Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.513, No.3, 546-552, 2019
Rebound pathway overactivation by cancer cells following discontinuation of PI3K or mTOR inhibition promotes cancer cell growth
Whilst effects of anti-cancer drugs have been thoroughly explored, little is known about the repercussion of drug cessation. However, this has important clinical relevance since several clinical protocols such as intermittent drug scheduling lead to frequent drug discontinuation. In this study, we have thus investigated the consequences of withdrawal of agents that target the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in cancer cells. We report that washout of kinase inhibitors of mTOR or P13K inhibitors led to a rapid and sustainable overactivation of AKT. Consequently, proliferation of tumor cells was significantly higher following drug washout in cancer cells that were pre-treated with mTOR or PI3K inhibitors compared to untreated cells. This effect was prevented by the addition of an AKT inhibitor following drug washout. Rebound AKT overactivation induced by mTOR or P13K inhibitors discontinuation was mediated by IGF-1R, as demonstrated by its prevention in the presence of an IGF-1R inhibitor and by increased IGF-1R phosphorylation in treated cells versus control cells. Taken together, our results show that discontinuation of P13K or mTOR inhibitors results in ART overactivation that promotes tumor growth. They further highlight the benefit of adding an AKT inhibitor following cessation of P13K or mTOR inhibitors. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.