In our effort to develop selective sphingosine kinase-2 (SphK2) inhibitors as pharmacological tools, a thiazolidine-2,4-dione analogue, 3-(2-amino-ethyl)-5-[3-(4-butoxyl-phenyl)-propylidene]-thiazolidine-2,4-dione (K145), was synthesized and biologically characterized. Biochemical assay results indicate that K145 is a selective SphK2 inhibitor. Molecular modeling studies also support this notion. In vitro studies using human leukemia U937 cells demonstrated that K145 accumulates in U937 cells, suppresses the S1P level, and inhibits SphK2. K145 also exhibited inhibitory effects on the growth of U937 cells as well as apoptotic effects in U937 cells, and that these effects may be through the inhibition of down-stream ERK and Akt signaling pathways. K145 also significantly inhibited the growth of U937 tumors in nude mice by both intraperitoneal and oral administration, thus demonstrating its in vivo efficacy as a potential lead anticancer agent. The antitumor activity of K145 was also confirmed in a syngeneic mouse model by implanting murine breast cancer JC cells in BALB/c mice. Collectively, these results strongly encourage further optimization of K145 as a novel lead compound for development of more potent and selective SphK2 inhibitors.
We have further defined mechanism(s) by which the drug OSU-03012 (OSU) kills tumor cells. OSU lethality was suppressed by knock down of PERK and enhanced by knock down of ATF6 and IRE1α. OSU treatment suppressed expression of the chaperone, BiP/GRP78, and did so through reduced stability of the protein. Knock down of BiP/GRP78 further enhanced OSU lethality. Overexpression of BiP/GRP78 abolished OSU toxicity. Pre-treatment of cells with OSU enhanced radiosensitivity to a greater extent than concomitant or sequential drug treatment with radiation exposure. Expression of a mutant active p110 PI3K, or mutant active forms of the EGFR in GBM cells did not differentially suppress OSU killing. In contrast loss of PTEN function reduced OSU lethality, without altering AKT, p70 S6K or mTOR activity, or the drug's ability to radiosensitize GBM cells. Knock down of PTEN protected cells from OSU and radiation treatment whereas re-expression of PTEN facilitated drug lethality and radiosensitization. In a dose-dependent fashion OSU prolonged the survival of mice carrying GBM tumors and interacted with radiotherapy to further prolong survival. Collectively, our data show that reduced BiP/GRP78 levels play a key role in OSU-3012 toxicity in GBM cells, and that this drug has in vivo activity against an invasive primary human GBM isolate.
OSU-03012; BiP/GRP78; ER stress; PERK; ionizing radiation; ceramide
The class I histone deacetylases HDAC1 and HDAC2 belong to a family of 11 zinc-dependent human HDACs and are overexpressed in many cancers. Inhibitors of these HDACs now in clinical trials show activity against several types of cancers. This review is focuse on recent advances in both clinical and preclinical efforts to understand the basis for HDACi actions, with an emphasis on implications for rational combinations with conventional or other targeted agents. We will address new perspectives on the molecular mechanisms by which HDACs act and how these actions relate to cancer. We will also review new evidence demonstrating that HDACs are direct intracellular targets of the potent sphingolipid mediator sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), the first identified endogenous nuclear regulator of these enzymes, linking sphingolipid metabolism in the nucleus to remodeling of chromatin and epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Understanding how endogenous molecules regulate HDAC activity in vivo may facilitate the search for safer and more effective anti-cancer drugs capable of interfering with HDAC functions in a highly specific manner.
histone deacetylase; histone deacetylase inhibitor; apoptosis; sphingosine-1-phosphate; cancer
Vorinostat (V) at levels >2.5 μM enhances chemotherapy in vitro. Yet the approved oral dose of 400 mg inconsistently achieves this level in patients. We developed an intermittent oral pulse-dose schedule of V to increase serum levels. We combined V with the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor flavopiridol (F) which increases V-induced apoptosis.
One week before combination treatment, V alone was given daily for 3d (cycle −1). Then V was given on d1-3 and d8-10, and F on d2 and d9, every 21-d. Due to neutropenia, this was modified to V on d1-3 and d15–17, and F on d2 and d16, every 28-d. Bolus and split-dose F schedules were studied.
34 patients were treated. On the 21-d schedule, the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was V 600 mg/d and F 60 mg/m2 bolus. On the 28-d schedule, the MTD was V 800 mg/d and F 30 mg/m2 over 30 min and 30 mg/m2 over 4 h. V Cmax at the 800 mg dose was 4.8 μM (± 2.8). V Cmax ≥2.5 μM was achieved in 86% of patients at the MTD. F increased the Cmax of V by 27% (95% CI 11%–43%). F Cmax of ≥2 μM was achieved in 90% of patients. 8 patients had stable disease for on average 5.5 m (range 1.6–13.2 m).
Intermittent high dose oral V in combination with F is feasible and achieves target serum levels >2.5 μM. V concentrations higher than previously reported with oral dosing were achieved.
CDKs and CDK inhibitors; Histone deacetylase inhibitors; Phase I trials; Combination chemotherapy; Pharmacokinetics
The growth and survival of tumor cells can depend upon the expression of a single oncogene, and therapeutically targeting this oncogene addiction has already proven to be an effective approach in fighting cancer. However, it is also clear that cancer cells can adapt and become resistant to therapy through compensatory activation of downstream pathways that relieve the cell of its addicted phenotype. In this issue of the JCI, two groups — Lee et al. and Cipriano et al. — identify two related candidate oncogenes that might both contribute to therapeutic resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). If validated, this information could help to identify new targets for therapeutic interventions in breast cancer and possibly other cancers and may also assist in the development of strategies designed to overcome resistance to currently available TKIs.
Human cancers are genetically and epigenetically heterogeneous and have the capacity to commandeer a variety of cellular processes to aid in their survival, growth and resistance to therapy. One strategy is to overexpress proteins that suppress apoptosis, such as the Bcl-2 family protein Mcl-1. The Mcl-1 protein plays a pivotal role in protecting cells from apoptosis and is overexpressed in a variety of human cancers.
Targeting Mcl-1 for extinction in these cancers, using genetic and pharmacological approaches, represents a potentially effectual means of developing new efficacious cancer therapeutics. Here we review the multiple strategies that have been employed in targeting this fundamental protein, as well as the significant potential these targeting agents provide in not only suppressing cancer growth, but also in reversing resistance to conventional cancer treatments.
We discuss the potential issues that arise in targeting Mcl-1 and other Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic proteins, as well problems with acquired resistance. The application of combinatorial approaches that involve inhibiting Mcl-1 and manipulation of additional signaling pathways to enhance therapeutic outcomes is also highlighted. The ability to specifically inhibit key genetic/epigenetic elements and biochemical pathways that maintain the tumor state represent a viable approach for developing rationally based, effective cancer therapies.
Interactions between the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib and the HDAC inhibitors vorinostat and SNDX-275 were examined in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) cells in vitro and in vivo. Co-administration of very low, marginally toxic carfilzomib concentrations (e.g., 3–4 nM) with minimally lethal vorinostat or SNDX-275 concentrations induced sharp increases in mitochondrial injury and apoptosis in multiple MCL cell lines and primary MCL cells. Enhanced lethalitly was associated with JNK1/2 activation, increased DNA damage (induction of λH2A.X), and ERK1/2 and AKT1/2 inactivation. Co-administration of carfilzomib and HDACIs induced a marked increase in ROS generation, and G2M arrest. Significantly, the free radical scavenger TBAP blocked carfilzomib/HDACI-mediated ROS generation, λH2A.X formation, JNK1/2 activation, and lethality. Genetic (shRNA) knock down of JNK1/2 significantly attenuated carfilzomib/HDACI-induced apoptosis, but did not prevent ROS generation or DNA damage. Carfilzomib/HDACI regimens were also active against bortezomib-resistant MCL cells. Finally, carfilzomib/vorinostat co-administrationo resulted in a pronounced reduction in tumor growth compared to single agent treatment in a MCL xenograft model associated with enhanced apoptosis, λH2A.X formation, and JNK activation. Collectively, these findings suggest that carfilzomib/HDACI regimens warrants attention in MCL.
Carfilzomib; vorinostat; Mantle cell; NHL
The antigrowth and immunomodulatory actions of interferons (IFNs) have enabled these cytokines to be used therapeutically for the treatment of a variety of hematologic and solid malignancies. IFNs exert their effects by activation of the Jak/Stat signaling pathway. IFNγ stimulates the tyrosine kinases Jak1 and Jak2, resulting in activation of the Stat1 transcription factor, whereas type 1 IFNs (IFNα/β) activate Jak1 and Tyk2, which mediate their effects through Stat1 and Stat2. Disruption in the expression of IFNγ, IFNα receptors, or Stat1 inhibits antitumor responses and blunt cancer immunosurveillance in mice. Mutations in Jak2 or constitutive activation of Jak1 or Jak2 also promote the development of a variety of malignancies. Although there are data indicating that Tyk2 plays a role in the pathogenesis of lymphomas, the effects of Tyk2 expression on tumorigenesis are unknown. We report here that Tyk2−/− mice inoculated with 4T1 breast cancer cells show enhanced tumor growth and metastasis compared to Tyk2+/+ animals. Accelerated growth of 4T1 cells in Tyk2−/− animals does not appear to be due to decreased function of CD4+, CD8+ T cells, or NK cells. Rather, the tumor suppresive effects of Tyk2 are mediated at least in part by myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which appear to be more effective in inhibiting T cell responses in Tyk2−/− mice. Our results provide the first evidence for a role of Tyk2 in suppressing the growth and metastasis of breast cancer.
Limited health literacy is associated with higher rates of hospitalization. However, the prevalence and etiology of limited health literacy among hospitalized adults and the compensatory strategies used are not known.
To determine the prevalence and demographic associations of limited health literacy in hospitalized patients and to identify the perceived etiology and use of any compensatory strategies.
A cross-sectional study was implemented of a consecutive sample of hospitalized adults admitted to the Internal Medicine Hospitalist Service at a 440-bed academic medical center (n = 103) in Vermont. Health literacy was determined using the short form of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Demographic data, perceived etiology of difficulties in reading or understanding health information, and use of compensatory strategies were self-reported.
Sixty percent of medical inpatients have limited health literacy. Thirty six percent of patients with limited health literacy attribute this to difficulties with vision. Sixty two percent of all medical inpatients rely on help from a health professional and 23% look to a family member when faced with challenges in reading or understanding health information.
The prevalence of limited health literacy is high in hospitalized medical patients. Further study of the timing and methods of communicating information to hospitalized patients is warranted. Assuring that the patient and/or family understand the post-discharge plans will be an important step to improving quality and safety.
health literacy; communication; patient teaching
bortezomib; CDK inhibitors; flavopiridol; NF-κB; proteosome inhibitors
The present studies were initiated to determine in greater molecular detail the regulation of CHK1 inhibitor lethality in transfected and infected breast cancer cells and using genetic models of transformed fibrobalsts. Multiple MEK1/2 inhibitors (PD184352, AZD6244 [ARRY-142886]) interacted with multiple CHK1 inhibitors (UCN-01 [7-hydroxystaurosporine], AZD7762) to kill mammary carcinoma cells and transformed fibroblasts. In transformed cells, CHK1 inhibitor-induced activation of ERK1/2 was dependent upon activation of SRC family non-receptor tyrosine kinases as judged by use of multiple SRC kinase inhibitors (PP 2, Dasatinib; AZD0530), use of SRC/FYN/YES deleted transformed fibroblasts or by expression of dominant negative SRC. Cell killing by SRC family kinase inhibitors and CHK1 inhibitors was abolished in BAX/BAK−/− transformed fibroblasts and suppressed by overexpression of BCL-XL. Treatment of cells with BCL-2/BCL-XL antagonists promoted SRC inhibitor + CHK1 inhibitor-induced lethality in a BAX/BAK-dependent fashion. Treatment of cells with [SRC + CHK1] inhibitors radio-sensitized tumor cells. These findings argue that multiple inhibitors of the SRC-RAS-MEK pathway interact with multiple CHK1 inhibitors to kill transformed cells.
CHK1; SRC; apoptosis; breast cancer; kinase; therapeutics; intrinsic; caspase
Pemetrexed (ALIMTA) is a folate anti-metabolite that has been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and has been shown to stimulate autophagy. In the present study, we sought to further understand the role of autophagy in the response to pemetrexed and to test if combination therapy could enhance the level of toxicity through altered autophagy in tumor cells. The multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib (NEXAVAR), used in the treatment of renal and hepatocellular carcinoma, suppresses tumor angiogenesis and promotes autophagy in tumor cells. We found that sorafenib interacted in a greater than additive fashion with pemetrexed to increase autophagy and to kill a diverse array of tumor cell types. Tumor cell types that displayed high levels of cell killing after combination treatment showed elevated levels of AKT, p70 S6K and/or phosphorylated mTOR, in addition to Class III RTKs such as PDGFRβ and VEGFR1, known in vivo targets of sorafenib. In xenograft and in syngeneic animal models of mammary carcinoma and glioblastoma, the combination of sorafenib and pemetrexed suppressed tumor growth without deleterious effects on normal tissues or animal body mass. Taken together, the data suggest that premexetred and sorafenib act synergistically to enhance tumor killing via the promotion of a toxic form of autophagy that leads to activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, and predict that combination treatment represents a future therapeutic option in the treatment of solid tumors.
Interactions between the HDACI inhibitor belinostat and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib were investigated in AML and ALL cells. Co-administration of sub-micromolar concentrations of belinostat with low nanomolar concentrations of bortezomib sharply increased apoptosis in both AML and ALL cell lines and primary blasts. Synergistic interactions were associated with interruption of both canonical and non-canonical NF-κB signaling pathways, e.g., accumulation of the phosphorylated (S32/S36) form of IκBα, diminished belinostat-mediated RelA/p65 hyperacetylation (K310), and reduced processing of p100 into p52. These events were accompanied by downregulation of NF-κB-dependent pro-survival proteins (e.g., XIAP, Bcl-xL). Moreover, belinostat/bortezomib co-exposure induced up-regulation of the BH3-only prodeath protein Bim. Significantly, shRNA knock-down of Bim substantially reduced the lethality of belinostat/bortezomib regimens. Administration of belinostat ± bortezomib also induced hyperacetylation (K40) of α-tubulin, indicating HDAC6 inhibition. Finally, in contrast to the pronounced lethality of belinostat/bortezomib toward primary leukemia blasts, equivalent treatment was relatively non-toxic to normal CD34+ cells. Together, these findings indicate that belinostat and bortezomib interact synergistically in both cultured and primary AML and ALL cells, and raise the possibilities that up-regulation of Bim and interference with NF-κB pathways contribute to this phenomenon. They also suggest that combined belinostat/bortezomib regimens warrant further attention in acute leukemias.
AML; ALL; belinostat; bortezomib; NF-κB; Bim
The purpose of this study was to determine whether HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) such as vorinostat or entinostat (SNDX-275) could increase the lethality of the dual Bcr/Abl-aurora kinase inhibitor KW-2449 in various Bcr/Abl+ human leukemia cells, including those resistant to imatinib mesylate (IM).
Bcr/Abl+ CML and ALL cells, including those resistant to IM (T315I, E255K) were exposed to KW-2449 in the presence or absence of vorinostat or SNDX-275, after which apoptosis and effects on signaling pathways were examined. In vivo studies combining HDACIs and KW2449 were performed using a systemic IM-resistant ALL xenograft model.
Co-administration of HDACIs synergistically increased KW-2449 lethality in vitro in multiple CML and Ph+ ALL cell types including human IM resistant cells (e.g. BV-173/E255K, Adult/T315I). Combined treatment resulted in inactivation of Bcr/Abl and downstream targets (e.g. STAT5 and CRKL), as well as increased ROS generation and DNA damage (γH2A.X). The latter events and cell death were significantly attenuated by free radical scavengers (TBAP). Increased lethality was also observed in primary CD34+ cells from patients with CML, but not in normal CD34+ cells. Finally, minimally active vorinostat or SNDX275 doses markedly increased KW2449 anti-tumor effects and significantly prolonged the survival of murine xenografts bearing IM-resistant ALL cells (BV173/E255K).
HDACIs increase KW-2449 lethality in Bcr/Abl+ cells in association with inhibition of Bcr/Abl, generation of ROS, and induction of DNA damage. This strategy preferentially targets primary Bcr/Abl+ hematopoietic cells and exhibits enhanced in vivo activity. Combining KW-2449 with HDACIs warrants attention in IM-resistant Bcr/Abl+ leukemias.
A phase I study was conducted to determine the dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) and maximally tolerated dose (MTD) for the combination of bortezomib and alvocidib in patients with B cell malignancies (multiple myeloma, indolent and mantle cell lymphoma).
Patients received bortezomib by IV push on days 1, 4, 8 and 11. Patients also received alvocidib on days 1 and 8 by 30 min bolus infusion followed by a 4 hour continuous infusion. Treatment was on a 21 day cycle, with indefinite continuation for patients experiencing responses or stable disease. Dose escalation employed a standard 3+3 design until the MTD was identified based upon DLTs. Pharmacokinetic studies and pharmacodynamic studies were performed.
Sixteen patients were treated. The MTD was established as 1.3 mg/m2 for bortezomib and 30 mg/m2 for alvocidib (both the 30 min bolus and 4 hour infusions). Common hematologic toxicities included leukopenia, lymphopenia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. Common non-hematologic toxicities included fatigue and febrile neutropenia. DLTs included fatigue, febrile neutropenia, and elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels. Two complete responses (CR; 12%) and five partial responses (PR; 31%) were observed at the MTD (overall response rate 44%). Pharmacokinetic results were typical for alvocidib, and pharmacodynamic studies yielded variable results.
The combination of bortezomib and alvocidib is tolerable and an MTD has been established for the tested schedule. The regimen appears active in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, justifying phase II studies to determine the activity of this regimen more definitively.
Alvocidib; bortezomib; B cell neoplasms; phase I clinical trial
The manuscripts by Park et al.1 and Zhang et al.2 were initially planned as studies to understand the regulation of cell survival in transformed cells treated with sorafenib and vorinostat, and in primary hepatocytes treated with a bile acid+MEK1/2 inhibitor. In both cell systems we discovered that the toxicity of sorafenib and vorinostat or bile acid+MEK1/2 inhibitor exposure depended on the generation of ceramide and the ligand-independent activation of the CD95 death receptor, with subsequent activation of pro-caspase 8. We noted, however, in these systems that, in parallel with death receptor–induced activation of the extrinsic pathway, CD95 signaling also promoted increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and eIF2α, increased expression of ATG5, and increased processing of LC3 and vesicularization of a GFP-LC3 construct. The knockdown of ATG5 expression blocked GFP-LC3 vesicularization and enhanced cell killing. Thus ceramide-CD95 signaling promoted cell death via activation of pro-caspase 8 and cell survival via autophagy. PERK was shown to signal in a switch-hitting fashion; PERK promoted CD95-DISC formation and an eIF2α-dependent reduction in c-FLIP-s levels that were essential for cell killing to proceed, but in parallel it also promoted autophagy that was protective. The death receptor-induced apoptosis and autophagy occur proximal to the receptor rather than the mitochondrion, and the relative flow of death receptor signaling into either pathway may determine cell fate. Finally, death receptor induced apoptosis and autophagy could be potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Vorinostat; Sorafenib; bile acid; CD95; autophagy; ceramide; cell death; ASMase
The regulation of glycogen synthase activity by bile acids in primary hepatocytes and in the intact liver was investigated. Bile acids (deoxycholic acid, DCA; taurocholic acid, TCA) activated AKT and glycogen synthase (GS) in primary rat hepatocytes. Incubation with a phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase inhibitor or expression of dominant-negative AKT in primary rat hepatocytes abolished activation of AKT and GS by DCA and TCA. TCA, but not DCA, activated Gαi proteins in primary rat hepatocytes. Treatment of cells with pertussis toxin or expression of dominant-negative Gαi blocked TCA-induced activation of AKT and of GS but did not alter AKT or GS activation caused by DCA. TCA caused activation of AKT and GS in intact rat liver. Expression of dominant-negative Gαi reduced TCA-induced activation of AKT and of GS in intact rat liver. Together, our findings demonstrate that bile acids are physiological regulators of glycogen synthase in rat liver and that conjugated bile acids use a Gαi-coupled G protein-coupled receptor to regulate GS activity in vitro and in vivo.
The concept of combining targeted agents for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a relatively new but potentially promising area of investigation. A number of targeted agents may have limited single-agent activity but could show significant promise when used in conjunction with other types of similar compounds. Combinations of targeted agents may effectively interrupt multiple pathways in either a linear or parallel fashion. There are currently numerous combination regimens under investigation at either the preclinical or clinical levels, including histone deacetylase (HDAC) and CDK inhibitors; HDAC and proteasome inhibitors; HDAC and NF-κB (IKKβ) inhibitors; CHK1 and MEK1/2 inhibitors; and BCL-2 antagonists and CDK inhibitors. Although combinations of targeted agents will not displace conventional cytotoxic regimens in AML or related disorders in the foreseeable future, these combinations clearly warrant further attention.
targeted agents; histone deacetylase inhibitors; HDAC; NF-κB inhibitors; CDK inhibitors; proteasome inhibitors; MEK inhibitors; BCL-2 inhibitors
The present studies focused on determining whether the autophagy-inducing drug OSU-03012 (AR-12) could enhance the toxicity of recombinant adenoviral delivery of melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells. The toxicity of a recombinant adenovirus to express MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7) was enhanced by OSU-03012 in a diverse panel of primary human GBM cells. The enhanced toxicity correlated with reduced ERK1/2 phosphorylation and expression of MCL-1 and BCL-XL, and was blocked by molecular activation of ERK1/2 and by inhibition of the intrinsic, but not the extrinsic, apoptosis pathway. Both OSU-03012 and expression of MDA-7/IL-24 increased phosphorylation of PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) that correlated with increased levels of autophagy and expression of dominant negative PERK blocked autophagy induction and tumor cell death. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin1 suppressed OSU-03012 enhanced MDA-7/IL-24-induced autophagy and blocked the lethal interaction between the two agents. Ad.mda-7-infected GBM cells secreted MDA-7/IL-24 into the growth media and this conditioned media induced expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in uninfected GBM cells. OSU-03012 interacted with conditioned media to kill GBM cells and knockdown of MDA-7/IL-24 in these cells suppressed tumor cell killing. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the induction of autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction by a combinatorial treatment approach represents a potentially viable strategy to kill primary human GBM cells.
ROS; caspase; ER stress; CD95; cell death
The cytokine melanoma differentiation associated gene 7 (mda-7) was identified by subtractive hybridization as a protein whose expression increased during the induction of terminal differentiation, and that was either not expressed or was present at low levels in tumor cells compared to non-transformed cells. Based on conserved structure, chromosomal location and cytokine-like properties, MDA-7, was classified as a member of the interleukin (IL)-10 gene family and designated as MDA-7/IL-24. Multiple studies have demonstrated that expression of MDA-7/IL-24 in a wide variety of tumor cell types, but not in corresponding equivalent non-transformed cells, causes their growth arrest and rapid cell death. In addition, MDA-7/IL-24 has been noted to radiosensitize tumor cells which in part is due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ceramide that cause endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppress protein translation. Phase I clinical trial data has shown that a recombinant adenovirus expressing MDA-7/IL-24 (Ad.mda-7 (INGN-241)) was safe and had measurable tumoricidal effects in over 40% of patients, strongly arguing that MDA-7/IL-24 could have significant therapeutic value. This review describes what is presently known about the impact of MDA-7/IL-24 on tumor cell biology and its potential therapeutic applications.
MDA-7; IL-24; Apoptosis; Autophagy; Ceramide; ROS; Ca2+; Clinical trial; Signal transduction; PERK; ER stress; MCL-1
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a novel cytokine displaying selective apoptosis-inducing activity in transformed cells without harming normal cells. The present studies focused on defining the mechanism(s) by which a GST-MDA-7 fusion protein inhibits cell survival of primary human glioma cells in vitro. GST-MDA-7 killed glioma cells with diverse genetic characteristics that correlated with inactivation of ERK1/2 and activation of JNK1-3. Activation of JNK1-3 was dependent on protein kinase R–like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and GST-MDA-7 lethality was suppressed in PERK−/− cells. JNK1-3 signaling activated BAX, whereas inhibition of JNK1-3, deletion of BAX, or expression of dominant-negative caspase-9 suppressed lethality. GST-MDA-7 also promoted a PERK-, JNK-, and cathepsin B–dependent cleavage of BID; loss of BID function promoted survival. GST-MDA-7 suppressed BAD and BIM phosphorylation and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) expression. GST-MDA-7 caused PERK-dependent vacuolization of LC3-expressing endosomes whose formation was suppressed by incubation with 3-methylade-nine, expression of HSP70 or BiP/GRP78, or knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression but not by inhibition of the JNK1-3 pathway. Knockdown of ATG5 or Beclin-1 expression or overexpression of HSP70 reduced GST-MDA-7 lethality. Our data show that GST-MDA-7 induces an endoplasmic reticulum stress response that is causal in the activation of multiple proapoptotic pathways, which converge on the mitochondrion and highlight the complexity of signaling pathways altered by mda-7/IL-24 in glioma cells that ultimately culminate in decreased tumor cell survival.
Interactions between the nuclear factor (NF)-κB inhibitor parthenolide and the pan-histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) vorinostat and LBH589 were investigated in human acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells, including primary AML blasts. Co-administration of parthenolide blocked HDACI-mediated phosphorylation/activation of IKK and RelA/p65 in association with increased JNK1 activation in various AML cell types. These events were accompanied by an increase in apoptosis in multiple AML cell lines (e.g. U937, HL-60, NB4, MV-4-11, and MOLM-13). Significantly, parthenolide also increased HDACI-mediated cell death in haematopoietic cells transduced with the MLL-MLLT1 fusion gene, which exhibit certain leukaemia-initiating cell characteristics, as well as primary AML blasts. Exposure to parthenolide/HDACI regimens clearly inhibited the growth of AML-colony-forming units but was relatively sparing toward normal haematopoietic progenitors. Notably, blockade of JNK signaling by either pharmacological inhibitors or genetic means (e.g., dominant-negative JNK1 or JNK1 shRNA) diminished parthenolide/HDACI-mediated lethality. Moreover, dominant-negative MKK7, but not dominant-negative MKK4/SEK1, blocked JNK1 activation and apoptosis induced by parthenolide/HDACI regimens. Together, these findings indicate that parthenolide potentiates HDACI lethality in human AML cells through a process involving NF-κB inhibition and subsequent MKK7-dependent activation of the SAPK/JNK pathway. They also raise the possibility that this strategy may target leukaemic progenitor cells.
AML; NF-κB; JNK; histone deacetylase inhibitor; parthenolide
Melanoma differentiation associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24) is a unique member of the IL-10 gene family that displays nearly ubiquitous cancer-specific toxicity, with no harmful effects toward normal cells or tissues. mda-7/IL-24 was cloned from human melanoma cells by differentiation induction subtraction hybridization (DISH) and promotes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress culminating in apoptosis or toxic autophagy in a broad-spectrum of human cancers, when assayed in cell culture, in vivo in human tumor xenograft mouse models and in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced cancers. This therapeutically active cytokine also induces indirect anti-tumor activity through inhibition of angiogenesis, stimulation of an anti-tumor immune response, and sensitization of cancer cells to radiation-, chemotherapy- and antibody-induced killing.
mda-7/IL-24; apoptosis; autophagy; bystander antitumor activity; cancer terminator virus
Pemetrexed (ALIMTA) is a folate anti-metabolite that has been approved for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and has been shown to stimulate autophagy. In the present study, we sought to further understand the role of autophagy in the response to pemetrexed and to test if combination therapy could enhance the level of toxicity through altered autophagy in tumor cells. The multikinase inhibitor sorafenib (NEXAVAR), used in the treatment of renal and hepatocellular carcinoma, suppresses tumor angiogenesis and promotes autophagy in tumor cells. We found that sorafenib interacted in a greater than additive fashion with pemetrexed to increase autophagy and to kill a diverse array of tumor cell types. Tumor cell types that displayed high levels of cell killing after combination treatment showed elevated levels of AKT, p70 S6K and/or phosphorylated mTOR, in addition to class III RTKs such as PDGFRβ and VEGFR1, known in vivo targets of sorafenib. In xenograft and in syngeneic animal models of mammary carcinoma and glioblastoma, the combination of sorafenib and pemetrexed suppressed tumor growth without deleterious effects on normal tissues or animal body mass. Taken together, the data suggest that premexetred and sorafenib act synergistically to enhance tumor killing via the promotion of a toxic form of autophagy that leads to activation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, and predict that combination treatment represents a future therapeutic option in the treatment of solid tumors.
pemetrexed; sorafenib; autophagy; apoptosis; PDGFR; ZMP; AMP; thymidylate synthase
Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-7/interleukin-24 (mda-7/IL-24), a cytokine belonging to the IL-10 family, selectively induces apoptosis in cancer cells without harming normal cells by promoting an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. The precise molecular mechanism by which the ER stress response culminates in cell death requires further clarification. The present study shows that in prostate carcinoma cells, the mda-7/IL-24-induced ER stress response causes apoptosis by translational inhibition of the antiapoptotic protein myeloid cell leukemia-1 (Mcl-1). Forced expression of Mcl-1 blocked mda-7/IL-24 lethality, whereas RNA interference or gene knockout of Mcl-1 markedly sensitized transformed cells to mda-7/IL-24. Mcl-1 downregulation by mda-7/IL-24 relieved its association with the proapoptotic protein Bak, causing oligomerization of Bak and leading to cell death. These observations show the profound role of the Bcl-2 protein family member Mcl-1 in regulating cancer-specific apoptosis induced by this cytokine. Thus, our studies provide further insights into the molecular mechanism of ER stress-induced cancer-selective apoptosis by mda-7/IL-24. As Mcl-1 is overexpressed in the majority of prostate cancers, mda-7/IL-24 might provide an effective therapeutic for this disease.