Cotargeting the PI3K and RAS pathways for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors.
ABSTRACT: The precise involvement of the PI3K/mTOR and RAS/MEK pathways in carcinoid tumors is not well defined. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to evaluate the role these pathways play in carcinoid cell proliferation, apoptosis, and secretion and to determine the effects of combined treatment on carcinoid tumor inhibition.The human neuroendocrine cell lines BON (pancreatic carcinoid), NCI-H727 (lung carcinoid), and QGP-1 (somatostatinoma) were treated with either the pan-PI3K inhibitor, BKM120, or the dual PI3K-mTOR inhibitor, BEZ235, alone or in combination with the MEK inhibitor, PD0325901; proliferation, apoptosis, and protein expression were assessed. Peptide secretion was evaluated in BON and QGP-1 cells. The antiproliferative effect of BEZ235, alone or combined with PD0325901, was then tested in vivo.Both BKM120 and BEZ235 decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis; combination with PD0325901 significantly enhanced the antineoplastic effects of either treatment alone. In contrast, neurotensin peptide secretion was markedly stimulated with BKM120 treatment, but not BEZ235. The combination of BEZ235 + PD0325901 significantly inhibited the growth of BON xenografts without systemic toxicity.Both BKM120 and BEZ235 effectively inhibited neuroendocrine tumor (NET) cell proliferation and stimulated apoptosis. However, inhibition of the PI3K pathway alone with BKM120 significantly stimulated neurotensin peptide secretion; this did not occur with the dual inhibition of both PI3K and mTOR using BEZ235 suggesting that this would be a more effective treatment regimen for NETs. Moreover, the combination of BEZ235 and the MEK inhibitor PD0325901 was a safe and more effective therapy in vivo compared with single agents alone.
Project description:Pancreatic endocrine tumors (PETs) are characterised by an indolent behaviour in terms of tumor growth. However, most patients display metastasis at diagnosis and no cure is currently available. Since the PI3K/AKT/mTOR axis is deregulated in PETs, the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 represents the first line treatment. Nevertheless, some patients do not respond to treatments and most acquire resistance. Inhibition of mTOR leads to feedback re-activation of PI3K activity, which may promote resistance to RAD001. Thus, PI3K represents a novel potential target for PETs. We tested the impact of three novel PI3K inhibitors (BEZ235, BKM120 and BYL719) on proliferation of PET cells that are responsive (BON-1) or unresponsive (QGP-1) to RAD001. BEZ235 was the most efficient in inhibiting proliferation in PET cells. Furthermore, combined treatment with BEZ235 and RAD001 exhibited synergic effects and was also effective in BON-1 that acquired resistance to RAD001 (BON-1 RR). Analysis of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway showed that RAD001 and BEZ235 only partially inhibited mTOR-dependent phosphorylation of 4EBP1. By contrast, combined therapy with the two inhibitors strongly inhibited phosphorylation of 4EBP1, assembly of the translational initiation complex and protein synthesis. Thus, combined treatment with BEZ235 may represent suitable therapy to counteract primary and acquired resistance to RAD001 in PETs.
Project description:Combined targeting of MAPK and PI3K signalling pathways may be necessary for optimal therapeutic activity in cancer. This study evaluated the MEK inhibitors AZD6244 and PD0325901, alone and in combination with the dual mTOR/PI3K inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 or the PI3K inhibitor GDC-0941, in three colorectal cancer cell lines.Growth inhibition, survival and signal transduction were measured using the Sulforhodamine B assay, clonogenicity and western blotting, respectively, in HCT116, HT29 and DLD1 cell lines.All MEK/PI3K inhibitor combinations exhibited marked synergistic growth inhibition; however, GDC-0941 displayed greater synergy in combination with either MEK inhibitor. NVP-BEZ235 exhibited stronger inhibition of 4EBP1 phosphorylation, and similar inhibition of S6 and AKT phosphorylation, compared with GDC-0941. Both PD0325901 and AZD6244 inhibited ERK phosphorylation, and with MEK/PI3K inhibitor combinations inhibition of S6 phosphorylation was increased. The reduced synergy exhibited by NVP-BEZ235 in combination with MEK inhibitors, compared with GDC-0941, may be due to inhibition of mTOR, and the addition of the mTORC1/2 inhibitor KU0063794 compromised the synergy of GDC-0941:PD0325901 combinations.These studies confirm that dual targeting of PI3K and MEK can induce synergistic growth inhibition; however, the combination of specific PI3K inhibitors, rather than dual mTOR/PI3K inhibitors, with MEK inhibitors results in greater synergy.
Project description:The mTOR-inhibitor everolimus improves progression-free survival in advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNETs). However, adaptive resistance to mTOR inhibition is described.QGP-1 and BON-1, two human PNET cell lines, were cultured with increasing concentrations of everolimus up to 22 weeks to reach a dose of 1??M everolimus, respectively, 1000-fold and 250-fold initial IC50. Using total DNA content as a measure of cell number, growth inhibitory dose-response curves of everolimus were determined at the end of resistance induction and over time after everolimus withdrawal. Response to ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitors OSI-027 and AZD2014, and PI3K-mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 was studied. Gene expression of 10 PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway-related genes was evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR).Long-term everolimus-treated BON-1/R and QGP-1/R showed a significant reduction in everolimus sensitivity. During a drug holiday, gradual return of everolimus sensitivity in BON-1/R and QGP-1/R led to complete reversal of resistance after 10-12 weeks. Treatment with AZD2014, OSI-027 and NVP-BEZ235 had an inhibitory effect on cell proliferation in both sensitive and resistant cell lines. Gene expression in BON-1/R revealed downregulation of MTOR, RICTOR, RAPTOR, AKT and HIF1A, whereas 4EBP1 was upregulated. In QGP-1/R, a downregulation of HIF1A and an upregulation of ERK2 were observed.Long-term everolimus resistance was induced in two human PNET cell lines. Novel PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway-targeting drugs can overcome everolimus resistance. Differential gene expression profiles suggest different mechanisms of everolimus resistance in BON-1 and QGP-1.
Project description:The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway plays a crucial role in the development of leiomyosarcomas (LMSs). In this study, we tested the efficacy of dual PI3K/mTOR (BEZ235), PI3K (BKM120) and mTOR (everolimus) inhibitors in three human LMS cell lines. In vitro and in vivo studies using LMS cell lines showed that BEZ235 has a significantly higher anti-tumor effect than either BKM120 or everolimus, resulting in a greater reduction in tumor growth and more pronounced inhibitory effects on mitotic activity and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling. Strikingly, BEZ235 but neither BKM120 nor everolimus markedly enhanced the ERK pathway. This effect was reproduced by the combination of BKM120 and everolimus, suggesting the involvement of mTORC2 via a PI3K-independent mechanism. Silencing of RICTOR in LMS cells confirmed the role of mTORC2 in the regulation of ERK activity. Combined treatment with BEZ235 and GSK1120212, a potent MEK inhibitor, resulted in synergistic growth inhibition and apoptosis induction in vitro and in vivo. These findings document for the first time that dual PI3K/mTOR inhibition in leiomyosarcomas suppress a negative feedback loop mediated by mTORC2, leading to enhanced ERK pathway activity. Thus, combining a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor with MEK inhibitors may be a relevant approach to increase anti-tumor activity and prevent drug resistance in patients with LMS.
Project description:Hypersecretion is the major symptom of functional neuroendocrine tumours. The mechanisms that contribute to this excessive secretion of hormones are still elusive. A key event in secretion is the exit of secretory products from the Golgi apparatus. ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) GTPases are known to control vesicle budding and trafficking, and have a leading function in the regulation of formation of secretory granula at the Golgi. Here, we show that Arf1 is the predominant Arf protein family member expressed in the neuroendocrine pancreatic tumour cell lines BON and QGP-1. In BON cells Arf1 colocalizes with Golgi markers as well as chromogranin A, and shows significant basal activity. The inhibition of Arf1 activity or expression significantly impaired secretion of chromogranin A. Furthermore, we show that the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a major regulator of growth and secretion in BON cells, induces Arf1 activity. We found that activation of Arf1 upon IGF-1 receptor stimulation is mediated by MEK/ERK signalling pathway in BON and QGP-1 cells. Moreover, the activity of Arf1 in BON cells is mediated by autocrinely secreted IGF-1, and concomitantly, autocrine IGF1 secretion is maintained by Arf1 activity. In summary, our data indicate an important regulatory role for Arf1 at the Golgi in hypersecretion in neuroendocrine cancer cells.
Project description:The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, which is aberrantly stimulated in many cancer cells, has emerged as a target for therapy. However, mTORC1/S6K also mediates negative feedback loops that attenuate upstream signaling. Suppression of these feedback loops opposes the growth-suppressive effects of mTOR inhibitors and leads to drug resistance. Here, we demonstrate that treatment of PANC-1 or MiaPaCa-2 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells with the dual PI3K/mTOR kinase inhibitor (PI3K/TOR-KI) BEZ235 blocked mTORC1/S6K activation (scored by S6 phosphorylation at Ser(240/244)), mTORC1/4E-BP1 (assayed by 4E-BP1 phosphorylation at Thr(37/46)), and mTORC2-mediated AKT phosphorylation at Ser(473), in a concentration-dependent manner. Strikingly, BEZ235 markedly enhanced the MEK/ERK pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Maximal ERK overactivation coincided with complete inhibition of phosphorylation of AKT and 4E-BP1. ERK overactivation was induced by other PI3K/TOR-KIs, including PKI-587 and GDC-0980. The MEK inhibitors U126 or PD0325901 prevented ERK overactivation induced by PI3K/TOR-KIs. The combination of BEZ235 and PD0325901 caused a more pronounced inhibition of cell growth than that produced by each inhibitor individually. Mechanistic studies assessing PI3K activity in single PDAC cells indicate that PI3K/TOR-KIs act through a PI3K-independent pathway. Doses of PI3K/TOR-KIs that enhanced MEK/ERK activation coincided with those that inhibited mTORC2-mediated AKT phosphorylation on Ser(473), suggesting a role of mTORC2. Knockdown of RICTOR via transfection of siRNA markedly attenuated the enhancing effect of BEZ235 on ERK phosphorylation. We propose that dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors suppress a novel negative feedback loop mediated by mTORC2, thereby leading to enhanced MEK/ERK pathway activity in pancreatic cancer cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND/AIMS:The therapeutic options for metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are limited. As PI3K signaling is often activated in NETs, we have assessed the effects of selective PI3Kp110? inhibition by the novel agent BYL719 on cell viability, colony formation, apoptosis, cell cycle, signaling pathways, differentiation and secretion in pancreatic (BON-1, QGP-1) and pulmonary (H727) NET cell lines. METHODS:Cell viability was investigated by WST-1 assay, colony formation by clonogenic assay, apoptosis by caspase3/7 assay, the cell cycle by FACS, cell signaling by Western blot analysis, expression of chromogranin A and somatostatin receptors 1/2/5 by RT-qPCR, and chromogranin A secretion by ELISA. RESULTS:BYL719 dose-dependently decreased cell viability and colony formation with the highest sensitivity in BON-1, followed by H727, and lowest sensitivity in QGP-1 cells. BYL719 induced apoptosis and G0/G1 cell cycle arrest associated with increased p27 expression. Western blots showed inhibition of PI3K downstream targets to a varying degree in the different cell lines, but IGF1R activation. The most sensitive BON-1 cells displayed a significant, and H727 cells a non-significant, GSK3 inhibition after BYL719 treatment, but these effects do not appear to be mediated through the IGF1R. In contrast, the most resistant QGP-1 cells showed no GSK3 inhibition, but a modest activation, which would partially counteract the other anti-proliferative effects. Accordingly, BYL719 enhanced neuroendocrine differentiation with the strongest effect in BON-1, followed by H727 cells indicated by induction of chromogranin A and somatostatin receptor 1/2 mRNA-synthesis, but not in QGP-1 cells. In BON-1 and QGP-1 cells, the BYL719/everolimus combination was synergistic through simultaneous AKT/mTORC1 inhibition, and significantly increased somatostatin receptor 2 transcription compared to each drug separately. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that the agent BYL719 could be a novel therapeutic approach to the treatment of NETs that may sensitize NET cells to somatostatin analogs, and that if there is resistance to its action this may be overcome by combination with everolimus.
Project description:Melanoma is relatively resistant to chemotherapy; improved targeting of molecules critical for cell proliferation and survival are needed. Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) is an important target in melanoma; however, activity of PI3K inhibitors (PI3KI) is limited. Our purpose was to assess mTOR as a cotarget for PI3K.Using a method of quantitative immunofluorescence to measure mTOR expression in a large melanoma cohort, we studied associations with PI3K subunits, p85 and p110?. We assessed addition of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin to 2 PI3KIs, NVP-BKM120 and LY294002. We studied in vitro activity of a novel dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 and activity of the combination of NVP-BEZ235 and the MAP/ERK kinase (MEK) inhibitor AZD6244.Strong coexpression of mTOR and p110? was observed (? = 0.658; P < 0.0001). Less coexpression was seen with p85 (? = 0.239; P < 0.0001). Strong synergism was shown between rapamycin and both PI3KIs. Activity of both PI3KIs was similarly enhanced with all rapamycin concentrations used. The dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor effectively inhibited viability in 23 melanoma cell lines (IC(50) values in the nanomolar range), regardless of B-Raf mutation status, with resultant reduction in clonogenicity and downregulation of pAkt and pP70S6K. Synergism was seen when combining NVP-BEZ235 and AZD6244, with resultant increases in poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and caspase-2 cleavage.mTOR and p110? are coexpressed in melanoma. Rapamycin concentrations as low as 1 nmol/L enhance activity of PI3KIs. The dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 is highly active in melanoma cells in vitro, suggesting that concurrent PI3K and mTOR targeting in melanoma warrants further investigation, both alone and in combination with MEK inhibitors.
Project description:Non-Hodgkin lymphomas encompass a heterogeneous group of cancers, with 85-90% arising from B lymphocytes and the remainder deriving from T lymphocytes or NK lymphocytes. These tumors are molecularly and clinically heterogeneous, showing dramatically different responses and outcomes with standard therapies. Deregulated PI3K signaling is linked to oncogenesis and disease progression in hematologic malignancies and in a variety of solid tumors and apparently enhances resistance to antineoplastic therapy, resulting in a poor prognosis. Here, we have evaluated and compared the effects of the pan-PI3K inhibitor BKM120 and the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 on mantle, follicular, and T-cell lymphomas. Our results suggest that BKM120 and BEZ235 can effectively inhibit lymphoma cell proliferation by causing cell cycle arrest and can lead to cell death by inducing apoptosis and autophagy mediated by ROS accumulation. Despite great advances in lymphoma therapy after the introduction of monoclonal antibodies, many patients still die from disease progression. Therefore, novel treatment approaches are needed. BKM120 and BEZ235 alone and in combination are very effective against lymphoma cells in vitro. If further studies confirm their effectiveness in animal models, they may be promising candidates for development as new drugs.
Project description:We assessed expression of p85 and p110? PI3K subunits in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens and the association with mTOR expression, and studied effects of targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in NSCLC cell lines.Using Automated Quantitative Analysis we quantified expression of PI3K subunits in two cohorts of 190 and 168 NSCLC specimens and correlated it with mTOR expression. We studied effects of two PI3K inhibitors, LY294002 and NVP-BKM120, alone and in combination with rapamycin in 6 NSCLC cell lines. We assessed activity of a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, NVP-BEZ235 alone and with an EGFR inhibitor.p85 and p110? tend to be co-expressed (p<0.001); p85 expression was higher in adenocarcinomas than squamous cell carcinomas. High p85 expression was associated with advanced stage and poor survival. p110? expression correlated with mTOR (??=?0.276). In six NSCLC cell lines, addition of rapamycin to LY294002 or NVP-BKM120 was synergistic. Even very low rapamycin concentrations (1 nM) resulted in sensitization to PI3K inhibitors. NVP-BEZ235 was highly active in NSCLC cell lines with IC(50)s in the nanomolar range and resultant down-regulation of pAKT and pP70S6K. Adding Erlotinib to NVP-BEZ235 resulted in synergistic growth inhibition.The association between PI3K expression, advanced stage and survival in NSCLC suggests that it might be a valuable drug target. Concurrent inhibition of PI3K and mTOR is synergistic in vitro, and a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor was highly active. Adding EGFR inhibition resulted in further growth inhibition. Targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway at multiple levels should be tested in clinical trials for NSCLC.