Utility of Novel Drug Targets for Treatment of Metastatic Cancer
Institution: Umeå University
Publishing Date: 14 Apr 2022
Research Areas: Cancer Research
Summary: Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer death because of a lack of early diagnosis tools and efficient treatment drugs. The lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5 kinase (PIP5K1α) has been shown to play a vital role in the PI3K/AKT and KRAS signaling pathways. My PhD work, therefore, aims: (i) to study the role of PIP5K1α as a potential target for cancer treatment and the utility of its inhibitor ISA-2011B for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and pancreatic cancer, (ii) to establish genetically engineered mouse models and murine syngeneic models to recapitulate pancreatic cancer progression and test targeted anticancer drugs, (iii) to utilize the state-of-the-art molecularly imprinting technique for cancer biomarker detection. My thesis work has shown a clear inhibitory effect of ISA-2011B on human CRPC cell lines C4-2, DU145, and PC-3. The siRNA-mediated downregulation of PIP5K1α and ISA-2011B treatments both showed inhibition of the in vitro growth in all three cell lines. The PC-3 cell and its xenograft tumor can be inhibited by tamoxifen or ISA-2011B treatment alone, and a combination treatment from both compounds can selectively block the ERα and PIP5K1α/AKT network. The results, therefore, suggest that it is possible to treat CRPC by targeting PIP5K1α/AKT and ERα pathways. We established the KPC [Krastm4Tyj Trp53tm1Brn Tg(Pdx1-Cre/Esr1*)] mouse model, in which spontaneous pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) develops under tamoxifen induction. Three PDAC cell lines bearing KRASG12D and P53 mutations from spontaneous tumors were established and characterized. ISA-2011B in vitro treatment on those cell lines showed that KRASG12D and pErk were significantly decreased in at least one of the cell lines. It suggests that PIP5K1α is a potential target, and its inhibitor ISA-2011B is a promising drug for treating KRAS-mutated PDAC. The syngeneic PDAC model was also prepared by subcutaneous injection of the three cell lines back into the KPC mice, which will be used as an in vivo model to study the function of PIP5K1α in PDAC further. We developed molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for the potential biomarker Neu5Acα2-6GalNAcα-O-Ser/Thr (STn), as well as the non-imprinted polymers(NIPs) as a control. We identified human PDAC cell lines CFPAC-1 and BxPC-3 are STn-positive and -negative cells, respectively. Although STn-MIPs have a higher affinity than NIPs to both cancer cell lines, STn-MIPs cannot differentiate the STn-positive CFPAC-1 cells from the STn-negative BxPC-3 cells. It remains challenging to apply MIPs to detect biological molecules. Our data provide a novel therapeutic strategy to treat advanced cancers such as CRPC and KRAS-mutated PDAC by targeting PIP5K1α-associate PI3K/AKT and/or KRAS signaling pathways.