KRAS is a frequently mutated gene in colorectal cancer. In addition, PIK3CA mutations commonly co-exist with KRAS mutations and lead to additive activation of the PI3K/mTOR signaling pathway. Here, we investigated preclinical activity of gedatolisib, a PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitor, to identify mechanism of inhibition of PI3K/mTOR in 28 colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Cells specifically with PIK3CA mutation were sensitive while those with KRAS mutation were resistant to gedatolisib. 9 out of 28 CRC cells harbor PIK3CA & KRAS co-mutation and 7 out them were shown to be sensitive to gedatolisib. However, HCT15 and LS174T cells were resistant. We identified that resistant cell lines have high activity of GSK3B and TCF7 frameshift mutation (465insertC466;H155fs*), which functions as positive regulator of WNT/b-catenin pathway. The effects of GSK3B-knockdown showed decreased activity of mTOR downstream molecules in gedatolisib-treated resistant cells. Interestingly, these effects also caused a decrease in activity of WNT/b-catenin pathway. In addition, combination treatment of gedatolisib and CHIR-99021, GSK3B inhibitor, resulted in significantly enhanced cytotoxicity against gedatolisib-resistant TCF7 frameshift mutant cells. Taken together, these show that aberrant regulation of WNT/b-catenin pathway and high activity of GSK3B by TCF7 frameshift mutation cause resistance to PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitor. Inhibition of GSK3B activity in colorectal cancer cells with KRAS and PIK3CA co-mutations increases sensitivity to PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitor.

Citation Format: Ye-Lim Park, Hwang-Phill Kim, Seul-Ki Cheon, Jun-Kyu Kang, Yoojoo Lim, Sang-Hyun Song, Sae-Won Han, Tae-you Kim. Activation of WNT/b-catenin signaling results in resistance to PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitor in co-existing KRAS and PIK3CA mutant colorectal cancer cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 5214. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-5214