Implementing Reverse Phase Protein Array Profiling as a Sensitive Method for the Early Pre-Clinical Detection of Off-Target Toxicities Associated with Sunitinib Malate.

PURPOSE: The tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) sunitinib is a multi-targeted agent approved across multiple cancer indications. Nevertheless, since approval, data has emerged to describe a worrisome side effect profile including hypertension, hand-foot syndrome, fatigue, diarrhea, mucositis, proteinuria, and (rarely) congestive heart failure. It has been hypothesized that the observed multi-parameter toxicity profile is related to "on-target" kinase inhibition in "off-target" tissues.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To interrogate off-target effects in pre-clinical studies, a reverse phase protein array (RPPA) approach is employed. Mice are treated with sunitinib (40 mg kg

RESULTS: Differentially expressed proteins associated with damage and/or stress are found in the majority of organs from treated animals. Proteins differentially expressed in the heart are associated with myocardial hypertrophy, ischaemia/reperfusion, and hypoxia. However, hypertrophy is not evidenced on histology. Mild proteinuria is observed; however, no changes in renal glomerular structure are visible via electron microscopy. In skin, proteins associated with cutaneous inflammation, keratinocyte hyper-proliferation, and increased inflammatory response are differentially expressed.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: It is posited that pre-clinical implementation of a combined histopathological/RPPA approach provides a sensitive method to mechanistically elucidate the early manifestation of TKI on-target/organ off-target toxicities.