Response of non-small cell lung cancer cells to the inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt- and MAPK kinase 4/c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase pathways: an effective therapeutic strategy for lung cancer

Ho-Young Lee, Seung-Hyun Oh, Young-Ah Suh, Jin Hyen Baek, Vali Papadimitrakopoulou, Suyun Huang, Waun Ki Hong
Clinical Cancer Research 2005 August 15, 11 (16): 6065-74

PURPOSE: We previously showed that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways cooperate to promote non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell proliferation in vitro. This study was designed to explore whether inhibition of these pathways effectively inhibits NSCLC tumor growth in vivo.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The effects of PI3K/Akt inhibitors {LY294002, adenoviruses expressing dominant-negative mutant of the p85alpha adaptor subunit of PI3K (Ad-dnp85alpha), dominant-negative Akt [Ad-HA-Akt(KM)], or PTEN (Ad-PTEN)}, MKK4/c-jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor [SP600215, adenovirus expressing dominant-negative MKK4, Ad-MKK4(KR)], and their combinations on proliferation and apoptosis in NSCLC cells were tested in vitro and in vivo using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, a flow cytometry-based terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling assay, Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses, and an NSCLC xenograft tumor model.

RESULTS: Ad-dnp85alpha significantly inhibited proliferation of a subset of NSCLC cell lines used in our study. Intratumoral injection of Ad-dnp85alpha induced a significant decrease in the growth of H1299 NSCLC xenograft tumors. Concurrent inhibition of the PI3K/Akt and MKK4/JNK pathways showed enhanced antiproliferative effects on H1299 cells in vitro and in vivo by increasing apoptosis.

CONCLUSIONS: PI3K/Akt and MKK4/JNK pathways cooperate to stimulate NSCLC cell proliferation by maintaining cell survival, suggesting that simultaneously targeting these two pathways might be an effective therapeutic strategy against NSCLC.

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