ARTICLE ABSTRACTStandard therapies used for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are cytotoxic agents that target rapidly proliferating cells. Unfortunately, this therapeutic approach has limited efficacy and significant toxicity and the majority of AML patients still die of their disease. In contrast to the poor prognosis of most AML patients, most individuals with a rare subtype of AML, acute promyelocytic leukemia, can be cured by differentiation therapy using regimens containing all-trans retinoic acid. GSK3 has been previously identified as a therapeutic target in AML where its inhibition can lead to the differentiation and growth arrest of leukemic cells. Unfortunately, existing GSK3 inhibitors lead to suboptimal differentiation activity making them less useful as clinical AML differentiation agents. Here, we describe the discovery of a novel GSK3 inhibitor, GS87. GS87 was discovered in efforts to optimize GSK3 inhibition for AML differentiation activity. Despite GS87's dramatic ability to induce AML differentiation, kinase profiling reveals its high specificity in targeting GSK3 as compared with other kinases. GS87 demonstrates high efficacy in a mouse AML model system and unlike current AML therapeutics, exhibits little effect on normal bone marrow cells. GS87 induces potent differentiation by more effectively activating GSK3-dependent signaling components including MAPK signaling as compared with other GSK3 inhibitors. GS87 is a novel GSK3 inhibitor with therapeutic potential as a differentiation agent for non-promyelocytic AML. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(7); 1485–94. ©2016 AACR.