Spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor TAK-659 prevents splenomegaly and tumor development in a murine model of epstein-barr virus-associated lymphoma

Cen O., Kannan K., Sappal J. H., Yu J., Zhang M., ARIKAN M., ...More

mSphere, vol.3, no.4, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 3 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1128/mspheredirect.00378-18
  • Journal Name: mSphere
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Burkitt's lymphoma, EBV-related cancer, LMP2A, SYK, TAK-659
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with several B and epithelial cell cancers. EBV-encoded latent membrane protein 2A (LMP2A) contributes to cellular transformation by mimicking B cell receptor signaling. LMP2A/MYC double transgenic mice develop splenomegaly and B cell lymphoma much faster than MYC transgenic mice do. In this study, we explored the potential therapeutic efficacy of a novel spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) and FLT3 inhibitor TAK-659 for development of a treatment option for EBVassociated malignancies. In our transgenic model, TAK-659 treatment totally abrogated splenomegaly and tumor development in LMP2A/MYC mice in both pretumor and tumor cell transfer experiments. TAK-659 treatment killed tumor cells, but not host cells within the spleen and tumors. Furthermore, TAK-659 treatment abrogated metastasis of tumor cells into bone marrow. Our data also show that TAK-659 inhibits SYK phosphorylation and induces apoptosis in LMP2A/MYC tumor cells at low nanomolar concentrations. Therefore, TAK-659 may provide an effective therapeutic option for treatment of LMP2A-positive EBV-associated malignancies and should be explored further in clinical trials. IMPORTANCE The novel SYK and FLT3 inhibitor TAK-659 prevents the enlargement of spleen and tumor development in a mouse model of EBV-associated lymphoma by counteracting the activation of cellular kinase SYK through the viral LMP2A gene by inducing cell death in tumor cells but not in nontumor cells. These findings indicate that TAK-659 may be a very effective nontoxic therapeutic molecule especially for EBV-positive hematologic malignancies.