"It is noteworthy that mTOR inhibition mediated by rapamycin can induce growth inhibition of EPCs through the triggering of an apoptotic effect . On the other hand, autophagy occurrence was associated to resistance to RAD in some human tumour models . In fact, RAD stimulates autophagy , , a highly conserved process that entails the degradation of intracellular components through the lysosomal machinery to regenerate metabolites for energy and growth , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endothelial Progenitor Cells (EPCs), a minor subpopulation of the mononuclear cell fraction in peripheral blood, play a critical role in cancer development as they contribute to angiogenesis-mediated pathological neovascularization. In response to tumor cytokines, including VEGF, EPCs mobilize from the bone marrow into the peripheral circulation and move to the tumor bed where they incorporate into sprouting neovessels. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of everolimus (Afinitor, Novartis), a rapamycin analogue, alone or in combination with chloroquine, a 4-alkylamino substituted quinoline family member, one of the autophagy inhibitors, on EPCs biological functions. We found that either everolimus or chloroquine induce growth inhibition on EPCs in a dose-dependent manner after 72 h from the beginning of incubation. The combined administration of the two drugs to EPC was synergistic in inducing growth inhibition; in details, the maximal pharmacological synergism between everolimus and chloroquine in inducing growth inhibition on EPCs cells was recorded when chloroquine was administered 24 h before everolimus. Moreover, we have studied the mechanisms of cell death induced by the two agents alone or in combination on EPCs and we have found that the synergistic effect of combination on EPC growth inhibition was paralleled by increased apoptosis induction and reduced autophagy. These effects occurred together with biochemical features that are typical of reduced autophagic death such as increased co-immunoprecipitation between Beclin 1 and Bcl-2. Chloroquine antagonized the inhibition of the activity of Akt→4EBP1 axis mediated by everolimus and at the same time it blocked the feed-back activation of Erk-1/2 induced by RAD in EPCs. These data suggest a new strategy in order to block angiogenesis in tumours in which this process plays a key role in both the sustainment and spreading of cancer cells.
PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e79658. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0079658 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) pathway promotes melanoma tumor growth and survival while suppressing autophagy, a catabolic process through which cells collect and recycle cellular components to sustain energy homeostasis in starvation. Conversely, inhibitors of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, in particular the mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus (CCI-779), induce autophagy, which can promote tumor survival and thus, these agents potentially limit their own efficacy. We hypothesized that inhibition of autophagy in combination with mTOR inhibition would block this tumor survival mechanism and hence improve the cytotoxicity of mTOR inhibitors in melanoma. Here we found that melanoma cell lines of multiple genotypes exhibit high basal levels of autophagy. Knockdown of expression of the essential autophagy gene product ATG7 resulted in cell death, indicating that survival of melanoma cells is autophagy-dependent. We also found that the lysosomotropic agent and autophagy inhibitor hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) synergizes with CCI-779 and led to melanoma cell death via apoptosis. Combination treatment with CCI-779 and HCQ suppressed melanoma growth and induced cell death both in 3-dimensional (3D) spheroid cultures and in tumor xenografts. These data suggest that coordinate inhibition of the mTOR and autophagy pathways promotes apoptosis and could be a new therapeutic paradigm for the treatment of melanoma.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e55096. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0055096 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a serine/threonine protein kinase and a key element in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. Moreover, it is a negative regulator of autophagy and acts as a central regulator in cell growth. For the treatment of cancer, mTOR is a novel and validated therapeutic target. Previous studies have shown that Akt is frequently activated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) tissues; thus, the inhibition of mTOR may be a treatment strategy for this tumor type. To evaluate the effect of the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 on NPC cell lines, we performed 4-[3-(4-iodophenyl)-2-(4-nitrophenyl)-2H-5-tetrazolio]-1,3-benzene disulfonate (WST-1) assays, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays, western blotting and flow cytometry to evaluate the mechanisms of cell death. The growth of both CNE-1 and HONE-1 cells was inhibited in a time- and dose-dependent manner. CNE-1 was more sensitive, with a 50% growth inhibition (GI50) of 30.0±1.0 µM compared to HONE-1, cells which had a GI50 of 56.9±13.1 µM. RAD001 induced apoptosis and autophagy in both cell lines. RAD001 induced a significant increase in growth inhibition in the two cell lines when used in combination with the autophagy inhibitor, 3-methyladenine; however, the percentages of apoptotic cells decreased when RAD001 was combined with the caspase inhibitor, z-VAD-fmk. In conclusion, the main mechanism of the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 in these two NPC cells was apoptotic, not autophagic cell death. The combination of RAD001 with autophagy inhibitors may be a useful therapeutic strategy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 04/2013; 31(4):904-12. DOI:10.3892/ijmm.2013.1282 · 2.09 Impact Factor
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