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Cancer Res. 2010 Jun 15;70(12):4982-94. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-4172. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Correlating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor efficacy with signaling pathway status: in silico and biological evaluations.

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Division of Molecular Pharmacology, Cancer Chemotherapy Center, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan.


The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently activated in human cancers, and several agents targeting this pathway including PI3K/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors have recently entered clinical trials. One question is whether the efficacy of a PI3K pathway inhibitor can be predicted based on the activation status of pathway members. In this study, we examined the mutation, expression, and phosphorylation status of PI3K and Ras pathway members in a panel of 39 pharmacologically well-characterized human cancer cell lines (JFCR39). Additionally, we evaluated the in vitro efficacy of 25 PI3K pathway inhibitors in addition to conventional anticancer drugs, combining these data to construct an integrated database of pathway activation status and drug efficacies (JFCR39-DB). In silico analysis of JFCR39-DB enabled us to evaluate correlations between the status of pathway members and the efficacy of PI3K inhibitors. For example, phospho-Akt and KRAS/BRAF mutations prominently correlated with the efficacy and the inefficacy of PI3K inhibitors, respectively, whereas PIK3CA mutation and PTEN loss did not. These correlations were confirmed in human tumor xenografts in vivo, consistent with their ability to serve as predictive biomarkers. Our findings show that JFCR39-DB is a useful tool to identify predictive biomarkers and to study the molecular pharmacology of the PI3K pathway in cancer.

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