The phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K)-glycogen synthase kinase β (GSK3β) axis plays a central role in MYC-driven lymphomagenesis, and MYC targeting with bromodomain and extraterminal protein family inhibitors (BETi) is a promising treatment strategy in lymphoma. In a high-throughput combinatorial drug screening experiment, BETi enhance the antiproliferative effects of PI3K inhibitors in a panel of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma cell lines. BETi or MYC silencing upregulates several PI3K pathway genes and induces GSK3β S9 inhibitory phosphorylation, resulting in increased β-catenin protein abundance. Furthermore, BETi or MYC silencing increases GSK3β S9 phosphorylation levels and β-catenin protein abundance through downregulating the E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes UBE2C and UBE2T. In a mouse xenograft DLBCL model, BETi decrease MYC, UBE2C, and UBE2T and increase phospho-GSK3β S9 levels, enhancing the anti-proliferative effect of PI3K inhibitors. Our study reveals prosurvival feedbacks induced by BETi involving GSK3β regulation, providing a mechanistic rationale for combination strategies. In this study, Derenzini et al. demonstrate that BET inhibitors enhance lymphoma vulnerability to PI3K inhibitors by inducing GSK3β feedback in a MYC-dependent manner and by downregulating E2-ubiquitin conjugating enzymes, which further enhance the feedback. These data provide the rationale for combining BET and PI3K inhibitors in lymphoma therapy.
- BET inhibitor
- diffuse large B cell lymphoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)