Cancer cell line panels are important tools to characterize the in vitro activity of new investigational drugs. Here, we present the inhibition profiles of 122 anticancer agents in proliferation assays with 44 or 66 genetically characterized cancer cell lines from diverse tumor tissues (Oncolines). The library includes 29 cytotoxics, 68 kinase inhibitors, and 11 epigenetic modulators. For 38 compounds this is the first comparative profiling in a cell line panel. By strictly maintaining optimized assay protocols, biological variation was kept to a minimum. Replicate profiles of 16 agents over three years show a high average Pearson correlation of 0.8 using IC50 values and 0.9 using GI50 values. Good correlations were observed with other panels. Curve fitting appears a large source of variation. Hierarchical clustering revealed 44 basic clusters, of which 26 contain compounds with common mechanisms of action, of which 9 were not reported before, including TTK, BET and two clusters of EZH2 inhibitors. To investigate unexpected clusterings, sets of BTK, Aurora and PI3K inhibitors were profiled in biochemical enzyme activity assays and surface plasmon resonance binding assays. The BTK inhibitor ibrutinib clusters with EGFR inhibitors, because it cross-reacts with EGFR. Aurora kinase inhibitors separate into two clusters, related to Aurora A or pan-Aurora selectivity. Similarly, 12 inhibitors in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway separated into different clusters, reflecting biochemical selectivity (pan-PI3K, PI3Kβγδ-isoform selective or mTOR-selective). Of these, only allosteric mTOR inhibitors preferentially targeted PTEN-mutated cell lines. This shows that cell line profiling is an excellent tool for the unbiased classification of antiproliferative compounds. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(12); 3097–109. ©2016 AACR.
This article is featured in Highlights of This Issue, p. 2823
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Online (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received June 22, 2016.
- Revision received August 8, 2016.
- Accepted August 21, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.