The novel mTORC1/2 dual inhibitor INK-128 suppresses survival and proliferation of primary and transformed human pancreatic cancer cells

Pancreatic cancer has one of worst prognosis among all human malignancies around the world, the development of novel and more efficient anti-cancer agents against this disease is urgent. In the current study, we tested the potential effect of INK-128, a novel mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 and 2 (mTORC1/2) dual inhibitor, against pancreatic cancer cells in vitro. Our results demonstrated that INK-128 concentration- and time-dependently inhibited the survival and growth of pancreatic cancer cells (both primary cells and transformed cells). INK-128 induced pancreatic cancer cell apoptosis and necrosis simultaneously. Further, INK-128 dramatically inhibited phosphorylation of 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) and Akt at Ser 473 in pancreatic cancer cells. Meanwhile, it downregulated cyclin D1 expression and caused cell cycle arrest. Finally, we found that a low concentration of INK-128 significantly increased the sensitivity of pancreatic cancer cells to gemcitabine. Together, our in vitro results suggest that INK-128 might be further investigated as a novel anti-cancer agent or chemo-adjuvant for pancreatic cancer treatment.

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