ABSTRACT: Inhibiting tyrosine kinases has recently emerged as a therapeutic modality in several forms of neoplasia. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor STI571 (IMATINIB MESYLATE; GLEEVEC; GLIVEC) is a case in point as it has shown promise in the treatment of malignancies expressing the BCR/ABL fusion protein. In addition to BCR/ABL, STI571 inhibits the tyrosine kinase moieties of several cell surface receptors including the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors and c-Kit. Previous work demonstrated that c-Kit activation supports migration, invasion and, survival of certain colorectal carcinoma cells including DLD-1. Here we describe that blocking c-Kit with STI571 inhibits these malignant traits not only in DLD-1 cells but also in two early passage colorectal carcinoma cell strains. Specifically, STI571 inhibited anchorage-independent colony formation and cell scattering in semi-solid medium. Furthermore, it enhanced apoptosis susceptibility and abrogated invasion of DLD-1 cells through Matrigel. In addition, STI571 treatment affected the balance of the Bcl-2 family of apoptosis regulators on favor of a pro-apoptotic phenotype. Specifically, STI571 treatment of DLD-1 cells was associated with lower levels of Bcl-2 expression accompanied by de novo expression of Bcl-xS. Finally, STI571 acted as a chemosensitizing agent in DLD-1 cells when used in combination with 5-fluorouracil.
Cancer biology & therapy 05/2004; 3(4):385-92. · 2.64 Impact Factor