1.Development of a cell-based, high-throughput screening assay for ATM kinase inhibitors.
Guo K;Shelat AA;Guy RK;Kastan MB J Biomol Screen. 2014 Apr;19(4):538-46. doi: 10.1177/1087057113520325. Epub 2014 Jan 24.
The ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated) protein kinase is a major regulator of cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), DNA lesions that can be caused by ionizing irradiation (IR), oxidative damage, or exposure to certain chemical agents. In response to DSBs, the ATM kinase is activated and subsequently phosphorylates numerous downstream substrates, including p53, Chk2, BRCA1, and KAP1, which affect processes such as cell cycle progression and DNA repair. Numerous studies have demonstrated that loss of ATM function results in enhanced sensitivity to ionizing irradiation in clinically relevant dose ranges, suggesting that ATM kinase is an attractive therapeutic target for enhancing tumor cell kill with radiotherapy. Previously identified small-molecule ATM kinase inhibitors, such as CP466722 and Ku55933, were identified using in vitro kinase assays carried out with recombinant ATM kinase isolated from mammalian cells. Since it has not been feasible to express full-length recombinant ATM in bacterial or baculovirus systems, a robust in vitro screening tool has been lacking. We have developed a cell-based assay that is robust, straightforward, and sensitive. Using this high-throughput assay, we screened more than 7000 compounds and discovered additional small molecules that inhibit the ATM kinase and further validated these hits by secondary assays.
2.Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated and the Mre11-Rad50-NBS1 complex: promising targets for radiosensitization.
Kuroda S;Urata Y;Fujiwara T Acta Med Okayama. 2012;66(2):83-92.
Radiotherapy plays a central part in cancer treatment, and use of radiosensitizing agents can greatly enhance this modality. Although studies have shown that several chemotherapeutic agents have the potential to increase the radiosensitivity of tumor cells, investigators have also studied a number of molecularly targeted agents as radiosensitizers in clinical trials based on reasonably promising preclinical data. Recent intense research into the DNA damage-signaling pathway revealed that ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and the Mre11-Rad50-NBS1 (MRN) complex play central roles in DNA repair and cell cycle checkpoints and that these molecules are promising targets for radiosensitization. Researchers recently developed three ATM inhibitors (KU-55933, CGK733, and CP466722) and an MRN complex inhibitor (mirin) and showed that they have great potential as radiosensitizers of tumors in preclinical studies. Additionally, we showed that a telomerase-dependent oncolytic adenovirus that we developed (OBP-301 [telomelysin]) produces profound radiosensitizing effects by inhibiting the MRN complex via the adenoviral E1B55kDa protein. A recent Phase I trial in the United States determined that telomelysin was safe and well tolerated in humans, and this agent is about to be tested in combination with radiotherapy in a clinical trial based on intriguing preclinical data demonstrating that telomelysin and ionizing radiation can potentiate each other.
3.Transient inhibition of ATM kinase is sufficient to enhance cellular sensitivity to ionizing radiation.
Rainey MD;Charlton ME;Stanton RV;Kastan MB Cancer Res. 2008 Sep 15;68(18):7466-74. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-0763.
In response to DNA damage, the ATM protein kinase activates signal transduction pathways essential for coordinating cell cycle progression with DNA repair. In the human disease ataxia-telangiectasia, mutation of the ATM gene results in multiple cellular defects, including enhanced sensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR). This phenotype highlights ATM as a potential target for novel inhibitors that could be used to enhance tumor cell sensitivity to radiotherapy. A targeted compound library was screened for potential inhibitors of the ATM kinase, and CP466722 was identified. The compound is nontoxic and does not inhibit phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) or PI3K-like protein kinase family members in cells. CP466722 inhibited cellular ATM-dependent phosphorylation events and disruption of ATM function resulted in characteristic cell cycle checkpoint defects. Inhibition of cellular ATM kinase activity was rapidly and completely reversed by removing CP466722. Interestingly, clonogenic survival assays showed that transient inhibition of ATM is sufficient to sensitize cells to IR and suggests that therapeutic radiosensitization may only require ATM inhibition for short periods of time. The ability of CP466722 to rapidly and reversibly regulate ATM activity provides a new tool to ask questions about ATM function that could not easily be addressed using genetic models or RNA interference technologies.