Project description:Vemurafenib, a selective inhibitor of BRAF(V600), has shown significant activity in BRAF(V600) melanoma but not in less than 10% of metastatic BRAF(V600) colorectal cancers (CRC), suggesting that studies of the unique hypermethylated phenotype and concurrent oncogenic activation of BRAF(mut) CRC may provide combinatorial strategies.We conducted comparative proteomic analysis of BRAF(V600E) melanoma and CRC cell lines, followed by correlation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway activation and sensitivity to the vemurafenib analogue PLX4720. Pharmacologic inhibitors and siRNA were used in combination with PLX4720 to inhibit PI3K and methyltransferase in cell lines and murine models.Compared with melanoma, CRC lines show higher levels of PI3K/AKT pathway activation. CRC cell lines with mutations in PTEN or PIK3CA were less sensitive to growth inhibition by PLX4720 (P = 0.03), and knockdown of PTEN expression in sensitive CRC cells reduced growth inhibition by the drug. Combined treatment of PLX4720 with PI3K inhibitors caused synergistic growth inhibition in BRAF-mutant CRC cells with both primary and secondary resistance. In addition, methyltransferase inhibition was synergistic with PLX4720 and decreased AKT activation. In vivo, PLX4720 combined with either inhibitors of AKT or methyltransferase showed greater tumor growth inhibition than PLX4720 alone. Clones with acquired resistance to PLX4720 in vitro showed PI3K/AKT activation with EGF receptor (EGFR) or KRAS amplification.We show that activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway is a mechanism of both innate and acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors in BRAF(V600E) CRC and suggest combinatorial approaches to improve outcomes in this poor prognosis subset of patients.
Project description:Ammonium tetrathiomolybdate (TTM) and disulfiram (DSF) are copper (Cu) chelators in cancer clinical trials partly because Cu chelation: a) restricts the activity of Cu-binding MEK1/2 enzymes which drive tumourigenesis by KRAS or BRAF oncogenic mutations and b) enhances uptake of oxaliplatin (OxPt), clinically used in advanced KRAS-mutant colorectal carcinomas (CRC). Whereas TTM decreases intracellular Cu trafficking, DSF can reach other Cu-dependent intracellular proteins. Since the use of individual or combined Cu chelation may help or interfere with anti-cancer therapy, this study investigated whether TTM modifies the response to DSF supplemented with: 1) UO126, a known MEK1/2 inhibitor; 2) other Cu chelators like neocuproine (NC) or 1, 10-o-phenanthroline (OPT) in wt p53 melanoma cells differing in BRAF or KRAS mutations; 3) OxPt in mutant p53 CRC cells devoid of KRAS and BRAF mutations or harbouring either KRAS or BRAF mutations. TTM was not toxic against V600E- mut-BRAF A375 and G12D-mut- KRAS/high c-myc C8161 melanoma cells. Moreover, TTM protected both melanoma types from toxicity induced by DSF, NC and co-treatment with sub-lethal levels of DSF and the MEK inhibitor, UO126. Toxicity by co-treatment with DSF+OPT was poorly reversed by TTM in C8161 melanoma cells. In contrast to the greater toxicity of 0.1 ?M DSF against mutant p53 CRC cells irrespective of their KRAS mutation, TTM did not protect G12V-mut- KRAS/high c-myc SW620 CRC from DSF+OxPt compared to KRAS-WT/BRAF-WT Caco-2 CRC. Our results show that DSF co-treatment with: a) MEK inhibitors may enhance tumour suppression; b) OxPt in CRC may counteract impaired response to cetuximab by KRAS/BRAF mutations and c) as a single treatment, TTM may be less effective than DSF and decreases the efficacy of the latter. Highlights:Potentiation of melanoma antitumour toxicity of DSF by MEK inhibitor is reversed by TTM.KRAS/c-MYC dysregulation attenuates TTM reversion of melanoma toxicity by DSF + OPT.KRAS/c-MYC dysregulation increases melanoma NC toxicity reversed by TTM.BRAF mutation and lower c-MYC may attenuate toxicity by DSF ± OxPt in colorectal cancer cells.
Project description:Oncogenic mutations of PIK3CA, RAS (KRAS, NRAS), and BRAF have been identified in various malignancies, and activate the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and RAS/RAF/MEK pathways, respectively. Both pathways are critical drivers of tumorigenesis.Tumor tissues from 504 patients with diverse cancers referred to the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center starting in October 2008 were analyzed for PIK3CA, RAS (KRAS, NRAS), and BRAF mutations using polymerase chain reaction-based DNA sequencing.PIK3CA mutations were found in 54 (11%) of 504 patients tested; KRAS in 69 (19%) of 367; NRAS in 19 (8%) of 225; and BRAF in 31 (9%) of 361 patients. PIK3CA mutations were most frequent in squamous cervical (5/14, 36%), uterine (7/28, 25%), breast (6/29, 21%), and colorectal cancers (18/105, 17%); KRAS in pancreatic (5/9, 56%), colorectal (49/97, 51%), and uterine cancers (3/20, 15%); NRAS in melanoma (12/40, 30%), and uterine cancer (2/11, 18%); BRAF in melanoma (23/52, 44%), and colorectal cancer (5/88, 6%). Regardless of histology, KRAS mutations were found in 38% of patients with PIK3CA mutations compared to 16% of patients with wild-type (wt)PIK3CA (p?=?0.001). In total, RAS (KRAS, NRAS) or BRAF mutations were found in 47% of patients with PIK3CA mutations vs. 24% of patients wtPIK3CA (p?=?0.001). PIK3CA mutations were found in 28% of patients with KRAS mutations compared to 10% with wtKRAS (p?=?0.001) and in 20% of patients with RAS (KRAS, NRAS) or BRAF mutations compared to 8% with wtRAS (KRAS, NRAS) or wtBRAF (p?=?0.001).PIK3CA, RAS (KRAS, NRAS), and BRAF mutations are frequent in diverse tumors. In a wide variety of tumors, PIK3CA mutations coexist with RAS (KRAS, NRAS) and BRAF mutations.
Project description:The structure-based design of a new single entity, MEK/PI3K bifunctional inhibitor (7, ST-168), which displays improved MEK1 and PI3K isoform inhibition, is described. ST-168 demonstrated a 2.2-fold improvement in MEK1 inhibition and a 2.8-, 2.7-, 23-, and 2.5-fold improved inhibition toward the PI3K?, PI3K?, PI3K?, and PI3K? isoforms, respectively, as compared to a previous lead compound (4; ST-162) in in vitro enzymatic inhibition assays. ST-168 demonstrated superior tumoricidal efficacy over ST-162 in an A375 melanoma spheroid tumor model. ST-168 was comparatively more effective than ST-162 in promoting tumor control when administrated orally in a tumor therapy study conducted in an A375 melanoma mouse model confirming its bioavailability and efficacy toward combined in vivo MEK1/PI3K inhibition.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Abelson interactor 1 (Abi1) is an important regulator of actin dynamics during cytoskeletal reorganization. In this study, our aim was to investigate the expression of Abi1 in colonic mucosa with and without inflammation, colonic polyps, colorectal carcinomas (CRC) and metastases as well as in CRC cell lines with respect to BRAF/KRAS mutation status and to find out whether introduction of KRAS mutation or stimulation with TNFalpha enhances Abi1 protein expression in CRC cells.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We immunohistochemically analyzed Abi1 protein expression in 126 tissue specimens from 95 patients and in 5 colorectal carcinoma cell lines with different mutation status by western immunoblotting. We found that Abi1 expression correlated positively with KRAS, but not BRAF mutation status in the examined tissue samples. Furthermore, Abi1 is overexpressed in inflammatory mucosa, sessile serrated polyps and adenomas, tubular adenomas, invasive CRC and CRC metastasis when compared to healthy mucosa and BRAF-mutated as well as KRAS wild-type hyperplastic polyps. Abi1 expression in carcinoma was independent of microsatellite stability of the tumor. Abi1 protein expression correlated with KRAS mutation in the analyzed CRC cell lines, and upregulation of Abi1 could be induced by TNFalpha treatment as well as transfection of wild-type CRC cells with mutant KRAS. The overexpression of Abi1 could be abolished by treatment with the PI3K-inhibitor Wortmannin after KRAS transfection.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Our results support a role for Abi1 as a downstream target of inflammatory response and adenomatous change as well as oncogenic KRAS mutation via PI3K, but not BRAF activation. Furthermore, they highlight a possible role for Abi1 as a marker for early KRAS mutation in hyperplastic polyps. Since the protein is a key player in actin dynamics, our data encourages further studies concerning the exact role of Abi1 in actin reorganization upon enhanced KRAS/PI3K signalling during colonic tumorigenesis.
Project description:BRAF mutations occur in approximately 10% of colorectal cancers. Although RAF inhibitor monotherapy is highly effective in BRAF-mutant melanoma, response rates in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer are poor. Recent clinical trials of combined RAF/EGFR or RAF/MEK inhibition have produced improved efficacy, but patients ultimately develop resistance. To identify molecular alterations driving clinical acquired resistance, we performed whole-exome sequencing on paired pretreatment and postprogression tumor biopsies from patients with BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer treated with RAF inhibitor combinations. We identified alterations in MAPK pathway genes in resistant tumors not present in matched pretreatment tumors, including KRAS amplification, BRAF amplification, and a MEK1 mutation. These alterations conferred resistance to RAF/EGFR or RAF/MEK combinations through sustained MAPK pathway activity, but an ERK inhibitor could suppress MAPK activity and overcome resistance. Identification of MAPK pathway reactivating alterations upon clinical acquired resistance underscores the MAPK pathway as a critical target in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer and suggests therapeutic options to overcome resistance.RAF inhibitor combinations represent promising approaches in clinical development for BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer. Initial characterization of clinical acquired resistance mechanisms to these regimens identified several MAPK pathway alterations driving resistance by reactivating MAPK signaling, highlighting the critical dependence of BRAF-mutant colorectal cancers on MAPK signaling and offering potential strategies to overcome resistance.
Project description:RAF and MEK inhibitors are effective in BRAF-mutant melanoma but not in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer. To gain additional insights into this difference, we performed a genome-scale pooled shRNA enhancer screen in a BRAF-mutant, RAF inhibitor-resistant colorectal cancer cell line exposed to the selective RAF inhibitor PLX4720. We identified multiple genes along the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling axis that, when suppressed, either genetically or pharmacologically, sensitized cells to the selective RAF inhibitor through sustained inhibition of MAPK signaling. Strikingly, CRAF was a key mediator of resistance that could be overcome by the use of pan-RAF inhibitors in combination with a MEK inhibitor. Furthermore, the combination of pan-RAF and MEK inhibitors displayed strong synergy in melanoma and colorectal cancer cell lines with RAS-activating events such as RTK activation, KRAS mutation, or NF1 loss-of-function mutations. Combinations of selective RAF inhibitors, such as PLX4720 or dabrafenib, with MEK inhibitors did not incur such profound synergy, suggesting that inhibition of CRAF by pan-RAF inhibitors plays a key role in determining cellular response. Importantly, in contrast to the modest activity seen with single-agent treatment, dual pan-RAF and MEK inhibition results in the induction of apoptosis, greatly enhancing efficacy. Notably, combined pan-RAF and MEK inhibition can overcome intrinsic and acquired resistance to single-agent RAF/MEK inhibition, supporting dual pan-RAF and MEK inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy for BRAF- and KRAS-mutant cancers.
Project description:The genome-wide miRNA expression analysis was performed in clinical samples, comprising 15 BRAF-mutant and 15 non-KRAS/BRAF-mutant colorectal cancers by using a SurePrint G3 Human miRNA microarray. clinical samples, comprising 15 BRAF-mutant and 15 non-KRAS/BRAF-mutant colorectal cancers by using a SurePrint G3 Human miRNA microarray.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Genes in the Ras pathway have somatic mutations in at least 60 % of colorectal cancers. Despite activating the same pathway, the BRAF V600E mutation and the prevalent mutations in codon 12 and 13 of KRAS have all been linked to different clinical outcomes, but the molecular mechanisms behind these differences largely remain to be clarified.<h4>Methods</h4>To characterize the similarities and differences between common activating KRAS mutations and between KRAS and BRAF mutations, we used genome editing to engineer KRAS G12C/D/V and G13D mutations in colorectal cancer cells that had their mutant BRAF V600E allele removed and subjected them to transcriptome sequencing, global proteomics and metabolomics analyses.<h4>Results</h4>By intersecting differentially expressed genes, proteins and metabolites, we uncovered (i) two-fold more regulated genes and proteins when comparing KRAS to BRAF mutant cells to those lacking Ras pathway mutation, (ii) five differentially expressed proteins in KRAS mutants compared to cells lacking Ras pathway mutation (IFI16, S100A10, CD44, GLRX and AHNAK2) and 6 (CRABP2, FLNA, NXN, LCP1, S100A10 and S100A2) compared to BRAF mutant cells, (iii) 19 proteins expressed differentially in a KRAS mutation specific manner versus BRAF V600E cells, (iv) regulation of the Integrin Linked Kinase pathway by KRAS but not BRAF mutation, (v) regulation of amino acid metabolism, particularly of the tyrosine, histidine, arginine and proline pathways, the urea cycle and purine metabolism by Ras pathway mutations, (vi) increased free carnitine in KRAS and BRAF mutant RKO cells.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This comprehensive integrative -omics analysis confirms known and adds novel genes, proteins and metabolic pathways regulated by mutant KRAS and BRAF signaling in colorectal cancer. The results from the new model systems presented here can inform future development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches targeting tumors with KRAS and BRAF mutations.