Publications by authors named "Elias Stratikopoulos"

11 Publications

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AKT degradation selectively inhibits the growth of PI3K/PTEN pathway mutant cancers with wild-type KRAS and BRAF by destabilizing Aurora kinase B.

Cancer Discov 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Using a panel of cancer cell lines, we characterized a novel degrader of AKT, MS21. In mutant PI3K/PTEN pathway lines, AKT degradation was superior to AKT kinase inhibition for reducing cell growth and sustaining lower signaling over many days. AKT degradation but not kinase inhibition profoundly lowered Aurora kinase B (AURKB) protein, which is known to be essential for cell division, and induced G2/M arrest and hyperploidy. PI3K activated AKT phosphorylation of AURKB on threonine 73, which protected it from proteasome degradation. A mutant of AURKB (T73E) that mimics phosphorylation and blocks degradation rescued cells from growth inhibition. Degrader resistant lines were associated with low AKT phosphorylation, wild type PI3K/PTEN status, and mutation of KRAS/BRAF. Pan-cancer analysis identified that 19% of cases have PI3K/PTEN pathway mutation without RAS pathway mutation, suggesting that these cancer patients could benefit from AKT degrader therapy that leads to loss of AURKB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-20-0815DOI Listing
July 2021

and Mutations Promote 4NQO-Initated Head and Neck Tumor Progression and Metastasis in Mice.

Mol Cancer Res 2020 06 9;18(6):822-834. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York.

The PI3K signaling pathway is frequently mutated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), often via gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in the gene. Here, we present novel genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) carrying a GOF allele (E20) alone or in combination with heterozygous - (p53) mutation with tissue-specific expression to interrogate the role of oncogenic in transformation of upper aerodigestive track epithelium. We demonstrated that the GOF mutation promoted progression of 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide-induced oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in both E20 single mutant and E20/p53 double mutant mice, with frequent distal metastasis detected only in E20/p53 GEMM. Similar to in human OSCC, loss of p16 was associated with progression of OSCC in these mice. RNA-seq analyses revealed that among the common genes differentially expressed in primary OSCC cell lines derived from E20, p53, and E20/p53 GEMMs compared with those from the wild-type mice, genes associated with proliferation and cell cycle were predominantly represented, which is consistent with the progressive loss of p16 detected in these GEMMs. Importantly, all of these OSCC primary cell lines exhibited enhanced sensitivity to BYL719 and cisplatin combination treatment in comparison with cisplatin alone and , regardless of p53 and/or p16 status. Given the prevalence of mutations in and the PI3K pathways in HNSCC in conjunction with loss of p16 genetically or epigenetically, this universal increased sensitivity to cisplatin and BYL719 combination therapy in cancer cells with mutation represents an opportunity to a subset of patients with HNSCC. IMPLICATIONS: Our results suggest that combination therapy of cisplatin and PI3K inhibitor may be worthy of consideration in patients with HNSCC with mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-19-0549DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7272268PMC
June 2020

Discovery of a first-in-class EZH2 selective degrader.

Nat Chem Biol 2020 02 9;16(2):214-222. Epub 2019 Dec 9.

Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutics Discovery, Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

The enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is the main enzymatic subunit of the PRC2 complex, which catalyzes trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) to promote transcriptional silencing. EZH2 is overexpressed in multiple types of cancer including triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and high expression levels correlate with poor prognosis. Several EZH2 inhibitors, which inhibit the methyltransferase activity of EZH2, have shown promise in treating sarcoma and follicular lymphoma in clinics. However, EZH2 inhibitors are ineffective at blocking proliferation of TNBC cells, even though they effectively reduce the H3K27me3 mark. Using a hydrophobic tagging approach, we generated MS1943, a first-in-class EZH2 selective degrader that effectively reduces EZH2 levels in cells. Importantly, MS1943 has a profound cytotoxic effect in multiple TNBC cells, while sparing normal cells, and is efficacious in vivo, suggesting that pharmacologic degradation of EZH2 can be advantageous for treating the cancers that are dependent on EZH2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41589-019-0421-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982609PMC
February 2020

PTEN interacts with the transcription machinery on chromatin and regulates RNA polymerase II-mediated transcription.

Nucleic Acids Res 2019 06;47(11):5573-5586

Department of Oncological Sciences, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1470 Author afMadison Avenue, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Regulation of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII)-mediated transcription controls cellular phenotypes such as cancer. Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN), one of the most commonly altered tumor suppressors in cancer, affects transcription via its role in antagonizing the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Using co-immunoprecipitations and proximal ligation assays we provide evidence that PTEN interacts with AFF4, RNAPII, CDK9, cyclin T1, XPB and CDK7. Using ChIP-seq, we show that PTEN co-localizes with RNAPII and binds to chromatin in promoter and putative enhancer regions identified by histone modifications. Furthermore, we show that loss of PTEN affects RNAPII occupancy in gene bodies and further correlates with gene expression changes. Interestingly, PTEN binds to promoters and negatively regulates the expression of genes involved in transcription including AFF4 and POL2RA, which encodes a subunit of RNAPII. Loss of PTEN also increased cells' sensitivity to transcription inhibition via small molecules, which could provide a strategy to target PTEN-deficient cancers. Overall, our work describes a previously unappreciated role of nuclear PTEN, which by interacting with the transcription machinery in the context of chromatin exerts an additional layer of regulatory control on RNAPII-mediated transcription.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkz272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6582409PMC
June 2019

Mouse ER+/PIK3CA breast cancers caused by exogenous estrogen are heterogeneously dependent on estrogen and undergo BIM-dependent apoptosis with BH3 and PI3K agents.

Oncogene 2019 01 3;38(1):47-59. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

Department of Oncological Sciences, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, 10029, USA.

Estrogen dependence is major driver of ER + breast cancer, which is associated with PI3K mutation. PI3K inhibition (PI3Ki) can restore dependence on ER signaling for some hormone therapy-resistant ER + breast cancers, but is ineffective in others. Here we show that short-term supplementation with estrogen strongly enhanced Pik3caH1047R-induced mammary tumorigenesis in mice that resulted exclusively in ER + tumors, demonstrating the cooperation of the hormone and the oncogene in tumor development. Similar to human ER + breast cancers that are endocrine-dependent or endocrine-independent at diagnosis, tumor lines from this model retained ER expression but were sensitive or resistant to hormonal therapies. PI3Ki did not induce cell death but did cause upregulation of the pro-apoptotic gene BIM. BH3 mimetics or PI3Ki were unable to restore hormone sensitivity in several resistant mouse and human tumor lines. Importantly however, combination of PI3Ki and BH3 mimetics had a profound, BIM-dependent cytotoxic effect in PIK3CA-mutant cancer cells while sparing normal cells. We propose that addition of BH3 mimetics offers a therapeutic strategy to markedly improve the cytotoxic activity of PI3Ki in hormonal therapy-resistant and ER-independent PIK3CA-mutant breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41388-018-0436-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6596308PMC
January 2019

PTEN Regulates Glutamine Flux to Pyrimidine Synthesis and Sensitivity to Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase Inhibition.

Cancer Discov 2017 04 2;7(4):380-390. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

Department of Oncological Sciences, Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Metabolic changes induced by oncogenic drivers of cancer contribute to tumor growth and are attractive targets for cancer treatment. Here, we found that increased growth of -mutant cells was dependent on glutamine flux through the pyrimidine synthesis pathway, which created sensitivity to the inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase, a rate-limiting enzyme for pyrimidine ring synthesis. S-phase -mutant cells showed increased numbers of replication forks, and inhibitors of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase led to chromosome breaks and cell death due to inadequate ATR activation and DNA damage at replication forks. Our findings indicate that enhanced glutamine flux generates vulnerability to dihydroorotate dehydrogenase inhibition, which then causes synthetic lethality in -deficient cells due to inherent defects in ATR activation. Inhibition of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase could thus be a promising therapy for patients with -mutant cancers. We have found a prospective targeted therapy for -deficient tumors, with efficacy and in tumors derived from different tissues. This is based upon the changes in glutamine metabolism, DNA replication, and DNA damage response which are consequences of inactivation of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-16-0612DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5562025PMC
April 2017

Molecular Pathways: Targeting the PI3K Pathway in Cancer-BET Inhibitors to the Rescue.

Clin Cancer Res 2016 06;22(11):2605-10

Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

The PI3K signaling pathway is a complex and tightly regulated network that is critical for many physiologic processes, such as cell growth, proliferation, metabolism, and survival. Aberrant activation of this pathway can occur through mutation of almost any of its major nodes and has been implicated in a number of human diseases, including cancer. The high frequency of mutations in this pathway in multiple types of cancer has led to the development of small-molecule inhibitors of PI3K, several of which are currently in clinical trials. However, several feedback mechanisms either within the PI3K pathway or in compensatory pathways can render tumor cells resistant to therapy. Recently, targeting proteins of the bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family of epigenetic readers of histone acetylation has been shown to effectively block adaptive signaling response of cancer cells to inhibitors of the PI3K pathway, which at least in some cases can restore sensitivity. BET inhibitors also enforce blockade of the MAPK, JAK/STAT, and ER pathways, suggesting they may be a rational combinatorial partner for divergent oncogenic signals that are subject to homeostatic regulation. Here, we review the PI3K pathway as a target for cancer therapy and discuss the potential use of BET inhibition to enhance the clinical efficacy of PI3K inhibitors. Clin Cancer Res; 22(11); 2605-10. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-15-2389DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896088PMC
June 2016

Kinase and BET Inhibitors Together Clamp Inhibition of PI3K Signaling and Overcome Resistance to Therapy.

Cancer Cell 2015 Jun;27(6):837-51

Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1470 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10029, USA. Electronic address:

Unsustained enzyme inhibition is a barrier to targeted therapy for cancer. Here, resistance to a class I PI3K inhibitor in a model of metastatic breast cancer driven by PI3K and MYC was associated with feedback activation of tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs), AKT, mTOR, and MYC. Inhibitors of bromodomain and extra terminal domain (BET) proteins also failed to affect tumor growth. Interestingly, BET inhibitors lowered PI3K signaling and dissociated BRD4 from chromatin at regulatory regions of insulin receptor and EGFR family RTKs to reduce their expression. Combined PI3K and BET inhibition induced cell death, tumor regression, and clamped inhibition of PI3K signaling in a broad range of tumor cell lines to provide a strategy to overcome resistance to kinase inhibitor therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccell.2015.05.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918409PMC
June 2015

Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers from the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, and their cross-species amplification in the Tephritidae family.

BMC Genomics 2008 Dec 19;9:618. Epub 2008 Dec 19.

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, Thessaly, Greece.

Background: The Tephritidae family of insects includes the most important agricultural pests of fruits and vegetables, belonging mainly to four genera (Bactrocera, Ceratitis, Anastrepha and Rhagoletis). The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, is the major pest of the olive fruit. Currently, its control is based on chemical insecticides. Environmentally friendlier methods have been attempted in the past (Sterile Insect Technique), albeit with limited success. This was mainly attributed to the lack of knowledge on the insect's behaviour, ecology and genetic structure of natural populations. The development of molecular markers could facilitate the access in the genome and contribute to the solution of the aforementioned problems. We chose to focus on microsatellite markers due to their abundance in the genome, high degree of polymorphism and easiness of isolation.

Results: Fifty-eight microsatellite-containing clones were isolated from the olive fly, Bactrocera oleae, bearing a total of sixty-two discrete microsatellite motifs. Forty-two primer pairs were designed on the unique sequences flanking the microsatellite motif and thirty-one of them amplified a PCR product of the expected size. The level of polymorphism was evaluated against wild and laboratory flies and the majority of the markers (93.5%) proved highly polymorphic. Thirteen of them presented a unique position on the olive fly polytene chromosomes by in situ hybridization, which can serve as anchors to correlate future genetic and cytological maps of the species, as well as entry points to the genome. Cross-species amplification of these markers to eleven Tephritidae species and sequencing of thirty-one of the amplified products revealed a varying degree of conservation that declines outside the Bactrocera genus.

Conclusion: Microsatellite markers are very powerful tools for genetic and population analyses, particularly in species deprived of any other means of genetic analysis. The presented set of microsatellite markers possesses all features that would render them useful in such analyses. This could also prove helpful for species where SIT is a desired outcome, since the development of effective SIT can be aided by detailed knowledge at the genetic and molecular level. Furthermore, their presented efficacy in several other species of the Tephritidae family not only makes them useful for their analysis but also provides tools for phylogenetic comparisons among them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-9-618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2635384PMC
December 2008

The hormonal action of IGF1 in postnatal mouse growth.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Dec 25;105(49):19378-83. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University, 1150 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10032, USA.

The mammalian insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), which is a member of a major growth-promoting signaling system, is produced by many tissues and functions throughout embryonic and postnatal development in an autocrine/paracrine fashion. In addition to this local action, IGF1 secreted by the liver and circulating in the plasma presumably acts systemically as a classical hormone. However, an endocrine role of IGF1 in growth control was disputed on the basis of the results of a conditional, liver-specific Igf1 gene knockout in mice, which reduced significantly the level of serum IGF1, but did not affect average body weight. Because alternate interpretations of these negative data were tenable, we addressed genetically the question of hormonal IGF1 action by using a positive experimental strategy based on the features of the cre/loxP recombination system. Thus, we generated bitransgenic mice carrying in an Igf1 null background a dormant Igf1 cDNA placed downstream of a transcriptional "stop" DNA sequence flanked by loxP sites (floxed) and also a cre transgene driven by a liver-specific promoter. The Igf1 cDNA, which was inserted by knock-in into the mutated and inactive Igf1 locus itself to ensure proper transcriptional regulation, was conditionally expressed from cognate promoters exclusively in the liver after Cre-mediated excision of the floxed block. Our genetic study demonstrated that the endocrine IGF1 plays a very significant role in mouse growth, as its action contributes approximately30% of the adult body size and sustains postnatal development, including the reproductive functions of both mouse sexes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0809223105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2614769PMC
December 2008

An integrated genetic and cytogenetic map for the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, based on microsatellite and morphological markers.

Genetica 2008 Jun 4;133(2):147-57. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Department of Biology, University of Patras, Patras, 26500, Greece.

A genetic map based on microsatellite polymorphisms and visible mutations of the Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata is presented. Genotyping was performed on single flies from several backcross families. The map is composed of 67 microsatellites and 16 visible markers distributed over four linkage groups. Fluorescence in situ hybridization of selected microsatellite markers on salivary gland polytene chromosomes allowed the alignment of these groups to the second, fourth, fifth and sixth chromosome. None of the markers tested showed segregation either with the X or the third chromosome. However, this map constitutes a substantial starting point for a detailed genetic map of C. capitata. The construction of an integrated map covering the whole genome should greatly facilitate genetic studies and future genome sequence projects of the species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10709-007-9195-9DOI Listing
June 2008
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