Dependence on phosphoinositide 3-kinase and RAS-RAF pathways drive the activity of RAF265, a novel RAF/VEGFR2 inhibitor, and RAD001 (Everolimus) in combination

Pierre Mordant, Yohann Loriot, Céline Leteur, Julien Calderaro, Jean Bourhis, Marie Wislez, Jean-Charles Soria, Eric Deutsch
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2010, 9 (2): 358-68
Activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT and Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homologue (KRAS) can induce cellular immortalization, proliferation, and resistance to anticancer therapeutics such as epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors or chemotherapy. This study assessed the consequences of inhibiting these two pathways in tumor cells with activation of KRAS, PI3K-AKT, or both. We investigated whether the combination of a novel RAF/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor, RAF265, with a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, RAD001 (everolimus), could lead to enhanced antitumoral effects in vitro and in vivo. To address this question, we used cell lines with different status regarding KRAS, PIK3CA, and BRAF mutations, using immunoblotting to evaluate the inhibitors, and MTT and clonogenic assays for effects on cell viability and proliferation. Subcutaneous xenografts were used to assess the activity of the combination in vivo. RAD001 inhibited mTOR downstream signaling in all cell lines, whereas RAF265 inhibited RAF downstream signaling only in BRAF mutant cells. In vitro, addition of RAF265 to RAD001 led to decreased AKT, S6, and Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 phosphorylation in HCT116 cells. In vitro and in vivo, RAD001 addition enhanced the antitumoral effect of RAF265 in HCT116 and H460 cells (both KRAS mut, PIK3CA mut); in contrast, the combination of RAF265 and RAD001 yielded no additional activity in A549 and MDAMB231 cells. The combination of RAF and mTOR inhibitors is effective for enhancing antitumoral effects in cells with deregulation of both RAS-RAF and PI3K, possibly through the cross-inhibition of 4E binding protein 1 and S6 protein.

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