Kidney cancer (or renal cell carcinoma, RCC) is the sixth most common malignancy in the United States and one of the relatively few whose incidence is increasing. Because of the near universal resistance which occurs with the use of current treatment regimens, reprogrammed metabolic pathways are being investigated as potential targets for novel therapies of this disease. Borrowing from studies on other malignancies, we have identified the PAK4 and NAD biosynthetic pathways as being essential for RCC growth. We now show, using the dual PAK4/NAMPT inhibitor KPT-9274, that interference with these signaling pathways results in reduction of G2-M transit as well as induction of apoptosis and decrease in cell invasion and migration in several human RCC cell lines. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that inhibition of the PAK4 pathway by KPT-9274 attenuates nuclear β-catenin as well as the Wnt/β-catenin targets cyclin D1 and c-Myc. Furthermore, NAPRT1 downregulation, which we show occurs in all RCC cell lines tested, makes this tumor highly dependent on NAMPT for its NAD requirements, such that inhibition of NAMPT by KPT-9274 leads to decreased survival of these rapidly proliferating cells. When KPT-9274 was administered in vivo to a 786-O (VHL-mut) human RCC xenograft model, there was dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth with no apparent toxicity; KPT-9274 demonstrated the expected on-target effects in this mouse model. KPT-9274 is being evaluated in a phase I human clinical trial in solid tumors and lymphomas, which will allow this data to be rapidly translated into the clinic for the treatment of RCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research