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           Search results for: AZD-6244 Mechanisms: MEK inhibitor   

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#28353145   2017/03/29 Save this To Up

MAPK/ERK signalling is required for zebrafish cardiac regeneration.

To better understand the molecular mechanisms of regeneration and explore the potential signalling pathways as therapeutic targets for heart attacks.

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#28086243   2017/01/13 Save this To Up

Multi-level suppression of receptor-PI3K-mTORC1 by fatty acid synthase inhibitors is crucial for their efficacy against ovarian cancer cells.

Receptor-PI3K-mTORC1 signaling and fatty acid synthase (FASN)-regulated lipid biosynthesis harbor numerous drug targets and are molecularly connected. We hypothesize that unraveling the mechanisms of pathway cross-talk will be useful for designing novel co-targeting strategies for ovarian cancer (OC). The impact of receptor-PI3K-mTORC1 onto FASN is already well-characterized. However, reverse actions-from FASN towards receptor-PI3K-mTORC1-are still elusive. We show that FASN-blockade impairs receptor-PI3K-mTORC1 signaling at multiple levels. Thin-layer chromatography and MALDI-MS/MS reveals that FASN-inhibitors (C75, G28UCM) augment polyunsaturated fatty acids and diminish signaling lipids diacylglycerol (DAG) and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) in OC cells (SKOV3, OVCAR-3, A2780, HOC-7). Western blotting and micropatterning demonstrate that FASN-blockers impair phosphorylation/expression of EGF-receptor/ERBB/HER and decrease GRB2-EGF-receptor recruitment leading to PI3K-AKT suppression. FASN-inhibitors activate stress response-genes HIF-1α-REDD1 (RTP801/DIG2/DDIT4) and AMPKα causing mTORC1- and S6-repression. We conclude that FASN-inhibitor-mediated blockade of receptor-PI3K-mTORC1 occurs due to a number of distinct but cooperating processes. Moreover, decrease of PI3K-mTORC1 abolishes cross-repression of MEK-ERK causing ERK activation. Consequently, the MEK-inhibitor selumetinib/AZD6244, in contrast to the PI3K/mTOR-inhibitor dactolisib/NVP-BEZ235, increases growth inhibition when given together with a FASN-blocker. We are the first to provide deep insight on how FASN-inhibition blocks ERBB-PI3K-mTORC1 activity at multiple molecular levels. Moreover, our data encourage therapeutic approaches using FASN-antagonists together with MEK-ERK-inhibitors.

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#27599525   2016/09/07 Save this To Up

Selumetinib Attenuates Skeletal Muscle Wasting in Murine Cachexia Model through ERK Inhibition and AKT Activation.

Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome affecting the skeletal muscle. Previous clinical trials showed that treatment with MEK inhibitor selumetinib resulted in skeletal muscle anabolism. However, it is conflicting that MAPK/ERK pathway controls the mass of the skeletal muscle. The current study investigated the therapeutic effect and mechanisms of selumetinib in amelioration of cancer cachexia. The classical cancer cachexia model was established via transplantation of CT26 colon adenocarcinoma cells into BALB/c mice. The effect of selumetinib on body weight, tumor growth, skeletal muscle, food intake, serum proinflammatory cytokines, E3 ligases, and MEK/ERK-related pathways was analyzed. Two independent experiments showed that 30 mg/kg/d selumetinib prevented the loss of body weight in murine cachexia mice. Muscle wasting was attenuated and the expression of E3 ligases, MuRF1 and Fbx32, was inhibited following selumetinib treatment of the gastrocnemius muscle. Furthermore, selumetinib efficiently reduced tumor burden without influencing the cancer cell proliferation, cumulative food intake, and serum cytokines. These results indicated that the role of selumetinib in attenuating muscle wasting was independent of cancer burden. Detailed analysis of the mechanism revealed AKT and mTOR were activated, while ERK, FoxO3a, and GSK3β were inhibited in the selumetinib -treated cachexia group. These indicated that selumetinib effectively prevented skeletal muscle wasting in cancer cachexia model through ERK inhibition and AKT activation in gastrocnemius muscle via cross-inhibition. The study not only elucidated the mechanism of MEK/ERK inhibition in skeletal muscle anabolism, but also validated selumetinib therapy as an effective intervention against cancer cachexia. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(2); 334-43. ©2016 AACR.

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#27422710   2016/07/16 Save this To Up

Phosphoproteomics Reveals MAPK Inhibitors Enhance MET- and EGFR-Driven AKT Signaling in KRAS-Mutant Lung Cancer.

Pathway inhibition of the RAS-driven MAPK pathway using small-molecule kinase inhibitors has been a key focus for treating cancers driven by oncogenic RAS, yet significant clinical responses are lacking. Feedback reactivation of ERK driven by drug-induced RAF activity has been suggested as one of the major drug resistance mechanisms, especially in the context of oncogenic RAS. To determine whether additional adaptive resistance mechanisms may coexist, we characterized global phosphoproteomic changes after MEK inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244) treatment in KRAS-mutant A427 and A549 lung adenocarcinoma cell lines employing mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics. We identified 9,075 quantifiable unique phosphosites (corresponding to 3,346 unique phosphoproteins), of which 567 phosphosites were more abundant and 512 phosphosites were less abundant after MEK inhibition. Selumetinib increased phosphorylation of KSR-1, a scaffolding protein required for assembly of MAPK signaling complex, as well as altered phosphorylation of GEF-H1, a novel regulator of KSR-1 and implicated in RAS-driven MAPK activation. Moreover, selumetinib reduced inhibitory serine phosphorylation of MET at Ser985 and potentiated HGF- and EGF-induced AKT phosphorylation. These results were recapitulated by pan-RAF (LY3009120), MEK (GDC0623), and ERK (SCH772984) inhibitors, which are currently under early-phase clinical development against RAS-mutant cancers. Our results highlight the unique adaptive changes in MAPK scaffolding proteins (KSR-1, GEF-H1) and in RTK signaling, leading to enhanced PI3K-AKT signaling when the MAPK pathway is inhibited.

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#27287717   2016/08/02 Save this To Up

IKBKE Is a Substrate of EGFR and a Therapeutic Target in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer with Activating Mutations of EGFR.

Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) marked by EGFR mutations tend to develop resistance to therapeutic EGFR inhibitors, often due to secondary mutation EGFR(T790M) but also other mechanisms. Here we report support for a rationale to target IKBKE, an IκB kinase family member that activates the AKT and NF-κB pathways, as one strategy to address NSCLC resistant to EGFR inhibitors. While wild-type and mutant EGFR directly interacted with IKBKE, only mutant EGFR phosphorylated IKBKE on residues Y153 and Y179. The unphosphorylatable mutant IKBKE-Y153F/Y179-F that lost kinase activity failed to activate AKT and inhibited EGFR signaling. In clinical specimens of NSCLC with activating mutations of EGFR, we observed elevated levels of phospho-Y153 IKBKE. IKBKE ablation with shRNA or small-molecule inhibitor amlexanox selectively inhibited the viability of NSCLC cells with EGFR mutations in vitro In parallel, we found that these treatments activated the MAPK pathway due to attenuation of an IKBKE feedback mechanism. In vivo studies revealed that combining amlexanox with MEK inhibitor AZD6244 significantly inhibited the xenograft tumor growth of NSCLC cells harboring activating EGFR mutations, including EGFR(T790M) Overall, our findings define IKBKE as a direct effector target of EGFR and provide a therapeutic rationale to target IKBKE as a strategy to eradicate EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLC cells. Cancer Res; 76(15); 4418-29. ©2016 AACR.

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#27196001   2016/05/20 Save this To Up

MEK Inhibition Sensitizes Precursor B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) Cells to Dexamethasone through Modulation of mTOR Activity and Stimulation of Autophagy.

Resistance to glucocorticosteroids (GCs) is a major adverse prognostic factor in B-ALL, but the molecular mechanisms leading to GC resistance are not completely understood. Herein, we sought to elucidate the molecular background of GC resistance in B-ALL and characterize the therapeutic potential of targeted intervention in these mechanisms. Using exploratory bioinformatic approaches, we found that resistant cells exhibited significantly higher expression of MEK/ERK (MAPK) pathway components. We found that GC-resistant ALL cell lines had markedly higher baseline activity of MEK and small-molecule MEK1/2 inhibitor selumetinib increased GCs-induced cell death. MEK inhibitor similarly increased in vitro dexamethasone activity in primary ALL blasts from 19 of 22 tested patients. To further confirm these observations, we overexpressed a constitutively active MEK mutant in GC-sensitive cells and found that forced MEK activity induced resistance to dexamethasone. Since recent studies highlight the role GC-induced autophagy upstream of apoptotic cell death, we assessed LC3 processing, MDC staining and GFP-LC3 relocalization in cells incubated with either DEX, SEL or combination of drugs. Unlike either drug alone, only their combination markedly increased these markers of autophagy. These changes were associated with decreased mTOR activity and blocked 4E-BP1 phosphorylation. In cells with silenced beclin-1 (BCN1), required for autophagosome formation, the synergy of DEX and SEL was markedly reduced. Taken together, we show that MEK inhibitor selumetinib enhances dexamethasone toxicity in GC-resistant B-ALL cells. The underlying mechanism of this interaction involves inhibition of mTOR signaling pathway and modulation of autophagy markers, likely reflecting induction of this process and required for cell death. Thus, our data demonstrate that modulation of MEK/ERK pathway is an attractive therapeutic strategy overcoming GC resistance in B-ALL patients.

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#26210887   2015/09/09 Save this To Up

Discontinuing MEK inhibitors in tumor cells with an acquired resistance increases migration and invasion.

Development of small molecular inhibitors against BRAF and MEK has been a breakthrough in the treatment of malignant melanoma. However, the long-term effect is foiled in virtually all patients by the emergence of resistant tumor cell populations. Therefore, mechanisms resulting in the acquired resistance against BRAF and MEK inhibitors have gained much attention and several strategies have been proposed to overcome tumor resistance, including interval treatment or withdrawal of these compounds after disease progression.

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#25961376   2015/06/29 Save this To Up

Rational combination of MEK inhibitor and the STAT3 pathway modulator for the therapy in K-Ras mutated pancreatic and colon cancer cells.

K-Ras mutations are frequently detected in pancreatic and colon cancers, which are associated with the resistance to MEK inhibitors targeting the Ras pathway. Identifying the underlying mechanisms for the acquired resistance is essential for the future clinical development of MEK inhibitors. Here, we identified that Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) was significantly activated following the MEK inhibition using AZD6244, PD98059 and Trametinib in K-Ras mutant pancreatic and colon cancer cells. The STAT3 activation may be important for the MEK inhibitor resistance in these K-Ras mutant cancer cells. We have shown that dual inhibition of STAT3 and MEK using the STAT3 inhibitor LY5 and MEK inhibitor Trametinib exerts significant anti-tumor cell efficacy in K-Ras mutant pancreatic and colon cancer cells in vitro. In addition, Trametinib showed increased suppression on tumor growth in vivo in STAT3 knockdown pancreatic cancer cells compared with tumor growth of control cells without STAT3 knockdown. Taken together, our results suggest the induced STAT3 activation as a possible mechanism for the resistance to MEK inhibitor and demonstrate the potentials of a combination therapy using MEK and STAT3 inhibitors in pancreatic and colon cancers harboring K-Ras mutant proteins.

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#25959272   2015/10/09 Save this To Up

EGFR and MEK Blockade in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells.

Although evidence suggests that the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway plays an important role in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), resistance to MEK inhibitors has been observed in TNBC cells. Different mechanisms have been hypothesized to be involved in this phenomenon, including receptor tyrosine kinase-dependent activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. In this study, we analyzed the effects of the MEK1/2 inhibitor selumetinib in combination with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib in a panel of TNBC cell lines that showed different levels of sensitivity to single-agent selumetinib: SUM-149 and MDA-MB-231 cells resulted to be sensitive, whereas SUM-159, MDA-MB-468 and HCC70 cells were relatively resistant to the drug. Treatment of TNBC cells with selumetinib produced an increase of the phosphorylation of the EGFR both in selumetinib-sensitive SUM-149, MDA-MB-231 and in selumetinib-resistant MDA-MB-468 TNBC cells. The combination of selumetinib and gefitinib resulted in a synergistic growth inhibitory effect in all the TNBC cell lines, although the IC50 was not reached in SUM-159 and MDA-MB-468 cells. This effect was associated with an almost complete suppression of ERK1/2 activation and a reduction of selumetinib-induced AKT phosphorylation. In addition, in selumetinib-sensitive TNBC cells the combination of selumetinib and gefitinib induced a significant G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Taken together, our data demonstrated that blockade of the EGFR might efficiently increase the antitumor activity of selumetinib in a subgroup of TNBC and that this phenomenon might be related to the effects of such combination on both ERK1/2 and AKT activation.

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#25870145   2015/06/16 Save this To Up

Acquired Resistance to the Mutant-Selective EGFR Inhibitor AZD9291 Is Associated with Increased Dependence on RAS Signaling in Preclinical Models.

Resistance to targeted EGFR inhibitors is likely to develop in EGFR-mutant lung cancers. Early identification of innate or acquired resistance mechanisms to these agents is essential to direct development of future therapies. We describe the detection of heterogeneous mechanisms of resistance within populations of EGFR-mutant cells (PC9 and/or NCI-H1975) with acquired resistance to current and newly developed EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors, including AZD9291. We report the detection of NRAS mutations, including a novel E63K mutation, and a gain of copy number of WT NRAS or WT KRAS in cell populations resistant to gefitinib, afatinib, WZ4002, or AZD9291. Compared with parental cells, a number of resistant cell populations were more sensitive to inhibition by the MEK inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244; ARRY-142886) when treated in combination with the originating EGFR inhibitor. In vitro, a combination of AZD9291 with selumetinib prevented emergence of resistance in PC9 cells and delayed resistance in NCI-H1975 cells. In vivo, concomitant dosing of AZD9291 with selumetinib caused regression of AZD9291-resistant tumors in an EGFRm/T790M transgenic model. Our data support the use of a combination of AZD9291 with a MEK inhibitor to delay or prevent resistance to AZD9291 in EGFRm and/or EGFRm/T790M tumors. Furthermore, these findings suggest that NRAS modifications in tumor samples from patients who have progressed on current or EGFR inhibitors in development may support subsequent treatment with a combination of EGFR and MEK inhibition.

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