Autophagy inhibition sensitizes WYE-354-induced anti-colon cancer activity in vitro and in vivo

Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2 are frequently dysregulated in human colon cancers. In the present study, we evaluated the potential anti-colon cancer cell activity by a novel mTORC1/2 dual inhibitor WYE-354. We showed that WYE-354 was anti-survival and anti-proliferative when adding to primary (patient-derived) and established (HCT-116, HT-29, Caco-2, LoVo, and DLD-1 lines) colon cancer cells. In addition, WYE-354 treatment activated caspase-dependent apoptosis in the colon cancer cells. Mechanistically, WYE-354 blocked mTORC1 and mTORC2 activation. Meanwhile, it also induced autophagy activation in the colon cancer cells. Autophagy inhibitors (bafilomycin A1 and 3-methyladenine), or shRNA-mediated knockdown of autophagy elements (Beclin-1 and ATG-5), remarkably sensitized WYE-354-mediated anti-colon cancer cell activity in vitro. Further studies showed that WYE-354 administration inhibited HT-29 xenograft growth in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Importantly, its activity in vivo was further potentiated with co-administration of the autophagy inhibitor 3-MA. Phosphorylations of Akt (Ser-473) and S6 were also decreased in WYE-354-treated HT-29 xenografts. Together, these pre-clinical results demonstrate the potent anti-colon cancer cell activity by WYE-354, and its activity may be further augmented with autophagy inhibition.

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S1266 WYE-354 WYE-354 is a potent, specific and ATP-competitive inhibitor of mTOR with IC50 of 5 nM, blocks mTORC1/P-S6K(T389) and mTORC2/P-AKT(S473) not P-AKT(T308), selective for mTOR than PI3Kα (>100-fold) and PI3Kγ (>500-fold). (10) (5)

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