation of p-AKT and increased apoptosis of CLL cells. Recently, two additional PI3K inhibitors have received FDA approval. As the PI3K/AKT pathway is also implicated in adhesion-mediated survival of ALL cells, PI3K inhibitors have been evaluated preclinically in ALL. However, PI3K inhibition has yet to be approved for clinical use in ALL. Here, we review the role of PI3K in normal hematopoietic cells, and in ALL. We focus on summarizing targeting strategies of PI3K in ALL.