bims-istrec Biomed News
on Integrated stress response in cancer
Issue of 2021‒12‒05
two papers selected by
Vincenzo Ciminale’s Lab
Istituto Oncologico Veneto

  1. Cancer Biol Ther. 2021 Dec 02. 1-12
      The five-year survival rate for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has remained a dismal 9% for approximately 40 years with an urgent need for novel therapeutic interventions. ONC201 is the founding member of the imipridone class, comprised of orally bioavailable small molecules that have shown efficacy in multiple tumor types both in animal models and in Phase I/II clinical trials. ONC201 is a potent inducer of the tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) pathway. TRAIL is an innate immune mechanism which induces programmed cell death of cancer cells. We observed that PDAC cells upregulated ATF4, CHOP, and DR5 after treatment with ONC201. This occurred in cell lines that are susceptible to ONC201-induced apoptosis and in ones that are not. In response to ONC201, PDAC cells downregulated anti-apoptotic proteins including c-FLIP, BclXL, XIAP, cIAP1, and survivin. We hypothesized that TRAIL receptor agonists might induce selective, synergistic apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cell lines treated with ONC201. We screened 7 pancreatic cancer cell lines and found synergy with ONC201 and rhTRAIL or the novel TRAIL receptor agonist TLY012 in 6 of the 7 cell lines tested. In vivo experiments using BxPC3 and HPAFII xenograft models showed that the combination of ONC201 plus TLY012 significantly delays tumor growth as compared to controls. Immunohistochemical analysis of the tumors after three doses of the combination showed significantly increased cleavage of caspase 3 in vivo as compared to controls. Taken together, the preclinical efficacy of ONC201 and TLY012 represents a novel therapeutic option for further testing in pancreatic cancer patients. This combination showed marked efficacy in tumor cells that are both sensitive and resistant to the pro-apoptotic effects of ONC201, providing rationale to further investigate the combination of ONC201 plus TLY012 in patients with pancreatic cancer.
    Keywords:  ONC201; TLY012; apoptosis; death receptors; pancreatic cancer
  2. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Dec 01.
      The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) possesses unique functions in tumorigenesis and has great potential for targeting tumours. The effectiveness of inhibitors targeting UPS in solid tumours remains to be studied. We screened a library of inhibitors targeting the ubiquitination system and found the highly potent, low-concentration inhibitor molecule VLX1570 that specifically killed lung cancer cells. VLX1570 is an inhibitor of deubiquitinating enzyme activity and has also shown potential for preclinical cancer treatment. We found that VLX1570 significantly inhibited lung cancer cells proliferation and colony formation. VLX1570 induced a G2/M cell cycle arrest by downregulating CDK1 and CyclinB1. Moreover, VLX1570 significantly promoted the mitochondrial-associated apoptosis. Mechanistically speaking, VLX1570 activated the PERK/IRE1/ATF6 pathway and induced ER stress in lung cancer cell lines. The inhibition of ER stress by tauroursodeoxycholic acid sodium or 4-phenylbutyric acid enhanced VLX1570-induced apoptosis. In addition, VLX1570 treatment led to the inactivation of Akt signalling and inhibited the proliferation of lung cancer cells by downregulating the Akt pathway. Moreover, combined treatment with VLX1570 and Afatinib or Gefitinib induced synergistic anti-lung cancer activity. Our present study demonstrated a novel therapy using VLX1570, which inhibited the proliferation and increased apoptosis in human lung cancer.
    Keywords:  AKT pathway; ER stress; VLX1570; apoptosis; lung cancer; proliferation