FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Kozinova M , Joshi S , Ye S , Belinsky MG , Sharipova D , Farma JM , Reddy SS , Litwin S , Devarajan K , Campos AR , Yu Y , Schwartz B , von Mehren M , Rink L
Combined inhibition of AKT and KIT restores expression of programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) in gastrointestinal stromal tumor
Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 23;13(15)
PMID: 34359600    PMCID: PMC8345102    URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34359600
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The majority of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) patients develop resistance to the first-line KIT inhibitor, imatinib mesylate (IM), through acquisition of secondary mutations in KIT or bypass signaling pathway activation. In addition to KIT, AKT is a relevant target for inhibition, since the PI3K/AKT pathway is crucial for IM-resistant GIST survival. We evaluated the activity of a novel pan-AKT inhibitor, MK-4440 (formerly ARQ 751), as monotherapy and in combination with IM in GIST cell lines and preclinical models with varying IM sensitivities. Dual inhibition of KIT and AKT demonstrated synergistic effects in IM-sensitive and -resistant GIST cell lines. Proteomic analyses revealed upregulation of the tumor suppressor, PDCD4, in combination treated cells. Enhanced PDCD4 expression correlated to increased cell death. In vivo studies revealed superior efficacy of MK-4440/IM combination in an IM-sensitive preclinical model of GIST compared with either single agent. The combination demonstrated limited efficacy in two IM-resistant models, including a GIST patient-derived xenograft model possessing an exon 9 KIT mutation. These studies provide strong rationale for further use of AKT inhibition in combination with IM in primary GIST; however, alternative agents will need to be tested in combination with AKT inhibition in the resistant setting.
Export Date: 2 August 2021