Wei Li, PhD
Targeting IGF2BP2 as New Therapy in MLL-Rearranged Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Among all acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases, mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) rearranged AMLs are related to poor treatment outcomes overall. Thus, it is urgent to identify new therapeutic targets and then develop more effective novel therapeutics accordingly. IGF2BP2 has been reported as one of the genes that overlap in overexpression and hypomethylation in MLLr leukemia. As a newly identified N6-methyladenosine (m6A) “reader,” IGF2BP2 could promote target-mRNA stability and translation. Our data showed IGF2BP2 specially overexpressed in MLLr AML, suggesting its critical oncogenic role and the therapeutic potential as a target to treat MLLr AML. Thus, we developed a potent IGF2BP2 inhibitor (CWI1-2) that exhibits high anti-leukemia efficacy. The results of this project will contribute significantly to the knowledge of MLLr AML development and maintenance, and therefore improve clinical outcomes in MLLr AML patients. If successful, our inhibitor will advance the current therapeutic strategies in treating MLLr AML in the future.
The PhRMA Foundation fellowship has provided great academic and financial support, which will help me to forge ahead as a postdoctoral researcher in the field of leukemia translational medicine. The funding greatly advanced our translational research, which is aimed at developing new therapeutic strategies for MLL-rearranged acute myeloid leukemia. I have reaped great experience, which will benefit my career.