Dual inhibition of the mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling pathways is a promising therapeutic target for adult T-cell leukemia.
ABSTRACT: Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) has a poor prognosis as a result of severe immunosuppression and rapid tumor progression with resistance to conventional chemotherapy. Recent integrated-genome analysis has revealed mutations in many genes involved in the T-cell signaling pathway, suggesting that the aberration of this pathway is an important factor in ATL pathogenesis and ATL-cell proliferation. We screened a siRNA library to examine signaling-pathway functionality and found that the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is critical to ATL-cell proliferation. We therefore investigated the effect of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors, including the dual inhibitors PP242 and AZD8055 and the mTORC1 inhibitors rapamycin and everolimus, on human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-infected-cell and ATL-cell lines. Both dual inhibitors inhibited the proliferation of all tested cell lines by inducing G1-phase cell-cycle arrest and subsequent cell apoptosis, whereas the effects of the 2 mTORC1 inhibitors were limited, as they did not induce cell apoptosis. In the ATL-cell lines and in the primary ATL samples, both dual inhibitors inhibited phosphorylation of AKT at serine-473, a target of mTORC2, as well as that of S6K, whereas the mTORC1 inhibitors only inhibited mTORC1. Furthermore, AZD8055 more significantly inhibited the in vivo growth of the ATL-cell xenografts than did everolimus. These results indicate that the PI3K/mTOR pathway is critical to ATL-cell proliferation and might thus be a new therapeutic target in ATL.
Project description:Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is an aggressive T-cell lymphoproliferative malignancy of regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs), caused by human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1). Interleukin 2 receptor alpha (IL-2R?) is expressed in the leukemic cells of smoldering/chronic ATL patients, leading to constitutive activation of the JAK/STAT pathway and spontaneous proliferation. The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway also plays a critical role in ATL cell survival and proliferation. We previously performed a high-throughput screen that demonstrated additive/synergistic activity of Ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor, with AZD8055, an mTORC1/C2 inhibitor. However, effects of unintended JAK2 inhibition with Ruxolitinib limits it therapeutic potential for ATL patients, which lead us to evaluate a JAK1-specific inhibitor. Here, we demonstrated that Upadacitinib, a JAK-1 inhibitor, inhibited the proliferation of cytokine-dependent ATL cell lines and the expression of p-STAT5. Combinations of Upadacitinib with either AZD8055 or Sapanisertib, mTORC1/C2 inhibitors, showed anti-proliferative effects against cytokine-dependent ATL cell lines and synergistic effect with reducing tumor growth in NSG mice bearing IL-2 transgenic tumors. Importantly, the combination of these two agents inhibited ex vivo spontaneous proliferation of ATL cells from patients with smoldering/chronic ATL. Combined targeting of JAK/STAT and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways represents a promising therapeutic intervention for patients with smoldering/chronic ATL.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Upregulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling in endocrine-resistant breast cancer (BC) has identified mTOR as an attractive target alongside anti-hormones to control resistance. RAD001 (everolimus/Afinitor®), an allosteric mTOR inhibitor, is proving valuable in this setting; however, some patients are inherently refractory or relapse during treatment requiring alternative strategies. Here we evaluate the potential for novel dual mTORC1/2 mTOR kinase inhibitors, exemplified by AZD8055, by comparison with RAD001 in ER?+?endocrine resistant BC cells. METHODS:In vitro models of tamoxifen (TamR) or oestrogen deprivation resistance (MCF7-X) were treated with RAD001 or AZD8055 alone or combined with anti-hormone fulvestrant. Endpoints included growth, cell proliferation (Ki67), viability and migration, with PI3K/AKT/mTOR signalling impact monitored by Western blotting. Potential ER cross-talk was investigated by immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR. RESULTS:RAD001 was a poor growth inhibitor of MCF7-derived TamR and MCF7-X cells (IC50 ?1 ?M), rapidly inhibiting mTORC1 but not mTORC2/AKT signalling. In contrast AZD8055, which rapidly inhibited both mTORC1 and mTORC2/AKT activity, was a highly effective (P?<0.001) growth inhibitor of TamR (IC50 18?nM) and MCF7-X (IC50 24 nM), and of a further T47D-derived tamoxifen resistant model T47D-tamR (IC50 19 nM). AZD8055 significantly (P?<0.05) inhibited resistant cell proliferation, increased cell death and reduced migration. Furthermore, dual treatment of TamR or MCF7-X cells with AZD8055 plus fulvestrant provided superior control of resistant growth versus either agent alone (P?<0.05). Co-treating with AZD8055 alongside tamoxifen (P?<0.01) or oestrogen deprivation (P?<0.05) also effectively inhibited endocrine responsive MCF-7 cells. Although AZD8055 inhibited oestrogen receptor (ER) ser167 phosphorylation in TamR and MCF7-X, it had no effect on ER ser118 activity or expression of several ER-regulated genes, suggesting the mTOR kinase inhibitor impact was largely ER-independent. The capacity of AZD8055 for ER-independent activity was further evidenced by growth inhibition (IC5018 and 20 nM) of two acquired fulvestrant resistant models lacking ER. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first report demonstrating dual mTORC1/2 mTOR kinase inhibitors have potential to control acquired endocrine resistant BC, even under conditions where everolimus fails. Such inhibitors may prove of particular benefit when used alongside anti-hormonal treatment as second-line therapy in endocrine resistant disease, and also potentially alongside anti-hormones during the earlier endocrine responsive phase to hinder development of resistance.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a vital component of signaling pathways involving PI3K/AKT, is an attractive therapeutic target in breast cancer. Everolimus, an allosteric mTOR inhibitor that inhibits the mTOR functional complex mTORC1, is approved for treatment of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. Other mTOR inhibitors show interesting differences in target specificities: BEZ235 and GSK2126458 are ATP competitive mTOR inhibitors targeting both PI3K and mTORC1/2; AZD8055, AZD2014 and KU-0063794 are ATP competitive mTOR inhibitors targeting both mTORC1 and mTORC2; and GDC-0941 is a pan-PI3K inhibitor. We have addressed the question of whether mTOR inhibitors may be more effective in combination than singly in inhibiting the proliferation of breast cancer cells. We selected a panel of 30 human breast cancer cell lines that included ER and PR positive, HER2 over-expressing, and "triple negative" variants, and determined whether signaling pathway utilization was related to drug-induced inhibition of proliferation. A significant correlation (p = 0.005) was found between everolimus IC50 values and p70S6K phosphorylation, but not with AKT or ERK phosphorylation, consistent with the mTOR pathway being a principal target. We then carried out combination studies with four everolimus resistant triple-negative breast cancer cell lines, and found an unexpectedly high degree of synergy between everolimus and the other inhibitors tested. The level of potentiation of everolimus inhibitory activity (measured by IC50 values) was found to be cell line-specific for all the kinase inhibitors tested. The results suggest that judicious combination of mTOR inhibitors with different modes of action could have beneficial effects in the treatment of breast cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Renal cell carcinomas (RCC) harboring a TFE3 gene fusion (TfRCC) represent an aggressive subset of kidney tumors. Key signaling pathways of TfRCC are unknown and preclinical in vivo data are lacking. We investigated Akt/mTOR pathway activation and the preclinical efficacy of dual mTORC1/2 versus selective mTORC1 inhibition in TfRCC. METHODS:Levels of phosphorylated Akt/mTOR pathway proteins were compared by immunoblot in TfRCC and clear cell RCC (ccRCC) cell lines. Effects of the mTORC1 inhibitor, sirolimus, and the dual mTORC1/2 inhibitor, AZD8055, on Akt/mTOR activation, cell cycle progression, cell viability and cytotoxicity were compared in TfRCC cells. TfRCC xenograft tumor growth in mice was evaluated after 3-week treatment with oral AZD8055, intraperitoneal sirolimus and respective vehicle controls. RESULTS:The Akt/mTOR pathway was activated to a similar or greater degree in TfRCC than ccRCC cell lines and persisted partly during growth factor starvation, suggesting constitutive activation. Dual mTORC1/2 inhibition with AZD8055 potently inhibited TfRCC viability (IC50 = 20-50 nM) due at least in part to cell cycle arrest, while benign renal epithelial cells were relatively resistant (IC50 = 400 nM). Maximal viability reduction was greater with AZD8055 than sirolimus (80-90% versus 30-50%), as was the extent of Akt/mTOR pathway inhibition, based on significantly greater suppression of P-Akt (Ser473), P-4EBP1, P-mTOR and HIF1α. In mouse xenograft models, AZD8055 achieved significantly better tumor growth inhibition and prolonged mouse survival compared to sirolimus or vehicle controls. CONCLUSIONS:Akt/mTOR activation is common in TfRCC and a promising therapeutic target. Dual mTORC1/2 inhibition suppresses Akt/mTOR signaling more effectively than selective mTORC1 inhibition and demonstrates in vivo preclinical efficacy against TFE3-fusion renal cell carcinoma.
Project description:High-risk neuroblastoma remains lethal in about 50% of patients despite multimodal treatment. Recent attempts to identify molecular targets for specific therapies have shown that Neuroblastoma RAS (NRAS) is significantly mutated in a small number of patients. However, few inhibitors for the potential treatment for NRAS mutant neuroblastoma have been investigated so far. In this in-vitro study, we show that MEK inhibitors AZD6244, MEK162 and PD0325901 block cell growth in NRAS mutant neuroblastoma cell lines but not in NRAS wild-type cell lines. Several studies show that mutant NRAS leads to PI3K pathway activation and combined inhibitors of PI3K/mTOR effectively block cell growth. However, we observed the combination of MEK inhibitors with PI3K or AKT inhibitors did not show synergestic effects on cell growth. Thus, we tested single mTOR inhibitors Everolimus and AZD8055. Interestingly, Everolimus and AZD8055 alone were sufficient to block cell growth in NRAS mutant cell lines but not in wild-type cell lines. We found that Everolimus alone induced apoptosis in NRAS mutant neuroblastoma. Furthermore, the combination of mTOR and MEK inhibitors resulted in synergistic growth inhibition. Taken together, our results show that NRAS mutant neuroblastoma can be targeted by clinically available Everolimus alone or in combination with MEK inhibitors which could impact future clinical studies.
Project description:The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine kinase that regulates cell growth via mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1), whose activation has been implicated in many human cancers. However, mTORC1's status in gastrointestinal tumors has not been characterized thoroughly. We have found that the mTORC1 pathway is activated with increased expression of the mTOR protein in intestinal polyps of the Apc(Delta716) heterozygous mutant mouse, a model for human familial adenomatous polyposis. An 8-week treatment with RAD001 (everolimus) suppressed the mTORC1 activity in these polyps and inhibited proliferation of the adenoma cells as well as tumor angiogenesis, which significantly reduced not only the number of polyps but also their size. beta-Catenin knockdown in the colon cancer cell lines reduced the mTOR level and thereby inhibited the mTORC1 signaling. These results suggest that the Wnt signaling contributes to mTORC1 activation through the increased level of mTOR and that the activation plays important roles in the intestinal polyp formation and growth. Indeed, long-term RAD001 treatment significantly reduced mortality of the Apc(Delta716) mice. Thus, we propose that the mTOR inhibitors may be efficacious for therapy and prevention of colonic adenomas and cancers with Wnt signaling activation.
Project description:Everolimus is an oral agent that targets the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. This study investigated mTOR pathway activation in T-cell lymphoma (TCL) cell lines and assessed antitumor activity in patients with relapsed/refractory TCL in a phase 2 trial. The mTOR pathway was activated in all 6 TCL cell lines tested and everolimus strongly inhibited malignant T-cell proliferation with minimal cytotoxic effects. Everolimus completely inhibited phosphorylation of ribosomal S6, a raptor/mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) target, without a compensatory activation of the rictor/mTORC2 target Akt (S475). In the clinical trial, 16 patients with relapsed TCL were enrolled and received everolimus 10 mg by mouth daily. Seven patients (44%) had cutaneous (all mycosis fungoides); 4 (25%) had peripheral T cell not otherwise specified; 2 (13%) had anaplastic large cell; and 1 each had extranodal natural killer/T cell, angioimmunoblastic, and precursor T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma types. The overall response rate was 44% (7/16; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 20% to 70%). The median progression-free survival was 4.1 months (95% CI, 1.5-6.5) and the median overall survival was 10.2 months (95% CI, 2.6-44.3). The median duration of response for the 7 responders was 8.5 months (95% CI, 1.0 to not reached). These studies indicate that everolimus has antitumor activity and provide proof-of-concept that targeting the mTORC1 pathway in TCL is clinically relevant. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00436618.
Project description:Individuals are at risk of exposure to acute ionizing radiation (IR) from a nuclear accident or terrorism, but we lack effective therapies to mitigate the lethal IR effects. In the current study, we exploited an optimized, cell-based, high throughput screening assay to interrogate a small molecule library comprising 3437 known pharmacologically active compounds for mitigation against IR-induced apoptosis. Thirty-three library compounds significantly reduced apoptosis when administered 1 h after 4 Gy IR. Two- or three-dimensional computational structural analyses of the compounds indicated only one or two chemical clusters with most of the compounds being unique structures. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor, rapamycin, was the most potent compound, and it mitigated apoptosis by 50% at 200 ± 50 pM. Other mTOR inhibitors, namely everolimus, AZD8055, and torin 1, also suppressed apoptosis, providing additional pharmacological evidence for mTOR pathway involvement in regulating cell death after IR. Everolimus and torin 1 treatment after IR decreased the S phase population and enforced both G1 and G2 phase arrest. This prorogation of cell cycle progression was accompanied by decreased IR-induced DNA damage measured by ?H2AX phosphorylation at Ser139. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of the respective mTORC1 and mTORC2 subunits, Raptor or Rictor, also mitigated IR-induced apoptosis. Collectively, this study suggests a central role for the mTOR signaling in the cytotoxic response to IR and offers a useful platform to probe for additional agents.
Project description:Approximately 30-50% of individuals with Neurofibromatosis type 1 develop benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors, called plexiform neurofibromas (PNFs). PNFs can undergo malignant transformation to highly metastatic malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) in 5-10% of NF1 patients, with poor prognosis. No effective systemic therapy is currently available for unresectable tumors. In tumors, the NF1 gene deficiency leads to Ras hyperactivation causing the subsequent activation of the AKT/mTOR and Raf/MEK/ERK pathways and inducing multiple cellular responses including cell proliferation. In this study, three NF1-null MPNST-derived cell lines (90-8, 88-14 and 96-2), STS26T sporadic MPNST cell line and PNF-derived primary Schwann cells were used to test responses to AZD8055, an ATP-competitive "active-site" mTOR inhibitor. In contrast to rapamycin treatment which only partially affected mTORC1 signaling, AZD8055 induced a strong inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling in MPNST-derived cell lines and PNF-derived Schwann cells. AZD8055 induced full blockade of mTORC1 leading to an efficient decrease of global protein synthesis. A higher cytotoxic effect was observed with AZD8055 compared to rapamycin in the NF1-null MPNST-derived cell lines with IC50 ranging from 70 to 140 nM and antiproliferative effect was confirmed in PNF-derived Schwann cells. Cell migration was impaired by AZD8055 treatment and cell cycle analysis showed a G0/G1 arrest. Combined effects of AZD8055 and PD0325901 MEK inhibitor as well as BRD4 (BromoDomain-containing protein 4) inhibitors showed a synergistic antiproliferative effect. These data suggest that NF1-associated peripheral nerve sheath tumors are an ideal target for AZD8055 as a single molecule or in combined therapies.
Project description:Rapamycin slows organismal aging and delays age-related diseases, extending lifespan in numerous species. In cells, rapamycin and other rapalogs such as everolimus suppress geroconversion from quiescence to senescence. Rapamycin inhibits some, but not all, activities of mTOR. Recently we and others demonstrated that pan-mTOR inhibitors, known also as dual mTORC1/C2 inhibitors, suppress senescent phenotype. As a continuation of these studies, here we investigated in detail a panel of pan-mTOR inhibitors, to determine their optimal gerosuppressive concentrations. During geroconversion, cells become hypertrophic and flat, accumulate lysosomes (SA-beta-Gal staining) and lipids (Oil Red staining) and lose their re-proliferative potential (RPP). We determined optimal gerosuppressive concentrations: Torin1 (30 nM), Torin 2 (30 nM), AZD8055 (100 nM), PP242 (300 nM), both KU-006379 and GSK1059615 (1000 nM). These agents decreased senescence-associated hypertrophy with IC50s: 20, 18, 15, 200 and 400 nM, respectively. Preservation of RPP by pan-mTOR inhibitors was associated with inhibition of the pS6K/pS6 axis. Inhibition of rapamycin-insensitive functions of mTOR further contributed to anti-hypertrophic and cytostatic effects. Torin 1 and PP242 were more "rapamycin-like" than Torin 2 and AZD8055. Pan-mTOR inhibitors were superior to rapamycin in suppressing hypertrophy, senescent morphology, Oil Red O staining and in increasing so-called "chronological life span (CLS)". We suggest that, at doses lower than anti-cancer concentrations, pan-mTOR inhibitors can be developed as anti-aging drugs.