Synergistic antitumor effects of 9.2.27-PE38KDEL and ABT-737 in primary and metastatic brain tumors.
Standard treatment, unfortunately, yields a poor prognosis for patients with primary or metastatic cancers in the central nervous system, indicating a necessity for novel therapeutic agents. Immunotoxins (ITs) are a class of promising therapeutic candidates produced by fusing antibody fragments with toxin moieties. In this study, we investigated if inherent resistance to IT cytotoxicity can be overcome by rational combination with pro-apoptotic enhancers. Therefore, we combined ITs (9.2.27-PE38KDEL or Mel-14-PE38KDEL) targeting chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) with a panel of Bcl-2 family inhibitors (ABT-737, ABT-263, ABT-199 [Venetoclax], A-1155463, and S63845) against patient-derived glioblastoma, melanoma, and breast cancer cells/cell lines. In vitro cytotoxicity assays demonstrated that the addition of the ABT compounds, specifically ABT-737, sensitized the different tumors to IT treatment, and improved the IC50 values of 9.2.27-PE38KDEL up to >1,000-fold. Mechanistic studies using 9.2.27-PE38KDEL and ABT-737 revealed that increased levels of intracellular IT, processed (active) exotoxin, and PARP cleavage correlated with the enhanced sensitivity to the combination treatment. Furthermore, we confirmed the synergistic effect of 9.2.27-PE38KDEL and ABT-737 combination therapy in orthotopic GBM xenograft and cerebral melanoma metastasis models in nude mice. Our study defines strategies for overcoming IT resistance and enhancing specific antitumor cytotoxicity in primary and metastatic brain tumors.
Yu, X; Dobrikov, M; Keir, ST; Gromeier, M; Pastan, IH; Reisfeld, R; Bigner, DD; Chandramohan, V
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