[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Aurora kinases are essential for cell mitosis, and the dysregulation of Aurora A and B have been linked to the etiology of human cancers. Investigational agents MLN8054 (8) and alisertib (MLN8237, 10) have been identified as high affinity, selective, orally bioavailable inhibitors of Aurora A that have advanced into human clinical trials. Alisertib (10) is currently being evaluated in multiple Phase II and III clinical trials in hematological malignancies and solid tumors.Keywords: Alisertib; Aurora A kinase; MLN8054; MLN8237
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MLN4924 is an investigational small-molecule inhibitor of NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE) in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer. MLN4924 is a mechanism-based inhibitor, with enzyme inhibition occurring through the formation of a tight-binding NEDD8-MLN4924 adduct. In cell and xenograft models of cancer, we identified treatment-emergent heterozygous mutations in the adenosine triphosphate binding pocket and NEDD8-binding cleft of NAEβ as the primary mechanism of resistance to MLN4924. Biochemical analyses of NAEβ mutants revealed slower rates of adduct formation and reduced adduct affinity for the mutant enzymes. A compound with tighter binding properties was able to potently inhibit mutant enzymes in cells. These data provide rationales for patient selection and the development of next-generation NAE inhibitors designed to overcome treatment-emergent NAEβ mutations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small-molecule inhibitors of Aurora A (AAK) and B (ABK) kinases, which play important roles in mitosis, are currently being pursued in oncology clinical trials. We developed three novel assays to quantitatively measure biomarkers of AAK inhibition in vivo. Here, we describe preclinical characterization of alisertib (MLN8237), a selective AAK inhibitor, incorporating these novel pharmacodynamic assays.
We investigated the selectivity of alisertib for AAK and ABK and studied the antitumor and antiproliferative activity of alisertib in vitro and in vivo. Novel assays were used to assess chromosome alignment and mitotic spindle bipolarity in human tumor xenografts using immunofluorescent detection of DNA and alpha-tubulin, respectively. In addition, 18F-3'-fluoro-3'-deoxy-l-thymidine positron emission tomography (FLT-PET) was used to noninvasively measure effects of alisertib on in vivo tumor cell proliferation.
Alisertib inhibited AAK over ABK with a selectivity of more than 200-fold in cells and produced a dose-dependent decrease in bipolar and aligned chromosomes in the HCT-116 xenograft model, a phenotype consistent with AAK inhibition. Alisertib inhibited proliferation of human tumor cell lines in vitro and produced tumor growth inhibition in solid tumor xenograft models and regressions in in vivo lymphoma models. In addition, a dose of alisertib that caused tumor stasis, as measured by volume, resulted in a decrease in FLT uptake, suggesting that noninvasive imaging could provide value over traditional measurements of response.
Alisertib is a selective and potent inhibitor of AAK. The novel methods of measuring Aurora A pathway inhibition and application of tumor imaging described here may be valuable for clinical evaluation of small-molecule inhibitors.
Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Clinical Cancer Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article describes the discovery of a series of potent inhibitors of Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1). Optimization of this benzolactam-derived chemical series produced an orally bioavailable inhibitor of PLK1 (12c, MLN0905). In vivo pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic experiments demonstrated prolonged mitotic arrest after oral administration of 12c to tumor bearing nude mice. A subsequent efficacy study in nude mice achieved tumor growth inhibition or regression in a human colon tumor (HT29) xenograft model.
No preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE) initiates a protein homeostatic pathway essential for cancer cell growth and survival. MLN4924 is a selective inhibitor of NAE currently in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer. Here, we show that MLN4924 is a mechanism-based inhibitor of NAE and creates a covalent NEDD8-MLN4924 adduct catalyzed by the enzyme. The NEDD8-MLN4924 adduct resembles NEDD8 adenylate, the first intermediate in the NAE reaction cycle, but cannot be further utilized in subsequent intraenzyme reactions. The stability of the NEDD8-MLN4924 adduct within the NAE active site blocks enzyme activity, thereby accounting for the potent inhibition of the NEDD8 pathway by MLN4924. Importantly, we have determined that compounds resembling MLN4924 demonstrate the ability to form analogous adducts with other ubiquitin-like proteins (UBLs) catalyzed by their cognate-activating enzymes. These findings reveal insights into the mechanism of E1s and suggest a general strategy for selective inhibition of UBL conjugation pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased Aurora A expression occurs in a variety of human cancers and induces chromosomal abnormalities during mitosis associated with tumor initiation and progression. MLN8054 is a selective small-molecule Aurora A kinase inhibitor that has entered Phase I clinical trials for advanced solid tumors. MLN8054 inhibits recombinant Aurora A kinase activity in vitro and is selective for Aurora A over the family member Aurora B in cultured cells. MLN8054 treatment results in G(2)/M accumulation and spindle defects and inhibits proliferation in multiple cultured human tumor cells lines. Growth of human tumor xenografts in nude mice was dramatically inhibited after oral administration of MLN8054 at well tolerated doses. Moreover, the tumor growth inhibition was sustained after discontinuing MLN8054 treatment. In human tumor xenografts, MLN8054 induced mitotic accumulation and apoptosis, phenotypes consistent with inhibition of Aurora A. MLN8054 is a selective inhibitor of Aurora A kinase that robustly inhibits growth of human tumor xenografts and represents an attractive modality for therapeutic intervention of human cancers.
Preview · Article · Apr 2007 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences