A new selective AKT pharmacological inhibitor reduces resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs, TRAIL, all-trans-retinoic acid, and ionizing radiation of human leukemia cells

Leukemia. 2003 Sep;17(9):1794-805. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2403044.

Abstract

It is now well established that the reduced capacity of tumor cells of undergoing cell death through apoptosis plays a key role both in the pathogenesis of cancer and in therapeutic treatment failure. Indeed, tumor cells frequently display multiple alterations in signal transduction pathways leading to either cell survival or apoptosis. In mammals, the pathway based on phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt conveys survival signals of extreme importance and its downregulation, by means of pharmacological inhibitors of PI3K, considerably lowers resistance to various types of therapy in solid tumors. We recently described an HL60 leukemia cell clone (HL60AR cells) with a constitutively active PI3K/Akt pathway. These cells were resistant to multiple chemotherapeutic drugs, all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Treatment with two pharmacological inhibitors of PI3K, wortmannin and Ly294002, restored sensitivity of HL60AR cells to the aforementioned treatments. However, these inhibitors have some drawbacks that may severely limit or impede their clinical use. Here, we have tested whether or not a new selective Akt inhibitor, 1L-6-hydroxymethyl-chiro-inositol 2(R)-2-O-methyl-3-O-octadecylcarbonate (Akt inhibitor), was as effective as Ly294002 in lowering the sensitivity threshold of HL60 cells to chemotherapeutic drugs, TRAIL, ATRA, and ionizing radiation. Our findings demonstrate that, at a concentration which does not affect PI3K activity, the Akt inhibitor markedly reduced resistance of HL60AR cells to etoposide, cytarabine, TRAIL, ATRA, and ionizing radiation. This effect was likely achieved through downregulation of expression of antiapoptotic proteins such as c-IAP1, c-IAP2, cFLIP(L), and of Bad phosphorylation on Ser 136. The Akt inhibitor did not influence PTEN activity. At variance with Ly294002, the Akt inhibitor did not negatively affect phosphorylation of protein kinase C-zeta and it was less effective in downregulating p70S6 kinase (p70S6K) activity. The Akt inhibitor increased sensitivity to apoptotic inducers of K562 and U937, but not of MOLT-4, leukemia cells. Overall, our results indicate that selective Akt pharmacological inhibitors might be used in the future for enhancing the sensitivity of leukemia cells to therapeutic treatments that induce apoptosis or for overcoming resistance to these treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • CASP8 and FADD-Like Apoptosis Regulating Protein
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Chromones / pharmacology
  • Cytarabine / pharmacology
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Etoposide / pharmacology
  • HL-60 Cells / drug effects
  • HL-60 Cells / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Inositol / analogs & derivatives
  • Inositol / pharmacology*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C-theta
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • bcl-Associated Death Protein

Substances

  • 1L-6-hydroxymethyl-chiro-inositol 2(R)-2-O-methyl-3-O-octadecylcarbonate
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BAD protein, human
  • CASP8 and FADD-Like Apoptosis Regulating Protein
  • CFLAR protein, human
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chromones
  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • Morpholines
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • bcl-Associated Death Protein
  • Cytarabine
  • 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one
  • Inositol
  • Tretinoin
  • Etoposide
  • BIRC2 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • AKT1 protein, human
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa
  • PRKCQ protein, human
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Protein Kinase C-theta
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • PTEN protein, human
  • Caspases