Co‐targeting bromodomain and extra‐terminal proteins and MCL1 induces synergistic cell death in melanoma

Co‐targeting bromodomain and extra‐terminal proteins and MCL1 induces synergistic cell death in melanoma.

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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Official URL:
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Cancer
Volume: 147
Number: 8
Page Range: pp. 2176-2189
Date: 2020
Divisions: Melanoma Oncology and Immunology
Depositing User: General Admin
Identification Number: 10.1002/ijc.33000
ISSN: 0020-7136
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2021 04:04

The treatment of melanoma has been markedly improved by the introduction of targeted therapies and checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. Unfortunately, resistance to these therapies remains a limitation. Novel anticancer therapeutics targeting the MCL1 anti‐apoptotic protein have shown impressive responses in haematological cancers but are yet to be evaluated in melanoma. To assess the sensitivity of melanoma to new MCL1 inhibitors, we measured the response of 51 melanoma cell lines to the novel MCL1 inhibitor, S63845. Additionally, we assessed combination of this drug with inhibitors of the bromodomain and extra‐terminal (BET) protein family of epigenetic readers, which we postulated would assist MCL1 inhibition by downregulating anti‐apoptotic targets regulated by NF‐kB such as BCLXL, BCL2A1 and XIAP, and by upregulating pro‐apoptotic proteins including BIM and NOXA. Only 14% of melanoma cell lines showed sensitivity to S63845, however, combination of S63845 and I‐BET151 induced highly synergistic apoptotic cell death in all melanoma lines tested and in an in vivo xenograft model. Cell death was dependent on caspases and BAX/BAK. Although the combination of drugs increased the BH3‐only protein, BIM, and downregulated anti‐apoptotic proteins such as BCL2A1, the importance of these proteins in inducing cell death varied between cell lines. ABT‐199 or ABT‐263 inhibitors against BCL2 or BCL2 and BCLXL, respectively, induced further cell death when combined with S63845 and I‐BET151. The combination of MCL1 and BET inhibition appears to be a promising therapeutic approach for metastatic melanoma, and presents opportunities to add further BCL2 family inhibitors to overcome treatment resistance.

Tseng, Hsin‐Yi
Dreyer, Jan
Emran, Abdullah Al
Gunatilake, Dilini
Pirozyan, Mehdi
Cullinane, Carleen
Dutton‐Regester, Ken
Rizos, Helen
Hayward, Nicholas K.
McArthur, Grant
Hersey, Peter
Tiffen, Jessamy
Gallagher, Stuart
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2021 04:04

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