Targeting of glioblastoma cell lines and glioma stem cells by combined PIM kinase and PI3K-p110a inhibition

Asneha Iqbal, Frank Eckerdt, Jonathan Bell, Ichiro Nakano, Francis J. Giles, Shi Yuan Cheng, Rishi R. Lulla, Stewart Goldman, Leonidas C. Platanias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The PIM family of proteins encodes serine/threonine kinases with important roles in protein synthesis and cancer cell metabolism. In glioblastoma (GBM) cell lines, siRNAmediated knockdown of PIM kinases or pharmacological inhibition of PIM kinases by SGI-1776 or AZD-1208 results in reduced phosphorylation of classic PIM effectors and also elements of the PI3K/mTOR pathway, suggesting interplay between PIM and mTOR signals in GBM cells. Combination of PIM kinase inhibitors with BYL-719, an inhibitor specific for the PI3K catalytic isoform p110a, results in enhanced antineoplastic effects in GBM cells. Additionally, pharmacologic inhibition of PIM kinases impairs growth of patient-derived glioma sphere cells, suggesting an important role for PIM kinases in cancer stem cell (CSC) function and survival. Such effects are further enhanced by concomitant inhibition of PIM kinase and p110a activities. Altogether these findings suggest that pharmacological PIM targeting in combination with PI3K inhibition may provide a unique therapeutic approach for the treatment of heterogeneous tumors containing populations of therapy-resistant CSCs in GBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33192-33201
Number of pages10
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 31 2016


  • Glioblastoma
  • PIM kinase
  • mTOR signaling
  • p110a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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