Differential Reponses of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells to mTOR Inhibition
Abnormal activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been observed in a variety of human cancers. Therefore, targeting of the mTOR pathway is an attractive strategy for cancer treatment and several mTOR inhibitors, including AZD8055 (AZD), a novel dual mTORC1/2 inhibitor, are currently in clinical trials. Although bone marrow (BM) suppression is one of the primary side effects of anticancer drugs, it is not known if pharmacological inhibition of dual mTORC1/2 affects BM hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) function and plasticity. Here we report that dual inhibition of mTORC1/2 by AZD or its analogue (KU-63794) depletes mouse BM Lin−Sca-1+c-Kit+ cells in cultures via the induction of apoptotic cell death. Subsequent colony-forming unit (CFU) assays revealed that inhibition of mTORC1/2 suppresses the clonogenic function of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) in a dose-dependent manner. Surprisingly, we found that dual inhibition of mTORC1/2 markedly inhibits the growth of day-14 cobblestone area-forming cells (CAFCs) but enhances the generation of day-35 CAFCs. Given the fact that day-14 and day-35 CAFCs are functional surrogates of HPCs and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), respectively, these results suggest that dual inhibition of mTORC1/2 may have distinct effects on HPCs versus HSCs.