Project description:Resistance of breast cancers to targeted hormone receptor (HR) or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) inhibitors often occurs through dysregulation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase, protein kinase B/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) pathway. Presently, no targeted therapies exist for breast cancers lacking HR and HER2 overexpression, many of which also exhibit PI3K/AKT/mTOR hyper-activation. Resistance of breast cancers to current therapeutics also results, in part, from aberrant epigenetic modifications including protein acetylation regulated by histone deacetylases (HDACs). We show that the investigational drug MLN0128, which inhibits both complexes of mTOR (mTORC1 and mTORC2), and the hydroxamic acid pan-HDAC inhibitor TSA synergistically inhibit the viability of a phenotypically diverse panel of five breast cancer cell lines (HR-/+, HER2-/+). The combination of MLN0128 and TSA induces apoptosis in most breast cancer cell lines tested, but not in the non-malignant MCF-10A mammary epithelial cells. In parallel, the MLN0128/TSA combination reduces phosphorylation of AKT at S473 more than single agents alone and more so in the 5 malignant breast cancer cell lines than in the non-malignant mammary epithelial cells. Examining polysome profiles from one of the most sensitive breast cancer cell lines (SKBR3), we demonstrate that this MLN0128/TSA treatment combination synergistically impairs polysome assembly in conjunction with enhanced inhibition of 4eBP1 phosphorylation at S65. Taken together, these data indicate that the synergistic growth inhibiting consequence of combining a mTORC1/C2 inhibitor like MLN0128 with a pan-HDAC inhibitor like TSA results from their mechanistic convergence onto the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, profoundly inhibiting both AKT S473 and 4eBP1 S65 phosphorylation, reducing polysome formation and cancer cell viability.
Project description:Background:Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a fatal disease, in which the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway serves an important role in the tumorigenesis. Previous studies have reported the prognostic significance of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway members in RCC; however, there is insufficient evidence to date to confirm this. Thus, the present study aimed to systematically investigate the prognostic roles of multiple PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling proteins in clear cell RCC (ccRCC) using online large-scale databases. Methods:The mRNA expression profiles of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway proteins PTEN, PIK3CA, PIK3CB, PIK3CD, PIK3CG, AKT1, AKT2, AKT3 and mTOR were investigated using the Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) and Oncomine databases, and the protein expression levels of PI3K, AKT and mTOR were detected using western blotting (WB) analysis. In addition, the correlation between mRNA or protein expression levels and the prognostic significance was analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier (K-M) plotter (n = 530), the Human Protein Atlas (HPA; n = 528) and The Cancer Protein Atlas (TCPA; n = 445) databases. Results:The GEPIA revealed that the mRNA expression of major PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway members, including PTEN, PIK3CA, PIK3CB, AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3, were negatively correlated with ccRCC stages (P < 0.05), though most of their mRNA and protein expression levels were notsignificantly different between ccRCC and normal tissues using GEPIA, Oncomine and WB analyses (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, using the K-M plotter and HPA prognostic analysis, it was found that the mRNA expression levels of the majority of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway members, including PTEN, PIK3CA, PIK3CB, PIK3CG, AKT3 and mTOR were positively correlated with overall survival (OS), whereas PIK3CD mRNA expression was negatively correlated with OS (P < 0.05). Furthermore, TCPA prognostic analysis observed that several of the key molecules of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway [PTEN, p-AKT (S473) and p-mTOR (S2448)] were also positively correlated with OS in patients with ccRCC (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the present study suggested that several members of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, especially PTEN, may be favorable prognostic factors in ccRCC, which indicated that the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway may be implicated in ccRCC initiation and progression.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Metaplastic breast cancer (MBC) is a rare form of breast cancer characterized by an aggressive clinical presentation, with a poor response to standard chemotherapy. MBCs are typically triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs), frequently with alterations to genes of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RTK-MAPK signaling pathways. The objective of this study was to determine the response to PI3K and MAPK pathway inhibitors in patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of MBCs with targetable alterations. METHODS:We compared survival between triple-negative MBCs and other histological subtypes, in a clinical cohort of 323 TNBC patients. PDX models were established from primary breast tumors classified as MBC. PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RTK-MAPK pathway alterations were detected by targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) and analyses of copy number alterations. Activation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RTK-MAPK signaling pathways was analyzed with reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA). PDXs carrying an activating mutation of PIK3CA and genomic changes to the RTK-MAPK signaling pathways were treated with a combination consisting of a PI3K inhibitor and a MEK inhibitor. RESULTS:In our clinical cohort, the patients with MBC had a worse prognosis than those with other histological subtypes. We established nine metaplastic TNBC PDXs. Three had a pathogenic mutation of PIK3CA and additional alterations to genes associated with RTK-MAPK signaling. The MBC PDXs expressed typical EMT and stem cell genes and were of the mesenchymal or mesenchymal stem-like TNBC subtypes. On histological analysis, MBC PDXs presented squamous or chondroid differentiation. RPPA analysis showed activation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RTK-MAPK signaling pathways. In vivo, the combination of PI3K and MAPK inhibitors displayed marked antitumor activity in PDXs carrying genomic alterations of PIK3CA, AKT1, BRAF, and FGFR4. CONCLUSION:The treatment of metaplastic breast cancer PDXs by activation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR and RTK-MAPK pathways at the genomic and protein levels with a combination of PI3K and MEK inhibitors resulted in tumor regression in mutated models and may therefore be of interest for therapeutic purposes.
Project description:PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling is being actively pursued as a therapeutic target for breast cancer. We sought to determine if tumor heterogeneity and biospecimen variables affect the evaluation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway markers.Intraoperative image-guided core-needle biopsies (CNB), and central and peripheral surgical tumor specimens were prospectively collected in 53 patients with invasive breast cancer. Specimens were assessed with reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA) and immunohistochemistry (IHC).There was a moderate or strong correlation between the expression of 149 (97%) of the 154 different RPPA markers in the center and periphery. Correlation was higher for smaller tumors, in patients who did not undergo neoadjuvant therapy, and with shorter cold ischemia time. Of 154 markers, 132 (86%) were not statistically different between the center and periphery, and 97 (63%) were not different between the CNB and the surgical specimen (average of the central and peripheral specimen). pAkt S473 and PTEN had a significant correlation between central and peripheral specimens, and between CNB and surgical specimen. However, pAkt S473, pS6 S235/236, and pS6 240/244 levels were significantly higher in CNB than the central specimens both by RPPA and by IHC.Most individual proteomic biomarkers studied do not have significant intratumoral heterogeneity. However, protein and phosphoprotein levels are affected by biospecimen type and other preanalytic variables. PI3K pathway activation is greater in CNB compared with postexcision surgical samples suggesting a potential loss of phosphorylation during surgical manipulation, or with cold ischemia of surgical specimens.
Project description:The frequent alterations of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR-growth signaling pathway are proposed mechanisms for resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer, partly through regulation of estrogen receptor ? (ER) activity. Reliable biomarkers for treatment prediction are required for improved individualized treatment. We performed a retrospective immunohistochemical analysis of primary tumors from 912 postmenopausal patients with node-negative breast cancer, randomized to either tamoxifen or no adjuvant treatment. Phosphorylated (p) Akt-serine (s) 473, p-mTOR-s2448, and ER phosphorylations-s167 and -s305 were evaluated as potential biomarkers of prognosis and tamoxifen treatment efficacy. High expression of p-mTOR indicated a reduced response to tamoxifen, most pronounced in the ER+/progesterone receptor (PgR) + subgroup (tamoxifen vs. no tamoxifen: hazard ratio (HR), 0.86; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 0.31-2.38; P = 0.78), whereas low p-mTOR expression predicted tamoxifen benefit (HR, 0.29; 95 % CI, 0.18-0.49; P = 0.000002). In addition, nuclear p-Akt-s473 as well as p-ER at -s167 and/or -s305 showed interaction with tamoxifen efficacy with borderline statistical significance. A combination score of positive pathway markers including p-Akt, p-mTOR, and p-ER showed significant association with tamoxifen benefit (test for interaction; P = 0.029). Cross-talk between growth signaling pathways and ER-signaling has been proposed to affect tamoxifen response in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. The results support this hypothesis, as an overactive pathway was significantly associated with reduced response to tamoxifen. A clinical pre-treatment test for cross-talk markers would be a step toward individualized adjuvant endocrine treatment with or without the addition of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibitors.
Project description:The biological mechanisms underlying early- and advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) are still poorly understood. This study explored kinase-driven metabolic signalling in early and advanced EOCs, and its role in tumour progression and response to carboplatin-paclitaxel treatment.Tumour epithelia were isolated from two independent sets of primary EOC (n=72 and 30 for the discovery and the validation sets, respectively) via laser capture microdissection. Reverse phase protein microarrays were used to broadly profile the kinase-driven metabolic signalling of EOC with particular emphasis on the LBK1-AMPK and AKT-mTOR axes. Signalling activation was compared between early and advanced lesions, and carboplatin-paclitaxel-sensitive and -resistant tumours.Advanced EOCs were characterised by a heterogeneous kinase-driven metabolic signature and decreased phosphorylation of the AMPK-AKT-mTOR axis compared to early EOC (P<0.05 for AMPK? T172, AMPK?1 S485, AMPK?1 S108, AKT S473 and T308, mTOR S2448, p70S6 S371, 4EBP1 S65, GSK-3 ?/? S21/9, FOXO1 T24/FOXO3 T32, and FOXO1 S256). Advanced tumours with low relative activation of the metabolic signature and increased FOXO1 T24/FOXO3 T32 phosphorylation (P=0.041) were associated with carboplatin-paclitaxel resistance.If validated in a larger cohort of patients, the decreased AMPK-AKT-mTOR activation and phosphorylation of FOXO1 T24/FOXO3 T32 may help identify carboplatin-paclitaxel-resistant EOC patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The PI3K/AKT pathway is activated through PIK3CA or AKT1 mutations and PTEN loss in breast cancer. We conducted a phase II trial with an allosteric AKT inhibitor MK-2206 in patients with advanced breast cancer who had tumors with PIK3CA/AKT1 mutations and/or PTEN loss/mutation. METHODS:The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR). Secondary endpoints were 6-month progression-free survival (6?m PFS), predictive and pharmacodynamic markers, safety, and tolerability. Patients had pre-treatment and on-treatment biopsies as well as collection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Next-generation sequencing, immunohistochemistry, and reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA) were performed. RESULTS:Twenty-seven patients received MK-2206. Eighteen patients were enrolled into the PIK3CA/AKT1 mutation arm (cohort A): 13 had PIK3CA mutations, four had AKT1 mutations, and one had a PIK3CA mutation as well as PTEN loss. ORR and 6?m PFS were both 5.6% (1/18), with one patient with HR+ breast cancer and a PIK3CA E542K mutation experiencing a partial response (on treatment for 36?weeks). Nine patients were enrolled on the PTEN loss/mutation arm (cohort B). ORR was 0% and 6?m PFS was 11% (1/9), observed in a patient with triple-negative breast cancer and PTEN loss. The study was stopped early due to futility. The most common adverse events were fatigue (48%) and rash (44%). On pre-treatment biopsy, PIK3CA and AKT1 mutation status was concordant with archival tissue testing. However, two patients with PTEN loss based on archival testing had PTEN expression on the pre-treatment biopsy. MK-2206 treatment was associated with a significant decline in pAKT S473 and pAKT T308 and PI3K activation score in PBMC and PRPs, but not in tumor biopsies. By IHC, there was no significant decrease in median pAKT S473 or Ki-67 staining, but a drop was observed in both responders. CONCLUSIONS:MK-2206 monotherapy had limited clinical activity in advanced breast cancer patients selected for PIK3CA/AKT1 or PTEN mutations or PTEN loss. This may, in part, be due to inadequate target inhibition at tolerable doses in heavily pre-treated patients with pathway activation, as well as tumor heterogeneity and evolution in markers such as PTEN conferring challenges in patient selection. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01277757 . Registered 13 January 2011.
Project description:The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is frequently activated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), but pathway inhibition has variable efficacy. Identification of predictive biomarkers and mechanisms of resistance would allow selection of patients most likely to respond and novel therapeutic combinations. The purpose of this study was to extend recent discoveries regarding the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in HNSCC by more broadly examining potential biomarkers of response, by examining pathway inhibitors with a diverse range of targets, and by defining mechanisms of resistance and potential combination therapies. We used reverse-phase protein arrays (RPPA) to simultaneously evaluate expression of 195 proteins; SNP array to estimate gene copy number; and mass array to identify mutations. We examined altered signaling at baseline and after pathway inhibition. Likewise, we examined the activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in HNSCC tumors by RPPA. Cell lines with PIK3CA mutations were sensitive to pathway inhibitors, whereas amplification status did not predict sensitivity. While we identified a set of individual candidate biomarkers of response to pathway inhibitors, proteomic pathway scores did not correlate with amplification or mutation and did not predict response. Several receptor tyrosine kinases, including EGFR and ERK, were activated following PI3K inhibition in resistant cells; dual pathway inhibition of PI3K and EGFR or MEK demonstrated synergy. Combined MEK and PI3K inhibition was markedly synergistic in HRAS-mutant cell lines. Our findings indicate that clinical trials of single-agent PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors in selected populations and of PI3K/EGFR or PI3K/MEK inhibitor combinations are warranted; we plan to conduct such trials.
Project description:Target-matched treatment with PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors in patients with diverse advanced cancers with PIK3CA mutations have shown promise. Tumors from patients with colorectal cancer were analyzed for PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations. PIK3CA-mutated tumors were treated, whenever feasible, with agents targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Of 194 patients analyzed, 31 (16%) had PIK3CA mutations and 189 (97%) were assessed for KRAS mutations. Patients with PIK3CA mutations had a higher prevalence of simultaneous KRAS mutations than patients with wild-type PIK3CA (71%, 22/31 vs. 43%, 68/158; P = 0.006). Of 31 patients with PIK3CA mutations, 17 (55%) were treated with protocols containing PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors [median age, 57 years; median number of prior therapies, 4; mTORC1 inhibitors (11), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors (5), or an AKT inhibitor (1)]. None (0/17) had a partial or complete response (PR/CR) and only 1 [6%, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01-0.27] had stable disease 6 months or more, which was not significantly different from a stable disease ?6 month/PR/CR rate of 16% (11/67; 95% CI, 0.09-0.27) in patients with colorectal cancer without PIK3CA mutations treated with PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibitors (P = 0.44). Median progression-free survival was 1.9 months (95% CI, 1.5-2.3). In conclusion, our data provide preliminary evidence that in heavily pretreated patients with PIK3CA-mutant advanced colorectal cancer, protocols incorporating PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors have minimal activity. PIK3CA mutations are associated with simultaneous KRAS mutations, possibly accounting for therapeutic resistance.
Project description:PURPOSE:Previous studies have shown that the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is activated in up to 70% of breast cancer brain metastases, but there are no approved agents for affected patients. GDC-0084 is a brain penetrant, dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor that has shown promising activity in a preclinical model of glioblastoma. The aim of this study was to analyze the efficacy of PI3K/mTOR blockade in breast cancer brain metastases models.Experimental Design: The efficacy of GDC-0084 was evaluated in PIK3CA-mutant and PIK3CA wild-type breast cancer cell lines and the isogenic pairs of PIK3CA wild-type and mutant (H1047R/+) MCF10A cells in vitro. In vitro studies included cell viability and apoptosis assays, cell-cycle analysis, and Western blots. In vivo, the effect of GDC-0084 was investigated in breast cancer brain metastasis xenograft mouse models and assessed by bioluminescent imaging and IHC. RESULTS:In vitro, GDC-0084 considerably decreased cell viability, induced apoptosis, and inhibited phosphorylation of Akt and p70 S6 kinase in a dose-dependent manner in PIK3CA-mutant breast cancer brain metastatic cell lines. In contrast, GDC-0084 led only to growth inhibition in PIK3CA wild-type cell lines in vitro. In vivo, treatment with GDC-0084 markedly inhibited the growth of PIK3CA-mutant, with accompanying signaling changes, and not PIK3CA wild-type brain tumors. CONCLUSIONS:The results of this study suggest that the brain-penetrant PI3K/mTOR targeting GDC-0084 is a promising treatment option for breast cancer brain metastases with dysregulated PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway conferred by activating PIK3CA mutations. A national clinical trial is planned to further investigate the role of this compound in patients with brain metastases.