The study presented here provides a framework for the discovery of unique inhibitor combinations that target the apoptosis network for cancer therapy. A pair of doxycycline (Dox)-inducible cell lines that specifically report on the ability of an inhibitor to induce apoptosis by targeting either the Mcl-1 arm or the Bcl-2/Bcl-xL/Bcl-w arm were used. Cell-based assays were optimized for high throughput screening (HTS) with caspase 3/7 as a read out. HTS with a 355-member kinase inhibitor library and the panel of Dox-inducible cell lines revealed that cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors induced apoptosis by targeting the Mcl-1 arm, whereas PI3K inhibitors induced apoptosis by targeting the Bcl-2/Bcl-xL/Bcl-w arm. Validation studies identified unique combinations that synergistically inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in a panel of cancer cell lines. Since these inhibitors have been or are currently in clinical trials as single agents, the combinations can be rapidly translated to the clinics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine