Mammalian target of rapamycin, a molecular target in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck

Panomwat Amornphimoltham, Vyomesh Patel, Akrit Sodhi, Nikolaos G Nikitakis, John J Sauk, Edward A Sausville, Alfredo A Molinolo, J Silvio Gutkind
Cancer Research 2005 November 1, 65 (21): 9953-61
Emerging knowledge on how the dysregulated function of signaling networks contributes to the malignant growth of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) can now be exploited to identify novel mechanism-based anticancer treatments. In this regard, we have observed that persistent activation of the serine/threonine kinase Akt is a frequent event in HNSCC, and that blockade of its upstream kinase, 3'-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1, potently inhibits tumor cell growth. Akt promotes cell proliferation by its ability to coordinate mitogenic signaling with energy- and nutrient-sensing pathways that control protein synthesis through the atypical serine/threonine kinase, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). This kinase, in turn, phosphorylates key eukaryotic translation regulators, including p70-S6 kinase and the eukaryotic translation initiation factor, 4E binding protein 1. Indeed, we show here that aberrant accumulation of the phosphorylated active form of S6, the most downstream target of the Akt-mTOR-p70-S6 kinase pathway, is a frequent event in clinical specimens from patients with HNSCC and their derived cell lines. Of interest, this enhanced level of the phosphorylated active form of S6 was rapidly reduced in HNSCC cell lines and HNSCC xenograft models at clinically relevant doses of rapamycin, which specifically inhibits mTOR. Furthermore, we observed that rapamycin displays a potent antitumor effect in vivo, as it inhibits DNA synthesis and induces the apoptotic death of HNSCC cells, ultimately resulting in tumor regression. These findings identify the Akt-mTOR pathway as a potential therapeutic target for HNSCC, and may provide the rationale for the early clinical evaluation of rapamycin and its analogues in patients with HNSCC.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"