Activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling is involved in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. The PI3K inhibitors are considered candidate drugs for cancer treatment. Here, we describe a drug screening system for novel PI3K inhibitors using Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with deleterious mutations in the ATP-binding cassette transporter genes, because wild-type S. cerevisiae uses drug efflux pumps for reducing intracellular drug concentrations. By screening the chemical library of the Screening Committee of Anticancer Drugs, we identified the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor romidepsin (FK228) and its novel analogs. In vitro PI3K activity assays confirmed that these compounds directly inhibit PI3K activity at μM-range concentrations. FK-A5 analog was the most potent inhibitor. Western blotting revealed that these compounds inhibit phosphorylation of protein kinase B and downstream signaling components. Molecular modeling of the PI3K-FK228 complex indicated that FK228 binds to the ATP-binding pocket of PI3K. At μM-range concentrations, FK228 and FK-A5 show potent cytotoxicity, inducing apoptosis even in HDAC inhibitor-resistant cells. Furthermore, HDAC/PI3K dual inhibition by FK228 and FK-A5 at μM-range concentrations potentiates the apoptosis induction, mimicking the effect of combining specific HDAC and PI3K inhibitors. In this study, we showed that FK228 and its analogs directly inhibit PI3K activity and induce apoptosis at μM-range concentrations, similar to HDAC/PI3K dual inhibition. In future, optimizing the potency of FK228 and its analogs against PI3K may contribute to the development of novel HDAC/PI3K dual inhibitors for cancer treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research