Blocks to thyroid cancer cell apoptosis can be overcome by inhibition of the MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways
Vanden Borre, P
Bernasconi, M J
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CitationGunda, V, O Bucur, J Varnau, P Vanden Borre, M J Bernasconi, R Khosravi-Far, and S Parangi. 2014. “Blocks to thyroid cancer cell apoptosis can be overcome by inhibition of the MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways.” Cell Death & Disease 5 (3): e1104. doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/cddis.2014.78.
AbstractCurrent treatment for recurrent and aggressive/anaplastic thyroid cancers is ineffective. Novel targeted therapies aimed at the inhibition of the mutated oncoprotein BRAFV600E have shown promise in vivo and in vitro but do not result in cellular apoptosis. TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces apoptosis in a tumor-selective manner by activating the extrinsic apoptotic pathway. Here, we show that a TRAIL-R2 agonist antibody, lexatumumab, induces apoptosis effectively in some thyroid cancer cell lines (HTh-7, TPC-1 and BCPAP), while more aggressive anaplastic cell lines (8505c and SW1736) show resistance. Treatment of the most resistant cell line, 8505c, using lexatumumab in combination with the BRAFV600E inhibitor, PLX4720, and the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002, (triple-drug combination) sensitizes the cells by triggering both the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways in vitro as well as 8505c orthotopic thyroid tumors in vivo. A decrease in anti-apoptotic proteins, pAkt, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1 and c-FLIP, coupled with an increase in the activator proteins, Bax and Bim, results in an increase in the Bax to Bcl-xL ratio that appears to be critical for sensitization and subsequent apoptosis of these resistant cells. Our results suggest that targeting the death receptor pathway in thyroid cancer can be a promising strategy for inducing apoptosis in thyroid cancer cells, although combination with other kinase inhibitors may be needed in some of the more aggressive tumors initially resistant to apoptosis.
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