Targeting Survivin with YM155 (Sepantronium Bromide): A novel therapeutic strategy for paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia

Amanda M. Smith, Erica B. Little, Andjelija Zivanovic, Priscilla Hong, Alfred K.S. Liu, Rachel Burow, Caedyn Stinson, Andrew R. Hallahan, Andrew S. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Despite aggressive chemotherapy, approximately one-third of children with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) relapse. More effective treatments are urgently needed. Survivin is an inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein with key roles in regulating cell division, proliferation and apoptosis. Furthermore, high expression of Survivin has been associated with poor clinical outcome in AML. The Survivin suppressant YM155 (Sepantronium Bromide) has pre-clinical activity against a range of solid cancers and leukemias, although data in AML is limited. Therefore, we undertook a comprehensive pre-clinical evaluation of YM155 in paediatric AML. YM155 potently inhibited cell viability in a diverse panel of AML cell lines. All paediatric cell lines were particularly sensitive, with a median IC50 of 0.038μM. Cell cycle analyses demonstrated concentration-dependent increases in a sub-G1 population with YM155 treatment, suggestive of apoptosis that was subsequently confirmed by an increase in annexin-V positivity. YM155-mediated apoptosis was confirmed across a panel of 8 diagnostic bone marrow samples from children with AML. Consistent with the proposed mechanism of action, YM155 treatment was associated with down-regulation of Survivin mRNA and protein expression and induction of DNA damage.These data suggest that YM155-mediated inhibition of Survivin is a potentially beneficial therapeutic strategy for AML, particularly paediatric disease, and warrants further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • AML
  • Paediatric
  • Survivin
  • YM155


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