Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3β (GSK-3β), a serine/threonine protein kinase, is an emerging therapeutic target in the treatment of human breast cancer. In this study, we demonstrate that the pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3 by two novel small molecule GSK-3 inhibitors, 9-ING-41 and 9-ING-87, reduced the viability of breast cancer cells but had little effect on non-tumorigenic cell growth. Moreover, treatment with 9-ING-41 enhanced the antitumor effect of irinotecan (CPT-11) against breast cancer cells in vitro. We next established two patient-derived xenograft tumor models (BC-1 and BC-2) from metastatic pleural effusions obtained from patients with progressive, chemorefractory breast cancer and demonstrated that 9-ING-41 also potentiated the effect of the chemotherapeutic drug CPT-11 in vivo, leading to regression of established BC-1 and BC-2 tumors in mice. Our results suggest that the inhibition of GSK-3 is a promising therapeutic approach to overcome chemoresistance in human breast cancer, and identify the GSK-3 inhibitor 9-ING-41 as a candidate targeted agent for metastatic breast cancer therapy.
Keywords: 9-ING-41; Breast cancer; Chemoresistance; Drug development; GSK-3.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.