Integration of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases Determines Sensitivity to PI3K?-selective Inhibitors in Breast Cancer.
ABSTRACT: PI3K?-selective inhibitor BYL719 is currently in phase II/III clinical trial for the treatment of breast cancer, but highly variable response has been observed among patients. We sought to discover predictive biomarker for the efficacy of BYL719 by dissecting the proliferative signaling pathway mediated by PI3K in breast cancer. BYL719 concurrently inhibited the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK in PIK3CA-mutated human breast cancer cells. PI3K-regulated ERK phosphorylation was independent of canonical PDK1/AKT/mTOR pathway, while it was associated with RAF/MEK. Hyper-activation of EGFR or RAS abrogated inhibition of ERK phosphorylation by BYL719. Furthermore, hyper-activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) including EGFR, c-MET, FGFR and HER3 but not IGF-1R restored ERK phosphorylation and cell viability suppressed by BYL719, suggesting the discriminative functions of RTKs in cell signaling and proliferation. By profiling 22 breast cancer cell lines, we found that BYL719 was more potent in cell lines where phosphorylation of both AKT and ERK was attenuated than those where only AKT phosphorylation was inhibited. The potency of BYL719 was further found to be significantly correlated with the expression profile of RTKs in breast cancer cells. Specifically, overexpression of EGFR, c-MET and/or FGFR1 forecasted resistance, while overexpression of IGF-1R and/or HER2 predicted sensitivity to BYL719 in breast cancer cells. Similar correlation between BYL719 efficacy and expression profile of RTKs was found in patient-derived xenograft models of breast cancer. Thus, inhibition of ERK phosphorylation by PI3K? inhibitor BYL719 contributes to its antitumor efficacy and is determined by the converged signaling from RTKs. The expression profile of RTKs in breast cancer tissue could be potentially developed as a predictive biomarker for the efficacy of PI3K? inhibitors.
Project description:Although the HER2-targeting agents trastuzumab and lapatinib have improved the survival of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, resistance to these targeted therapies is a major challenge. To investigate mechanisms of acquired lapatinib resistance, we generated acquired lapatinib resistance cell models by extended exposure of two HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines to lapatinib. Genomic and proteomic analyses revealed that lapatinib-resistant breast cancer cells gained additional phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activation through activating mutation in PI3K p110? and/or increasing protein expression of existing mutant p110?. p110? protein upregulation in lapatinib-resistant cells occurred through gene amplification or posttranscriptional upregulation. Knockdown of p110?, but not p110?, the other PI3K catalytic subunit present in epithelial cells, inhibited proliferation of lapatinib-resistant cells, especially when combined with lapatinib. Lapatinib-resistant xenograft growth was inhibited persistently by combination treatment with the p110?-selective PI3K inhibitor BYL719 and lapatinib; the drug combination was also well tolerated in mice. Mechanistically, the combination of lapatinib plus BYL719 more effectively inhibited Akt phosphorylation and, surprisingly, Erk phosphorylation, than either drug alone in the resistance model. These findings indicate that lapatinib resistance can occur through p110? protein upregulation-mediated, and/or mutation-induced, PI3K activation. Moreover, a combinatorial targeted therapy, lapatinib plus BYL719, effectively overcame lapatinib resistance in vivo and could be further tested in clinical trials. Finally, our findings indicate that p110? may be dispensable for lapatinib resistance in some cases. This allows the usage of p110?-specific PI3K inhibitors and thus may spare patients the toxicities of pan-PI3K inhibition to allow maximal dosage and efficacy.
Project description:NVP-BEZ235 (BEZ235), an available dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, showed antitumor effect and provided a therapy strategy in carcinomas. However, the acquired upregulation of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) by NVP-BEZ235 in tumors limits its clinical efficacy. HDAC6, a class II histone deacetylase, is associated with expressions of multiple RTKs. The aim of this study was to detect whether co-treatment with HDAC6 inhibitor Tubastatin A (TST) would enhance the anticancer effects of BEZ235 in breast cancer cells. In this study, we described that treatment of breast cancer cell lines (T47D, BT474, and MDA-MB-468) with BEZ235 significantly triggered PI3K/mTOR signaling inactivation and increased multiple RTK expression, including EGFR, HER2, HER3, IGF-1 receptor, insulin receptor, and their phosphorylation levels. The adding of TST destabilized these RTKs in those breast cancer cells. Co-treatment with BEZ235 and TST reduced cell proliferative rate by strengthening Akt inactivation. In addition, the combination of these two drugs also cooperatively arrested cell cycle and DNA synthesis. In conclusion, the co-treatment with PI3K/mTOR inhibitor BEZ235 and HDAC6 inhibitor TST displayed additive antiproliferative effects on breast cancer cells through inactivating RTKs and established a rationable combination therapy to treat breast cancer.
Project description:BYL719, which selectively inhibits the alpha isoform of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunit (p110a), is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors, especially luminal breast cancers with PIK3CA mutations and/or HER2 amplification. This study reveals that, even among these sensitive cancers, the initial efficacy of p110? inhibition is mitigated by rapid re-accumulation of the PI3K product PIP3 produced by the p110? isoform. Importantly, the reactivation of PI3K mediated by p110? does not invariably restore AKT phosphorylation, demonstrating the limitations of using phospho-AKT as a surrogate to measure PI3K activation. Consistently, we show that the addition of the p110? inhibitor to BYL719 prevents the PIP3 rebound and induces greater antitumor efficacy in HER2-amplified and PIK3CA mutant cancers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The PI3K pathway is hyperactivated in many cancers, including 70 % of breast cancers. Pan- and isoform-specific inhibitors of the PI3K pathway are currently being evaluated in clinical trials. However, the clinical responses to PI3K inhibitors when used as single agents are not as efficient as expected. METHODS:In order to anticipate potential molecular mechanisms of resistance to the p110? isoform-selective inhibitor BYL719, we developed resistant breast cancer cell lines, assessed the concomitant changes in cellular signaling pathways using unbiased phosphotyrosine proteomics and characterized the mechanism of resistance using pharmacological inhibitors. RESULTS:We found an increase in IGF1R, IRS1/IRS2 and p85 phosphorylation in the resistant lines. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments identified an IGF1R/IRS/p85/p110? complex that causes the activation of AKT/mTOR/S6K and stifles the effects of BYL719. Pharmacological inhibition of members of this complex reduced mTOR/S6K activation and restored sensitivity to BYL719. CONCLUSION:Our study demonstrates that the IGF1R/p110?/AKT/mTOR axis confers resistance to BYL719 in PIK3CA mutant breast cancers. This provides a rationale for the combined targeting of p110? with IGF1R or p110? in patients with breast tumors harboring PIK3CA mutations.
Project description:Mutations in PIK3CA, the gene encoding the p110? catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), have been shown to transform mammary epithelial cells (MEC). Studies suggest this transforming activity requires binding of mutant p110? via p85 to phosphorylated YXXM motifs in activated receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) or adaptors. Using transgenic mice, we examined if ErbB3, a potent activator of PI3K, is required for mutant PIK3CA-mediated transformation of MECs. Conditional loss of ErbB3 in mammary epithelium resulted in a delay of PIK3CA(H1047R)-dependent mammary gland hyperplasia, but tumor latency, gene expression, and PI3K signaling were unaffected. In ErbB3-deficient tumors, mutant PI3K remained associated with several tyrosyl phosphoproteins, potentially explaining the dispensability of ErbB3 for tumorigenicity and PI3K activity. Similarly, inhibition of ErbB RTKs with lapatinib did not affect PI3K signaling in PIK3CA(H1047R)-expressing tumors. However, the p110?-specific inhibitor BYL719 in combination with lapatinib impaired mammary tumor growth and PI3K signaling more potently than BYL719 alone. Furthermore, coinhibition of p110? and ErbB3 potently suppressed proliferation and PI3K signaling in human breast cancer cells harboring PIK3CA(H1047R). These data suggest that PIK3CA(H1047R)-driven tumor growth and PI3K signaling can occur independently of ErbB RTKs. However, simultaneous blockade of p110? and ErbB RTKs results in superior inhibition of PI3K and mammary tumor growth, suggesting a rational therapeutic combination against breast cancers harboring PIK3CA activating mutations.
Project description:Therapies inhibiting receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are effective against some human cancers when they lead to simultaneous downregulation of PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK signaling. However, mutant KRAS has the capacity to directly activate ERK and PI3K signaling, and this is thought to underlie the resistance of KRAS mutant cancers to RTK inhibitors. Here, we have elucidated the molecular regulation of both the PI3K/AKT and MEK/ERK signaling pathways in KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cells and identified combination therapies that lead to robust cancer cell apoptosis. KRAS knockdown using shRNA suppressed ERK signaling in all of the human KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cell lines examined. However, no decrease, and actually a modest increase, in AKT phosphorylation was often seen. By performing PI3K immunoprecipitations, we determined that RTKs, often IGF-IR, regulated PI3K signaling in the KRAS mutant cell lines. This conclusion was also supported by the observation that specific RTK inhibition led to marked suppression of PI3K signaling and biochemical assessment of patient specimens. Interestingly, combination of RTK and MEK inhibitors led to concomitant inhibition of PI3K and MEK signaling, marked growth suppression, and robust apoptosis of human KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cell lines in vitro and upon xenografting in mice. These findings provide a framework for utilizing RTK inhibitors in the treatment of KRAS mutant colorectal cancers.
Project description:Mutations in PIK3CA, the gene encoding the p110α subunit of PI3K, induce transformation of mammary epithelial cells (MEC). Studies suggest the transforming action of mutant PIK3CA requires binding to activated receptor tyrosine kinases or adaptors. We examined in transgenic mice if ErbB3, a powerful activator of PI3K, is required for mutant PIK3CA-mediated MEC transformation. ErbB3 loss delayed PIK3CAH1047R-dependent mammary gland hyperplasia, but tumor latency, gene expression and markers of PI3K signaling were unaffected. In ErbB3-deficient tumors, mutant PI3K remained associated with other tyrosine phosphorylated adaptors, potentially explaining the dispensability of ErbB3 for tumorigenicity and PI3K activity. Combined inhibition of ErbB RTKs and PI3K with lapatinib and the p110α inhibitor BYL719, respectively, reduced PIK3CAH1047R-dependent tumor growth and PI3K signaling more potently than the p110α inhibitor alone. In human breast cancer cells harboring PIK3CAH1047R, the combination with BYL719 and an ErbB3 inhibitor synergistically inhibited tumor growth and P-Akt. These data suggest that basal tumor growth and PI3K signaling do not depend on ErbB RTKs in PIK3CAH1047R-expressing tumors. However, upon inhibition of p110α, these receptors limit the action of PI3K inhibitors potentially explaining the more potent effect of the combination against PI3K-mutant cancers. reference x sample
Project description:There is a strong rationale to therapeutically target the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) pathway in breast cancer since it is highly deregulated in this disease and it also mediates resistance to anti-HER2 therapies. However, initial studies with rapalogs, allosteric inhibitors of mTORC1, have resulted in limited clinical efficacy probably due to the release of a negative regulatory feedback loop that triggers AKT and ERK signaling. Since activation of AKT occurs via PI3K, we decided to explore whether PI3K inhibitors prevent the activation of these compensatory pathways. Using HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells as a model, we observed that PI3K inhibitors abolished AKT activation. However, PI3K inhibition resulted in a compensatory activation of the ERK signaling pathway. This enhanced ERK signaling occurred as a result of activation of HER family receptors as evidenced by induction of HER receptors dimerization and phosphorylation, increased expression of HER3 and binding of adaptor molecules to HER2 and HER3. The activation of ERK was prevented with either MEK inhibitors or anti-HER2 monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Combined administration of PI3K inhibitors with either HER2 or MEK inhibitors resulted in decreased proliferation, enhanced cell death and superior anti-tumor activity compared with single agent PI3K inhibitors. Our findings indicate that PI3K inhibition in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer activates a new compensatory pathway that results in ERK dependency. Combined anti-MEK or anti-HER2 therapy with PI3K inhibitors may be required in order to achieve optimal efficacy in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer. This approach warrants clinical evaluation.
Project description:Targeting the MEK/ERK pathway has been viewed as a promising strategy for cancer therapy. However, MEK inhibition leads to the compensatory PI3K/AKT activation and thus contributes to the desensitization of cancer cells to MEK inhibitors. The underlying molecular mechanism of this event is not yet understood. In this study, our data showed that the induction of Akt activity by MEK inhibitors was specifically observed in HER2-positive breast cancer cells. Silence of HER2, or overexpression of HER2 kinase-dead mutant, prevents the induction of Akt activation in response to MEK inhibition, indicating HER2 as a critical regulator for this event. Furthermore, HER2 Thr701 was demonstrated as a direct phosphorylation target of ERK1/2. Inhibition of this specific phosphorylation prolonged the dimerization of HER2 with EGFR in a clathrin-dependent manner, leading to the enhanced activation of HER2 and EGFR tyrosine kinase and their downstream Akt pathway. These results suggest that suppression of ERK-mediated HER2 Thr701 phosphorylation contributes to MEK inhibitor-induced Akt activation.
Project description:PREX1 is a Rac guanine exchange factor that coordinates signaling inputs from G protein-coupled receptors and receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). PREX1 creates a positive feedback loop to drive RTK, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, and MEK/ERK signaling. High PREX1 levels predict sensitivity to PI3K inhibitors in breast cancer cells.