Resistance to the CHK1 inhibitor prexasertib involves functionally distinct CHK1 activities in BRCA wild-type ovarian cancer

High grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is a fatal gynecologic malignancy in the U.S. with limited treatment options. New therapeutic strategies include targeting of the cell cycle checkpoints, e.g., ATR and CHK1. We recently reported a promising clinical activity of the CHK1 inhibitor (CHK1i) prexasertib monotherapy in BRCA wild-type (BRCAwt) HGSOC patients. In this study, biopsies of treated patients and cell line models were used to investigate possible mechanisms of resistance to CHK1i. We report that BRCAwt HGSOC develops resistance to prexasertib monotherapy via a prolonged G2 delay induced by lower CDK1/CyclinB1 activity, thus preventing cells from mitotic catastrophe and cell death. On the other hand, we noted CHK1's regulation on RAD51-mediated homologous recombination (HR) repair was not altered in CHK1i-resistant cells. Therefore, CHK1i sensitizes CHK1i-resistant cells to DNA damaging agents such as gemcitabine or hydroxyurea by inhibition of HR. In summary, our results demonstrate new mechanistic insights of functionally distinct CHK1 activities and highlight a potential combination treatment approach to overcome CHK1i resistance in BRCAwt HGSOC.

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S7178 Prexasertib HCl (LY2606368) Prexasertib (LY2606368) is an ATP-competitive CHK1 inhibitor with a Ki value of 0.9 nmol/L. For CHK2 and RSK, its IC50 values are 8 nM and 9 nM respectively in cell-free assay. (24) (1)

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