ABSTRACT: Activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt/mammalian target of the rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) pathway and inactivation of wild-type p53 by murine double minute 2 homologue (Mdm2) overexpression are frequent molecular events in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We investigated the interaction of PI3K/Akt/mTOR and p53 pathways after their simultaneous blockade using the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor PI-103 and the Mdm2 inhibitor Nutlin-3. We found that PI-103, which itself has modest apoptogenic activity, acts synergistically with Nutlin-3 to induce apoptosis in a wild-type p53-dependent fashion. PI-103 synergized with Nutlin-3 to induce Bax conformational change and caspase-3 activation, despite its inhibitory effect on p53 induction. The PI-103/Nutlin-3 combination caused profound dephosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and decreased expression of many proteins including Mdm2, p21, Noxa, Bcl-2 and survivin, which can affect mitochondrial stability. We suggest that PI-103 actively enhances downstream p53 signaling and that a combination strategy aimed at inhibiting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling and activating p53 signaling is potentially effective in AML, where TP53 mutations are rare and downstream p53 signaling is intact.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K 07/2008; 22(9):1728-36. · 8.30 Impact Factor