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Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Jun;8(6):1460-72. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-1159. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Expression levels of p18INK4C modify the cellular efficacy of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors via regulation of Mcl-1 expression in tumor cell lines.

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1
Department of Cancer Research, Banyu Tsukuba Research Institute, Merck Research Laboratory, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Abstract

Because cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) play a pivotal role in cancer progression, the development of CDK inhibitors has attracted attention in antitumor therapy. However, despite significant preclinical and clinical developments, CDK inhibition biomarkers for predicting efficacy against certain cancers in individual patients have not been identified. Here, we characterized a macrocyclic quinoxalin-2-one CDK inhibitor, compound A, and identified a gene biomarker for predicting its efficacy. Compound A showed 100-fold selectivity for CDK family proteins over other kinases and inhibited both E2F transcriptional activity and RNA polymerase II phosphorylation. Compound A treatment resulted in decreased proliferation in various tumor cell lines; however, the apoptosis induction rate differed significantly among the cell lines examined, which was consistent with roscovitine. By comparing the mRNA expression profiles of sensitive and resistant cell lines, we found that expression levels of an endogenous CDK inhibitor, p18(INK4C), showed a strong negative correlation to the sensitivity. In fact, p18 status was correlated with the response to CDK inhibitor in an independent data set of multiple myeloma cell lines and silencing p18 expression increased the susceptibility of resistant cells to CDK inhibitors. The analysis of molecular mechanisms revealed that cells with lowered p18 had aberrant CDK6 and E2F activities, which resulted in a transcriptional down-regulation of Mcl-1, a key molecule associated with flavopiridol-induced apoptosis, thereby leading to susceptibility to therapeutic intervention with CDK inhibitors. These results identified a molecular basis for CDK inhibitors to exert an antitumor effect in p18-deficient cancers and support the clinical use of CDK inhibitors.

PMID:
19509251
DOI:
10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-1159
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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