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Modugno M.,Nerviano Medical science Srl Oncology
Drug Discovery Today: Technologies | Year: 2014

Mutations in the kinase domain of Bcr-Abl are the most common cause of resistance to therapy with Imatinib in patients with chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML). Second generation Bcr-Abl inhibitors, such as Nilotinib and Dasatinib, are able to overcome most Imatinib-resistant mutants, with the exception of the T315I substitution. Structural studies of Abl wild-type and T315I mutant have provided better understanding of how this mutation leads to resistance and have been used to support the drug design process for the development of inhibitors able to target the T315I substitution. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Modugno M.,Nerviano Medical science Srl Oncology | Banfi P.,Nerviano Medical science Srl Oncology | Gasparri F.,Nerviano Medical science Srl Oncology | Borzilleri R.,Bristol Myers Squibb | And 13 more authors.
Experimental Cell Research | Year: 2015

Cancer cell survival is frequently dependent on the elevated levels of members of the Bcl-2 family of prosurvival proteins that bind to and inactivate BH3-domain pro-apoptotic cellular proteins. Small molecules that inhibit the protein-protein interactions between prosurvival and proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members (so-called "BH3 mimetics") have a potential therapeutic value, as indicated by clinical findings obtained with ABT-263 (navitoclax), a Bcl-2/Bcl-xL antagonist, and more recently with GDC-0199/ABT-199, a more selective antagonist of Bcl-2. Here, we report study results of the functional role of the prosurvival protein Mcl-1 against a panel of solid cancer cell lines representative of different tumor types. We observed silencing of Mcl-1 expression by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) significantly reduced viability and induced apoptosis in almost 30% of cell lines tested, including lung and breast adenocarcinoma, as well as glioblastoma derived lines. Most importantly, we provide a mechanistic basis for this sensitivity by showing antagonism of Mcl-1 function with specific BH3 peptides against isolated mitochondria induces Bak oligomerization and cytochrome c release, therefore demonstrating that mitochondria from Mcl-1-sensitive cells depend on Mcl-1 for their integrity and that antagonizing Mcl-1 function is sufficient to induce apoptosis. Thus, our results lend further support for considering Mcl-1 as a therapeutic target in a number of solid cancers and support the rationale for development of small molecule BH3-mimetics antagonists of this protein. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Perez H.L.,Bristol Myers Squibb | Banfi P.,Nerviano Medical science Srl Oncology | Bertrand J.,Nerviano Medical science Srl Oncology | Cai Z.-W.,Bristol Myers Squibb | And 16 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

A series of phenylacylsulfonamides has been prepared as antagonists of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL. In addition to potent binding affinities for both Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL, these compounds were shown to induce classical markers of apoptosis in isolated mitochondria. Overall weak cellular potency was improved by the incorporation of polar functionality resulting in compounds with moderate antiproliferative activity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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