A tumor cell-selective inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases sensitizes breast cancer cells to lymphokine-activated killer cell activity

Kaltenmeier, C.T., Vollmer, L.L., Vernetti, L.A., Caprio, L., Davis, K., Korotchenko, V.N., Day, B.W., Tsang, M., Hulkower, K.I., Lotze, M.T., Vogt, A.
The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics   361(1): 39-50 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Tsang, Michael
apoptosis, cancer, drug discovery, immunotherapy, phosphatases
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Antineoplastic Agents/pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms/immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms/metabolism*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hepatocytes/drug effects
  • Hepatocytes/immunology
  • Hepatocytes/metabolism
  • Humans
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/immunology
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated/drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated/immunology
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated/metabolism*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases/antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases/immunology
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases/metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Zebrafish
28154014 Full text @ J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.
Dual specificity mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases (DUSP-MKPs) have been hypothesized to maintain cancer cell survival by buffering excessive MAPK signaling caused by upstream activating oncogenic products. A large and diverse body of literature suggests that genetic depletion of DUSP-MKPs can reduce tumorigenicity, suggesting that hyperactivating MAPK signaling by DUSP-MKP inhibitors could be a novel strategy to selectively affect the transformed phenotype. Through in vivo structure activity relationship studies in transgenic zebrafish we recently identified a hyperactivator of Fibroblast Growth Factor signaling (BCI-215) that is devoid of developmental toxicity and restores defective MAPK activity caused by overexpression of DUSP1 and DUSP6 in mammalian cells. Here we hypothesized that BCI-215 could selectively affect survival of transformed cells. In MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells, BCI-215 inhibited cell motility, caused apoptosis but not primary necrosis, and sensitized cells to lymphokine-activated killer cell (LAK) activity. Mechanistically, BCI-215 induced rapid and sustained phosphorylation of ERK, p38, and JNK in the absence of reactive oxygen species, and its toxicity was partially rescued by inhibition of p38 but not JNK or ERK. BCI-215 also hyperactivated MKK4/SEK1, suggesting activation of stress responses. Kinase phosphorylation profiling documented BCI-215 selectively activated MAPKs and their downstream substrates, but not receptor tyrosine kinases, SRC family kinases, AKT, mTOR, or DNA damage pathways. Our findings support the hypothesis that BCI-215 causes selective cancer cell cytotoxicity in part through non-redox-mediated activation of MAPK signaling, and identify an intersection with immune cell killing that is worthy of further exploration.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes