Near-infrared oxidative phosphorylation inhibitor integrates acute myeloid leukemia–targeted imaging and therapy

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Science Advances  01 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 1, eabb6104
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb6104


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a deadly hematological malignancy with frequent disease relapse. The biggest challenge for AML therapy is the lack of methods to target and kill the heterogeneous leukemia cells, which lead to disease relapse. Here, we describe a near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent dye, IR-26, which preferentially accumulates in the mitochondria of AML cells, depending on the hyperactive glycolysis of malignant cell, and simultaneously impairs oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to exert targeted therapeutic effects for AML cells. In particular, IR-26 also exhibits potential for real-time monitoring of AML cells with an in vivo flow cytometry (IVFC) system. Therefore, IR-26 represents a novel all-in-one agent for the integration of AML targeting, detection, and therapy, which may help to monitor disease progression and treatment responses, prevent unnecessary delays in administering upfront therapy, and improve therapeutic efficiency to the residual AML cells, which are responsible for disease relapse.

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