Molecular cancer therapeutics

Chemical Inhibition of Wild-Type p53-Induced Phosphatase 1 (WIP1/PPM1D) by GSK2830371 Potentiates the Sensitivity to MDM2 Inhibitors in a p53-Dependent Manner.

PMID 26832796


Sensitivity to MDM2 inhibitors is widely different among responsive TP53 wild-type cell lines and tumors. Understanding the determinants of MDM2 inhibitor sensitivity is pertinent for their optimal clinical application. Wild-type p53-inducible phosphatase-1 (WIP1) encoded by PPM1D, is activated, gained/amplified in a range of TP53 wild-type malignancies, and is involved in p53 stress response homeostasis. We investigated cellular growth/proliferation of TP53 wild-type and matched mutant/null cell line pairs, differing in PPM1D genetic status, in response to Nutlin-3/RG7388 ± a highly selective WIP1 inhibitor, GSK2830371. We also assessed the effects of GSK2830371 on MDM2 inhibitor-induced p53(Ser15) phosphorylation, p53-mediated global transcriptional activity, and apoptosis. The investigated cell line pairs were relatively insensitive to single-agent GSK2830371. However, a non-growth-inhibitory dose of GSK2830371 markedly potentiated the response to MDM2 inhibitors in TP53 wild-type cell lines, most notably in those harboring PPM1D-activating mutations or copy number gain (up to 5.8-fold decrease in GI50). Potentiation also correlated with significant increase in MDM2 inhibitor-induced cell death endpoints that were preceded by a marked increase in a WIP1 negatively regulated substrate, phosphorylated p53(Ser15), known to increase p53 transcriptional activity. Microarray-based gene expression analysis showed that the combination treatment increases the subset of early RG7388-induced p53 transcriptional target genes. These findings demonstrate that potent and selective WIP1 inhibition potentiates the response to MDM2 inhibitors in TP53 wild-type cells, particularly those with PPM1D activation or gain, while highlighting the mechanistic importance of p53(Ser15) and its potential use as a biomarker for response to this combination regimen.