Decreased affinity for efflux transporters increases brain penetrance and molecular targeting of a PI3K/mTOR inhibitor in a mouse model of glioblastoma

Chani M Becker, Rajneet K Oberoi, Stephan J McFarren, Daniel M Muldoon, Deanna H Pafundi, Jenny L Pokorny, Debra H Brinkmann, John R Ohlfest, Jann N Sarkaria, David A Largaespada, William F Elmquist
Neuro-oncology 2015, 17 (9): 1210-9

BACKGROUND: Targeting drug delivery to invasive glioma cells is a particularly difficult challenge because these cells lie behind an intact blood-brain barrier (BBB) that can be observed using multimodality imaging. BBB-associated efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) influence drug distribution to these cells and may negatively impact efficacy. To test the hypothesis that efflux transporters influence brain pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of molecularly targeted agents in glioma treatment, we assessed region-specific penetrance and molecular-targeting capacity for a PI3K/mTOR kinase inhibitor that has high substrate affinity for efflux transporters (GDC-0980) and an analog (GNE-317) that was purposely designed to have reduced efflux.

METHODS: Brain tumor penetrance of GDC-0980 and GNE-317 was compared between FVB/n wild-type mice and Mdr1a/b(-/-)Bcrp(-/-) triple-knockout mice lacking P-gp and BCRP. C57B6/J mice bearing intracranial GL261 tumors were treated with GDC-0980, GNE-317, or vehicle to assess the targeted pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic effects in a glioblastoma model.

RESULTS: Animals treated with GNE-317 demonstrated 3-fold greater penetrance in tumor core, rim, and normal brain compared with animals dosed with GDC-0980. Increased brain penetrance correlated with decreased staining of activated p-Akt, p-S6, and p-4EBP1 effector proteins downstream of PI3K and mTOR.

CONCLUSIONS: GDC-0980 is subject to active efflux by P-gp and BCRP at the BBB, while brain penetrance of GNE-317 is independent of efflux, which translates into enhanced inhibition of PI3K/mTOR signaling. These data show that BBB efflux by P-gp and BCRP is therefore an important determinant in both brain penetrance and molecular targeting efficacy in the treatment of invasive glioma cells.

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