Synergistic anti-cancer activity of CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib and dual mTOR kinase inhibitor MLN0128 in pRb-expressing ER-negative breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:Palbociclib is an approved cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitor for treatment of patients with ER-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers. While Retinoblastoma protein (pRb), a major substrate of CDK4/6, is a potential target in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), the usefulness of CDK4/6 inhibitors in this cancer has not been established. This preclinical study investigated the combination effects of palbociclib and the dual mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase inhibitor MLN0128 in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer in vitro and in vivo. METHODS:The combined effects of two drugs on three TNBC cell lines (MB231, MB468, and CAL148) and an ER-negative and HER2-positive cell line (MB453) were investigated by MTT assay and colony formation analysis. Cell cycle measurements were examined as well as changes in expression of molecules related to G1/S transition and the mTOR pathway. Importantly, a pRb-expressing TNBC patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model was used to assess the effects of the combination in vivo. RESULTS:A combination of palbociclib and MLN0128 synergistically inhibited the proliferation of pRb-expressing cell lines and induced G1 cell cycle arrest. Western blot analysis revealed that CDK4/6-pRb and mTOR pathways were inhibited by these treatments. In pRb-expressing TNBC PDX, the combination treatment drastically suppressed tumor growth compared to either the control or single drug treatments. In addition, the combination treatment significantly reduced the number of Ki67-positive cells. CONCLUSIONS:We revealed that palbociclib and MLN0128 had synergistic anti-cancer activity in both pRb?+?ER-negative cell lines and a TNBC PDX model. Our results indicate that such combination therapy is worthy of further investigation in a clinical setting.
Project description:PURPOSE:Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is an aggressive cancer type, lacking effective therapies and associated with a dismal prognosis. Palbociclib is a selective CDK4/6 inhibitor, which has been shown to suppress cell proliferation in many experimental cancer models. Recently, we demonstrated that pan-mTOR inhibitors, such as MLN0128, effectively induce apoptosis, although have limited efficacy in restraining proliferation of ICC cells. Here, we tested the hypothesis that palbociclib, due to its antproliferative properties in many cancer types, might synergize with MLN0128 to impair ICC growth. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Human ICC cell lines and the AKT/YapS127A ICC mouse model were used to test the therapeutic efficacy of palbociclib and MLN0128, either alone or in combination. RESULTS:Administration of palbociclib suppressed in vitro ICC cell growth by inhibiting cell-cycle progression. Concomitant administration of palbociclib and MLN0128 led to a pronounced, synergistic growth constraint of ICC cell lines. Furthermore, while treatment with palbociclib or MLN0128 alone resulted in tumor growth reduction in AKT/YapS127A mice, a remarkable tumor regression was achieved when the two drugs were administered simultaneously. Mechanistically, palbociclib was found to potentiate MLN0128 mTOR inhibition activity, whereas MLN0128 prevented the upregulation of cyclin D1 induced by palbociclib treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Our study indicates the synergistic activity of palbociclib and MLN0128 in inhibiting ICC cell proliferation. Thus, combination of CDK4/6 and mTOR inhibitors might represent a novel, promising, and effective therapeutic approach against human ICC.See related commentary by Malumbres, p. 6.
Project description:Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) lacks specific drug targets and remains challenging. Palbociclib, a cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor is approved for metastatic estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epithermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer. The nature of cell cycle inhibition by palbociclib suggests its potential in TNBC cells. Retinoblastoma (RB, a known substrate of CDK4/6) pathway deregulation is a frequent occurrence in TNBC and studies have revealed that pharmacological CDK4/6 inhibition induces a cooperative cytostatic effect with doxorubicin in RB-proficient TNBC models. In addition, recent studies reported that anti-androgen therapy shows preclinical efficacy in androgen-receptor (AR)-positive TNBC cells. Here we examined the effect of palbociclib in combination with an anti-androgen enzalutamide in TNBC cells.MDA-MB-453, BT-549, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 TNBC cell lines were used for in vitro studies. Protein expressions were assessed by Western blot analysis. Cytostatic effect was examined by MTT assay. Cell cycle and apoptosis were examined by flow cytometry.Palbociclib showed inhibitory effect in RB-proficient TNBC cells, and enzalutamide inhibited cell viability in AR-positive TNBC cells. Enzalutamide treatment could enhance the palbociclib-induced cytostatic effect in AR-positive/RB-proficient TNBC cells. In addition, palbociclib-mediated G1 arrest in AR-positive/RB-proficient TNBC cells was attenuated by RB knockdown.Our study provided a preclinical rationale in selecting patients who might have therapeutic benefit from combining CDK4/6 inhibitors with AR antagonists.
Project description:While ER has multiple biological effects, ER-cyclin D1-CDK4/6-RB is a critical pathway for the action of estrogen on the cell cycle, especially for breast cancers that rely on estrogen for growth. The latest and most efficient CDK4/6 inhibitors target the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor gene; thus, altering levels of many cell cycle molecules. Estrogen receptor (ER)+/HER2- breast cancers have shown great progression free survival when CDK4/6 inhibitors are combined with endocrine therapies. Here we report the mechanism of antiestrogen (fulvestrant) combination with CDK4/6 inhibitors is due to synergism in the suppression of ER-mediated cell cycle progression. Furthermore, we performed single cell analysis of cells from an estrogen dependent/hormone receptor-positive patient derived xenograft (PDX) tumor model treated with palbociclib. These single cells expressed various levels of ER and RB which are involved in cell cycle regulation; and the response to palbociclib treatment relies not only on the ER-cyclin D1-CDK4/6-RB pathway but it is also dependent on elevated levels of ER and/or RB. Our preclinical studies show that palbociclib response is dependent on cells with ER, which is directly involved in cell cycle progression in hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer.
Project description:Although endocrine therapy is successfully used to treat patients with estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer, a substantial proportion of this population will relapse. Several mechanisms of acquired resistance have been described including activation of the mTOR pathway, increased activity of CDK4 and activating mutations in ER. Using a patient derived xenograft model harboring a common activating ER ligand binding domain mutation (D538G), we evaluated several combinatorial strategies using the selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) fulvestrant in combination with chromatin modifying agents, and CDK4/6 and mTOR inhibitors. In this model, fulvestrant binds WT and MT ER, reduces ER protein levels, and downregulated ER target gene expression. Addition of JQ1 or vorinostat to fulvestrant resulted in tumor regression (41% and 22% regression, respectively) though no efficacy was seen when either agent was given alone. Interestingly, although the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib and mTOR inhibitor everolimus were efficacious as monotherapies, long-term delayed tumor growth was only observed when co-administered with fulvestrant. This observation was consistent with a greater inhibition of compensatory signaling when palbociclib and everolimus were co-dosed with fulvestrant. The addition of fulvestrant to JQ1, vorinostat, everolimus and palbociclib also significantly reduced lung metastatic burden as compared to monotherapy. The combination potential of fulvestrant with palbociclib or everolimus were confirmed in an MCF7 CRISPR model harboring the Y537S ER activating mutation. Taken together, these data suggest that fulvestrant may have an important role in the treatment of ER positive breast cancer with acquired ER mutations.
Project description:Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is a challenging disease due to the lack of druggable targets; therefore, chemotherapy remains the standard of care and the identification of new targets is a high clinical priority. Alterations in the components of the cell cycle machinery have been frequently reported in cancer; given the success obtained with the CDK4/6 inhibitor palbocicib in ER-positive BC, we explored the potential of combining this drug with chemotherapy in Rb-positive TNBC cell models. The simultaneous combination of palbociclib with paclitaxel exerted an antagonistic effect; by contrast, the sequential treatment inhibited cell proliferation and increased cell death more efficaciously than single treatments. By down-regulating the E2F target c-myc, palbociclib reduced HIF-1α and GLUT-1 expression, and hence glucose uptake and consumption both under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Importantly, these inhibitory effects on glucose metabolism were enhanced by palbociclib/paclitaxel sequential combination; the superior efficacy of such combination was ascribed to the ability of paclitaxel to inhibit palbociclib-mediated induction of AKT and to further down-regulate the Rb/E2F/c-myc signaling. Our results suggest that the efficacy of standard chemotherapy can be significantly improved by a pre-treatment with palbociclib, thus offering a better therapeutic option for Rb-proficient TNBC.
Project description:BET inhibitors are promising therapeutic agents for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), but the rapid emergence of resistance necessitates investigation of combination therapies and their effects on tumor evolution. Here, we show that palbociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor, and paclitaxel, a microtubule inhibitor, synergize with the BET inhibitor JQ1 in TNBC lines. High-complexity DNA barcoding and mathematical modeling indicate a high rate of de novo acquired resistance to these drugs relative to pre-existing resistance. We demonstrate that the combination of JQ1 and palbociclib induces cell division errors, which can increase the chance of developing aneuploidy. Characterizing acquired resistance to combination treatment at a single cell level shows heterogeneous mechanisms including activation of G1-S and senescence pathways. Our results establish a rationale for further investigation of combined BET and CDK4/6 inhibition in TNBC and suggest novel mechanisms of action for these drugs and new vulnerabilities in cells after emergence of resistance.
Project description:<label>Background</label>Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a lethal type of pediatric brain tumor that is resistant to conventional chemotherapies. Palbociclib is a putative novel DIPG treatment that restricts the proliferation of rapidly dividing cancer cells via selective inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 and CDK6. However, implementing palbociclib as a monotherapy for DIPG is unfeasible, as CDK4/6 inhibitor resistance is commonplace and palbociclib does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) or persist in the central nervous system. To inhibit the growth of DIPG cells, we aimed to use palbociclib in combination with the rapamycin analog temsirolimus, which is known to ameliorate resistance to CDK4/6 inhibitors and inhibit BBB efflux.<label>Materials and methods</label>We tested palbociclib and temsirolimus in three patient-derived DIPG cell lines. The expression profiles of key proteins in the CDK4/6 and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways were assessed, respectively, to determine feasibility against DIPG. Moreover, we investigated effects on cell viability and examined in vivo drug toxicity.<label>Results</label>Immunoblot analyses revealed palbociclib and temsirolimus inhibited CDK4/6 and mTOR signaling through canonical perturbation of phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma (RB) and mTOR proteins, respectively; however, we observed noncanonical downregulation of mTOR by palbociclib. We demonstrated that palbociclib and temsirolimus inhibited cell proliferation in all three DIPG cell lines, acting synergistically in combination to further restrict cell growth. Flow cytometric analyses revealed both drugs caused G1 cell cycle arrest, and clonogenic assays showed irreversible effects on cell proliferation. Palbociclib did not elicit neurotoxicity in primary cultures of normal rat hippocampi or when infused into rat brains.<label>Conclusion</label>These data illustrate the in vitro antiproliferative effects of CDK4/6 and mTOR inhibitors in DIPG cells. Direct infusion of palbociclib into the brain, in combination with systemic delivery of temsirolimus, represents a promising new approach to developing a much-needed treatment for DIPG.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Resistance to endocrine therapy is a major clinical challenge in the management of oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. In this setting, p53 is frequently wildtype and its activity may be suppressed via upregulation of its key regulator MDM2. This underlies our rationale to evaluate MDM2 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in treatment-resistant ER-positive breast cancer.<h4>Methods</h4>We used the MDM2 inhibitor NVP-CGM097 to treat in vitro and in vivo models alone and in combination with fulvestrant or palbociclib. We perform cell viability, cell cycle, apoptosis and senescence assays to evaluate anti-tumour effects in p53 wildtype and p53 mutant ER-positive cell lines (MCF-7, ZR75-1, T-47D) and MCF-7 lines resistant to endocrine therapy and to CDK4/6 inhibition. We further assess the drug effects in patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of endocrine-sensitive and endocrine-resistant ER-positive breast cancer.<h4>Results</h4>We demonstrate that MDM2 inhibition results in cell cycle arrest and increased apoptosis in p53-wildtype in vitro and in vivo breast cancer models, leading to potent anti-tumour activity. We find that endocrine therapy or CDK4/6 inhibition synergises with MDM2 inhibition but does not further enhance apoptosis. Instead, combination treatments result in profound regulation of cell cycle-related transcriptional programmes, with synergy achieved through increased antagonism of cell cycle progression. Combination therapy pushes cell lines resistant to fulvestrant or palbociclib to become senescent and significantly reduces tumour growth in a fulvestrant-resistant patient-derived xenograft model.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We conclude that MDM2 inhibitors in combination with ER degraders or CDK4/6 inhibitors represent a rational strategy for treating advanced, endocrine-resistant ER-positive breast cancer, operating through synergistic activation of cell cycle co-regulatory programmes.
Project description:PURPOSE:While FGFR1 amplification has been described in breast cancer, the optimal treatment approach for FGFR1-amplified (FGFR1+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains undefined.Experimental Design: We evaluated clinical response to endocrine and targeted therapies in a cohort of patients with hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/HER2- MBC and validated the functional role of FGFR1-amplification in mediating response/resistance to hormone therapy in vitro. RESULTS:In the clinical cohort (N = 110), we identified that patients with FGFR1+ tumors were more likely to have progesterone receptor (PR)-negative disease (47% vs. 20%; P = 0.005), coexisting TP53 mutations (41% vs. 21%; P = 0.05), and exhibited shorter time to progression with endocrine therapy alone and in combination with CDK4/6 inhibitor, but not with a mTOR inhibitor (everolimus), adjusting for key prognostic variables in multivariate analysis. Furthermore, mTOR-based therapy resulted in a sustained radiological and molecular response in an index case of FGFR1+ HR+/HER2- MBC. In preclinical models, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+)/FGFR1-amplified CAMA1 human breast cancer cells were only partially sensitive to fulvestrant, palbociclib, and alpelisib, but highly sensitive to everolimus. In addition, transduction of an FGFR1 expression vector into ER+ T47D cells induced resistance to fulvestrant that could be overcome by added TORC1 inhibition, but not PI3K or CDK4/6 inhibition. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, these findings suggest that while FGFR1 amplification confers broad resistance to ER, PI3K, and CDK4/6 inhibitors, mTOR inhibitors might have a unique therapeutic role in the treatment of patients with ER+/FGFR1+ MBC.