Research ArticleCancer therapy

Differential abundance of CK1α provides selectivity for pharmacological CK1α activators to target WNT-dependent tumors

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Science Signaling  27 Jun 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 485, eaak9916
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aak9916
  • Fig. 1 A novel CK1α activator attenuates WNT signaling.

    (A) A TOPflash WNT reporter assay in 293T cells using the indicated doses of SSTC3 in the presence of WNT3A. A representative figure is shown (means ± SD, n = 3). (B) SSTC3 was covalently immobilized to the surface of a CM5 sensor chip, and SPR sensorgrams were generated by flowing the indicated concentrations of recombinant CK1α over it. Representative data are shown (n = 3). RU, resonance units. (C) CK1α was incubated with recombinant β-catenin plus vehicle or SSTC3 (100 nM) in a kinase reaction containing [γ32P]–adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for 0.5, 1, or 3 min, followed by SDS–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. (D) SW403 cells were treated with 100 nM SSTC3 for 15 min, and the Ser45 phosphorylation status of β-catenin was determined by immunoblotting. A representative image (left) and quantification (means ± SEM; right) of three independent experiments is shown (Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05). (E) SSTC3-coupled agarose beads were used to isolate endogenous CK1α from 293T cell lysates in the presence or absence of free pyrvinium, followed by analysis of the indicated proteins by immunoblotting. (F) HCT116 cells expressing the indicated short hairpin RNA (shRNA) were transfected with the TOPflash reporter and treated with SSTC3 (100 nM) or vehicle. Luciferase activity was determined 48 hours later. Data are means ± SEM (n = 3; Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05). (G) Four- to eight-cell stage embryos were injected ventrally with Xwnt8 mRNA (1 pg) plus vehicle or SSTC3 (100 nM or 1 μM), allowed to develop, and scored for secondary axis formation (Fisher’s exact test, *P ≤ 0.05).

  • Fig. 2 SSTC3 inhibits the growth of Apc mutation-driven tumors.

    (A) Organoids derived from wild-type (wt) mouse intestine or Apc mutant tumors were treated with the indicated doses of SSTC3 for 4 days. Representative images (left) or quantification of organoid size (diameter) from four independent replicates (right) are shown. Data are means ± SEM (Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05). Scale bars, 200 μm. (B) Apcmin mice were dosed with SSTC3 [10 mg/kg intraperitoneally (ip)] or vehicle, and the small intestines were subsequently harvested and analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Data are means ± SEM (n = 4 in control group and 5 in treatment group; Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05). (C and D) Apcmin mice were treated with vehicle or SSTC3 (10 mg/kg ip) for 1 month, dosing every other day. Polyp number (C) and size (D) were quantitated. Data are means ± SEM (n = 5 mice in each group; Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05). (E) Five-week-old Apcmin mice were treated with vehicle or SSTC3 (10 mg/kg ip) (n = 14 for each group) for 1 month as indicated, dosing every other day. Kaplan-Meier survival curves of these mice are shown, which was determined using a log-rank Mantel-Cox test (*P ≤ 0.05).

  • Fig. 3 SSTC3 reduces the viability of colorectal carcinoma cells in an on-target manner.

    (A and B) Viability (A) and colony formation (B) in CRC cells treated with SSTC3 for 5 days. (C) Expression of the indicated genes analyzed by qRT-PCR in SW403 cells treated with SSTC3 (as indicated) for 4 days analyzed by qRT-PCR. (D) Expression of the indicated genes analyzed by qRT-PCR in the indicated cells treated with vehicle or SSTC3 (2 μM) for 2 days. (E) Cell viability in β-catenin–mutant (mut) or wt HCT116 cells treated with a range of doses of SSTC3 for 5 days. (F) WNT reporter activity was determined in 293T cells using the indicated compounds and doses. (G) Cell viability in HCT116 cells treated with the indicated compounds for 72 hours. (H) Ratio of suppression of WNT reporter expression (drug activity range, 18 nM to 2.3 μM) in 293T cells to suppression of cell viability in HCT116 cells (drug activity range, 41 nM to 3.9 μM) by SSTC3 derivatives. Red line indicates an idealized ratio of 1. Dashed lines indicate 1 SD from the ratio of SSTC3. Data are means ± SEM from n = 3 experiments (A to E) and means ± SD from a representative of multiple independent experiments (F and G) (*P ≤ 0.05).

  • Fig. 4 SSTC3 suppresses the growth of colorectal carcinoma in vivo.

    (A) Plasma concentration of SSTC3 in CD-1 mice after intraperitoneal injection. Data are means ± SD (n = 3; dashed line, 250 nM). (B) Tumor volume (left) and H&E staining (right) of HCT116 xenografts in mice treated with vehicle or SSTC3 (25 mg/kg ip) for the indicated days (n = 10 in each group). Scale bars, 100 μm. (C and D) WNT-associated gene expression by qRT-PCR (C; n = 7 mice per group) and KI67 staining (D) in residual tumors from mice described in (B) (n = 6 mice per group). Scale bar, 50 μm. (E) Representative image showing organoids derived from a patient’s CRC (CRC1) treated with vehicle or SSTC3 (200 nM and 2 μM, respectively) for 7 days is shown (left). Scale bar, 500 μm. The diameter of organoid cultures (n = 12 separate cultures) derived from three distinct resected patient CRCs was quantitated (right). (F) Tumor growth in PDXs (CRC1) from mice treated with SSTC3 (15 mg/kg ip daily) or vehicle (n = 10 and 9 mice, respectively). Right: Representative H&E staining. Scale bar, 100 μm. (G) qRT-PCR analysis in CRC1 tumors from mice treated with SSTC3 (15 mg/kg) or vehicle (n = 5 each). Data are means ± SEM (Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05).

  • Fig. 5 SSTC3 exhibits efficacy with minimal GI toxicity.

    (A) TOPflash WNT reporter assay in 293T cells cultured with the indicated doses of SSTC3 and G007-LK (TANKi) in the presence of WNT3A. Representative data are shown (means ± SD, n = 3). (B) SW403 xenograft growth in mice treated with SSTC3 (15 mg/kg ip) or TANKi (40 mg/kg ip) for the indicated days (n = 7 in each group). (C to E) Body weight in mice (C) and representative H&E (D) and KI67 staining of mouse intestines (E) after treatment as described in (B). V, villi; C, crypt. Yellow and white arrows indicate crypt base columnar and paneth cells, respectively. Quantitative analysis of 120 crypts from four separate mice is shown (right) (E). Scale bars, 50 μm (D) and 10 μm (E). (F) qRT-PCR analysis on intestines from nude mice treated with vehicle, TANKi (40 mg/kg), or SSTC3 (15 mg/kg) (n = 4 in each group). (G) Size of wt organoids after 5-day treatment with vehicle or the indicated doses of SSTC3 or TANKi. Left: Representative images. Right: Quantification of mean size from five independent cultures. Scale bar, 100 μm. Data are means ± SEM (Student’s t test, *P ≤ 0.05).

  • Fig. 6 CK1α abundance dictates SSTC3 sensitivity.

    (A) Representative immunoblot for CK1α abundance in intestinal crypts or tumors isolated from wt or Apcmin mice. GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. (B) Immunoblotting for CK1α abundance in organoids derived from wt mouse intestines or Apc mutant tumors. (C) Representative immunoblot for CK1α abundance in 293T cells transfected with control or APC siRNA. (D) Representative immunoblot for CK1α abundance in wt intestinal organoids maintained in regular niche factors alone (−) or supplemented with WNT3A and nicotinamide (Nico; 1 mM) to hyperactivate WNT signaling. (E) Morphology in intestinal organoids described in (D) treated with SSTC3 for 4 days. (F) TOPflash WNT reporter activity (left) in 293T cells after CK1α knockdown with SMARTpool siRNA (right) and treatment with vehicle or SSTC3 (100 nM for 24 hours). (G) Kaplan-Meier survival curves of patients with tumors that had relatively high or low CK1α expression (GSE17538; n = 125 patients per group; *P ≤ 0.05). (H) Schematic demonstrating the selectivity of CK1α activators for WNT-dependent tumors.

Supplementary Materials

  • www.sciencesignaling.org/cgi/content/full/10/485/eaak9916/DC1

    Fig. S1. SSTC3 inhibits WNT signaling via CK1α.

    Fig. S2. SSTC3 attenuates the viability of cells dependent on WNT activity.

    Fig. S3. A structural analog of SSTC3, SSTC111, does not inhibit WNT biomarkers in CRC cells.

    Fig. S4. SSTC3 treatment decreases tumor cell density in CRC xenografts.

    Fig. S5. SSTC3 has limited on-target GI toxicity in mice.

    Fig. S6. Decreased abundance of CK1α sensitizes cells to SSTC3.

  • Supplementary Materials for:

    Differential abundance of CK1α provides selectivity for pharmacological CK1α activators to target WNT-dependent tumors

    Bin Li, Darren Orton, Leif R. Neitzel, Luisana Astudillo, Chen Shen, Jun Long, Xi Chen, Kellye C. Kirkbride, Thomas Doundoulakis, Marcy L. Guerra, Julia Zaias, Dennis Liang Fei, Jezabel Rodriguez-Blanco, Curtis Thorne, Zhiqiang Wang, Ke Jin, Dao M. Nguyen, Laurence R. Sands, Floriano Marchetti, Maria T. Abreu, Melanie H. Cobb, Anthony J. Capobianco, Ethan Lee, David J. Robbins*

    *Corresponding author. Email: drobbins{at}med.miami.edu

    This PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. SSTC3 inhibits WNT signaling via CK1α.
    • Fig. S2. SSTC3 attenuates the viability of cells dependent on WNT activity.
    • Fig. S3. A structural analog of SSTC3, SSTC111, does not inhibit WNT biomarkers in CRC cells.
    • Fig. S4. SSTC3 treatment decreases tumor cell density in CRC xenografts.
    • Fig. S5. SSTC3 has limited on-target GI toxicity in mice.
    • Fig. S6. Decreased abundance of CK1α sensitizes cells to SSTC3.

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    Citation: B. Li, D. Orton, L. R. Neitzel, L. Astudillo, C. Shen, J. Long, X. Chen, K. C. Kirkbride, T. Doundoulakis, M. L. Guerra, J. Zaias, D. L. Fei, J. Rodriguez-Blanco, C. Thorne, Z. Wang, K. Jin, D. M. Nguyen, L. R. Sands, F. Marchetti, M. T. Abreu, M. H. Cobb, A. J. Capobianco, E. Lee, D. J. Robbins, Differential abundance of CK1a provides selectivity for pharmacological CK1a activators to target WNT-dependent tumors. Sci. Signal. 10, eaak9916 (2017).

    © 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science

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