Noncovalent inhibition of C481S Bruton tyrosine kinase by GDC-0853: a new treatment strategy for ibrutinib-resistant CLL.

Reiff SD, Muhowski EM, Guinn D, Lehman A, Fabian CA, Cheney C, Mantel R, Smith L, Johnson AJ, Young WB, Johnson AR, Liu L, Byrd JC, Woyach JA
Blood 132 1039-1049 09/06/2018


The clinical success of ibrutinib validates Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibition as an effective strategy for treating hematologic malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Despite ibrutinib's ability to produce durable remissions in patients, acquired resistance can develop, mostly commonly by mutation of C481 of BTK in the ibrutinib binding site. Here, we characterize a novel BTK inhibitor, GDC-0853, to evaluate its preclinical efficacy in ibrutinib-naive and ibrutinib-resistant CLL. GDC-0853 is unique among reported BTK inhibitors in that it does not rely upon covalent reaction with C481 to stabilize its occupancy within BTK's adenosine triphosphate binding site. As with ibrutinib, GDC-0853 potently reduces B-cell receptor signaling, viability, NF-κB-dependent transcription, activation, and migration in treatment naïve CLL cells. We found that GDC-0853 also inhibits the most commonly reported ibrutinib-resistant BTK mutant (C481S) both in a biochemical enzyme activity assay and in a stably transfected 293T cell line and maintains cytotoxicity against patient CLL cells harboring C481S BTK mutations. Additionally, GDC-0853 does not inhibit endothelial growth factor receptor or ITK, 2 alternative targets of ibrutinib that are likely responsible for some adverse events and may reduce the efficacy of ibrutinib-antibody combinations, respectively. Our results using GDC-0853 indicate that noncovalent, selective BTK inhibition may be effective in CLL either as monotherapy or in combination with therapeutic antibodies, especially among the emerging population of patients with acquired resistance to ibrutinib therapy.

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