Metastatic breast cancer is an incurable disease and identification of novel therapeutic opportunities is vital. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) frequently metastasizes and high levels of activated p90RSK (RSK), a downstream MEK-ERK1/2 effector, are found in TNBC. We demonstrate, using direct pharmacologic and genetic inhibition of RSK1/2, that these kinases contribute to the TNBC metastatic process in vivo. Kinase profiling showed that RSK1 and RSK2 are the predominant kinases targeted by the new inhibitor, which is based on the natural product SL0101. Further evidence for selectivity was provided by the observations that silencing RSK1 and RSK2 eliminated the ability of the analogue to further inhibit survival or proliferation of a TNBC cell line. In vivo, the new derivative was as effective as the FDA-approved MEK inhibitor trametinib in reducing the establishment of metastatic foci. Importantly, inhibition of RSK1/2 did not result in activation of AKT, which is known to limit the efficacy of MEK inhibitors in the clinic. Our results demonstrate that RSK is a major contributor to the TNBC metastatic program and provide preclinical proof-of-concept for the efficacy of the novel SL0101 analogue in vivo. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(11); 1–11. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Online (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/).
K.A. Ludwik and J.P. Campbell are co-first authors of this article.
G.A. O'Doherty and D.A. Lannigan are co-last authors of this article.
- Received February 24, 2016.
- Revision received July 7, 2016.
- Accepted August 2, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.