Phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10) is a cGMP and cAMP degrading PDE isozyme that is highly expressed in the brain striatum where it appears to play an important role in cognition and psychomotor activity. PDE10 inhibitors are being developed for the treatment of schizophrenia and Huntington's disease and are generally well tolerated, possibly because of low expression levels in most peripheral tissues. We recently reported high levels of PDE10 in colon tumors and that genetic silencing of PDE10 by siRNA or inhibition with small molecule inhibitors can suppress colon tumor cell growth with a high degree of selectivity over normal colonocytes (Li et al., Oncogene 2015). These observations suggest PDE10 may have an unrecognized role in tumorigenesis. Here we report that the concentration range by which the highly specific PDE10 inhibitor, Pf-2545920 (MP-10), inhibits colon tumor cell growth parallels the concentration range required to increase cGMP and cAMP levels, and activates PKG and PKA, respectively. Moreover, PDE10 knockdown by shRNA reduces the sensitivity of colon tumor cells to the growth inhibitory activity of Pf-2545920. Pf-2545920 also inhibits the translocation of β-catenin to the nucleus, thereby reducing β-catenin mediated transcription of survivin, resulting in caspase activation and apoptosis. PDE10 mRNA was also found to be elevated in colon tumors compared with normal tissues. These findings suggest that PDE10 can be targeted for cancer therapy or prevention whereby inhibition results in cGMP elevation and PKG activation to reduce β-catenin-mediated transcription of survival proteins leading to the selective apoptosis of cancer cells.
Keywords: PDE10A; PKA; PKG; colon cancer; β-catenin.