As accumulating evidences suggest close involvement of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) in various diseases particularly cancer, considerable competition occurs in development of PI3K inhibitors. Consequently, novel PI3K inhibitors such as ZSTK474, GDC-0941 and NVP-BEZ235 have been developed. Even though all these inhibitors were reported to inhibit class I PI3K but not dozens of protein kinases, whether they have different molecular targets remained unknown. To investigate such molecular target specificity, we have determined the inhibitory effects of these novel inhibitors together with classical PI3K inhibitor LY294002 on PI3K superfamily (including classes I, II, and III PI3Ks, PI4K and PI3K-related kinases) by using several novel non-radioactive biochemical assays. As a result, ZSTK474 and GDC-0941 indicated highly similar inhibition profiles for PI3K superfamily, with class I PI3K specificity much higher than NVP-BEZ235 and LY294002. We further investigated their growth inhibition effects on JFCR39, a human cancer cell line panel which we established for molecular target identification, and analysed their cell growth inhibition profiles (fingerprints) by using COMPARE analysis programme. Interestingly, we found ZSTK474 exhibited a highly similar fingerprint with GDC-0941 (r=0.863), more similar than with that of either NVP-BEZ235 or LY294002, suggesting that ZSTK474 shares more in molecular targets with GDC-0941 than with either of the other two PI3K inhibitors, consistent with the biochemical assay result. The biological implication of the difference in molecular target specificity of these PI3K inhibitors is under investigation.
Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.