GDC-0449-a potent inhibitor of the hedgehog pathway.
ABSTRACT SAR for a wide variety of heterocyclic replacements for a benzimidazole led to the discovery of functionalized 2-pyridyl amides as novel inhibitors of the hedgehog pathway. The 2-pyridyl amides were optimized for potency, PK, and drug-like properties by modifications to the amide portion of the molecule resulting in 31 (GDC-0449). Amide 31 produced complete tumor regression at doses as low as 12.5mg/kg BID in a medulloblastoma allograft mouse model that is wholly dependent on the Hh pathway for growth and is currently in human clinical trials, where it is initially being evaluated for the treatment of BCC.
Article: Regulation of DNA Damage Following Termination of Hedgehog (HH) Survival Signaling at the level of the GLI Genes in Human Colon Cancer.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Transcriptional regulation of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling response is mediated by GLI genes (GLI1, GLI2) downstream of SMO, that are also activated by oncogenic signaling pathways. We have demonstrated the importance of targeting GLI downstream of SMO in the induction of cell death in human colon carcinoma cells. In HT29 cells inhibition of GLI1/GLI2 by the small molecule inhibitor GANT61 induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) and activation of ATM, MDC1 and NBS1; γH2AX and MDC1, NBS1 and MDC1 co-localized in nuclear foci. Early activation of ATM was decreased by 24 hr, when p-NBS1Ser343, activated by ATM, was significantly reduced in cell extracts. Bound γH2AX was detected in isolated chromatin fractions or nuclei during DNA damage but not during DNA repair. MDC1 was tightly bound to chromatin at 32 hr as cells accumulated in early S-phase prior to becoming subG1, and during DNA repair. Limited binding of NBS1 was detected at all times during DNA damage but was strongly bound during DNA repair. Transient overexpression of NBS1 protected HT29 cells from GANT61-induced cell death, while knockdown of H2AX by H2AXshRNA delayed DNA damage signaling. Data demonstrate following GLI1/GLI2 inhibition: 1) induction of DNA damage in cells that are also resistant to SMO inhibitors, 2) dynamic interactions between γH2AX, MDC1 and NBS1 in single cell nuclei and in isolated chromatin fractions, 3) expression and chromatin binding properties of key mediator proteins that mark DNA damage or DNA repair, and 4) the importance of NBS1 in the DNA damage response mechanism.Oncotarget 08/2012; 3(8):854-68. · 4.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The discovery and development of small molecule cancer drugs has been revolutionised over the last decade. Most notably, we have moved from a one-size-fits-all approach that emphasized cytotoxic chemotherapy to a personalised medicine strategy that focuses on the discovery and development of molecularly targeted drugs that exploit the particular genetic addictions, dependencies and vulnerabilities of cancer cells. These exploitable characteristics are increasingly being revealed by our expanding understanding of the abnormal biology and genetics of cancer cells, accelerated by cancer genome sequencing and other high-throughput genome-wide campaigns, including functional screens using RNA interference. In this review we provide an overview of contemporary approaches to the discovery of small molecule cancer drugs, highlighting successes, current challenges and future opportunities. We focus in particular on four key steps: Target validation and selection; chemical hit and lead generation; lead optimization to identify a clinical drug candidate; and finally hypothesis-driven, biomarker-led clinical trials. Although all of these steps are critical, we view target validation and selection and the conduct of biology-directed clinical trials as especially important areas upon which to focus to speed progress from gene to drug and to reduce the unacceptably high attrition rate during clinical development. Other challenges include expanding the envelope of druggability for less tractable targets, understanding and overcoming drug resistance, and designing intelligent and effective drug combinations. We discuss not only scientific and technical challenges, but also the assessment and mitigation of risks as well as organizational, cultural and funding problems for cancer drug discovery and development, together with solutions to overcome the 'Valley of Death' between basic research and approved medicines. We envisage a future in which addressing these challenges will enhance our rapid progress towards truly personalised medicine for cancer patients.Molecular oncology 03/2012; 6(2):155-76. · 4.10 Impact Factor
Article: Studying the role of the immune system on the antitumor activity of a Hedgehog inhibitor against murine osteosarcoma.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent evidence demonstrates that the efficacy of conventional anticancer therapies including chemotherapy requires a functional immune system. Here, we addressed the possibility that the antitumor effect of a selective Smoothened antagonist and Hedgehog (Hh) pathway inhibitor (LDE225), a promising anticancer drug, might at least partially depend on the immune system. To this aim, we used tumor cell lines derived from a murine model of radiation-induced osteosarcoma. In vitro treatment of osteosarcoma cells with LDE225 resulted in a decreased ability of tumor cells to proliferate, but had no effect on their viability. Flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that LDE225-treatment did not detectably modulate the immunogenicity of tumor cells. Moreover, LDE225 did not display any pro-apoptotic properties on osteosarcoma cells, highlighting that its antitumor profile mainly derives from a cytostatic effect. Furthermore, calreticulin exposure, a key feature of immunogenic cell death, was not provoked by LDE225, neither alone nor combined with recognized immunogenic drugs. Finally, the oral administration of LDE225 to osteosarcoma-bearing mice did significantly delay the tumor growth even in an immunocompromised setting. These data suggest that inhibiting Hh signaling can control osteosarcoma cell proliferation but does not modulate the immunogenic profile of these cells.Oncoimmunology. 11/2012; 1(8):1313-1322.