Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive disease with a poor prognosis and a high degree of relapse seen in patients. Overexpression of FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) is associated with up to 70% of AML patients. Wild-type FLT3 induces proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in AML cells, while uncontrolled proliferation of FLT3 kinase activity is also associated with FLT3 mutations. Therefore, inhibiting FLT3 activity is a promising AML therapy. Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals that can target protein kinases, suggesting their potential antitumor activities. In this study, several plant-derived flavonoids have been identified with FLT3 inhibitory activity. Among these compounds, compound 40 (5,7,4′-trihydroxy-6-methoxyflavone) exhibited the most potent inhibition against not only FLT3 (IC50 = 0.44 μM) but also FLT3-D835Y and FLT3-ITD mutants (IC50 = 0.23 and 0.39 μM, respectively). The critical interactions between the FLT3 binding site and the compounds were identified by performing a structure-activity relationship analysis. Furthermore, the results of cellular assays revealed that compounds 28, 31, 32, and 40 exhibited significant cytotoxicity against two human AML cell lines (MOLM-13 and MV-4-11), and compounds 31, 32, and 40 resulted in cell apoptosis and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest. Collectively, these flavonoids have the potential to be further optimized as FLT3 inhibitors and provide valuable chemical information for the development of new AML drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


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