Disseminated triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an incurable disease with limited therapeutic options beyond chemotherapy. Therefore, identification of druggable vulnerabilities is an important aim. Protein kinases play a central role in cancer and particularly in TNBC. They are involved in many oncogenic functions including migration, proliferation, genetic stability or maintenance of stem-cell like properties. In this article we describe a novel multi-kinase inhibitor with antitumor activity in this cancer subtype. EC-70124 is a hybrid indolocarbazole analog obtained by combinatorial biosynthesis of Rebeccamycin and Staurosporine genes that showed antiproliferative effect and in vivo antitumoral activity. Biochemical experiments demonstrated the inhibition of the PI3K/mTOR and JAK/STAT pathways. EC-70124 mediated DNA damage leading to cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. Pathway analyses identified several deregulated functions including cell proliferation, migration, DNA damage, regulation of stem cell differentiation and reversion of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype, among others. Combination studies showed a synergistic interaction of EC-70124 with docetaxel, and an enhanced activity in vivo. Furthermore, EC-70124 had a good pharmacokinetic profile. In conclusion these experiments demonstrate the antitumor activity of EC-70124 in TNBC paving the way for the future clinical development of this drug alone or in combination with chemotherapy.
Keywords: EC-70124; breast cancer; kinase inhibitor; triple negative.