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Kinome rewiring reveals AURKA is a molecular barrier to the efficacy of PI3K/mTOR-pathway inhibitors in breast cancer

By Hayley J. Donnella, James T. Webber, Rebecca S. Levin, Roman Camarda, Olga Momcilovic, Nora Bayani, James Korkola, Kevan Shokat, Andrei Goga, John Gordan, Sourav Bandyopadhyay

Posted 30 Jun 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/158295 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41589-018-0081-9)

Dysregulation of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling network is a prominent feature of breast cancers. However, clinical responses to drugs targeting this pathway have been modest. We hypothesized that dynamic changes in signaling, including adaptation and feedback, limit drug efficacy. Using a quantitative chemoproteomics approach we mapped dynamic changes in the kinome in response to various agents and identified signaling changes that correlate with drug sensitivity. Measurement of dynamics across a panel of breast cancer cell lines identified that maintenance of CDK4 and AURKA activity was associated with drug resistance. We tested whether incomplete inhibition of CDK4 or AURKA was a source of therapy failure and found that inhibition of either was sufficient to sensitize most breast cancer cells to PI3K, AKT, and mTOR inhibitors. In particular, drug combinations including the AURKA inhibitor MLN8237 were highly synergistic and induced apoptosis through enhanced suppression of mTOR signaling to S6 and 4E-BP1 leading to tumor regression in vivo. This signaling map identifies survival factors whose presence limits the efficacy of target therapy and indicates that Aurora kinase co-inhibition could unlock the full potential of PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway inhibitors in breast cancer.

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