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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Sep;314(3):1134-43. Epub 2005 May 27.

LY303511 (2-piperazinyl-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one) acts via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-independent pathways to inhibit cell proliferation via mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)- and non-mTOR-dependent mechanisms.

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Pulmonary-Critical Care Medicine Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a serine/threonine kinase, regulates cell growth and proliferation in part via the activation of p70 S6 kinase (S6K). Rapamycin is an antineo-plastic agent that, in complex with FKBP12, is a specific inhibitor of mTOR through interaction with its FKBP12-rapamycin binding domain, thereby causing G(1) cell cycle arrest. However, cancer cells often develop resistance to rapamycin, and alternative inhibitors of mTOR are desired. 2-(4-Morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one (LY294002) blocks mTOR kinase activity, but it also inhibits phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), an enzyme that regulates cellular functions other than proliferation. We hypothesized that a close structural analog, 2-piperazinyl-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one (LY303511) might inhibit mTOR-dependent cell proliferation without unwanted effects on PI3K. In human lung epithelial adenocarcinoma (A549) cells, LY303511, like rapamycin, inhibited mTOR-dependent phosphorylation of S6K, but not PI3K-dependent phosphorylation of Akt. LY303511 blocked proliferation in A549 as well as in primary pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells, without causing apoptosis. In contrast to rapamycin, LY303511 reduced G(2)/M progression as well as G(2)/M-specific cyclins in A549 cells. Consistent with an additional mTOR-independent kinase target, LY303511 inhibited casein kinase 2 activity, a known regulator of G(1) and G(2)/M progression. In addition to its antiproliferative effect in vitro, LY303511 inhibited the growth of human prostate adenocarcinoma tumor implants in athymic mice. Given its inhibition of cell proliferation via mTOR-dependent and independent mechanisms, LY303511 has therapeutic potential with antineoplastic actions that are independent of PI3K inhibition.

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