JOURNAL ARTICLE

Radiosensitization of Glioblastoma Cell Lines by the Dual PI3K and mTOR Inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 Depends on Drug-Irradiation Schedule

Sebastian Kuger, Dorothea Graus, Rico Brendtke, Nadine Günther, Astrid Katzer, Paul Lutyj, Bülent Polat, Manik Chatterjee, Vladimir L Sukhorukov, Michael Flentje, Cholpon S Djuzenova
Translational Oncology 2013, 6 (2): 169-79
23544169
Previous studies have shown that the dual phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/mTOR) inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 radiosensitizes tumor cells if added shortly before ionizing radiation (IR) and kept in culture medium thereafter. The present study explores the impact of inhibitor and IR schedule on the radiosensitizing ability of NVP-BEZ235 in four human glioblastoma cell lines. Two different drug-IR treatment schedules were compared. In schedule I, cells were treated with NVP-BEZ235 for 24 hours before IR and the drug was removed before IR. In schedule II, the cells were exposed to NVP-BEZ235 1 hour before, during, and up to 48 hours after IR. The cellular response was analyzed by colony counts, expression of marker proteins of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, cell cycle, and DNA damage. We found that under schedule I, NVP-BEZ235 did not radiosensitize cells, which were mostly arrested in G1 phase during IR exposure. In addition, the drug-pretreated and irradiated cells exhibited less DNA damage but increased expressions of phospho-AKT and phospho-mTOR, compared to controls. In contrast, NVP-BEZ235 strongly enhanced the radiosensitivity of cells treated according to schedule II. Possible reasons of radiosensitization by NVP-BEZ235 under schedule II might be the protracted DNA repair, prolonged G2/M arrest, and, to some extent, apoptosis. In addition, the PI3K pathway was downregulated by the NVP-BEZ235 at the time of irradiation under schedule II, as contrasted with its activation in schedule I. We found that, depending on the drug-IR schedule, the NVP-BEZ235 can act either as a strong radiosensitizer or as a cytostatic agent in glioblastoma cells.

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