Flavopiridol, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, has promising clinical activity when combined with chemotherapy. Preclinical data indicate that flavopiridol enhances oxaliplatin (OX)- and fluorouracil (5FU)-induced apoptosis in a sequence-dependent manner.
We conducted a phase I trial of flavopiridol + FOLFOX (folinic acid, 5FU, and OX) for advanced solid tumors. Flavopiridol was administered every two weeks with OX before 5FU, based on sequence-dependent growth inhibition. Flavopiridol pharmacokinetics and p53 status were evaluated.
Forty-eight patients were treated on study. With dose escalation of OX (85 mg/m2) and 5FU (2400 mg/m2), dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) included hyponatremia, thrombocytopenia, and neutropenia. 5FU was subsequently reduced to allow for dose escalation of flavopiridol. DLTs with escalation of flavopiridol were nausea, vomiting, and neutropenia. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was flavopiridol 70 mg/m2, oxaliplatin 85 mg/m2, and 5FU 1800 mg/m2 continuous infusion over 48 hours. Clinical activity was noted in platinum-refractory germ cell tumors (GCTs): 3 out of 9 (33%) evaluable patients demonstrated a partial response on imaging, and 7 out of 10 (70%) had a decline in serum tumor markers. Responses were also observed in pancreatic, gastric, and sweat gland tumors. Flavopiridol pharmacokinetics had significant interpatient variability. At the MTD, tumor samples were p53 mutant (>30% positive cells) for responders and p53 wild-type for non-responders.
Flavopiridol with FOLFOX is a safe and tolerable regimen. Promising clinical activity was seen across tumor types. Encouraging results in the platinum-refractory GCT population has prompted a phase II trial which is currently open for accrual.
flavopiridol; FOLFOX; germ cell tumor; solid tumor; refractory
Flavopiridol is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor that induces cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and clinical responses in selected patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). A better understanding of the molecular pathways targeted by flavopiridol is needed to design optimal combinatorial therapy. Here, we report that in vivo administration of flavopiridol induced expression of the BCL-2 anti-apoptotic gene in leukemic blasts from adult patients with refractory AML. Moreover, flavopiridol repressed the expression of genes encoding oncogenic transcription factors (HMGA1, STAT3, E2F1) and the major subunit of RNA Polymerase II. Our results provide mechanistic insight into the cellular pathways targeted by flavopiridol and suggest that blocking anti-apoptotic pathways could enhance cytotoxicity and improve outcomes in patients treated with flavopiridol.
Flavopiridol; acute myeloid leukemia; BCL-2; HMGA1; STAT3; E2F1
Dysregulated cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are important to the growth of some sarcomas. Flavopiridol is a pan-CDK inhibitor that has been shown to potentiate chemotherapy. As such, we explored the potentiation of doxorubicin by flavopiridol in sarcoma, in vitro and in vivo, and performed a phase I trial of flavopiridol with doxorubicin in patients with advanced sarcomas.
Sarcoma cell lines and xenografts were treated with flavopiridol alone and in combination with doxorubicin. In the phase I study, doxorubicin and flavopiridol were administered on 2 flavopiridol schedules; a 1 hour bolus and split dosing as a 30 minute bolus followed by a 4 hour infusion.
Pre-clinically, flavopiridol potentiated doxorubicin. In vivo, doxorubicin administered 1 hour prior to flavopiridol was more active than doxorubicin alone. Clinically, 31 patients were enrolled on protocol and flavopiridol was escalated to target dose in 2 schedules (90 mg/m2 bolus; 50 mg/m2 bolus + 40 mg/m2 infusion) both in combination with doxorubicin (60 mg/m2). Dose-limiting toxicities were neutropenia, leukopenia and febrile neutropenia but no maximum tolerated dose was defined. Flavopiridol pharmacokinetics showed increasing Cmax with increasing dose. RECIST responses included 2 partial responses however stable disease was seen in 16 patients. Of 12 evaluable patients with progressive well- and de-differentiated liposarcoma, 8 had stable disease greater than 12 weeks.
The sequential combination of doxorubicin followed flavopiridol is well tolerated on both schedules. Disease control was observed in well- and de-differentiated liposarcoma specifically, a disease where CDK4 is known to be amplified.
Flavopiridol; Sarcoma; Cyclin-dependent kinase; CDK; phase I
Flavopiridol has shown promising activities in hematologic and solid tumor models, as well as in clinical trials in chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients. Flavopiridol has relatively low solubility and high plasma protein-binding. To address these issues and to provide an alternative strategy to achieve clinical efficacy, we encapsulated flavopiridol into a liposomal carrier and characterized its physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. The liposomes, comprising hydrogenated soy phosphatidylcholine (HSPC), cholesterol and poly (ethylene glycol) 2000-distearoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (PEG-DSPE), were prepared by polycarbonate membrane extrusion and then loaded with flavopiridol by a pH-gradient driven remote loading procedure. The liposomes had a mean diameter of 120.7 nm and a flavopiridol entrapment efficiency of 70.4%. Pharmacokinetic study in mice after i.v. bolus injection showed that the liposomal flavopiridol had an increased elimination phase half-life (T1/2β, 339.7 min vs. 57.0 min), decreased clearance (CL, 0.012 L/min vs. 0.036 L/min), and increased area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC, 10.8 min μmol/L vs. 3.4 min μmol/L) compared to the free drug. This indicates a significant and potentially beneficial change in flavopiridol pharmacokinetics for the liposomal formulation. Further preclinical studies are warranted to define the toxicity and therapeutic efficacy of this novel formulation.
Liposomes; Flavopiridol; Physicochemical properties; Pharmacokinetics; Nanotechnology
To determine the effects of combinations of radiation and flavopiridol, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases and global transcription, in a human uterine cervix cancer cell line.
Materials and Methods
Human uterine cervix cancer cells (HeLa), cultured to the mid-log phase, were exposed to X-rays, flavopiridol, and combinations of X-rays and flavopiridol in various sequences. The end point in this study was the clonogenic survival, which was measured via clonogenic assays. In order to determine the intrinsic cytotoxicity of flavopiridol, 0, 5, 12.5, 25, 37.5, 50 and 100 nM of flavopiridol were added to cell culture media. In the combination treatment, four different schedules of flavopiridol and irradiation combinations were tested: treatment of flavopiridol for 24 hours followed by irradiation, simultaneous administration of flavopiridol and irradiation, and irradiation followed by flavopiridol (for 24 hours) at intervals of 6 and 24 hours. The fraction of cells surviving after the combination treatment with 2 Gy of radiation (SF2) was compared with that of the fraction of cells surviving after treatment with irradiation alone.
The cytotoxicity of flavopiridol was found to be dose-dependent, with an IC50 of 80 nM. No cytotoxic enhancements were observed when flavopiridol and radiation were administered simultaneously. Flavopiridol, administered either 24 hours before or 6 hours after irradiation, exerted no sensitizing effects on the cells. Only one protocol resulted in a radiosensitizing effect: the administration of flavopiridol 24 hours after irradiation.
Flavopiridol enhanced the effects of radiation on a uterine cervix cancer cell line in vitro, and this enhancement was both sequence- and time-dependent.
Flavopiridol; Radiation; Uterine cervix cancer
Flavopiridol is the first potent inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) to enter clinical trials. Little is known about mechanisms of resistance to this agent. In order to determine whether P-glycoprotein (Pgp) might play a role in flavopiridol resistance, we examined flavopiridol sensitivity in a pair of Chinese hamster ovary cell lines differing with respect to level of Pgp expression. The IC 50 s of flavopiridol in parental AuxB1 (lower Pgp) and colchicine-selected CHRC5 (higher Pgp) cells were 90.2 ± 6.6 nM and 117 ± 2.3 nM, respectively (P< 0.01), suggesting that Pgp might have a modest effect on flavopiridol action. Consistent with this hypothesis, pretreatment with either quinidine or verapamil (inhibitors of Pgp-mediated transport) sensitized CHRC5 cells to the antiproliferative effects of flavopiridol. Because of concern that colony forming assays might not accurately reflect cytotoxicity, we also examined flavopiridol-treated cells by trypan blue staining and flow cytometry. These assays confirmed that flavopiridol was less toxic to cells expressing higher levels of Pgp. Further experiments revealed that flavopiridol inhibited the binding of [3H]-azidopine to Pgp in isolated membrane vesicles, but only at high concentrations. Collectively, these results identify flavopiridol as a weak substrate for Pgp. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign www.bjcancer.com
drug resistance; flavonoids; cyclin-dependent kinase; chemotherapy
Dinaciclib inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases 1, 2, 5, and 9 with a better therapeutic index than flavopiridol in preclinical studies. This study assessed the activity of dinaciclib in acute leukemia both in the clinic and in vitro.
Adults with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia (n = 14) and acute lymphoid leukemia (n = 6) were treated with dinaciclib 50 mg/m2 given as a 2-h infusion every 21 days.
Most patients had dramatic but transient reduction in circulating blasts; however, no remissions were achieved on this schedule. The most common toxicities were gastrointestinal, fatigue, transaminitis, and clinical and laboratory manifestations of tumor lysis syndrome, including one patient who died of acute renal failure. Dinaciclib pharmacokinetics showed rapid (2 h) achievement of maximum concentration and a short elimination/distribution phase. Pharmacodynamic studies demonstrated in vivo inhibition of Mcl-1 expression and induction of PARP cleavage in patients’ peripheral blood mononuclear cells 4 h after dinaciclib infusion, but the effects were lost by 24 h and did not correlate with clinical outcome. Correlative in vitro studies showed that prolonged exposures to dinaciclib, at clinically attainable concentrations, result in improved leukemia cell kill.
While dinaciclib given as a 2-h bolus did not exhibit durable clinical activity, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data support the exploration of prolonged infusion schedules in future trials in patients with acute leukemias.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00280-013-2249-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Dinaciclib; Acute leukemia; Cyclin-dependent kinase; CDK inhibitor; Mcl-1
The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol increases irinotecan- and fluorouracil-induced apoptosis. We conducted a phase I trial of FOLFIRI + flavopiridol in patients with advanced solid tumors.
FOLFIRI + flavopiridol were administered every 2 weeks. Based on sequence-dependent inhibition, flavopiridol was given 3 h after irinotecan but before 5-FU. Two maximum tolerated doses were determined, one with flavopiridol administered over 1 h, and one with flavopiridol split as a 30-min bolus followed by a 4-h infusion.
A total of 74 patients were enrolled and 63 were evaluable. The MTD with FOLFIRI was flavopiridol 80 mg/m2 over 1 h or 35 mg/m2 bolus + 35 mg/m2 over 4 h. Dose-limiting toxicities were diarrhea, fatigue, neutropenia, and neuropathy. Clinical activity included 2 partial responses in small bowel cancer and bladder cancer and 1 complete response in mucosal melanoma. Stable disease was seen in 22 patients. Pharmacokinetic studies showed increasing Cmax with increasing flavopiridol dose. Clinical benefit was correlated with the presence of wild-type p53. Of 25 patients with colorectal cancer, 11 had as best response SD for >3 m (median 6 m, range 4.2–15.4 m), despite failing ≥1 irinotecan-containing regimen.
Treatment with flavopiridol and FOLFIRI is a safe and effective regimen. Concentrations of flavopiridol that enhance the effects of FOLFIRI can be achieved. Clinical activity is encouraging and includes prolonged stable disease in patients with irinotecan-refractory colorectal cancer.
CDKs and CDK inhibitors; Phase I trials; Gastrointestinal cancers: colorectal; Combination chemotherapy; Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics; Novel antitumor agents
Members of the organic anion transporter family (OATP) mediate the transmembrane uptake of clinical important drugs and hormones thereby affecting drug disposition and tissue penetration. Particularly OATP subfamily 1 is known to mediate the cellular uptake of anticancer drugs (e.g., methotrexate, derivatives of taxol and camptothecin, flavopiridol, and imatinib). Tissue-specific expression was shown for OATP1B1/OATP1B3 in liver, OATP4C1 in kidney, and OATP6A1 in testis, while other OATPs, for example, OATP4A1, are expressed in multiple cells and organs. Many different tumor entities show an altered expression of OATPs. OATP1B1/OATP1B3 are downregulated in liver tumors, but highly expressed in cancers in the gastrointestinal tract, breast, prostate, and lung. Similarly, testis-specific OATP6A1 is expressed in cancers in the lung, brain, and bladder. Due to their presence in various cancer tissues and their limited expression in normal tissues, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP6A1 could be a target for tumor immunotherapy. Otherwise, high levels of ubiquitous expressed OATP4A1 are found in colorectal cancers and their metastases. Therefore, this OATP might serve as biomarkers for these tumors. Expression of OATP is regulated by nuclear receptors, inflammatory cytokines, tissue factors, and also posttranslational modifications of the proteins. Through these processes, the distribution of the transporter in the tissue will be altered, and a shift from the plasma membrane to cytoplasmic compartments is possible. It will modify OATP uptake properties and, subsequently, change intracellular concentrations of drugs, hormones, and various other OATP substrates. Therefore, screening tumors for OATP expression before therapy should lead to an OATP-targeted therapy with higher efficacy and decreased side effects.
Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with high-risk genomic features achieve poor outcomes with traditional therapies. A phase I study of a pharmacokinetically derived schedule of flavopiridol suggested promising activity in CLL, irrespective of high-risk features. Given the relevance of these findings to treating genetically high-risk CLL, a prospective confirmatory study was initiated.
Patients and Methods
Patients with relapsed CLL were treated with single-agent flavopiridol, with subsequent addition of dexamethasone to suppress cytokine release syndrome (CRS). High-risk genomic features were prospectively assessed for response to therapy.
Sixty-four patients were enrolled. Median age was 60 years, median number of prior therapies was four, and all patients had received prior purine analog therapy. If patients tolerated treatment during week 1, dose escalation occurred during week 2. Dose escalation did not occur in four patients, as a result of severe tumor lysis syndrome; three of these patients required hemodialysis. Thirty-four patients (53%) achieved response, including 30 partial responses (PRs; 47%), three nodular PRs (5%), and one complete response (1.6%). A majority of high-risk patients responded; 12 (57%) of 21 patients with del(17p13.1) and 14 (50%) of 28 patients with del(11q22.3) responded irrespective of lymph node size. Median progression-free survival among responders was 10 to 12 months across all cytogenetic risk groups. Reducing the number of weekly treatments per cycle from four to three and adding prophylactic dexamethasone, which abrogated interleukin-6 release and CRS (P ≤ .01), resulted in improved tolerability and treatment delivery.
Flavopiridol achieves significant clinical activity in patients with relapsed CLL, including those with high-risk genomic features and bulky lymphadenopathy. Subsequent clinical trials should use the amended treatment schedule developed herein and prophylactic corticosteroids.
Flavopiridol, a flavonoid currently in cancer clinical trials, inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) by competitively blocking their ATP-binding pocket. However, the mechanism of action of flavopiridol as an anti-cancer agent has not been fully elucidated.
Using DNA microarrays, we found that flavopiridol inhibited gene expression broadly, in contrast to two other CDK inhibitors, roscovitine and 9-nitropaullone. The gene expression profile of flavopiridol closely resembled the profiles of two transcription inhibitors, actinomycin D and 5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosyl-benzimidazole (DRB), suggesting that flavopiridol inhibits transcription globally. We were therefore able to use flavopiridol to measure mRNA turnover rates comprehensively and we found that different functional classes of genes had distinct distributions of mRNA turnover rates. In particular, genes encoding apoptosis regulators frequently had very short half-lives, as did several genes encoding key cell-cycle regulators. Strikingly, genes that were transcriptionally inducible were disproportionately represented in the class of genes with rapid mRNA turnover.
The present genomic-scale measurement of mRNA turnover uncovered a regulatory logic that links gene function with mRNA half-life. The observation that transcriptionally inducible genes often have short mRNA half-lives demonstrates that cells have a coordinated strategy to rapidly modulate the mRNA levels of these genes. In addition, the present results suggest that flavopiridol may be more effective against types of cancer that are highly dependent on genes with unstable mRNAs.
Imatinib is an inhibitor of the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase; however, resistance is common. Flavopiridol, a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, down-regulates short-lived anti-apoptotic proteins via inhibition of transcription. In preclinical studies, flavopiridol synergizes with imatinib to induce apoptosis. We investigated this novel combination regimen in patients with Bcr-Abl+ malignancies.
In a phase I dose-escalation study, imatinib was administered orally daily, and flavopiridol by 1-hour intravenous infusion weekly for three weeks every four weeks. Adults with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph+) acute leukemias were eligible. Patients were divided into two strata based on peripheral blood and bone marrow blast counts. The primary objective was to identify the recommended phase II doses (RPTD) for the combination. Correlative pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies were also performed.
A total of 21 patients received study treatment. Four dose levels were evaluated before the study was closed following the approval of the second generation Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Five patients responded, including four sustained responses. Four patients had stable disease. All but one responder, and all patients with stable disease had previously been treated with imatinib. One patient had a complete response sustained for 30 months. Changes in expression of phospho-Bcr/Abl, -Stat5, and Mcl-1 were monitored. No major pharmacokinetic interaction was observed.
This is the first study to evaluate the combination of a CDK inhibitor and a TKI in humans. The combination of flavopiridol and imatinib is tolerable and produces encouraging responses, including in some patients with imatinib-resistant disease.
Imatinib; flavopiridol; cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor; CDK inhibitor; Bcr-Abl; tyrosine kinase inhibitor
Rhabdoid Tumors (RTs) are highly aggressive pediatric malignancies with poor prognosis. There are currently no standard or effective treatments for RTs in part because treatments are not designed to specifically target these tumors. Our previous studies indicated that targeting the cyclin/cdk pathway is a novel therapeutic strategy for RTs and that a pan-cdk inhibitor, flavopiridol, inhibits RT growth. Since the toxicities and narrow window of activity associated with flavopiridol may limit its clinical use, we tested the effect of combining flavopiridol with 4-hydroxy-Tamoxifen (4OH-Tam) in order to reduce the concentration of flavopiridol needed for inhibition of RTs.
The effects of flavopiridol, 4OH-Tam, and their combination on RT cell cycle regulation and apoptosis were assessed by: i) cell survival assays, ii) FACS analysis, iii) caspase activity assays, and iv) immunoblot analysis. Furthermore, the role of p53 in flavopiridol- and 4OH-Tam-mediated induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis was characterized using RNA interference (siRNA) analysis. The effect of p53 on flavopiridol-mediated induction of caspases 2, 3, 8 and 9 was also determined.
We found that the combination of flavopiridol and 4OH-Tam potently inhibited the growth of RT cells. Low nanomolar concentrations of flavopiridol induced G2 arrest, which was correlated to down-modulation of cyclin B1 and up-regulation of p53. Addition of 4OH-Tam did not affect flavopiridol-mediated G2 arrest, but enhanced caspase 3,7-mediated apoptosis induced by the drug. Abrogation of p53 by siRNA abolished flavopiridol-induced G2 arrest, but enhanced flavopiridol- (but not 4OH-Tam-) mediated apoptosis, by enhancing caspase 2 and 3 activities.
Combining flavopiridol with 4OH-Tam potently inhibited the growth of RT cells by increasing the ability of either drug alone to induce caspases 2 and 3 thereby causing apoptosis. The potency of flavopiridol was enhanced by abrogation of p53. Our results warrant further studies investigating the combinatorial effects of flavopiridol and 4OH-Tam as a novel therapeutic strategy for RTs and other tumors that have been shown to respond to flavopiridol.
Based on the promising activity and tolerability of flavopiridol administered with a pharmacokinetically-derived dosing schedule in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we conducted a phase I study using this schedule in patients with advanced solid tumors.
Flavopiridol was given IV as a 30-min loading dose followed by a 4-hr infusion weekly for 4 weeks repeated every 6 weeks. Dose-escalation was in cohorts of three patients using the standard 3+3 phase I study design. Blood samples were obtained for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies.
Thirty-four eligible patients with advanced solid tumors received a total of 208 doses (median 7, range 1–24). Total doses ranged from 40 – 105 mg/m2. The primary dose limiting toxicity was cytokine release syndrome (CKRS). No antitumor responses were observed. The mean peak plasma concentration across all doses was 1.65 ± 0.86 µM. Area under the concentration-versus-time curve (AUC0–∞) ranged from 4.31 to 32.2 µM·hr with an overall mean of 13.6 ± 7.0 µM·hr. Plasma flavopiridol concentrations and AUC increased proportionally with dose. There was no correlation between cytokine levels and clinical outcomes.
The maximum-tolerated dose of flavopiridol is 20 mg/m2 bolus followed by 20 mg/m2 infusion over 4 hours given weekly for 4 weeks on a 6-week cycle in patients with advanced solid tumors. Flavopiridol PK was notably different, and there was a higher frequency of CKRS, despite prophylactic steroids, seen in this patient group compared to previous studies with CLL using a similar dosing schedule.
Flavopiridol; CDK inhibitor; Phase I trial; Solid tumors
Metastases from men with castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) harbor increased tumoral androgens vs. untreated prostate cancers (PCa). This may reflect steroid uptake by OATP/SLCO transporters. We evaluated SLCO gene expression in CRPC metastases and determined whether PCa outcomes are associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SLCO2B1 and SLCO1B3, transporters previously demonstrated to mediate androgen uptake.
Transcripts encoding 11 SLCO genes were analyzed in untreated PCa, and in metastatic CRPC tumors obtained by rapid autopsy. SNPs in SLCO2B1 and SLCO1B3 were genotyped in a population-based cohort of 1,309 Caucasian PCa patients. Median survival follow-up was 7.0 years (0.77–16.4). The risk of PCa recurrence/progression and PCa-specific mortality (PCSM) was estimated with Cox proportional hazards analysis.
Six SLCO genes were highly expressed in CRPC metastases vs. untreated PCa, including SLCO1B3 (3.6 fold, p=0.0517) and SLCO2B1 (5.5 fold, p=0.0034). Carriers of the variant alleles SLCO2B1 SNP rs12422149 (HR 1.99, 95% CI 1.11 – 3.55) or SLCO1B3 SNP rs4149117 (HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.00 – 3.08) had an increased risk of PCSM.
CRPC metastases demonstrate increased expression of SLCO genes vs. primary PCa. Genetic variants of SLCO1B3 and SLCO2B1 are associated with PCSM. Expression and genetic variation of SLCO genes which alter androgen uptake may be important in PCa outcomes.
OATP/SLCO genes may be potential biomarkers for assessing risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality. Expression and genetic variation in these genes may allow stratification of patients to more aggressive hormonal therapy or earlier incorporation of non-hormonal based treatment strategies.
prostate cancer; castration resistant; SLCO; steroid transport; genetic variation
The efficacy of many chemotherapeutic agents can be attenuated by expression of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2, Bcl-XL and Mcl-1. Flavopiridol and dinaciclib are cyclin-dependent kinase 7 and 9 inhibitors that transcriptionally inhibit expression of Mcl-1. We have investigated the ability of flavopiridol and dinaciclib to sensitize a part of leukemia cell lines to vinblastine and paclitaxel. Both drugs acutely sensitized most of the leukemia lines to vinblastine, with 100% apoptosis in 4 h. Furthermore, dinaciclib sensitized freshly-isolated chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells to vinblastine. This rapid induction of apoptosis was attributed to vinblastine-mediated activation of JNK because (a) flavopiridol and dinaciclib failed to induce apoptosis when combined with non-JNK activating concentrations of vinblastine; (b) JNK inhibitors suppressed JNK activity and prevented apoptosis; (c) flavopiridol did not potentiate apoptosis induced by paclitaxel which does not activate JNK in these cells; and (d) Jurkat cells failed to activate JNK in response to vinblastine and were not sensitive to combinations of vinblastine and flavopiridol or dinaciclib. The rapid induction of apoptosis by this combination in multiple cell systems but not in normal lymphocytes provides justification for performing a clinical trial to assess the efficacy in patients.
vinblastine; flavopiridol; dinaciclib; Mcl-1; c-Jun N-terminal kinase
Lenalidomide, an immunomodulatory agent, and flavopiridol, a broad cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, are both active therapies for clinical use in genomic high risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). A high-performance liquid chromatographic assay with tandem mass spectrometric detection has been developed to simultaneously quantify lenalidomide and flavopiridol in human and mouse plasma to facilitate their combined clinical development. Samples were prepared by liquid-liquid extraction with acetonitrile- (ACN) containing internal standard (IS), genistein, followed by evaporation of solvent and reconstitution in 95/5 H2O/ACN. Lenalidomide and IS were separated by reverse phase liquid chromatography on a C-18 column using a gradient of H2O and ACN, each with 0.1% formic acid. Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) in positive-ion mode with single reaction monitoring on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer were applied to detect transitions of lenalidomide (260.06 > 149.10) and flavopiridol (402.09 > 341.02). Lower limits of quantification (LLOQ) of lenalidomide and flavopiridol were 1nM and 0.3nM respectively. Recoveries of lenalidomide and flavopiridol from human plasma ranged from 99% to 116% throughout their linear ranges. Within and between-run precision and accuracy of replicate samples were all less than 15%. This is the most sensitive analytical method reported to date for both lenalidomide and flavopiridol. This sensitivity will enable late terminal phase concentration measurements and accurate pharmacokinetic parameter estimation in a planned clinical trial with lenalidomide and flavopiridol in CLL patients.
Lenalidomide; Pharmacokinetics; Flavopiridol; LCMS
Purpose. Flavopiridol is a potent cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor that has preclinical activity in many tumours. This synthetic flavonoid was tested in a phase II nonrandomized, nonblinded multicentre clinical trial to determine its activity and toxicity in patients with previously untreated metastatic or locally advanced soft tissue sarcoma. Methods. A total of 18 patients with histologically confirmed nonoperable soft tissue was treated with flavopiridol administered at a dose of 50 mg/m2 IV over 1 hour daily ×3 days every 3 weeks. Results. Eighteen patients were accrued to the study over a period of 6 months. No objective responses were noted in the seventeen evaluable patients. Eight patients (47%) exhibited stable disease
after 2 cycles (median duration of 4.3 months (range 1.4–6.9 months). Kaplan-Meier estimates for 3- and 6-month progression-free survivial rates were 44 percent and 22 percent, respectively. The only
grade 3 toxicities were diarrhea (N = 2), nausea (N = 2), gastritis (N = 1), and fatigue (N = 1). Ninety-four percent of patients received ≥ 90% of the planned dose intensity, during 55 treatment cycles.
Conclusions. Flavopiridol was well tolerated at the dose and schedule used in this study, however, no objective treatment responses were seen and thus our results do not support further exploration of flavopiridol as a monotherapy at this dose and schedule in soft tissue sarcomas.
Variants in numerous genes are thought to affect the success or failure of cancer chemotherapy. Interindividual variability can result from genes involved in drug metabolism and transport, drug targets (receptors, enzymes, etc), and proteins relevant to cell survival (e.g., cell cycle, DNA repair, and apoptosis). The purpose of the current study is to establish a flexible, cost-effective, high-throughput genotyping platform for candidate genes involved in chemoresistance and -sensitivity, and treatment outcomes.
We have adopted SNPlex for genotyping 432 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 160 candidate genes implicated in response to anticancer chemotherapy.
The genotyping panels were applied to 39 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia undergoing flavopiridol chemotherapy, and 90 patients with colorectal cancer. 408 SNPs (94%) produced successful genotyping results. Additional genotyping methods were established for polymorphisms undetectable by SNPlex, including multiplexed SNaPshot for CYP2D6 SNPs, and PCR amplification with fluorescently labeled primers for the UGT1A1 promoter (TA)nTAA repeat polymorphism.
This genotyping panel is useful for supporting clinical anticancer drug trials to identify polymorphisms that contribute to interindividual variability in drug response. Availability of population genetic data across multiple studies has the potential to yield genetic biomarkers for optimizing anticancer therapy.
Romidepsin is a potent histone deacetylase inhibitor under clinical development. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of demographic, clinical and pharmacogenetic covariates on the pharmacokinetics of romidepsin in patients with T-cell lymphoma.
Pharmacokinetic assessment was performed in 98 patients enrolled in a phase II study who received 14 mg/m2 or 18 mg/m2 of romidepsin as a 4-hour infusion on day 1 during their first treatment cycle. Population modeling was performed using a nonlinear mixed effects modeling (NONMEM) approach to explore the effects of polymorphic variations in CYP3A4, CYP3A5, SLCO1B3, and ABCB1, all of which encode genes thought to be involved in romidepsin disposition.
A two-compartment model with linear kinetics adequately described the romidepsin disposition. Population clearance was 15.9 L/h with between-patient variability of 37%. ABCB1 2677G>T/A variant alleles tended towards a reduced clearance and lower volume of tissue distribution, but this was not supported by a statistical significance. Genetic variations in CYP3A4/5 and SCLO1B3 had no effect on the systemic exposure.
The population pharmacokinetic analysis indicates moderate inter-individual variability in romidepsin pharmacokinetics and no clinically relevant covariates associated with the un-explained pharmacokinetic variability of romidepsin in this population.
Recent reports suggest the role of nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in cyclin-dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) gene associated with defect in the DNA repair mechanism that may contribute to cancer risk. Among the various inhibitors developed so far, flavopiridol proved to be a potential antitumor drug in the phase-III clinical trial for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Here, we described a theoretical assessment for the discovery of new drugs or drug targets in CDK7 protein owing to the changes caused by deleterious nsSNPs.
Three nsSNPs (I63R, H135R, and T285M) were predicted to have functional impact on protein function by SIFT, PolyPhen2, I-Mutant3, PANTHER, SNPs&GO, PhD-SNP, and screening for non-acceptable polymorphisms (SNAP). Furthermore, we analyzed the native and proposed mutant models in atomic level 10 ns simulation using the molecular dynamics (MD) approach. Finally, with the aid of Autodock 4.0 and PatchDock, we analyzed the binding efficacy of flavopiridol with CDK7 protein with respect to the deleterious mutations.
By comparing the results of all seven prediction tools, three nsSNPs (I63R, H135R, and T285M) were predicted to have functional impact on the protein function. The results of protein stability analysis inferred that I63R and H135R exhibited less deviation in root mean square deviation in comparison with the native and T285M protein. The flexibility of all the three mutant models of CDK7 protein is diverse in comparison with the native protein. Following to that, docking study revealed the change in the active site residues and decrease in the binding affinity of flavopiridol with mutant proteins.
This theoretical approach is entirely based on computational methods, which has the ability to identify the disease-related SNPs in complex disorders by contrasting their costs and capabilities with those of the experimental methods. The identification of disease related SNPs by computational methods has the potential to create personalized tools for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of diseases.
Cell cycle regulatory protein, CDK7, is linked with DNA repair mechanism which can contribute to cancer risk. The main aim of this study is to extrapolate the relationship between the nsSNPs and their effects in drug-binding capability. In this work, we propose a new methodology which (1) efficiently identified the deleterious nsSNPs that tend to have functional effect on protein function upon mutation by computational tools, (2) analyze d the native protein and proposed mutant models in atomic level using MD approach, and (3) investigated the protein-ligand interactions to analyze the binding ability by docking analysis. This theoretical approach is entirely based on computational methods, which has the ability to identify the disease-related SNPs in complex disorders by contrasting their costs and capabilities with those of the experimental methods. Overall, this approach has the potential to create personalized tools for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of diseases.
nsSNPs; CDK7; Flavopiridol; Molecular dynamics; Docking
Organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) 1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP2B1 (encoded by SLCO1B1, SLCO1B3, SLCO2B1) mediate the hepatic uptake of endogenous compounds like bile acids and of drugs, for example, the lipid-lowering atorvastatin, thereby influencing hepatobiliary elimination. Here we systematically elucidated the contribution of SLCO variants on expression of the three hepatic OATPs under consideration of additional important covariates.
Expression was quantified by RT-PCR and immunoblotting in 143 Caucasian liver samples. A total of 109 rare and common variants in the SLCO1B3-SLCO1B1 genomic region and the SLCO2B1 gene were genotyped by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and genome-wide SNP microarray technology. SLCO1B1 haplotypes affecting hepatic OATP1B1 expression were associated with pharmacokinetic data of the OATP1B1 substrate atorvastatin (n = 82).
Expression of OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and OATP2B1 at the mRNA and protein levels showed marked interindividual variability. All three OATPs were expressed in a coordinated fashion. By a multivariate regression analysis adjusted for non-genetic and transcription covariates, increased OATP1B1 expression was associated with the coding SLCO1B1 variant c.388A > G (rs2306283) even after correction for multiple testing (P = 0.00034). This held true for haplotypes harboring c.388A > G but not the functional variant c.521T > C (rs4149056) associated with statin-related myopathy. c.388A > G also significantly affected atorvastatin pharmacokinetics. SLCO variants and non-genetic and regulatory covariates together accounted for 59% of variability of OATP1B1 expression.
Our results show that expression of OATP1B1, but not of OATP1B3 and OATP2B1, is significantly affected by genetic variants. The SLCO1B1 variant c.388A > G is the major determinant with additional consequences on atorvastatin plasma levels.
The design and synthesis of a small library of 8-amidoflavone, 8-sulfonamidoflavone, 8-amido-7-hydroxyflavone, and heterocyclic analogues of flavopiridol is reported. The potential activity of these compounds as kinase inhibitors was evaluated by cytotoxicity studies in MCF-7 and ID-8 cancer cell lines and inhibition of CDK2-Cyclin A enzyme activity in vitro. The antiproliferative and CDK2-Cyclin A inhibitory activity of these analogues was significantly lower than the activity of flavopiridol. Molecular docking simulations were carried out and these studies suggested a different binding orientation inside the CDK2 binding pocket for these analogues compared to flavopiridol.
The topoisomerase I inhibitor, irinotecan, and its active metabolite SN-38 have been shown to induce G2/M cell cycle arrest without significant cell death in human colon carcinoma cells (HCT-116). Subsequent treatment of these G2/M-arrested cells with the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, flavopiridol, induced these cells to undergo apoptosis. The goal of this study was to develop a noninvasive metabolic biomarker for early tumor response and target inhibition of irinotecan followed by flavopiridol treatment in a longitudinal study. A total of eleven mice bearing HCT-116 xenografts were separated into two cohorts where one cohort was administered saline and the other treated with a sequential course of irinotecan followed by flavopiridol. Each mouse xenograft was longitudinally monitored with proton (1H)-decoupled phosphorus (31P) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) before and after treatment. A statistically significant decrease in phosphocholine (p = 0.0004) and inorganic phosphate (p = 0.0103) levels were observed in HCT-116 xenografts following treatment, which were evidenced within twenty-four hours of treatment completion. Also, a significant growth delay was found in treated xenografts. To discern the underlying mechanism for the treatment response of the xenografts, in vitro HCT-116 cell cultures were investigated with enzymatic assays, cell cycle analysis, and apoptotic assays. Flavopiridol had a direct effect on choline kinase as measured by a 67% reduction in the phosphorylation of choline to phosphocholine. Cells treated with SN-38 alone underwent 83±5% G2/M cell cycle arrest compared to untreated cells. In cells, flavopiridol alone induced 5±1% apoptosis while the sequential treatment (SN-38 then flavopiridol) resulted in 39±10% apoptosis. In vivo 1H-decoupled 31P MRS indirectly measures choline kinase activity. The decrease in phosphocholine may be a potential indicator of early tumor response to the sequential treatment of irinotecan followed by flavopiridol in noninvasive and/or longitudinal studies.
irinotecan; flavopiridol; choline kinase; colon cancer; 1H-decoupled 31P MRS; apoptosis
BH3 mimetic drugs induce cell death by antagonizing the activity of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors that function as transcriptional repressors down-regulate the Bcl-2 family member Mcl-1 and increase the activity of selective BH3-mimetics that fail to target this protein. In this study, we determined whether CDK inhibitors potentiate the activity of pan-BH3 mimetics by directly neutralizing Mcl-1. Specifically, we evaluated interactions between the prototypical pan-CDK inhibitor flavopiridol and the pan-BH3-mimetic obatoclax in multiple myeloma (MM) cells in which Mcl-1 is critical for survival. Co-administration of flavopiridol and obatoclax synergistically triggered apoptosis in both drug-naive and drug-resistant MM cells. Mechanistic investigations revealed that flavopiridol inhibited Mcl-1 transcription but increased transcription of Bim and its binding to Bcl-2/Bcl-xL. Obatoclax prevented Mcl-1 recovery and potentiated release of Bim from Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and Mcl-1, accompanied by activation of Bax/Bak. Whether administered singly or in combination with obatoclax, flavopiridol also induced up-regulation of multiple BH3-only proteins, including BimEL, BimL, Noxa, and Bik/NBK. Notably, shRNA knock-down of Bim or Noxa abrogated lethality triggered by the flavopiridol/obatoclax combination in vitro and in vivo. Together, our findings demonstrate that CDK inhibition potentiates pan-BH3-mimetic activity through a cooperative mechanism involving up-regulation of BH3-only proteins with coordinate down-regulation of their anti-apoptotic counterparts. These findings have immediate implications for the clinical trial design of BH3 mimetic-based therapies that are presently being studied intensively for the treatment of diverse hematopoietic malignancies, including lethal multiple myeloma.
BH3-only protein; Bim; Cdk inhibitor; BH3-mimetic; myeloma