Overcoming acquired drug resistance is a primary challenge in cancer treatment. Notably, more than 50% of patients with BRAFV600E cutaneous metastatic melanoma (CMM) eventually develop resistance to BRAF inhibitors. Resistant cells undergo metabolic reprogramming that profoundly influences therapeutic response and promotes tumor progression. Uncovering metabolic vulnerabilities could help suppress CMM tumor growth and overcome drug resistance. Here we identified a drug, HA344, that concomitantly targets two distinct metabolic hubs in cancer cells. HA344 inhibited the final and rate-limiting step of glycolysis through its covalent binding to the pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) enzyme, and it concurrently blocked the activity of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase, the rate-limiting enzyme of de novo guanylate synthesis. As a consequence, HA344 efficiently targeted vemurafenib-sensitive and vemurafenib-resistant CMM cells and impaired CMM xenograft tumor growth in mice. In addition, HA344 acted synergistically with BRAF inhibitors on CMM cell lines in vitro. Thus, the mechanism of action of HA344 provides potential therapeutic avenues for patients with CMM and a broad range of different cancers. Significance: Glycolytic and purine synthesis pathways are often deregulated in therapy-resistant tumors and can be targeted by the covalent inhibitor described in this study, suggesting its broad application for overcoming resistance in cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research