MEK1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244) inhibits growth of ovarian clear cell carcinoma in a PEA-15-dependent manner in a mouse xenograft model

Chandra Bartholomeusz, Tetsuro Oishi, Hitomi Saso, Ugur Akar, Ping Liu, Kimie Kondo, Anna Kazansky, Savitri Krishnamurthy, Jangsoon Lee, Francisco J Esteva, Junzo Kigawa, Naoto T Ueno
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 2012, 11 (2): 360-9
Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the ovary tends to show resistance to standard chemotherapy, which results in poor survival for patients with CCC. Developing a novel therapeutic strategy is imperative to improve patient prognosis. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is frequently expressed in epithelial ovarian cancer. One of the major downstream targets of the EGFR signaling cascade is extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK). PEA-15, a 15-kDa phosphoprotein, can sequester ERK in the cytoplasm. MEK1/2 plays a central role in integrating mitogenic signals into the ERK pathway. We tested the hypothesis that inhibition of the EGFR-ERK pathway suppresses tumorigenicity in CCC, and we investigated the role of PEA-15 in ERK-targeted therapy in CCC. We screened a panel of 4 CCC cell lines (RMG-I, SMOV-2, OVTOKO, and KOC-7c) and observed that the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib inhibited cell proliferation of EGFR-overexpressing CCC cell lines through partial dependence on the MEK/ERK pathway. Furthermore, erlotinib-sensitive cell lines were also sensitive to the MEK inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244), which is under clinical development. Knockdown of PEA-15 expression resulted in reversal of selumetinib-sensitive cells to resistant cells, implying that PEA-15 contributes to selumetinib sensitivity. Both selumetinib and erlotinib significantly suppressed tumor growth (P < 0.0001) in a CCC xenograft model. However, selumetinib was better tolerated; erlotinib-treated mice exhibited significant toxic effects (marked weight loss and severe skin peeling) at high doses. Our findings indicate that the MEK-ERK pathway is a potential target for EGFR-overexpressing CCC and indicate that selumetinib and erlotinib are worth exploring as therapeutic agents for CCC.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


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

Related 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"