Molecular imaging of Akt kinase activity
ABSTRACT The serine/threonine kinase Akt mediates mitogenic and anti-apoptotic responses that result from activation of multiple signaling cascades. It is considered a key determinant of tumor aggressiveness and is a major target for anticancer drug development. Here, we describe a new reporter molecule whose bioluminescence activity within live cells and in mice can be used to measure Akt activity. Akt activity in cultured cells and tumor xenografts was monitored quantitatively and dynamically in response to activation or inhibition of receptor tyrosine kinase, inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, or direct inhibition of Akt. The results provide unique insights into the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of agents that modulate Akt activity, revealing the usefulness of this reporter for rapid dose and schedule optimization in the drug development process.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer drug development generally performs in vivo evaluation of treatment effects that have traditionally relied on detection of morphologic changes. The emergence of new targeted therapies, which may not result in gross morphologic changes, has spurred investigation into more specific imaging methods to quantify response, such as targeted fluorescent probes and bioluminescent cells. The present study investigated tissue response to docetaxel or zoledronic acid (ZA) in a mouse model of bony metastasis. Intratibial implantations of breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) were monitored throughout this study using several modalities: molecular resonance imaging (MRI) tumor volume and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), micro-computed tomography (µCT) bone volume, bioluminescence imaging (BLI) reporting cancer cell apoptosis, and fluorescence using Osteosense 800 and CatK 680-FAST. Docetaxel treatment resulted in tumor cell kill reflected by ADC and BLI increases and tumor volume reduction, with delayed bone recovery seen in µCT prefaced by increased osteoblastic activity (Osteosense 800). In contrast, the ZA treatment group produced similar values in MRI, BLI, and Osteosense 800 fluorescence imaging readouts when compared to controls. However, µCT bone volume increased significantly by the first week post-treatment and the CatK 680-FAST signal was slightly diminished by 4 weeks following ZA treatment. Multimodality imaging provides a more comprehensive tool for new drug evaluation and efficacy screening through identification of morphology as well as function and apoptotic signaling.Translational oncology 12/2012; 5(6):415-21. DOI:10.1593/tlo.12298 · 3.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Platinum based drugs are widely used to treat various types of cancers by inducing DNA damage mediated cytotoxicity. However, acquirement of chemoresistance towards platinum based drugs is a common phenomenon and a major hurdle in combating the relapse of the disease. Oncogenesis and chemoresistance are multifactorial maladies which often involve deregulation of one of the prime cell survival pathways, the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling cascade. The genetic alterations related to this pathway are often responsible for initiation and/or maintenance of carcinogenesis. Molecular components of this pathway are long being recognized as major targets for therapeutic intervention and are now also have emerged as potential tools for diagnosis of cancer. To develop novel therapeutics against the key molecules of PI3K pathway, stringent validation is required using both in-vitro and in-vivo models. Repetitive and non-invasive molecular imaging techniques, a relatively recent field in biomedical imaging hold great promises for monitoring such diagnosis and therapy. In this review, we first introduced the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and its role in acquirement of chemoresistance in various cancers. Further we described how non-invasive molecular imaging approaches are sought to use this PI3K signalling axis for the therapeutics and diagnosis. A theranostic approach using various imaging modalities should be the future of PI3K signalling based drug development venture.American Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 01/2012; 2(4):418-31. · 3.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In cancer, genetic and epigenetic alterations ultimately culminate in discordant activation of signal transduction pathways driving the malignant process. Pharmacological or biological inhibition of such pathways holds significant promise with respect to devising rational therapy for cancer. Thus, technical concepts pursuing robust characterization of kinase activity in tissue samples from cancer patients have been subject of investigation. In the present review we provide a comprehensive overview of these techniques and discuss their advantages and disadvantages for systems biology approaches to identify kinase targets in oncological disease. Recent advances in the development and application of array-based peptide-substrate kinase activity screens show great promise in overcoming the discrepancy between the evaluation of aberrant cell signaling in specific malignancies or even individual patients and the currently available ensemble of highly specific targeted treatment strategies. These developments have the potential to result in a more effective selection of kinase inhibitors and thus optimize mechanism-based patient-specific therapeutic strategies. Given the results from current research on the tumor kinome, generating network views on aberrant tumor cell signaling is critical to meet this challenge.Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 06/2011; 82(2):171-86. DOI:10.1016/j.critrevonc.2011.05.002 · 4.05 Impact Factor