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Yen W.-C.,OncoMed Pharmaceuticals | Fischer M.M.,OncoMed Pharmaceuticals | Axelrod F.,OncoMed Pharmaceuticals | Bond C.,OncoMed Pharmaceuticals | And 16 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Purpose: The Notch pathway plays an important role in both stem cell biology and cancer. Dysregulation of Notch signaling has been reported in several human tumor types. In this report, we describe the development of an antibody, OMP-59R5 (tarextumab), which blocks both Notch2 and Notch3 signaling. Experimental Design: We utilized patient-derived xenograft tumors to evaluate antitumor effect of OMP-59R5. Immunohistochemistry, RNA microarray, real-Time PCR, and in vivo serial transplantation assays were employed to investigate the mechanisms of action and pharmacodynamic readouts. Results: Wefound that anti-Notch2/3, either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents was efficacious in a broad spectrum of epithelial tumors, including breast, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Notably, the sensitivity of anti-Notch2/3 in combination with gemcitabine in pancreatic tumors was associated with higher levels of Notch3 gene expression. The antitumor effect of anti-Notch2/3 in combination with gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel was greater than the combination effect with gemcitabine alone. OMP-59R5 inhibits both human and mouse Notch2 and Notch3 function and its antitumor activity was characterized by a dual mechanism of action in both tumor and stromal/vascular cells in xenograft experiments. In tumorcells, anti-Notch2/3 inhibited expression of Notch target genes and reduced tumor-initiating cell frequency. In the tumor stroma, OMP-59R5 consistently inhibited the expression of Notch3, HeyL, and Rgs5, characteristic of affecting pericyte function in tumor vasculature. Conclusions: These findings indicate that blockade of Notch2/3 signaling with this cross-reactive antagonist antibody may be an effective strategy for treatment of a variety of tumor types. © 2015 AACR. Source

O'Neil N.J.,University of British Columbia | van Pel D.M.,University of British Columbia | van Pel D.M.,The Center for Drug Research and Development | Hieter P.,University of British Columbia
Trends in Genetics | Year: 2013

Cohesins are mutated in a significant number of tumors of various types making them attractive targets for chemotherapeutic intervention. However, cohesins have a spectrum of cellular roles including sister chromatid cohesion, transcription, replication, and repair. Which of these roles are central to cancer biology and which roles can be exploited for therapeutic intervention? Genetic interaction networks in yeast have identified synthetic lethal interactions between mutations in cohesin and replication fork mediators. These interactions are conserved in worms and in human cells suggesting that inhibition of replication fork stability mediators such as poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) could result in the specific killing of tumors with cohesin mutations. These findings also highlight the utility of genetic interaction networks in model organisms for the identification of clinically relevant interactions. Here, we review this type of approach, emphasizing the power of synthetic lethal interactions to reveal new avenues for developing cancer therapeutics. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Balgi A.D.,University of British Columbia | Diering G.H.,University of British Columbia | Donohue E.,University of British Columbia | Lam K.K.Y.,University of British Columbia | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Acidification of the cytoplasm and the extracellular environment is associated with many physiological and pathological conditions, such as intense exercise, hypoxia and tumourigenesis. Acidification affects important cellular functions including protein synthesis, growth, and proliferation. Many of these vital functions are controlled by mTORC1, a master regulator protein kinase that is activated by various growth-stimulating signals and inactivated by starvation conditions. Whether mTORC1 can also respond to changes in extracellular or cytoplasmic pH and play a role in limiting anabolic processes in acidic conditions is not known. Methodology/Findings: We examined the effects of acidifying the extracellular medium from pH 7.4 to 6.4 on human breast carcinoma MCF-7 cells and immortalized mouse embryo fibroblasts. Decreasing the extracellular pH caused intracellular acidification and rapid, graded and reversible inhibition of mTORC1, assessed by measuring the phosphorylation of the mTORC1 substrate S6K. Fibroblasts deleted of the tuberous sclerosis complex TSC2 gene, a major negative regulator of mTORC1, were unable to inhibit mTORC1 in acidic extracellular conditions, showing that the TSC1-TSC2 complex is required for this response. Examination of the major upstream pathways converging on the TSC1-TSC2 complex showed that Akt signaling was unaffected by pH but that the Raf/MEK/ERK pathway was inhibited. Inhibition of MEK with drugs caused only modest mTORC1 inhibition, implying that other unidentified pathways also play major roles. Conclusions: This study reveals a novel role for the TSC1/TSC2 complex and mTORC1 in sensing variations in ambient pH. As a common feature of low tissue perfusion, low glucose availability and high energy expenditure, acidic pH may serve as a signal for mTORC1 to downregulate energy-consuming anabolic processes such as protein synthesis as an adaptive response to metabolically stressful conditions. © 2011 Balgi et al. Source

Leclair E.,York University | Liggins R.T.,The Center for Drug Research and Development | Peckett A.J.,York University | Teich T.,York University | And 3 more authors.
Diabetologia | Year: 2016

Aims/hypothesis: Regular exercise is at the cornerstone of care in type 1 diabetes. However, relative hyperinsulinaemia and a blunted glucagon response to exercise promote hypoglycaemia. Recently, a selective antagonist of somatostatin receptor 2, PRL-2903, was shown to improve glucagon counterregulation to hypoglycaemia in resting streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of PRL-2903 in enhancing glucagon counterregulation during repeated hyperinsulinaemic exercise. Methods: Diabetic rats performed daily exercise for 1 week and were then exposed to saline (154 mmol/l NaCl) or PRL-2903, 10 mg/kg, before hyperinsulinaemic exercise on two separate occasions spaced 1 day apart. In the following week, animals crossed over to the alternate treatment for a third hyperinsulinaemic exercise protocol. Results: Liver glycogen content was lower in diabetic rats compared with control rats, despite daily insulin therapy (p < 0.05). Glucagon levels failed to increase during exercise with saline but increased three-to-six fold with PRL-2903 (all p < 0.05). Glucose concentrations tended to be higher during exercise and early recovery with PRL-2903 on both days of treatment; this difference did not achieve statistical significance (p > 0.05). Conclusions/interpretation: PRL-2903 improves glucagon counterregulation during exercise. However, liver glycogen stores or other factors limit the prevention of exercise-induced hypoglycaemia in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

The Center For Drug Research And Development | Date: 2014-03-14

Compounds having cytotoxic and/or anti-mitotic activity are disclosed. Methods associated with preparation and use of such compounds, as well as pharmaceutical compositions comprising such compounds, are also disclosed. Also disclosed are compositions having the structure: (T)-(L)-D), wherein (T) is a targeting moiety, (L) is an optional linker, and (D) is a compound having cytotoxic and/or anti-mitotic activity.

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