Dual Targeting of Akt and mTORC1 Impairs Repair of DNA Double-Strand Breaks and Increases Radiation Sensitivity of Human Tumor Cells

Inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin-complex 1 (mTORC1) induces activation of Akt. Because Akt activity mediates the repair of ionizing radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DNA-DSBs) and consequently the radioresistance of solid tumors, we investigated whether dual targeting of mTORC1 and Akt impairs DNA-DSB repair and induces radiosensitization. Combining mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin with ionizing radiation in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells (H661, H460, SK-MES-1, HTB-182, A549) and in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 resulted in radiosensitization of H661 and H460 cells (responders), whereas only a very slight effect was observed in A549 cells, and no effect was observed in SK-MES-1, HTB-182 or MDA-MB-231 cells (non-responders). In responder cells, rapamycin treatment did not activate Akt1 phosphorylation, whereas in non-responders, rapamycin mediated PI3K-dependent Akt activity. Molecular targeting of Akt by Akt inhibitor MK2206 or knockdown of Akt1 led to a rapamycin-induced radiosensitization of non-responder cells. Compared to the single targeting of Akt, the dual targeting of mTORC1 and Akt1 markedly enhanced the frequency of residual DNA-DSBs by inhibiting the non-homologous end joining repair pathway and increased radiation sensitivity. Together, lack of radiosensitization induced by rapamycin was associated with rapamycin-mediated Akt1 activation. Thus, dual targeting of mTORC1 and Akt1 inhibits repair of DNA-DSB leading to radiosensitization of solid tumor cells.

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S1078 MK-2206 2HCl MK-2206 2HCl is a highly selective inhibitor of Akt1/2/3 with IC50 of 8 nM/12 nM/65 nM in cell-free assays, respectively; no inhibitory activities against 250 other protein kinases observed. MK-2206 2HCl induces autophagy and apoptosis in cancer cells. Phase 2. (1581) (21)

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