Background: Cell cycle regulators have gain attention as potential targets for anticancer therapy. Palbociclib is a selective inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6), which coordinate the G1-S transition. Palbociclib is currently approved for the treatment of hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer (BC) in association with letrozole or fulvestrant. In contrast, its efficacy in triple negative BC (TNBC), either alone or in combined therapies, has not been fully investigated to date. Methods: Here we evaluated the potential of combining palbociclib with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in Rb-proficient TNBC cells comparing different schedules of treatment: simultaneous, sequential, or sequential combined treatment (pre-incubation with palbociclib followed by exposure to both palbociclib and PI3K/mTOR inhibitors). We assessed the effects on cell proliferation, cell death, and cell cycle distribution, and looked at the impact of such treatments on glucose metabolism. Results: Palbociclib exerted cytostatic effects in Rb-positive TNBC cells, inducing a reversible blockade in G0/G1 cell cycle phase associated with down-regulation of CDK6, Rb, and c-myc expression and/or activity. Palbociclib treatment induced AKT signaling, providing a rationale for its combination with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors. The simultaneous or sequential treatment resulted in an additive inhibition of cell proliferation. On the other hand, the sequential combined treatment in which palbociclib was maintained also during exposure to PI3K/mTOR inhibitors gave rise to synergistic anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects, by inhibiting both CDK4/6/Rb/myc and PI3K/mTOR signaling. Interestingly, the inhibition of the Rb/E2F/myc axis mediated by palbociclib resulted in a significant down-regulation of glucose metabolism; most importantly, these inhibitory effects were enhanced by the combination of palbociclib with BYL719 (specific inhibitor of the p110α PI3K-subunit), which promoted a stronger inhibition of GLUT-1 glucose transporter expression, glucose uptake and consumption in comparison with individual treatments, under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Conclusions: Combination of palbociclib with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors may represent a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of Rb-proficient TNBC, with the sequential combined schedule showing a superior efficacy over the other schedules. In addition our results demonstrate that the impairment of glucose metabolism may contribute to the anti-tumor activity of such drug combinations.

The anti-tumor efficacy of CDK4/6 inhibition is enhanced by the combination with PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors through impairment of glucose metabolism in TNBC cells

Generali, Daniele;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Background: Cell cycle regulators have gain attention as potential targets for anticancer therapy. Palbociclib is a selective inhibitor of the cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6), which coordinate the G1-S transition. Palbociclib is currently approved for the treatment of hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer (BC) in association with letrozole or fulvestrant. In contrast, its efficacy in triple negative BC (TNBC), either alone or in combined therapies, has not been fully investigated to date. Methods: Here we evaluated the potential of combining palbociclib with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors in Rb-proficient TNBC cells comparing different schedules of treatment: simultaneous, sequential, or sequential combined treatment (pre-incubation with palbociclib followed by exposure to both palbociclib and PI3K/mTOR inhibitors). We assessed the effects on cell proliferation, cell death, and cell cycle distribution, and looked at the impact of such treatments on glucose metabolism. Results: Palbociclib exerted cytostatic effects in Rb-positive TNBC cells, inducing a reversible blockade in G0/G1 cell cycle phase associated with down-regulation of CDK6, Rb, and c-myc expression and/or activity. Palbociclib treatment induced AKT signaling, providing a rationale for its combination with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors. The simultaneous or sequential treatment resulted in an additive inhibition of cell proliferation. On the other hand, the sequential combined treatment in which palbociclib was maintained also during exposure to PI3K/mTOR inhibitors gave rise to synergistic anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects, by inhibiting both CDK4/6/Rb/myc and PI3K/mTOR signaling. Interestingly, the inhibition of the Rb/E2F/myc axis mediated by palbociclib resulted in a significant down-regulation of glucose metabolism; most importantly, these inhibitory effects were enhanced by the combination of palbociclib with BYL719 (specific inhibitor of the p110α PI3K-subunit), which promoted a stronger inhibition of GLUT-1 glucose transporter expression, glucose uptake and consumption in comparison with individual treatments, under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Conclusions: Combination of palbociclib with PI3K/mTOR inhibitors may represent a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of Rb-proficient TNBC, with the sequential combined schedule showing a superior efficacy over the other schedules. In addition our results demonstrate that the impairment of glucose metabolism may contribute to the anti-tumor activity of such drug combinations.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
The anti-tumor efficacy of CDK4_6 inhibition is enhanced by the combination with PI3K_AKT_mTOR inhibitors through impairment of glucose metabolism in TNBC cells.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo principale
Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.74 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.74 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2935420
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 41
  • Scopus 61
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 62
social impact