bims-pideca Biomed News
on Class IA PI3K signalling in development and cancer
Issue of 2021‒08‒22
seven papers selected by
Ralitsa Radostinova Madsen
University College London Cancer Institute

  1. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 20. 12(1): 5053
      Previous studies have suggested that PTEN loss is associated with p110β signaling dependency, leading to the clinical development of p110β-selective inhibitors. Here we use a panel pre-clinical models to reveal that PI3K isoform dependency is not governed by loss of PTEN and is impacted by feedback inhibition and concurrent PIK3CA/PIK3CB alterations. Furthermore, while pan-PI3K inhibition in PTEN-deficient tumors is efficacious, upregulation of Insulin Like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R) promotes resistance. Importantly, we show that this resistance can be overcome through targeting AKT and we find that AKT inhibitors are superior to pan-PI3K inhibition in the context of PTEN loss. However, in the presence of wild-type PTEN and PIK3CA-activating mutations, p110α-dependent signaling is dominant and selectively inhibiting p110α is therapeutically superior to AKT inhibition. These discoveries reveal a more nuanced understanding of PI3K isoform dependency and unveil novel strategies to selectively target PI3K signaling nodes in a context-specific manner.
  2. Cell. 2021 Aug 19. pii: S0092-8674(21)00939-9. [Epub ahead of print]184(17): 4374-4376
      In this issue of Cell, Evavold et al. (2021) report that mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1), a metabolic signaling complex, controls reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in mitochondria, which in turn promotes inflammatory cell death mediated by gasdermin D (GSDMD). This provides a new mechanistic connection between metabolic signaling and inflammatory cell death.
  3. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2021 Aug 19.
      There is an increasing appreciation for the role of metabolism in cell signaling and cell decision making. Precise metabolic control is essential in development, as evident by the disorders caused by mutations in metabolic enzymes. The metabolic profile of cells is often cell-type specific, changing as cells differentiate or during tumorigenesis. Recent evidence has shown that changes in metabolism are not merely a consequence of changes in cell state but that metabolites can serve to promote and/or inhibit these changes. Metabolites can link metabolic pathways with cell signaling pathways via several mechanisms, for example, by serving as substrates for protein post-translational modifications, by affecting enzyme activity via allosteric mechanisms, or by altering epigenetic markers. Unraveling the complex interactions governing metabolism, gene expression, and protein activity that ultimately govern a cell's fate will require new tools and interactions across disciplines. On March 24 and 25, 2021, experts in cell metabolism, developmental biology, and human disease met virtually for the Keystone eSymposium, "Metabolic Decisions in Development and Disease." The discussions explored how metabolites impact cellular and developmental decisions in a diverse range of model systems used to investigate normal development, developmental disorders, dietary effects, and cancer-mediated changes in metabolism.
    Keywords:  cell signaling; development; inborn errors of metabolism; metabolism; metabolome; stem cell differentiation
  4. Front Oncol. 2021 ;11 673213
      The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a kinase whose activity is elevated in hematological malignancies. mTOR-complex-1 (mTORC1) phosphorylates numerous substrates to promote cell proliferation and survival. Eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding proteins (4E-BPs) are mTORC1 substrates with an integral role in oncogenic protein translation. Current pharmacological approaches to inhibit mTORC1 activity and 4E-BP phosphorylation have drawbacks. Recently we described a series of bi-steric compounds that are potent and selective inhibitors of mTORC1, inhibiting 4E-BP phosphorylation at lower concentrations than mTOR kinase inhibitors (TOR-KIs). Here we report the activity of the mTORC1-selective bi-steric inhibitor, RMC-4627, in BCR-ABL-driven models of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). RMC-4627 exhibited potent and selective inhibition of 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in B-ALL cell lines without inhibiting mTOR-complex-2 (mTORC2) activity. RMC-4627 suppressed cell cycle progression, reduced survival, and enhanced dasatinib cytotoxicity. Compared to a TOR-KI compound, RMC-4627 was more potent, and its effects on cell viability were sustained after washout in vitro. Notably, a once-weekly, well tolerated dose reduced leukemic burden in a B-ALL xenograft model and enhanced the activity of dasatinib. These preclinical studies suggest that intermittent dosing of a bi-steric mTORC1-selective inhibitor has therapeutic potential as a component of leukemia regimens, and further study is warranted.
    Keywords:  4EBP1; Ph+ B-ALL; combination therapy; mTORC1; targeted (selective) treatment
  5. Dev Cell. 2021 Aug 13. pii: S1534-5807(21)00602-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      The appearance of genetic changes in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) presents a concern for their use in research and regenerative medicine. Variant hPSCs that harbor recurrent culture-acquired aneuploidies display growth advantages over wild-type diploid cells, but the mechanisms that yield a drift from predominantly wild-type to variant cell populations remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the dominance of variant clones in mosaic cultures is enhanced through competitive interactions that result in the elimination of wild-type cells. This elimination occurs through corralling and mechanical compression by faster-growing variants, causing a redistribution of F-actin and sequestration of yes-associated protein (YAP) in the cytoplasm that induces apoptosis in wild-type cells. YAP overexpression or promotion of YAP nuclear localization in wild-type cells alleviates their "loser" phenotype. Our results demonstrate that hPSC fate is coupled to mechanical cues imposed by neighboring cells and reveal that hijacking this mechanism allows variants to achieve clonal dominance in cultures.
    Keywords:  YAP; cell competition; culture-acquired variants; human pluripotent stem cells
  6. Pediatr Neurol. 2021 Jul 24. pii: S0887-8994(21)00151-X. [Epub ahead of print]123 50-66
      BACKGROUND: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant genetic disease affecting multiple body systems with wide variability in presentation. In 2013, Pediatric Neurology published articles outlining updated diagnostic criteria and recommendations for surveillance and management of disease manifestations. Advances in knowledge and approvals of new therapies necessitated a revision of those criteria and recommendations.METHODS: Chairs and working group cochairs from the 2012 International TSC Consensus Group were invited to meet face-to-face over two days at the 2018 World TSC Conference on July 25 and 26 in Dallas, TX, USA. Before the meeting, working group cochairs worked with group members via e-mail and telephone to (1) review TSC literature since the 2013 publication, (2) confirm or amend prior recommendations, and (3) provide new recommendations as required.
    RESULTS: Only two changes were made to clinical diagnostic criteria reported in 2013: "multiple cortical tubers and/or radial migration lines" replaced the more general term "cortical dysplasias," and sclerotic bone lesions were reinstated as a minor criterion. Genetic diagnostic criteria were reaffirmed, including highlighting recent findings that some individuals with TSC are genetically mosaic for variants in TSC1 or TSC2. Changes to surveillance and management criteria largely reflected increased emphasis on early screening for electroencephalographic abnormalities, enhanced surveillance and management of TSC-associated neuropsychiatric disorders, and new medication approvals.
    CONCLUSIONS: Updated TSC diagnostic criteria and surveillance and management recommendations presented here should provide an improved framework for optimal care of those living with TSC and their families.
    Keywords:  Diagnostic criteria; Practical guidance; Surveillance and management guidelines; Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)
  7. Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2021 Aug 13. pii: S0959-440X(21)00105-6. [Epub ahead of print]71 193-199
      Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are single-pass membrane proteins that regulate cell growth, differentiation, motility, and metabolism. Here, we review recent advancements in RTK structure determination and in the understanding of RTK activation. We argue that further progress in the field will necessitate new ways of thinking, and we introduce the concept that RTK dimers explore ensembles of microstates, each characterized by different kinase domain dimer conformations, but the same extracellular domain dimer structure. Many microstates are phosphorylation-competent and ensure the phosphorylation of one specific tyrosine. The prevalence of each microstate correlates with its stability. A switch in ligand will lead to a switch in the extracellular domain configuration and to a subsequent switch in the ensemble of microstates. This model can explain how different ligands produce specific phosphorylation patterns, how receptor overexpression leads to enhanced signaling even in the absence of activating ligands, and why RTK kinase domain structures have remained unresolved in cryogenic electron microscopy studies.