Combined inhibition of PI3K-related DNA damage response kinases and mTORC1 induces apoptosis in MYC-driven B-cell lymphomas.

Blood

PubMedID: 23403624

Shortt J, Martin BP, Newbold A, Hannan KM, Devlin JR, Baker AJ, Ralli R, Cullinane C, Schmitt CA, Reimann M, Hall MN, Wall M, Hannan RD, Pearson RB, McArthur GA, Johnstone RW. Combined inhibition of PI3K-related DNA damage response kinases and mTORC1 induces apoptosis in MYC-driven B-cell lymphomas. Blood. 2013;121(15):2964-74.
Pharmacological strategies capable of directly targeting MYC are elusive. Previous studies have shown that MYC-driven lymphomagenesis is associated with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation and a MYC-evoked DNA damage response (DDR) transduced by phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-related kinases (DNA-PK, ATM, and ATR). Here we report that BEZ235, a multitargeted pan-PI3K/dual-mTOR inhibitor, potently killed primary Myc-driven B-cell lymphomas and human cell lines bearing IG-cMYC translocations. Using pharmacologic and genetic dissection of PI3K/mTOR signaling, dual DDR/mTORC1 inhibition was identified as a key mediator of apoptosis. Moreover, apoptosis was initiated at drug concentrations insufficient to antagonize PI3K/mTORC2-regulated AKT phosphorylation. p53-independent induction of the proapoptotic BH3-only protein BMF was identified as a mechanism by which dual DDR/mTORC1 inhibition caused lymphoma cell death. BEZ235 treatment induced apoptotic tumor regressions in vivo that correlated with suppression of mTORC1-regulated substrates and reduced H2AX phosphorylation and also with feedback phosphorylation of AKT. These mechanistic studies hold important implications for the use of multitargeted PI3K inhibitors in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. In particular, the newly elucidated role of PI3K-related DDR kinases in response to PI3K inhibitors offers a novel therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of hematologic malignancies with an MYC-driven DDR.