RSK3/4 mediate resistance to PI3K pathway inhibitors in breast cancer

The Journal of clinical investigation (Impact Factor: 13.22). 05/2013; 123(6). DOI: 10.1172/JCI66343
Source: PubMed


The PI3K signaling pathway regulates diverse cellular processes, including proliferation, survival, and metabolism, and is aberrantly activated in human cancer. As such, numerous compounds targeting the PI3K pathway are currently being clinically evaluated for the treatment of cancer, and several have shown some early indications of efficacy in breast cancer. However, resistance against these agents, both de novo and acquired, may ultimately limit the efficacy of these compounds. Here, we have taken a systematic functional approach to uncovering potential mechanisms of resistance to PI3K inhibitors and have identified several genes whose expression promotes survival under conditions of PI3K/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/mTOR) blockade, including the ribosomal S6 kinases RPS6KA2 (RSK3) and RPS6KA6 (RSK4). We demonstrate that overexpression of RSK3 or RSK4 supports proliferation upon PI3K inhibition both in vitro and in vivo, in part through the attenuation of the apoptotic response and upregulation of protein translation. Notably, the addition of MEK- or RSK-specific inhibitors can overcome these resistance phenotypes, both in breast cancer cell lines and patient-derived xenograft models with elevated levels of RSK activity. These observations provide a strong rationale for the combined use of RSK and PI3K pathway inhibitors to elicit favorable responses in breast cancer patients with activated RSK.

Download full-text


Available from: Ludmila Prudkin
  • Source
    • "In a complex signaling network, a targeted agent’s capacity to inhibit the phosphorylation process of its downstream targets frequently does not translate into phenotypical changes. For example, Serra et al have reported the identification of a few genes which may promote cellular survival in the context of PI3K blockade, and among those genes, ribosomal S6 kinases RPS6KA2 (RSK3) and RPS6KA6 (RSK4) are being further validated for contributing to PI3K resistance in vitro and in vivo through attenuation of the apoptotic process and upregulation of protein translation [28]. Our observation resonates with emerging evidence that downstream cap-dependent translation may be a better indicator of response to these targeted agents [29,30]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Patients with pancreatic cancer have dismal prognoses, and novel therapies are urgently needed. Mutations of the KRAS oncogene occur frequently in pancreatic cancer and represent an attractive target. Direct targeting of the predominant KRAS pathways have been challenging and research into therapeutic strategies have been now refocused on pathways downstream of KRAS, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK [MEK]). We hypothesized that concurrent inhibition of the PI3K and MEK pathways would result in synergistic antitumor activity, as it would circumvent the compensatory feedback loop between the two pathways. We investigated the combined effect of the PI3K inhibitor, GDC0941, and the MEK inhibitor, AZD6244, on cell viability, apoptosis and cell signaling in a panel of pancreatic cancer cell lines. An in vivo analysis was conducted on pancreatic cancer xenografts. While BxPC-3 (KRAS wild type) and MIA PaCa-2 (KRAS mutated) cell lines were sensitive to GDC0941 and AZD6244 as single agents, synergistic inhibition of tumor cell growth and induction of apoptosis were observed in both cell lines when the two drugs were combined. Interestingly, phosphorylation of the cap-dependent translational components, 4E-binding protein (p-4E-BP1) and S6 was found to be closely associated with sensitivity to GDC0941 and AZD6244. In BxPC-3 cell xenografts, survival differences were observed between the control and the AZD6244, GDC0941, and combination groups. Our study provides the rationale for concurrent targeting of the PI3K and MEK pathways, regardless of KRAS status, and suggests that phosphorylation of 4E-BP1and S6 can serve as a predictive biomarker for response to treatment.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The widespread hyperactivation of the PI3K/mTOR pathway in human cancer has made it a prime target for the treatment of this disease. However, a variety of resistance mechanisms involving (re)activation of the targeted pathway or of parallel survival signaling cascades have limited the clinical success of inhibitors targeting PI3K and/or mTOR. Recent studies delineated new crosstalks between PI3K, HER2, JAK2 and IL-8 signaling, which can explain the limited efficacy of PI3K blockade when inhibitors of this pathway are used as single agents. In this review, we summarize molecular mechanisms of resistance to inhibitors of the PI3K/mTOR pathway, provide an outline of new connections between crucial oncogenic signaling pathways, and discuss the potential of new combination therapy approaches to overcome resistance.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Drug resistance updates: reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the last few decades, study of cancer in mouse models has gained popularity. Sophisticated genetic manipulation technologies and commercialization of these murine systems have made it possible to generate mice to study human disease. Given the large socio-economic burden of cancer, both on academic research and the health care industry, there is a need for in vivo animal cancer models that can provide a rationale that is translatable to the clinic. Such a bench-to-bedside transition will facilitate a long term robust strategy that is economically feasible and clinically effective to manage cancer. The major hurdles in considering mouse models as a translational platform are the lack of tumor heterogeneity and genetic diversity, which are a hallmark of human cancers. The present review, while critical of these pitfalls, discusses two newly emerging concepts of personalized mouse models called "Mouse Avatars" and Co-clinical Trials. Development of "Mouse Avatars" entails implantation of patient tumor samples in mice for subsequent use in drug efficacy studies. These avatars allow for each patient to have their own tumor growing in an in vivo system, thereby allowing the identification of a personalized therapeutic regimen, eliminating the cost and toxicity associated with non-targeted chemotherapeutic measures. In Co-clinical Trials, genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) are used to guide therapy in an ongoing human patient trial. Murine and patient trials are conducted concurrently, and information obtained from the murine system is applied towards future clinical management of the patient's tumor. The concurrent trials allow for a real-time integration of the murine and human tumor data. In combination with several molecular profiling techniques, the "Mouse Avatar" and Co-clinical Trial concepts have the potential to revolutionize the drug development and health care process. The present review outlines the current status, challenges and the future potential of these two new in vivo approaches in the field of personalized oncology.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Cancer letters
Show more