A novel RAF kinase inhibitor with DFG-out binding mode: high efficacy in BRAF-mutant tumor xenograft models in the absence of normal tissue hyperproliferation
ABSTRACT: Purpose: Seek for differential gene expression in vemurafenib-resistant A375 tumors vs. untreated controls to provide a rationale for resistance mechanism Methods: mRNA profiles of vemurafenib-resistant A375 tumors and untreated control tumors were generated by transcriptome sequencing of A375 melanoma bearing mice. Since our xenograft samples contain a mixture of human and mouse RNAs we mapped RNASeq reads against a hybrid human/mouse genome. We than removed reads of potential mouse origin by taking only reads that map uniquely to human chromosomes. On average 23% of reads were removed as potential mouse reads. We than took the remaining reads (on average 77% per sample) to determine the gene expression levels for each sample. Normalized expression levels of 5 resistant samples were compared to 4 untreated control samples to detect differnetially regulated genes which may contribute to vemurfenib resistance Results: Expression levels of several genes were consistently altered in all resistant samples. Expression of e.g. genes encoding SPRY2, SPRY4, DUSP6, CCND1, PIK3R3, FGFR1, EPHA4, MCL1, and IGF1R was down-regulated, whereas expression of PDGFC, VEGFC, ABCB9 and KITLG was increased. Conclusions: Our study reports several differentially expressed genes which may contribute to vemurafenib resistance in A375 tumor bearing mice RNA sequencing of genes expressed in A375 tumors bearing mice treated with vemurafenib until in vivo resistance appeared vs. untreated A375 tumors
Project description:Purpose: Seek for differential gene expression in vemurafenib-resistant A375 tumors vs. untreated controls to provide a rationale for resistance mechanism Methods: mRNA profiles of vemurafenib-resistant A375 tumors and untreated control tumors were generated by transcriptome sequencing of A375 melanoma bearing mice. Since our xenograft samples contain a mixture of human and mouse RNAs we mapped RNASeq reads against a hybrid human/mouse genome. We than removed reads of potential mouse origin by taking only reads that map uniquely to human chromosomes. On average 23% of reads were removed as potential mouse reads. We than took the remaining reads (on average 77% per sample) to determine the gene expression levels for each sample. Normalized expression levels of 5 resistant samples were compared to 4 untreated control samples to detect differnetially regulated genes which may contribute to vemurfenib resistance Results: Expression levels of several genes were consistently altered in all resistant samples. Expression of e.g. genes encoding SPRY2, SPRY4, DUSP6, CCND1, PIK3R3, FGFR1, EPHA4, MCL1, and IGF1R was down-regulated, whereas expression of PDGFC, VEGFC, ABCB9 and KITLG was increased. Conclusions: Our study reports several differentially expressed genes which may contribute to vemurafenib resistance in A375 tumor bearing mice RNA sequencing of genes expressed in A375 tumors bearing mice treated with vemurafenib until in vivo resistance appeared vs. untreated A375 tumors
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are attractive therapeutic targets for various therapy-resistant tumors. However, the association between miRNA and BRAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma remains to be elucidated. We used microarray analysis to comprehensively study the miRNA expression profiling of vemurafenib resistant (VemR) A375 melanoma cells in relation to parental A375 melanoma cells. MicroRNA-7 (miR-7) was identified to be the most significantly down-regulated miRNA in VemR A375 melanoma cells. We also found that miR-7 was down-regulated in Mel-CVR cells (vemurafenib resistant Mel-CV melanoma cells). Reestablishment of miR-7 expression could reverse the resistance of both cells to vemurafenib. We showed that epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and CRAF were over-expressed in VemR A375 melanoma cells. Introduction of miR-7 mimics could markedly decrease the expressions of EGFR, IGF-1R and CRAF and further suppressed the activation of MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathway in VemR A375 melanoma cells. Furthermore, tumor growth was inhibited in an in vivo murine VemR A375 melanoma tumor model transfected with miR-7 mimics. Collectively, our study demonstrated that miR-7 could reverse the resistance to BRAF inhibitors in certain vemurafenib resistant melanoma cell lines. It could advance the field and provide the basis for further studies in BRAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma.
Project description:The BRAF inhibitor, vemurafenib, has recently been approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma in patients harboring BRAFV600 mutations. Currently, dual BRAF and MEK inhibition are ongoing in clinical trials with the goal of overcoming the acquired resistance that has unfortunately developed in some vemurafenib patients. FDG-PET measures of metabolic activity are increasingly employed as a pharmacodynamic biomarker for guiding single-agent or combination therapies by gauging initial drug response and monitoring disease progression. However, since tumors are inherently heterogeneous, investigating the effects of BRAF and MEK inhibition on FDG uptake in a panel of different melanomas could help interpret imaging outcomes.18 F-FDG uptake was measured in vitro in cells with wild-type and mutant (V600) BRAF, and in melanoma cells with an acquired resistance to vemurafenib. We treated the cells with vemurafenib alone or in combination with MEK inhibitor GDC-0973. PET imaging was used in mice to measure FDG uptake in A375 melanoma xenografts and in A375 R1, a vemurafenib-resistant derivative. Histological and biochemical studies of glucose transporters, the MAPK and glycolytic pathways were also undertaken.We demonstrate that vemurafenib is equally effective at reducing FDG uptake in cell lines harboring either heterozygous or homozygous BRAFV600 but ineffective in cells with acquired resistance or having WT BRAF status. However, combination with GDC-0973 results in a highly significant increase of efficacy and inhibition of FDG uptake across all twenty lines. Drug-induced changes in FDG uptake were associated with altered levels of membrane GLUT-1, and cell lines harboring RAS mutations displayed enhanced FDG uptake upon exposure to vemurafenib. Interestingly, we found that vemurafenib treatment in mice bearing drug-resistant A375 xenografts also induced increased FDG tumor uptake, accompanied by increases in Hif-1α, Sp1 and Ksr protein levels. Vemurafenib and GDC-0973 combination efficacy was associated with decreased levels of hexokinase II, c-RAF, Ksr and p-MEK protein.We have demonstrated that 18 F-FDG-PET imaging reflects vemurafenib and GDC-0973 action across a wide range of metastatic melanomas. A delayed post-treatment increase in tumor FDG uptake should be considered carefully as it may well be an indication of acquired drug resistance.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01271803.
Project description:Melanoma harboring BRAF mutations frequently develop resistance to BRAF inhibitors, limiting the impact of treatment. Here, we establish a mechanism of resistance and subsequently identified a suitable drug combination to overcome the resistance. Single treatment of BRAF mutant melanoma cell lines with vemurafenib or dabrafenib (BRAF inhibitors) alone or in combination with trametinib (MEK1/2 inhibitor) resulted in overexpression of Mcl-1. Overexpression of Mcl-1 in A375 and SK-MEL-28 by transfection completely blocked BRAF and MEK1/2 inhibitor-mediated inhibition of cell survival and apoptosis. Melanoma cells resistant to BRAF inhibitors showed massive expression of Mcl-1 as compared to respective sensitive cell lines. Silencing of Mcl-1 using siRNA completely sensitized resistant melanoma cells to growth suppression and induction of apoptosis by BRAF inhibitors. In vivo, vemurafenib resistant A375 xenografts implanted in athymic nude mice showed substantial tumor growth inhibition when treated with a combination of vemurafenib and Mcl-1 inhibitor or siRNA. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analyses demonstrated enhanced expression of Mcl-1 and activation of ERK1/2 in vemurafenib-resistant tumors whereas level of Mcl-1 or p-ERK1/2 was diminished in the tumors of mice treated with either of the combination. Biopsied tumors from the patients treated with or resistant to BRAF inhibitors revealed overexpression of Mcl-1. These results suggest that the combination of BRAF inhibitors with Mcl-1 inhibitor may have therapeutic advantage to melanoma patients with acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors alone or in combination with MEK1/2 inhibitors.
Project description:Acquired clinical resistance to vemurafenib, a selective BRAF(V600E) inhibitor, arises frequently after short-term chemotherapy. Because inhibitions of targets in the RAF-MEK-ERK pathway result in G(0)-G(1) cell-cycle arrest, vemurafenib-resistant cancer cells are expected to escape this cell-cycle arrest and progress to the subsequent G(2)-M phase. We hypothesized that a combined therapy using vemurafenib with a G(2)-M phase blocking agent will trap resistant cells and overcome vemurafenib resistance. To test this hypothesis, we first determined the combination index (CI) values of our novel tubulin inhibitor ABI-274 and vemurafenib on parental human A375 and MDA-MB-435 melanoma cell lines to be 0.32 and 0.1, respectively, suggesting strong synergy for the combination. We then developed an A375RF21 subline with significant acquired resistance to vemurafenib and confirmed the strong synergistic effect. Next, we studied the potential mechanisms of overcoming vemurafenib resistance. Flow cytometry confirmed that the combination of ABI-274 and vemurafenib synergistically arrested cells in the G(1)-G(2)-M phase, and significantly increased apoptosis in both parental A375 and the vemurafenib-resistant A375RF21 cells. Western blot analysis revealed that the combination treatment effectively reduced the level of phosphorylated and total AKT, activated the apoptosis cascade, and increased cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP, but had no significant influence on the level of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. Finally, in vivo coadministration of vemurafenib with ABI-274 showed strong synergistic efficacy in the vemurafenib-resistant xenograft model in nude mice. Overall, these results offer a rational combination strategy to significantly enhance the therapeutic benefit in patients with melanoma who inevitably become resistant to current vemurafenib therapy.
Project description:Emergence of clinical resistance to BRAF inhibitors, alone or in combination with MEK inhibitors, limits clinical responses in melanoma. Inhibiting HSP90 offers an approach to simultaneously interfere with multiple resistance mechanisms. Using the HSP90 inhibitor AT13387, which is currently in clinical trials, we investigated the potential of HSP90 inhibition to overcome or delay the emergence of resistance to these kinase inhibitors in melanoma models. In vitro, treating vemurafenib-sensitive cells (A375 or SK-MEL-28) with a combination of AT13387 and vemurafenib prevented colony growth under conditions in which vemurafenib treatment alone generated resistant colonies. In vivo, when AT13387 was combined with vemurafenib in a SK-MEL-28, vemurafenib-sensitive model, no regrowth of tumors was observed over 5 months, although 2 of 7 tumors in the vemurafenib monotherapy group relapsed in this time. Together, these data suggest that the combination of these agents can delay the emergence of resistance. Cell lines with acquired vemurafenib resistance, derived from these models (A375R and SK-MEL-28R) were also sensitive to HSP90 inhibitor treatment; key clients were depleted, apoptosis was induced, and growth in 3D culture was inhibited. Similar effects were observed in cell lines with acquired resistance to both BRAF and MEK inhibitors (SK-MEL-28RR, WM164RR, and 1205LuRR). These data suggest that treatment with an HSP90 inhibitor, such as AT13387, is a potential approach for combating resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibition in melanoma. Moreover, frontline combination of these agents with an HSP90 inhibitor could delay the emergence of resistance, providing a strong rationale for clinical investigation of such combinations in BRAF-mutated melanoma.
Project description:The majority of human melanomas bears BRAF mutations and thus is treated with inhibitors of BRAF, such as vemurafenib. While patients with BRAF mutations often demonstrate an initial dramatic response to vemurafenib, relapse is extremely common. Thus, novel agents are needed for the treatment of these aggressive melanomas. Honokiol is a small molecule compound derived from Magnolia grandiflora that has activity against solid tumors and hematopoietic neoplasms. In order to increase the lipophilicity of honokiol, we have synthesized honokiol DCA, the dichloroacetate ester of honokiol. In addition, we synthesized a novel fluorinated honokiol analog, bis-trifluoromethyl-bis-(4-hydroxy-3-allylphenyl) methane (hexafluoro). Both compounds exhibited activity against A375 melanoma in vivo, but honokiol DCA was more active. Gene arrays comparing treated with vehicle control tumors demonstrated induction of the respiratory enzyme succinate dehydrogenase B (SDHB) by treatment, suggesting that our honokiol analogs induce respiration in vivo. We then examined its effect against a pair of melanomas, LM36 and LM36R, in which LM36R differs from LM36 in that LM36R has acquired vemurafenib resistance. Honokiol DCA demonstrated in vivo activity against LM36R (vemurafenib resistant) but not against parental LM36. Honokiol DCA and hexafluoro inhibited the phosphorylation of DRP1, thus stimulating a phenotype suggestive of respiration through mitochondrial normalization. Honokiol DCA may act in vemurafenib resistant melanomas to increase both respiration and reactive oxygen generation, leading to activity against aggressive melanoma in vivo.
Project description:Analysis of patient-specific nucleotide variants is a cornerstone of personalised medicine. Although only 2% of the genomic sequence is protein-coding, mutations occurring in these regions have the potential to influence protein structure and may have severe impact on disease aetiology. Of special importance are variants that affect modifiable amino acid residues, as protein modifications involved in signal transduction networks cannot be analysed by genomics. Proteogenomics enables analysis of proteomes in context of patient- or tissue-specific non-synonymous nucleotide variants. Here, we developed a proteogenomics workflow and applied it to study resistance to serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf (BRAF) inhibitor (BRAFi) vemurafenib in malignant melanoma cell line A375. This approach resulted in high identification and quantification of non-synonymous nucleotide variants and (phospho)proteins. We integrated multi-omic datasets to reconstruct the perturbed signalling networks associated with BRAFi resistance and to predict drug therapies with the potential to disrupt BRAFi resistance mechanism in A375 cells. Notably, we showed that aurora kinase A (AURKA) inhibition is effective and specific against BRAFi resistant A375 cells. Furthermore, we investigated nucleotide variants that interfere with protein post-translational modification (PTM) status and potentially influence cell signalling. Mass spectrometry (MS) measurements confirmed variant-driven PTM changes in 12 proteins; among them was the runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) displaying a variant on a known phosphorylation site S(Ph)276L. We confirmed the loss of phosphorylation site by MS and demonstrated the impact of this variant on RUNX1 interactome.