FoxO-1 contributes to the efficacy of the combination of the XPO1 inhibitor selinexor and cisplatin in ovarian carcinoma preclinical models

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The XPO1/CRM1 inhibitor selinexor (KPT-330), is currently being evaluated in multiple clinical trials as an anticancer agent. XPO1 participates in the nuclear export of FoxO-1, which we previously found to be decreased in platinum-resistant ovarian carcinoma. The aim of this study was to determine whether enriching FoxO-1 nuclear localization using selinexor would increase ovarian cancer cell sensitivity to cisplatin. Selinexor, as a single agent, displayed a striking antiproliferative effect in different ovarian carcinoma cell lines. A schedule-dependent synergistic effect of selinexor in combination with cisplatin was found in cisplatin-sensitive IGROV-1, the combination efficacy being more evident in sensitive than in the resistant cells. In IGROV-1 cells, the combination was more effective when selinexor followed cisplatin exposure. A modulation of proteins involved in apoptosis (p53, Bax) and in cell cycle progression (p21WAF1) was found by Western blotting. Selinexor-treated cells exhibited enriched FoxO-1 nuclear staining. Knock-down experiments with RNA interference indicated that FOXO1-silenced cells displayed a reduced sensitivity to selinexor. FOXO1 silencing also tended to reduce the efficacy of the drug combination at selected cisplatin concentrations. Selinexor significantly inhibited tumor growth, induced FoxO-1 nuclear localization and improved the efficacy of cisplatin in IGROV-1 xenografts. Taken together, our results support FoxO-1 as one of the key factors promoting sensitivity towards selinexor and the synergistic interaction between cisplatin and selinexor in ovarian carcinoma cells with selected molecular backgrounds, highlighting the need for treatment regimens tailored to the molecular tumor features.

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