Publications by authors named "Flora Luo"

7 Publications

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The Genomic Landscape of Intrinsic and Acquired Resistance to Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4/6 Inhibitors in Patients with Hormone Receptor-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Cancer Discov 2020 Aug 13;10(8):1174-1193. Epub 2020 May 13.

Center for Cancer Precision Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Mechanisms driving resistance to cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitors (CDK4/6i) in hormone receptor-positive (HR) breast cancer have not been clearly defined. Whole-exome sequencing of 59 tumors with CDK4/6i exposure revealed multiple candidate resistance mechanisms including loss, activating alterations in , and , and loss of estrogen receptor expression. experiments confirmed that these alterations conferred CDK4/6i resistance. Cancer cells cultured to resistance with CDK4/6i also acquired , or alterations, which conferred sensitivity to AURKA, ERK, or CHEK1 inhibition. Three of these activating alterations-in , and -have not, to our knowledge, been previously demonstrated as mechanisms of resistance to CDK4/6i in breast cancer preclinically or in patient samples. Together, these eight mechanisms were present in 66% of resistant tumors profiled and may define therapeutic opportunities in patients. SIGNIFICANCE: We identified eight distinct mechanisms of resistance to CDK4/6i present in 66% of resistant tumors profiled. Most of these have a therapeutic strategy to overcome or prevent resistance in these tumors. Taken together, these findings have critical implications related to the potential utility of precision-based approaches to overcome resistance in many patients with HR metastatic breast cancer..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-1390DOI Listing
August 2020

A Functional Landscape of Resistance to MEK1/2 and CDK4/6 Inhibition in NRAS-Mutant Melanoma.

Cancer Res 2019 05 28;79(9):2352-2366. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Cancer Program, The Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Combinatorial inhibition of MEK1/2 and CDK4/6 is currently undergoing clinical investigation in NRAS-mutant melanoma. To prospectively map the landscape of resistance to this investigational regimen, we utilized a series of gain- and loss-of-function forward genetic screens to identify modulators of resistance to clinical inhibitors of MEK1/2 and CDK4/6 alone and in combination. First, we identified NRAS-mutant melanoma cell lines that were dependent on NRAS for proliferation and sensitive to MEK1/2 and CDK4/6 combination treatment. We then used a genome-scale ORF overexpression screen and a CRISPR knockout screen to identify modulators of resistance to each inhibitor alone or in combination. These orthogonal screening approaches revealed concordant means of achieving resistance to this therapeutic modality, including tyrosine kinases, RAF, RAS, AKT, and PI3K signaling. Activated KRAS was sufficient to cause resistance to combined MEK/CDK inhibition and to replace genetic depletion of oncogenic NRAS. In summary, our comprehensive functional genetic screening approach revealed modulation of resistance to the inhibition of MEK1/2, CDK4/6, or their combination in NRAS-mutant melanoma. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings reveal that NRAS-mutant melanomas can acquire resistance to genetic ablation of or combination MEK1/2 and CDK4/6 inhibition by upregulating activity of the RTK-RAS-RAF and RTK-PI3K-AKT signaling cascade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7227487PMC
May 2019

Systematic Functional Characterization of Resistance to PI3K Inhibition in Breast Cancer.

Cancer Discov 2016 10 7;6(10):1134-1147. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.

PIK3CA (which encodes the PI3K alpha isoform) is the most frequently mutated oncogene in breast cancer. Small-molecule PI3K inhibitors have shown promise in clinical trials; however, intrinsic and acquired resistance limits their utility. We used a systematic gain-of-function approach to identify genes whose upregulation confers resistance to the PI3K inhibitor BYL719 in breast cancer cells. Among the validated resistance genes, Proviral Insertion site in Murine leukemia virus (PIM) kinases conferred resistance by maintaining downstream PI3K effector activation in an AKT-independent manner. Concurrent pharmacologic inhibition of PIM and PI3K overcame this resistance mechanism. We also observed increased PIM expression and activity in a subset of breast cancer biopsies with clinical resistance to PI3K inhibitors. PIM1 overexpression was mutually exclusive with PIK3CA mutation in treatment-naïve breast cancers, suggesting downstream functional redundancy. Together, these results offer new insights into resistance to PI3K inhibitors and support clinical studies of combined PIM/PI3K inhibition in a subset of PIK3CA-mutant cancers.

Significance: PIM kinase overexpression confers resistance to small-molecule PI3K inhibitors. Combined inhibition of PIM and PI3K may therefore be warranted in a subset of breast cancers. Cancer Discov; 6(10); 1134-47. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1069.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5050154PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-16-0305DOI Listing
October 2016

Combined Pan-RAF and MEK Inhibition Overcomes Multiple Resistance Mechanisms to Selective RAF Inhibitors.

Mol Cancer Ther 2015 Dec 8;14(12):2700-11. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts. The Broad Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts. Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

RAF and MEK inhibitors are effective in BRAF-mutant melanoma but not in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer. To gain additional insights into this difference, we performed a genome-scale pooled shRNA enhancer screen in a BRAF-mutant, RAF inhibitor-resistant colorectal cancer cell line exposed to the selective RAF inhibitor PLX4720. We identified multiple genes along the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling axis that, when suppressed, either genetically or pharmacologically, sensitized cells to the selective RAF inhibitor through sustained inhibition of MAPK signaling. Strikingly, CRAF was a key mediator of resistance that could be overcome by the use of pan-RAF inhibitors in combination with a MEK inhibitor. Furthermore, the combination of pan-RAF and MEK inhibitors displayed strong synergy in melanoma and colorectal cancer cell lines with RAS-activating events such as RTK activation, KRAS mutation, or NF1 loss-of-function mutations. Combinations of selective RAF inhibitors, such as PLX4720 or dabrafenib, with MEK inhibitors did not incur such profound synergy, suggesting that inhibition of CRAF by pan-RAF inhibitors plays a key role in determining cellular response. Importantly, in contrast to the modest activity seen with single-agent treatment, dual pan-RAF and MEK inhibition results in the induction of apoptosis, greatly enhancing efficacy. Notably, combined pan-RAF and MEK inhibition can overcome intrinsic and acquired resistance to single-agent RAF/MEK inhibition, supporting dual pan-RAF and MEK inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy for BRAF- and KRAS-mutant cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0136-TDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674359PMC
December 2015

Turnover rates of hepatic collagen and circulating collagen-associated proteins in humans with chronic liver disease.

PLoS One 2015 24;10(4):e0123311. Epub 2015 Apr 24.

Department of Fibrosis, KineMed Inc., Emeryville, California, United States of America; Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology, University of California, Berkeley, California, United States of America.

Accumulation and degradation of scar tissue in fibrotic liver disease occur slowly, typically over many years. Direct measurement of fibrogenesis, the rate of scar tissue deposition, may provide valuable therapeutic and prognostic information. We describe here results from a pilot study utilizing in vivo metabolic labeling to measure the turnover rate of hepatic collagen and collagen-associated proteins in plasma for the first time in human subjects. Eight subjects with chronic liver disease were labeled with daily oral doses of 2H2O for up to 8 weeks prior to diagnostic liver biopsy and plasma collection. Tandem mass spectrometry was used to measure the abundance and fractional synthesis rate (FSR) of proteins in liver and blood. Relative protein abundance and FSR data in liver revealed marked differences among subjects. FSRs of hepatic type I and III collagen ranged from 0.2-0.6% per day (half-lives of 4 months to a year) and correlated significantly with worsening histologic fibrosis. Analysis of plasma protein turnover revealed two collagen-associated proteins, lumican and transforming growth factor beta-induced-protein (TGFBI), exhibiting FSRs that correlated significantly with FSRs of hepatic collagen. In summary, this is the first direct measurement of liver collagen turnover in vivo in humans and suggests a high rate of collagen remodeling in advanced fibrosis. In addition, the FSRs of collagen-associated proteins in plasma are measurable and may provide a novel strategy for monitoring hepatic fibrogenesis rates.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123311PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4409311PMC
January 2016

Proteomic analysis of altered extracellular matrix turnover in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.

Mol Cell Proteomics 2014 Jul 16;13(7):1741-52. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

From *KineMed Inc., 5980 Horton St., Suite 470, Emeryville California 94608;

Fibrotic disease is characterized by the pathological accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Surprisingly, very little is known about the synthesis and degradation rates of the many proteins and proteoglycans that constitute healthy or pathological extracellular matrix. A comprehensive understanding of altered ECM protein synthesis and degradation during the onset and progression of fibrotic disease would be immensely valuable. We have developed a dynamic proteomics platform that quantifies the fractional synthesis rates of large numbers of proteins via stable isotope labeling and LC/MS-based mass isotopomer analysis. Here, we present the first broad analysis of ECM protein kinetics during the onset of experimental pulmonary fibrosis. Mice were labeled with heavy water for up to 21 days following the induction of lung fibrosis with bleomycin. Lung tissue was subjected to sequential protein extraction to fractionate cellular, guanidine-soluble ECM proteins and residual insoluble ECM proteins. Fractional synthesis rates were calculated for 34 ECM proteins or protein subunits, including collagens, proteoglycans, and microfibrillar proteins. Overall, fractional synthesis rates of guanidine-soluble ECM proteins were faster than those of insoluble ECM proteins, suggesting that the insoluble fraction reflected older, more mature matrix components. This was confirmed through the quantitation of pyridinoline cross-links in each protein fraction. In fibrotic lung tissue, there was a significant increase in the fractional synthesis of unique sets of matrix proteins during early (pre-1 week) and late (post-1 week) fibrotic response. Furthermore, we isolated fast turnover subpopulations of several ECM proteins (e.g. type I collagen) based on guanidine solubility, allowing for accelerated detection of increased synthesis of typically slow-turnover protein populations. This establishes the presence of multiple kinetic pools of pulmonary collagen in vivo with altered turnover rates during evolving fibrosis. These data demonstrate the utility of dynamic proteomics in analyzing changes in ECM protein turnover associated with the onset and progression of fibrotic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M113.037267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4083112PMC
July 2014

Ferristatin II promotes degradation of transferrin receptor-1 in vitro and in vivo.

PLoS One 2013 23;8(7):e70199. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Previous studies have shown that the small molecule iron transport inhibitor ferristatin (NSC30611) acts by down-regulating transferrin receptor-1 (TfR1) via receptor degradation. In this investigation, we show that another small molecule, ferristatin II (NSC8679), acts in a similar manner to degrade the receptor through a nystatin-sensitive lipid raft pathway. Structural domains of the receptor necessary for interactions with the clathrin pathway do not appear to be necessary for ferristatin II induced degradation of TfR1. While TfR1 constitutively traffics through clathrin-mediated endocytosis, with or without ligand, the presence of Tf blocked ferristatin II induced degradation of TfR1. This effect of Tf was lost in a ligand binding receptor mutant G647A TfR1, suggesting that Tf binding to its receptor interferes with the drug's activity. Rats treated with ferristatin II have lower TfR1 in liver. These effects are associated with reduced intestinal (59)Fe uptake, lower serum iron and transferrin saturation, but no change in liver non-heme iron stores. The observed hypoferremia promoted by degradation of TfR1 by ferristatin II appears to be due to induced hepcidin gene expression.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070199PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3720890PMC
March 2014