SMER28 attenuates PI3K/mTOR signaling by direct inhibition of PI3K p110 delta


  • M. Kirchenwitz
  • S. Stahnke
  • S. Prettin
  • M. Borowiak
  • L. Menke
  • C. Sieben
  • C. Birchmeier
  • K. Rottner
  • T.E.B. Stradal
  • A. Steffen


  • Cells


  • Cells 11 (10): 1648


  • SMER28 (Small molecule enhancer of Rapamycin 28) is an autophagy-inducing compound functioning by a hitherto unknown mechanism. Here, we confirm its autophagy-inducing effect by assessing classical autophagy-related parameters. Interestingly, we also discovered several additional effects of SMER28, including growth retardation and reduced G1 to S phase progression. Most strikingly, SMER28 treatment led to a complete arrest of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, and, consequently, growth factor-induced cell scattering and dorsal ruffle formation. This coincided with a dramatic reduction in phosphorylation patterns of PI3K downstream effectors. Consistently, SMER28 directly inhibited PI3Kδ and to a lesser extent p110γ. The biological relevance of our observations was underscored by SMER28 interfering with InlB-mediated host cell entry of Listeria monocytogenes, which requires signaling through the prominent receptor tyrosine kinase c-Met. This effect was signaling-specific, since entry of unrelated, gram-negative Salmonella Typhimurium was not inhibited. Lastly, in B cell lymphoma cells, which predominantly depend on tonic signaling through PI3Kδ, apoptosis upon SMER28 treatment is profound in comparison to non-hematopoietic cells. This indicates SMER28 as a possible drug candidate for the treatment of diseases that derive from aberrant PI3Kδ activity.