Molecular Medicine Israel

A Synergistic Interaction between Chk1- and MK2 Inhibitors in KRAS-Mutant Cancer

KRAS is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancer. Despite substantial efforts, no clinically applicable strategy has yet been developed to effectively treat KRAS-mutant tumors. Here, we perform a cell-line-based screen and identify strong synergistic interactions between cell-cycle checkpoint-abrogating Chk1- and MK2 inhibitors, specifically inKRAS– and BRAF-driven cells. Mechanistically, we show that KRAS-mutant cancer displays intrinsic genotoxic stress, leading to tonic Chk1- and MK2 activity. We demonstrate that simultaneous Chk1- and MK2 inhibition leads to mitotic catastrophe in KRAS-mutant cells. This actionable synergistic interaction is validated using xenograft models, as well as distinct Kras– or Braf-driven autochthonous murine cancer models. Lastly, we show that combined checkpoint inhibition induces apoptotic cell death in KRAS– or BRAF-mutant tumor cells directly isolated from patients. These results strongly recommend simultaneous Chk1- and MK2 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of KRAS– or BRAF-driven cancers….

Sign up for our Newsletter