Chemical genetic discovery of targets and anti-targets for cancer polypharmacology

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 41.46). 06/2012; 486(7401):80-4. DOI: 10.1038/nature11127
Source: PubMed


The complexity of cancer has led to recent interest in polypharmacological approaches for developing kinase-inhibitor drugs; however, optimal kinase-inhibition profiles remain difficult to predict. Using a Ret-kinase-driven Drosophila model of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 and kinome-wide drug profiling, here we identify that AD57 rescues oncogenic Ret-induced lethality, whereas related Ret inhibitors imparted reduced efficacy and enhanced toxicity. Drosophila genetics and compound profiling defined three pathways accounting for the mechanistic basis of efficacy and dose-limiting toxicity. Inhibition of Ret plus Raf, Src and S6K was required for optimal animal survival, whereas inhibition of the 'anti-target' Tor led to toxicity owing to release of negative feedback. Rational synthetic tailoring to eliminate Tor binding afforded AD80 and AD81, compounds featuring balanced pathway inhibition, improved efficacy and low toxicity in Drosophila and mammalian multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 models. Combining kinase-focused chemistry, kinome-wide profiling and Drosophila genetics provides a powerful systems pharmacology approach towards developing compounds with a maximal therapeutic index.

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Available from: Tirtha K Das
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    • "Furthermore, small molecules can interact with numerous other proteins ( " off-targets " ) and there is also no rational procedure for understanding how the target-interaction profiles ( " chemoproteomic profiles " ; see section 3.5 for more details) correlate with the phenotype (Fig. 2).[5] [6] However, since the beginning of this century, the advent of the genomic era has presented researchers with a myriad of high throughput (HT) biological data † (parts lists and their interaction networks), which can assist in the optimization of efficacy and ADMET profiles in the traditional ligand-and structure-based approaches. This data rich era has, on the other hand, presented us with challenges related to integrating and analyzing multi-platform and multidimensional datasets and translating them into viable hypotheses. "
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    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Current topics in medicinal chemistry
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    • "Lastly, Drosophila is emerging as a useful platform for cancer drug discovery: flies provide a high degree of conservation of cancer relevant pathways as well as appropriate sensitivity to compounds targeting these pathways (Bangi et al., 2011; Gonzalez, 2013). Compound screens in Drosophila using organismal lethality or other complex phenotypic read outs of cancer are revealing new anti-cancer agents with promising activity in mammalian models (Dar et al., 2012). With these tools, Drosophila can be useful both as a genetic model system for tumor immunology but also as a drug discovery platform to screen for compounds that target the immune system and its interactions with tumor cells. "
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    • "Recently, promising clinical effects of RET targeting therapy using cabozantinib [24] and vandetanib [25] were reported. A study using a Drosophila screening system suggested that the antitumor activity and toxicity of RET inhibitors were modified by the ''off-target'' kinase inhibition profiles [26]. Because, lenvatinib, cabozantinib and vandetanib have different kinase inhibitory profiles [27], further investigation to elucidate how these differences in kinase inhibitory profiles affect the antitumor activity and toxicity is anticipated. "
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    ABSTRACT: RET gene fusions are recurrent oncogenes identified in thyroid and lung carcinomas. Lenvatinib is a multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor currently under evaluation in several clinical trials. Here we evaluated lenvatinib in RET gene fusion-driven preclinical models. In cellular assays, lenvatinib inhibited auto-phosphorylation of KIF5B-RET, CCDC6-RET, and NcoA4-RET. Lenvatinib suppressed the growth of CCDC6-RET human thyroid and lung cancer cell lines, and as well, suppressed anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenicity of RET gene fusion-transformed NIH3T3 cells. These results demonstrate that lenvatinib can exert antitumor activity against RET gene fusion-driven tumor models by inhibiting oncogenic RET gene fusion signaling.
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