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A Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Assay Identifies Nilotinib as an Inhibitor of Inflammation in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jose Luis Marin-RubioORCiD, Dr Maria Duenas FadicORCiD, Dr Tiaan Heunis, Dr Abeer Dannoura, Dr Joe Inns, Jonathan Scott, Professor John SimpsonORCiD, Dr Helen Blair, Professor Olaf Heidenreich, Professor James Allan, Dr Jessica WattORCiD, Dr Mathew Martin, Professor Matthias TrostORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022 Authors. Inflammatory responses are important in cancer, particularly in the context of monocyte-rich aggressive myeloid neoplasm. We developed a label-free cellular phenotypic drug discovery assay to identify anti-inflammatory drugs in human monocytes derived from acute myeloid leukemia (AML), by tracking several features ionizing from only 2500 cells using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. A proof-of-concept screen showed that the BCR-ABL inhibitor nilotinib, but not the structurally similar imatinib, blocks inflammatory responses. In order to identify the cellular (off-)targets of nilotinib, we performed thermal proteome profiling (TPP). Unlike imatinib, nilotinib and other later-generation BCR-ABL inhibitors bind to p38α and inhibit the p38α-MK2/3 signaling axis, which suppressed pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, cell adhesion, and innate immunity markers in activated monocytes derived from AML. Thus, our study provides a tool for the discovery of new anti-inflammatory drugs, which could contribute to the treatment of inflammation in myeloid neoplasms and other diseases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Marin-Rubio JL, Peltier-Heap RE, Duenas ME, Heunis T, Dannoura A, Inns J, Scott J, Simpson AJ, Blair HJ, Heidenreich O, Allan JM, Watt JE, Martin MP, Saxty B, Trost M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Year: 2022

Volume: 65

Issue: 18

Pages: 12014-12030

Print publication date: 22/09/2022

Online publication date: 12/09/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 13/10/2022

ISSN (print): 0022-2623

ISSN (electronic): 1520-4804

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c00671

PubMed id: 36094045


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Funder referenceFunder name
215542/Z/19/ZWellcome Trust
Bruker Daltonics
Newcastle University
Newcastle Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership