Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    AKT signalling is required for ribosomal RNA synthesis and progression of E mu-Myc B-cell lymphoma in vivo
    Devlin, JR ; Hannan, KM ; Ng, PY ; Bywater, MJ ; Shortt, J ; Cullinane, C ; McArthur, GA ; Johnstone, RW ; Hannan, RD ; Pearson, RB (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013-11-01)
    The dysregulation of PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signalling and/or hyperactivation of MYC are observed in a high proportion of human cancers, and together they form a 'super signalling' network mediating malignancy. A fundamental downstream action of this signalling network is up-regulation of ribosome biogenesis and subsequent alterations in the patterns of translation and increased protein synthesis, which are thought to be critical for AKT/MYC-driven oncogenesis. We have demonstrated that AKT and MYC cooperate to drive ribosomal DNA (rDNA) transcription and ribosome biogenesis, with AKT being essential for rDNA transcription and in vitro survival of lymphoma cells isolated from a MYC-driven model of B-cell lymphoma (Eμ-Myc) [Chan JC et al., (2011) Science Signalling 4, ra56]. Here we show that the allosteric AKT inhibitor MK-2206 rapidly and potently antagonizes rDNA transcription in Eμ-Myc B-cell lymphomas in vivo, and this is associated with a rapid reduction in indicators of disease burden, including spleen weight and the abundance of tumour cells in both the circulation and lymph nodes. Extended treatment of tumour-bearing mice with MK-2206 resulted in a significant delay in disease progression, associated with increased B-cell lymphoma apoptosis. Our findings suggest that malignant diseases characterized by unrestrained ribosome biogenesis may be vulnerable to therapeutic strategies that target the PI3K/AKT/mTORC1/MYC growth control network.
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    Combined inhibition of PI3K-related DNA damage response kinases and mTORC1 induces apoptosis in MYC-driven B-cell lymphomas
    Shortt, J ; Martin, BP ; Newbold, A ; Hannan, KM ; Devlin, JR ; Baker, AJ ; Ralli, R ; Cullinane, C ; Schmitt, CA ; Reimann, M ; Hall, MN ; Wall, M ; Hannan, RD ; Pearson, RB ; McArthur, GA ; Johnstone, RW (AMER SOC HEMATOLOGY, 2013-04-11)
    Pharmacological strategies capable of directly targeting MYC are elusive. Previous studies have shown that MYC-driven lymphomagenesis is associated with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activation and a MYC-evoked DNA damage response (DDR) transduced by phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-related kinases (DNA-PK, ATM, and ATR). Here we report that BEZ235, a multitargeted pan-PI3K/dual-mTOR inhibitor, potently killed primary Myc-driven B-cell lymphomas and human cell lines bearing IG-cMYC translocations. Using pharmacologic and genetic dissection of PI3K/mTOR signaling, dual DDR/mTORC1 inhibition was identified as a key mediator of apoptosis. Moreover, apoptosis was initiated at drug concentrations insufficient to antagonize PI3K/mTORC2-regulated AKT phosphorylation. p53-independent induction of the proapoptotic BH3-only protein BMF was identified as a mechanism by which dual DDR/mTORC1 inhibition caused lymphoma cell death. BEZ235 treatment induced apoptotic tumor regressions in vivo that correlated with suppression of mTORC1-regulated substrates and reduced H2AX phosphorylation and also with feedback phosphorylation of AKT. These mechanistic studies hold important implications for the use of multitargeted PI3K inhibitors in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. In particular, the newly elucidated role of PI3K-related DDR kinases in response to PI3K inhibitors offers a novel therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of hematologic malignancies with an MYC-driven DDR.