[Growth inhibition of combined pathway inhibitors on KRAS mutated non-small cell lung cancer cell line]

Zhan-wen Li, Zhen-li Yang, Hai-liang Feng, Xiao-cui Bian, Yan-yan Liu, Yu-qin Liu
Zhonghua Bing Li Xue za Zhi Chinese Journal of Pathology 2013, 42 (5): 330-5

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of the selective PI3K inhibitor and MEK inhibitor on KRAS and PTEN co-mutated non-small cell lung cancer cell line NCI-H157 and the relevant mechanisms.

METHODS: NCI-H157 was cultured routinely and treated with different concentrations of the two inhibitors. Cell proliferation was detected by MTT cell cycle assay. Based on the MTT results the cells were divided into four groups: the control group, PI3K inhibitor group (GDC-0941, 0.5 and 5.0 µmol/L), combination group I (0.5 µmol/L AZD6244 + 0.5 µmol/L GDC-0941) and combination group II (5.0 µmol/L AZD6244 + 5.0 µmol/L GDC-0941). Colony formation assay was performed to detect colony formation efficiency. The cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. The expression of protein related to apoptosis was tested with Western blot.

RESULTS: Cell growth was inhibited by the two inhibitors. Combination groups led to stronger cell proliferation inhibition: combination group Ishowed synergistic effect of their actions and combination group II showed an additive effect; in both groups, there were decreased colony number [(77.2 ± 1.54)/well vs (61.50 ± 2.12)/well, P < 0.01] and [(51.00 ± 4.00)/ well vs (22.50 ± 3.53)/well, P < 0.01]; and enhanced apoptotic ratios [(18.30 ± 0.82)% vs (21.32 ± 0.56)%, P < 0.01] and [(27.14 ± 1.58)% vs (42.45 ± 4.42)%, P < 0.01]. In addition, compared to the PI3K inhibitor alone group, the NCI-H157 cells in the combination groups showed increased G0/G1 phase and decreased S phase (P < 0.01). Western blotting showed that the combination groups demonstrated significantly decreased expression of cyclin D1 and cyclin B1, increased p21 and cleaved PARP and decreased bcl-2/bax ratio, compared to the PI3K inhibitor only group.

CONCLUSION: The combined inhibition of PI3K (AZD6244) and MEK (GDC-0941) has synergistic effects on the proliferation of NCI-H157 cells, but such effects appear to be in a dose-dependent manner.

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