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  • RAF inhibitor LY3009120 sensitizes RAS or BRAF mutant cancer to CDK4/6 inhibition by abemaciclib via superior inhibition of phospho-RB and suppression of cyclin D1.

RAF inhibitor LY3009120 sensitizes RAS or BRAF mutant cancer to CDK4/6 inhibition by abemaciclib via superior inhibition of phospho-RB and suppression of cyclin D1.

Oncogene (2017-10-24)
S-H Chen, X Gong, Y Zhang, R D Van Horn, T Yin, L Huber, T F Burke, J Manro, P W Iversen, W Wu, S V Bhagwat, R P Beckmann, R V Tiu, S G Buchanan, S-B Peng
ABSTRACT

KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutations are among the most important oncogenic drivers in many major cancer types, such as melanoma, lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancer. There is currently no effective therapy for the treatment of RAS mutant cancers. LY3009120, a pan-RAF and RAF dimer inhibitor advanced to clinical study has been shown to inhibit both RAS and BRAF mutant cell proliferation in vitro and xenograft tumor growth in vivo. Abemaciclib, a CDK4/6-selective inhibitor, is currently in phase III studies for ER-positive breast cancer and KRAS mutant lung cancer. In this study, we found that combinatory treatment with LY3009120 and abemaciclib synergistically inhibited proliferation of tumor cells in vitro and led to tumor growth regression in xenograft models with a KRAS, NRAS or BRAF mutation at the doses of two drugs that were well tolerated in combination. Further in vitro screen in 328 tumor cell lines revealed that tumor cells with KRAS, NRAS or BRAF mutation, or cyclin D activation are more sensitive, whereas tumor cells with PTEN, PIK3CA, PIK3R1 or retinoblastoma (Rb) mutation are more resistant to this combination treatment. Molecular analysis revealed that abemaciclib alone inhibited Rb phosphorylation partially and caused an increase of cyclin D1. The combinatory treatment cooperatively demonstrated more complete inhibition of Rb phosphorylation, and LY3009120 suppressed the cyclin D1 upregulation mediated by abemaciclib. These results were further verified by CDK4/6 siRNA knockdown. Importantly, the more complete phospho-Rb inhibition and cyclin D1 suppression by LY3009120 and abemaciclib combination led to more significant cell cycle G0/G1 arrest of tumor cells. These preclinical findings suggest that combined inhibition of RAF and d-cyclin-dependent kinases might provide an effective approach to treat patients with tumors harboring mutations in RAS or RAF genes.

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LY3009120, ≥98% (HPLC)