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Cambridge, MA, United States

Maira S.-M.,Novartis | Pecchi S.,Novartis | Huang A.,Novartis | Burger M.,Novartis | And 23 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2012

Following the discovery of NVP-BEZ235, our first dual pan-PI3K/mTOR clinical compound, we sought to identify additional phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors from different chemical classes with a different selectivity profile. The key to achieve these objectives was to couple a structure-based design approach with intensive pharmacologic evaluation of selected compounds during the medicinal chemistry optimization process. Here, we report on the biologic characterization of the 2-morpholino pyrimidine derivative pan-PI3K inhibitor NVP-BKM120. This compound inhibits all four class I PI3K isoforms in biochemical assays with at least 50-fold selectivity against other protein kinases. The compound is also active against the most common somatic PI3Ka mutations but does not significantly inhibit the related class III (Vps34) and class IV (mTOR, DNA-PK) PI3K kinases. Consistent with its mechanism of action, NVP-BKM120 decreases the cellular levels of p-Akt in mechanistic models and relevant tumor cell lines, as well as downstream effectors in a concentrationdependent and pathway-specific manner. Tested in a panel of 353 cell lines, NVP-BKM120 exhibited preferential inhibition of tumor cells bearing PIK3CA mutations, in contrast to either KRAS or PTEN mutant models. NVP-BKM120 shows dose-dependent in vivo pharmacodynamic activity as measured by significant inhibition of p-Akt and tumor growth inhibition in mechanistic xenograft models. NVP-BKM120 behaves synergistically when combined with either targeted agents such as MEK or HER2 inhibitors or with cytotoxic agents such as docetaxel or temozolomide. The pharmacological, biologic, and preclinical safety profile of NVP-BKM120 supports its clinical development and the compound is undergoing phase II clinical trials in patients with cancer. ©2011 AACR.

Lohmann F.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | Loureiro J.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | Su H.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | Fang Q.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | And 7 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2010

Dynamic regulation of histone methylation by methyltransferases and demethylases plays a central role in regulating the fate of embryonic stem (ES) cells. The histone H3K9 methyltransferase KMT1E, formerly known as ESET or Setdb1, is essential to embryonic development as the ablation of the Setdb1 gene results in peri-implantation lethality and prevents the propagation of ES cells. However, Setdb1-null blastocysts do not display global changes in H3K9 methylation or DNA methylation, arguing against a genome-wide defect. Here we show that conditional deletion of the Setdb1 gene in ES cells results in the upregulation of lineage differentiation markers, especially trophectoderm- specific factors, similar to effects observed upon loss of Oct3/4 expression in ES cells. We demonstrate that KMT1E deficiency in ES cells leads to a decrease in histone H3K9 methylation at and derepression of trophoblast-associated genes such as Cdx2. Furthermore, we find genes that are derepressed upon Setdb1 deletion to overlap with known targets of polycomb mediated repression, suggesting that KMT1E mediated H3K9 methylation acts in concert with polycomb controlled H3K27 methylation. Our studies thus demonstrate an essential role for KMT1E in the control of developmentally regulated gene expression programs in ES cells. © AlphaMed Press.

Lee H.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | Lee H.,University of Basel | Haller C.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | Manneville C.,Developmental and Molecular Pathways | And 9 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2016

The multilineage differentiation capacity of mouse and human embryonic stem (ES) cells offers a testing platform for small molecules that mediate mammalian lineage determination and cellular specialization. Here we report the identification of two small molecules which drives mouse 129 ES cell differentiation to skeletal muscle with high efficiency without any genetic modification. Mouse embryoid bodies (EBs) were used to screen a library of 1,000 small molecules to identify compounds capable of inducing high levels of Pax3 mRNA. Stimulation of EBs with SMIs (skeletal muscle inducer, SMI1 and SMI2) from the screen resulted in a high percentage of intensively twitching skeletal muscle fibers 3 weeks after induction. Gene expression profiling studies that were carried out for mode of actions analysis showed that SMIs activated genes regulated by the Wnt pathway and inhibited expression of Smad2/3 and Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) target genes. A combination of three small molecules known to modulate these three pathways acted similarly to the SMIs found here, driving ES cells from 129 as well as Balb/c and C57Bl/6 to skeletal muscle. Taken together, these data demonstrate that the SMI drives ES cells to skeletal muscle via concerted activation of the Wnt pathway, and inhibition of Smad2/3 signaling and Shh pathways. This provides important developmental biological information about skeletal muscle differentiation from embryonic stem cells and may lead to the development of new therapeutics for muscle disease. © 2015 AlphaMed Press.

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