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Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Jan 1;24(1):14-21. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-0042. Epub 2017 Jul 10.

Inhibiting 4EBP1 in Glioblastoma.

Fan QW1,2, Nicolaides TP2,3,4, Weiss WA5,2,3,4.

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Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, California.
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California.
Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, California.


Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive adult brain cancer. Tumors show frequent dysregulation of the PI3K-mTOR pathway. Although a number of small molecules target the PI3K-AKT-mTOR axis, their preclinical and clinical efficacy has been limited. Reasons for treatment failure include poor penetration of agents into the brain and observations that blockade of PI3K or AKT minimally affects downstream mTOR activity in glioma. Clinical trials using allosteric mTOR inhibitors (rapamycin and rapalogs) to treat patients with glioblastoma have also been unsuccessful or uncertain, in part, because rapamycin inefficiently blocks the mTORC1 target 4EBP1 and feeds back to activate PI3K-AKT signaling. Inhibitors of the mTOR kinase (TORKi) such as TAK-228/MLN0128 interact orthosterically with the ATP- and substrate-binding pocket of mTOR kinase, efficiently block 4EBP1 in vitro, and are currently being investigated in the clinical trials. Preclinical studies suggest that TORKi have poor residence times of mTOR kinase, and our data suggest that this poor pharmacology translates into disappointing efficacy in glioblastoma xenografts. RapaLink-1, a TORKi linked to rapamycin, represents a drug with improved pharmacology against 4EBP1. In this review, we clarify the importance of 4EBP1 as a biomarker for the efficacy of PI3K-AKT-mTOR inhibitors in glioblastoma. We also review mechanistic data by which RapaLink-1 blocks p-4EBP1 and discuss future clinical strategies for 4EBP1 inhibition in glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res; 24(1); 14-21. ©2017 AACR.

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