Inhibitors of PI3K/Akt signaling are being actively developed for tumor therapy owing to the frequent mutational activation of the PI3K-Akt-mTORC1 pathway in many cancers, including glioblastomas (GBMs). NVP-BEZ235 is a novel and potent dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor that is currently in phase 1/2 clinical trials for advanced solid tumors. Here, we show that NVP-BEZ235 also potently inhibits ATM and DNA-PKcs, the two major kinases responding to ionizing radiation (IR)-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Consequently, NVP-BEZ235 blocks both nonhomologous end joining and homologous recombination DNA repair pathways resulting in significant attenuation of DSB repair. In addition, phosphorylation of ATMtargets and implementation of the G2/Mcell cycle checkpoint are also attenuated by this drug. As a result, NVP-BEZ235 confers an extreme degree of radiosensitization and impairs DSB repair in a panel of GBMcell lines irrespective of their Akt activation status. NVP-BEZ235 also significantly impairs DSB repair in a mouse tumor model thereby validating the efficacy of this drug as a DNA repair inhibitor in vivo. Our results, showing that NVP-BEZ235 is a potent and novel inhibitor of ATM and DNA-PKcs, have important implications for the informed and rational design of clinical trials involving this drug and also reveal the potential utility of NVP-BEZ235 as an effective radiosensitizer for GBMs in the clinic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research