Characterization of a human carcinoma cell line selected for resistance to the farnesyl transferase inhibitor 4-(2-(4-(8-chloro-3,10-dibromo-6,11-dihydro- 5H-benzo-(5,6)-cyclohepta(1,2-b)-pyridin-11(R)-yl)-1-piperidinyl)-2-oxo-ethyl) -1-piperidinecarboxamide (SCH66336)

Laura M. Bruzek, Jenny N. Poynter, Scott H. Kaufmann, Alex A. Adjei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Farnesyl protein transferase inhibitors (FTIs) have demonstrated clinical activity in certain solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Little is known about mechanisms of resistance to these agents. To provide a basis for better understanding FTI resistance, the colorectal carcinoma cell line HCT 116 was selected by stepwise exposure to increasing 4-(2-(4-(8-chloro-3,10-dibromo-6,11- dihydro-5H-benzo-(5,6)-cyclohepta(1,2-b)-pyridin-11(R)-yl)-1-piperidinyl) -2-oxo-ethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxamide (SCH66336) concentrations. The resulting line, HCT 116R, was 100-fold resistant to SCH66336 and other FTIs, including methyl {N-[2-phenyl-4-N[2(R)-amino-3-mercaptopropylamino] benzoyl]}-methionate (FTI-277), but was less than 2-fold resistant to the standard agents gemcitabine, cisplatin, and paclitaxel. Accumulation of the unfarnesylated forms of prelamin A and HDJ-2, two substrates that reflect farnesyl transferase inhibition, was similar in FTI-treated parental and HCT 116R cells, indicating that alterations in drug uptake or inhibition of farnesyl protein transferase is not the mechanism of resistance. Changes in signal-transduction pathways that might account for this resistance were examined by immunoblotting and confirmed pharmacologically. There was no difference in activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway or sensitivity to the MEK1/2 inhibitor 2′-amino-3′- methoxyflavone (PD98059) in HCT 116R cells. In contrast, increased phosphorylation of the molecular target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its downstream target p70 S6 kinase and increased levels of Akt1 and Akt2 were demonstrated in HCT 116R cells. Further experiments demonstrated that the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin selectively sensitized HCT 116R cells to SCH66336 but not to gemcitabine, cisplatin, or paclitaxel. These findings provide evidence that alterations in the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt pathway can contribute to FTI resistance and suggest a potential strategy for overcoming this resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-486
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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