Aberrant B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling is a key driver in lymphoid malignancies. Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors that disrupt BCR signaling have received regulatory approvals in therapy of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). However, responses are incomplete and patients who experience BTK inhibitor therapy failure have dire outcomes. CG-806 (luxeptinib) is a dual BTK/SYK inhibitor in clinical development in hematologic malignancies. Here we investigated the pre-clinical activity of CG-806 in MCL. In vitro treatment with CG-806 thwarted survival of MCL cell lines and patient-derived MCL cells in a dose-dependent manner. CG-806 blocked BTK and SYK activation and abrogated BCR signaling. Contrary to ibrutinib, CG-806 downmodulated the anti-apoptotic proteins Mcl-1 and Bcl-xL, abrogated survival of ibrutinib-resistant MCL cell lines, and partially reversed the pro-survival effects of stromal microenvironment-mimicking conditions in primary MCL cells. Dual BTK/SYK inhibition led to mitochondrial membrane depolarization accompanied by mitophagy and metabolic reprogramming toward glycolysis. In vivo studies of CG-806 demonstrated improved survival in one of the two tested aggressive MCL PDX models. While suppression of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins and NFκB signaling correlated with in vivo drug sensitivity, OxPhos and MYC transcriptional programs were upregulated in the resistant model following treatment with CG-806. BAX and NFKBIA were implicated in susceptibility to CG-806 in a whole-genome CRISPR-Cas9 library screen (in a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cell line). A high-throughput in vitro functional drug screen demonstrated synergy between CG-806 and Bcl-2 inhibitors. In sum, dual BTK/SYK inhibitor CG-806 disrupts BCR signaling and induces metabolic reprogramming and apoptosis in MCL. The Bcl-2 network is a key mediator of sensitivity to CG-806 and combined targeting of Bcl-2 demonstrates synergy with CG-806 warranting continued exploration in lymphoid malignancies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research