[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: 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: The clinical development of an inhibitor of cellular proteasome function suggests that compounds targeting other components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system might prove useful for the treatment of human malignancies. NEDD8-activating enzyme (NAE) is an essential component of the NEDD8 conjugation pathway that controls the activity of the cullin-RING subtype of ubiquitin ligases, thereby regulating the turnover of a subset of proteins upstream of the proteasome. Substrates of cullin-RING ligases have important roles in cellular processes associated with cancer cell growth and survival pathways. Here we describe MLN4924, a potent and selective inhibitor of NAE. MLN4924 disrupts cullin-RING ligase-mediated protein turnover leading to apoptotic death in human tumour cells by a new mechanism of action, the deregulation of S-phase DNA synthesis. MLN4924 suppressed the growth of human tumour xenografts in mice at compound exposures that were well tolerated. Our data suggest that NAE inhibitors may hold promise for the treatment of cancer.