Anti‐tumor efficacy of a novel CLK inhibitor via targeting RNA splicing and MYC‐dependent vulnerability

Anti‐tumor efficacy of a novel CLK inhibitor via targeting RNA splicing and MYC‐dependent... The modulation of pre‐mRNA splicing is proposed as an attractive anti‐neoplastic strategy, especially for the cancers that exhibit aberrant pre‐mRNA splicing. Here, we discovered that T‐025 functions as an orally available and potent inhibitor of Cdc2‐like kinases (CLKs), evolutionally conserved kinases that facilitate exon recognition in the splicing machinery. Treatment with T‐025 reduced CLK‐dependent phosphorylation, resulting in the induction of skipped exons, cell death, and growth suppression in vitro and in vivo. Further, through growth inhibitory characterization, we identified high CLK2 expression or MYC amplification as a sensitive‐associated biomarker of T‐025. Mechanistically, the level of CLK2 expression correlated with the magnitude of global skipped exons in response to T‐025 treatment. MYC activation, which altered pre‐mRNA splicing without the transcriptional regulation of CLKs, rendered cancer cells vulnerable to CLK inhibitors with synergistic cell death. Finally, we demonstrated in vivo anti‐tumor efficacy of T‐025 in an allograft model of spontaneous, MYC‐driven breast cancer, at well‐tolerated dosage. Collectively, our results suggest that the novel CLK inhibitor could have therapeutic benefits, especially for MYC‐driven cancer patients. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Embo Molecular Medicine Wiley
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Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
© 2018 EMBO
ISSN
1757-4676
eISSN
1757-4684
D.O.I.
10.15252/emmm.201708289
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The modulation of pre‐mRNA splicing is proposed as an attractive anti‐neoplastic strategy, especially for the cancers that exhibit aberrant pre‐mRNA splicing. Here, we discovered that T‐025 functions as an orally available and potent inhibitor of Cdc2‐like kinases (CLKs), evolutionally conserved kinases that facilitate exon recognition in the splicing machinery. Treatment with T‐025 reduced CLK‐dependent phosphorylation, resulting in the induction of skipped exons, cell death, and growth suppression in vitro and in vivo. Further, through growth inhibitory characterization, we identified high CLK2 expression or MYC amplification as a sensitive‐associated biomarker of T‐025. Mechanistically, the level of CLK2 expression correlated with the magnitude of global skipped exons in response to T‐025 treatment. MYC activation, which altered pre‐mRNA splicing without the transcriptional regulation of CLKs, rendered cancer cells vulnerable to CLK inhibitors with synergistic cell death. Finally, we demonstrated in vivo anti‐tumor efficacy of T‐025 in an allograft model of spontaneous, MYC‐driven breast cancer, at well‐tolerated dosage. Collectively, our results suggest that the novel CLK inhibitor could have therapeutic benefits, especially for MYC‐driven cancer patients.

Journal

Embo Molecular MedicineWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ;

References

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