Prostate cancer remains a major cause of male mortality. Genetic alteration of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is one of the key events in tumor development and progression in prostate cancer, with inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor being very common in this cancer type. Extensive evaluation has been performed on the therapeutic potential of PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors and the resistance mechanisms arising in patients with PTEN-mutant background. However, in patients with a PTEN wild-type phenotype, PI3K/AKT/mTOR inhibitors have not demonstrated efficacy, and this remains an area of clinical unmet need. In this study, we have investigated the response of PTEN wild-type prostate cancer cell lines to the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor DS-7423 alone or in combination with HER2 inhibitors or mGluR1 inhibitors. Upon treatment with the dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor DS-7423, PTEN wild-type prostate cancer CWR22/22RV1 cells upregulate expression of the proteins PSMA, mGluR1, and the tyrosine kinase receptor HER2, while PTEN-mutant LNCaP cells upregulate androgen receptor and HER3. PSMA, mGluR1, and HER2 exert control over one another in a positive feedback loop that allows cells to overcome treatment with DS-7423. Concomitant targeting of PI3K/mTOR with either HER2 or mGluR1 inhibitors results in decreased cell survival and tumor growth in xenograft studies. Our results suggest a novel therapeutic possibility for patients with PTEN wild-type PI3K/AKT-mutant prostate cancer based in the combination of PI3K/mTOR blockade with HER2 or mGluR1 inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • MTOR Inhibitors
  • Male
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase/genetics
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism


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