The small molecule inhibitor YK-4-279 disrupts mitotic progression of neuroblastoma cells, overcomes drug resistance and synergizes with inhibitors of mitosis

Madhu Kollareddy, Alice Sherrard, Ji Hyun Park, Marianna Szemes, Kelli Gallacher, Zsombor Melegh, Sebastian Oltean, Martin Michaelis, Jindrich Cinatl Jr., Abderrahmane Kaidi, Karim Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
355 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Abstract
Neuroblastoma is a biologically and clinically heterogeneous pediatric malignancy that includes a high-risk subset for which new therapeutic agents are urgently required. As well as MYCN amplification, activating point mutations of ALK and NRAS are associated with high-risk and relapsing neuroblastoma. As both ALK and RAS signal through the MEK/ERK pathway, we sought to evaluate two previously reported inhibitors of ETS-related transcription factors, which are transcriptional mediators of the Ras-MEK/ERK pathway in other cancers. Here we show that YK-4-279 suppressed growth and triggered apoptosis in nine neuroblastoma cell lines, while BRD42048, another ETV1 inhibitor, was ineffective. These results suggest that YK-4-279 acts independently of ETS-related transcription factors. Further analysis reveals that YK-4-279 induces mitotic arrest in prometaphase, resulting in subsequent cell death. Mechanistically, we show that YK-4-279 inhibits the formation of kinetochore microtubules, with treated cells showing a broad range of abnormalities including multipolar, fragmented and unseparated spindles, together leading to disrupted progression through mitosis. Notably, YK-4-279 does not affect microtubule acetylation, unlike the conventional mitotic poisons paclitaxel and vincristine. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that YK-4-279 overcomes vincristine-induced resistance in two neuroblastoma cell-line models. Furthermore, combinations of YK-4-279 with vincristine, paclitaxel or the Aurora kinase A inhibitor MLN8237/Alisertib show strong synergy, particularly at low doses. Thus, YK-4-279 could potentially be used as a single-agent or in combination therapies for the treatment of high-risk and relapsing neuroblastoma, as well as other cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Volume403
Early online date7 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Neuroblastoma
  • Chemotherapy
  • YK-4-279
  • Mitosis
  • Drug resistance/synergy

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