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PLoS One. 2017 Jun 5;12(6):e0178905. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178905. eCollection 2017.

In vivo efficacy of the AKT inhibitor ARQ 092 in Noonan Syndrome with multiple lentigines-associated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
ArQule, Inc., Burlington, Massachusetts, United States of America.
Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.


Noonan Syndrome with Multiple Lentigines (NSML, formerly LEOPARD syndrome) is an autosomal dominant "RASopathy" disorder manifesting in congenital heart disease. Most cases of NSML are caused by catalytically inactivating mutations in the protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP), non-receptor type 11 (PTPN11), encoding the SH2 domain-containing PTP-2 (SHP2) protein. We previously generated knock-in mice harboring the PTPN11 mutation Y279C, one of the most common NSML alleles; these now-termed SHP2Y279C/+ mice recapitulate the human disorder and develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) by 12 weeks of age. Functionally, heart and/or cardiomyocyte lysates from SHP2Y279C/+ mice exhibit increased basal and agonist-induced AKT and mTOR activities. Here, we sought to determine whether we could reverse the hypertrophy in SHP2Y279C/+ mice using ARQ 092, an oral and selective allosteric AKT inhibitor currently in clinical trials for patients with PI3K/AKT-driven tumors or Proteus syndrome. We obtained echocardiographs of SHP2Y279C/+ and wildtype (SHP2+/+) littermates, either in the presence or absence of ARQ 092 at 12, 14, and 16 weeks of age. While SHP2Y279C/+ mice developed significant left ventricular hypertrophy by 12 weeks, as indicated by decreased chamber dimension and increased posterior wall thickness, treatment of SHP2Y279C/+ mice with ARQ 092 normalized the hypertrophy in as early as 2 weeks following treatment, with hearts comparable in size to those in wildtype (SHP2+/+) mice. In addition, we observed an increase in fractional shortening (FS%) in SHP2Y279C/+ mice, an effect of increased compensatory hypertrophy, which was not apparent in SHP2Y279C/+ mice treated with ARQ 092, suggesting functional improvement of HCM upon treatment with the AKT inhibitor. Finally, we found that ARQ 092 specifically inhibited AKT activity, as well as its downstream effectors, PRAS and S6RP in NSML mice. Taken together, these data suggest ARQ 092 may be a promising novel therapy for treatment of hypertrophy in NSML patients.

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