Targeting the PI3K/mTOR Pathway Augments CHK1 Inhibitor-Induced Replication Stress and Antitumor Activity in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer.


High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC) is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy in industrialized countries and has limited treatment options. Targeting ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related/cell-cycle checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1)-mediated S-phase and G2-M-phase cell-cycle checkpoints has been a promising therapeutic strategy in HGSOC. To improve the efficacy of CHK1 inhibitor (CHK1i), we conducted a high-throughput drug combination screening in HGSOC cells. PI3K/mTOR pathway inhibitors (PI3K/mTORi) showed supra-additive cytotoxicity with CHK1i. Combined treatment with CHK1i and PI3K/mTORi significantly attenuated cell viability and increased DNA damage, chromosomal breaks, and mitotic catastrophe compared with monotherapy. PI3K/mTORi decelerated fork speed by promoting new origin firing via increased CDC45, thus potentiating CHK1i-induced replication stress. PI3K/mTORi also augmented CHK1i-induced DNA damage by attenuating DNA homologous recombination repair activity and RAD51 foci formation. High expression of replication stress markers was associated with poor prognosis in patients with HGSOC. Our findings indicate that combined PI3K/mTORi and CHK1i induces greater cell death in HGSOC cells and in vivo models by causing lethal replication stress and DNA damage. This insight can be translated therapeutically by further developing combinations of PI3K and cell-cycle pathway inhibitors in HGSOC. SIGNIFICANCE: Dual inhibition of CHK1 and PI3K/mTOR pathways yields potent synthetic lethality by causing lethal replication stress and DNA damage in HGSOC, warranting further clinical development.


Huang, Tzu-Ting; Brill, Ethan; Nair, Jayakumar R; Zhang, Xiaohu; Wilson, Kelli; Chen, Lu; Thomas, Craig; Lee, Jung-Min;

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