AZD1208, a Pan-Pim Kinase Inhibitor, Has Anti-Growth Effect on 93T449 Human Liposarcoma Cells via Control of the Expression and Phosphorylation of Pim-3, mTOR, 4EBP-1, S6, STAT-3 and AMPK.Int J Mol Sci 2019; 20(2)IJ
Overexpression of Pim kinases has an oncogenic/pro-survival role in many hematological and solid cancers. AZD1208 is a pan-Pim kinase inhibitor that has anti-cancer and anti-adipogenic actions. Here, we investigated the effects of AZD1208 on the growth of 93T449 cells, a differentiated human liposarcoma cell line. At 20 µM, AZD1208 was cytotoxic (cytostatic) but not apoptotic, reducing cell survival without DNA fragmentation, caspase activation or increasing cells in the sub G1 phase; known apoptotic parameters. Notably, AZD1208 reduced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT-3) in 93T449 cells. STAT-3 inhibition by AG490, a JAK2/STAT-3 inhibitor similarly reduced cell survival. AZD1208 down-regulated phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and ribosomal S6 while up-regulated eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF-2α). In addition, AZD1208 induced a LKB-1-independent AMPK activation, which was crucial for its cytostatic effect, as knock-down of AMPK greatly blocked AZD1208s ability to reduce cell survival. AZD1208 had no effect on expression of two members of Pim kinase family (Pim-1 and Pim-3) but inhibited phosphorylation of 4EBP-1, a downstream effector of Pim kinases. Importantly, a central role for Pim-3 in the actions of AZD1208 was confirmed by knock-down, which not only reduced 93T449 cell survival but also led to the inhibition of 4EBP-1, mTOR, eIF-2α and STAT-3, along with the activation of AMPK. In summary, this is the first report demonstrating that AZD1208 inhibits growth of liposarcoma cells and that this activity is mediated through Pim-3 kinase, STAT-3, mTOR, S6 and AMPK expression and phosphorylation pathways.