Rebecca Cook
Faculty Member
Last active: 4/15/2019

Selective mTORC2 Inhibitor Therapeutically Blocks Breast Cancer Cell Growth and Survival.

Werfel TA, Wang S, Jackson MA, Kavanaugh TE, Joly MM, Lee LH, Hicks DJ, Sanchez V, Ericsson PG, Kilchrist KV, Dimobi SC, Sarett SM, Brantley-Sieders DM, Cook RS, Duvall CL
Cancer Res. 2018 78 (7): 1845-1858

PMID: 29358172 · PMCID: PMC5882532 · DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2388

Small-molecule inhibitors of the mTORC2 kinase (torkinibs) have shown efficacy in early clinical trials. However, the torkinibs under study also inhibit the other mTOR-containing complex mTORC1. While mTORC1/mTORC2 combined inhibition may be beneficial in cancer cells, recent reports describe compensatory cell survival upon mTORC1 inhibition due to loss of negative feedback on PI3K, increased autophagy, and increased macropinocytosis. Genetic models suggest that selective mTORC2 inhibition would be effective in breast cancers, but the lack of selective small-molecule inhibitors of mTORC2 have precluded testing of this hypothesis to date. Here we report the engineering of a nanoparticle-based RNAi therapeutic that can effectively silence the mTORC2 obligate cofactor Rictor. Nanoparticle-based Rictor ablation in HER2-amplified breast tumors was achieved following intratumoral and intravenous delivery, decreasing Akt phosphorylation and increasing tumor cell killing. Selective mTORC2 inhibition , combined with the HER2 inhibitor lapatinib, decreased the growth of HER2-amplified breast cancers to a greater extent than either agent alone, suggesting that mTORC2 promotes lapatinib resistance, but is overcome by mTORC2 inhibition. Importantly, selective mTORC2 inhibition was effective in a triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) model, decreasing Akt phosphorylation and tumor growth, consistent with our findings that RICTOR mRNA correlates with worse outcome in patients with basal-like TNBC. Together, our results offer preclinical validation of a novel RNAi delivery platform for therapeutic gene ablation in breast cancer, and they show that mTORC2-selective targeting is feasible and efficacious in this disease setting. This study describes a nanomedicine to effectively inhibit the growth regulatory kinase mTORC2 in a preclinical model of breast cancer, targeting an important pathogenic enzyme in that setting that has been undruggable to date. .

©2018 American Association for Cancer Research.

MeSH Terms (19)

Animals Antineoplastic Agents Cell Proliferation Cell Survival Disease Models, Animal Female Humans Lapatinib Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 2 Mice Mice, Inbred BALB C Mice, Nude Nanoparticles Protein Kinase Inhibitors Rapamycin-Insensitive Companion of mTOR Protein Receptor, ErbB-2 RNA, Small Interfering Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays

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