Antitumor activity of MEK and PI3K inhibitors against malignant pleural mesothelioma cells in vitro and in vivo

Department of Integrated Medicine and Informatics, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Ehime, Japan.
International Journal of Oncology (Impact Factor: 3.03). 05/2012; 41(2):449-56. DOI: 10.3892/ijo.2012.1462
Source: PubMed


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive malignancy for which there is no approved targeted therapy. We examined the therapeutic efficacy of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors against human MPM cell lines both in vitro and orthotopically inoculated into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. In addition, the molecular mechanisms of these agents were confirmed in vitro and in vivo. The MEK or the PI3K inhibitor suppressed MPM cell growth in vitro in a dose-dependent manner via induction of G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In addition, combined use of the MEK and PI3K inhibitors showed an additive or synergistic inhibitory effect on MPM cell growth compared to treatment with either individual drug. Treatment with MEK or PI3K inhibitor suppressed the production of thoracic tumors and pleural effusion and prolonged the survival time of EHMES-10 cell-bearing SCID mice. The combination therapy more effectively prolonged the survival time compared to treatment with either individual drug. Immunohistochemical and western blot analysis of thoracic tumors suggested that these agents induced cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Our results suggest that a combination of MEK and PI3K inhibitors is a promising therapeutic strategy for MPM.

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Available from: Seigo Miyoshi, Feb 26, 2014
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    • "Several MET inhibitors are in various phases of cancer clinical trials [54]; however no studies to date have been reported using a combination of MET and PI3K inhibitors, especially in MPM. A recent investigation reported significant synergistic inhibitory effect on MPM cell growth with combined treatment of MEK inhibitor U0126 and the PI3K inhibitor LY 294002 in vitro and in vivo mouse models [33]. Based on our previous study and the data presented here, we have shown that both MET and PI3K are overexpressed in MPM [13], [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an aggressive disease with a poor prognosis. Studies have shown that both MET and its key downstream intracellular signaling partners, PI3K and mTOR, are overexpressed in MPM. Here we determined the combinatorial therapeutic efficacy of a new generation small molecule inhibitor of MET, ARQ 197, and dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors NVP-BEZ235 and GDC-0980 in mesothelioma cell and mouse xenograft models. Cell viability results show that mesothelioma cell lines were sensitive to ARQ 197, NVP-BEZ235 and GDC-0980 inhibitors. The combined use of ARQ 197 with either NVP-BEZ235 or GDC-0980, was synergistic (CI<1). Significant delay in wound healing was observed with ARQ 197 (p<0.001) with no added advantage of combining it with either NVP-BEZ235 or GDC-0980. ARQ 197 alone mainly induced apoptosis (20±2.36%) that was preceded by suppression of MAPK activity, while all the three suppressed cell cycle progression. Both GDC-0980 and NVP-BEZ235 strongly inhibited activities of PI3K and mTOR as evidenced from the phosphorylation status of AKT and S6 kinase. The above observation was further substantiated by the finding that a majority of the MPM archival samples tested revealed highly active AKT. While the single use of ARQ 197 and GDC-0980 inhibited significantly the growth of MPM xenografts (p<0.05, p<0.001 respectively) in mice, the combination of the above two drugs was highly synergistic (p<0.001). Our results suggest that the combined use of ARQ 197/NVP-BEZ235 and ARQ 197/GDC-0980 is far more effective than the use of the drugs singly in suppressing MPM tumor growth and motility and therefore merit further translational studies.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e105919. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0105919 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "However, the observed activation of multiple RTKs in mesothelioma suggests that transforming activity is dependent on coordinated activity of multiple tyrosine kinases (Kawaguchi et al, 2009; Menges et al, 2010; Perrone et al, 2010; Brevet et al, 2011; Ou et al, 2011b), and simultaneous inhibition of multiple kinases by cocktails of small-molecule kinase inhibitors or single-agent HSP90 inhibitors elicits compelling pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative responses in mesothelioma preclinical models (Okamoto et al, 2008; Kawaguchi et al, 2009; Ou et al, 2011b). In addition to the evidence for PI3K/AKT and RAF/MEK/MAPK activation in mesothelioma initiation, there is likewise substantial evidence that these key signalling pathways are crucial in maintaining the transformed state, and in mesothelioma metastasis (Altomare et al, 2005; Cole et al, 2006; Patel et al, 2007; Jacobson et al, 2009; Suzuki et al, 2009; Shukla et al, 2011; Carbone and Yang, 2012; Cedres et al, 2012; Fischer et al, 2012; Menges et al, 2012; Miyoshi et al, 2012; Pinton et al, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Mesothelioma is a notoriously chemotherapy-resistant neoplasm, as is evident in the dismal overall survival for patients with those of asbestos-associated disease. We previously demonstrated co-activation of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), MET, and AXL in mesothelioma cell lines, suggesting that these kinases could serve as novel therapeutic targets. Although clinical trials have not shown activity for EGFR inhibitors in mesothelioma, concurrent inhibition of various activated RTKs has pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects in mesothelioma cell lines. Thus, we hypothesised that a coordinated network of multi-RTK activation contributes to mesothelioma tumorigenesis. Methods: Activation of PI3K/AKT/mTOR, Raf/MAPK, and co-activation of RTKs were evaluated in mesotheliomas. Effects of RTK and downstream inhibitors/shRNAs were assessed by measuring mesothelioma cell viability/growth, apoptosis, activation of signalling intermediates, expression of cell-cycle checkpoints, and cell-cycle alterations. Results: We demonstrate activation of the PI3K/AKT/p70S6K and RAF/MEK/MAPK pathways in mesothelioma, but not in non-neoplastic mesothelial cells. The AKT activation, but not MAPK activation, was dependent on coordinated activation of RTKs EGFR, MET, and AXL. In addition, PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway inhibition recapitulated the anti-proliferative effects of concurrent inhibition of EGFR, MET, and AXL. Dual targeting of PI3K/mTOR by BEZ235 or a combination of RAD001 and AKT knockdown had a greater effect on mesothelioma proliferation and viability than inhibition of individual activated RTKs or downstream signalling intermediates. Inhibition of PI3K/AKT was also associated with MDM2-p53 cell-cycle regulation. Conclusions: These findings show that PI3K/AKT/mTOR is a crucial survival pathway downstream of multiple activated RTKs in mesothelioma, underscoring that PI3K/mTOR is a compelling target for therapeutic intervention.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2014; 110(10). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2014.220 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Results from clinical trials involving resistance to molecularly targeted therapies have revealed the importance of rational single agent and combination treatment strategies. In this study, we tested the efficacy of a type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R) /insulin receptor (IR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), OSI-906, in combination with a MEK 1/2 inhibitor based on evidence that the MAPK pathway was upregulated in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines that were resistant to OSI-906. The antiproliferative effects of OSI-906 and the MEK 1/2 inhibitor U0126, were analyzed both as single agents and in combination in 13 CRC cell lines in vitro. Apoptosis, downstream effector proteins, and cell cycle were also assessed. Additionally, the efficacy of OSI-906 combined with the MEK 1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886), was evaluated in vivo using human CRC xenograft models. The combination of OSI-906 and U0126 resulted in synergistic effects in 11 out of 13 CRC cell lines tested. This synergy was variably associated with apoptosis or cell cycle arrest in addition to molecular effects on pro-survival pathways. The synergy was also reflected in the in vivo xenograft studies following treatment with the combination of OSI-906 and selumetinib. Results from this study demonstrate synergistic antiproliferative effects in response to the combination of OSI-906 with a MEK 1/2 inhibitor in CRC cell line models both in vitro and in vivo, which supports the rational combination of OSI-906 with a MEK inhibitor in patients with CRC.
    Clinical Cancer Research 09/2013; 19(22). DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-0145 · 8.72 Impact Factor
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