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Neoplasia. 2014 Jan;16(1):43-72.

Doubling down on the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway enhances the antitumor efficacy of PARP inhibitor in triple negative breast cancer model beyond BRCA-ness.

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Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Avera Cancer Institute, Sioux Falls, SD ; Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD.
Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Avera Cancer Institute, Sioux Falls, SD.
Genentech, South San Francisco, CA.


Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, in addition to its pro-proliferative and antiapoptotic effects on tumor cells, contributes to DNA damage repair (DDR). We hypothesized that GDC-0980, a dual PI3K-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, would induce an efficient antitumor effect in BRCA-competent triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) model when combined with ABT888 and carboplatin. Mechanism-based in vitro studies demonstrated that GDC-0980 treatment alone or in combination led to DNA damage (increased pγH2AX(S139); Western blot, immunofluorescence), gain in poly ADP-ribose (PAR), and a subsequent sensitization of BRCA-competent TNBC cells to ABT888 plus carboplatin with a time-dependent 1) decrease in proliferation signals (pAKTT308/S473, pP70S6KT421/S424, pS6RPS235/236), PAR/poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) ratios, PAR/pγH2AX ratios, live/dead cell ratios, cell cycle progression, and three-dimensional clonogenic growths and 2) increase in apoptosis markers (cleaved caspases 3 and 9, a pro-apoptotic BH3-only of Bcl-2 family (BIM), cleaved PARP, annexin V). The combination was effective in vitro in BRCA-wild-type PIK3CA-H1047R-mutated BT20 and PTEN-null HCC70 cells. The combination blocked the growth of established xenograft tumors by 80% to 90% with a concomitant decrease in tumor Ki67, CD31, phosphorylated vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, pS6RPS235/236, and p4EBP1T37/46 as well as an increase in cleaved caspase 3 immunohistochemistry (IHC) levels. Interestingly, a combination with GDC-0941, a pan-PI3K inhibitor, failed to block the tumor growth in MDA-MB231. Results demonstrate that the dual inhibition of PI3K and mTOR regulates DDR. In a BRCA-competent model, GDC-0980 enhanced the antitumor activity of ABT888 plus carboplatin by inhibiting both tumor cell proliferation and tumor-induced angiogenesis along with an increase in the tumor cell apoptosis. This is the first mechanism-based study to demonstrate the integral role of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway in DDR-mediated antitumor action of PARP inhibitor in TNBC.

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