Inhibition of Mammalian Target of Rapamycin or Apoptotic Pathway Induces Autophagy and Radiosensitizes PTEN Null Prostate Cancer Cells

Vanderbilt University, Нашвилл, Michigan, United States
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.33). 11/2006; 66(20):10040-7. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-0802
Source: PubMed


The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway plays a critical role in oncogenesis, and dysregulation of this pathway through loss of PTEN suppression is a particularly common phenomenon in aggressive prostate cancers. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a downstream signaling kinase in this pathway, exerting prosurvival influence on cells through the activation of factors involved in protein synthesis. The mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and its derivatives are cytotoxic to a number of cell lines. Recently, mTOR inhibition has also been shown to radiosensitize endothelial and breast cancer cells in vitro. Because radiation is an important modality in the treatment of prostate cancer, we tested the ability of the mTOR inhibitor RAD001 (everolimus) to enhance the cytotoxic effects of radiation on two prostate cancer cell lines, PC-3 and DU145. We found that both cell lines became more vulnerable to irradiation after treatment with RAD001, with the PTEN-deficient PC-3 cell line showing the greater sensitivity. This increased susceptibility to radiation is associated with induction of autophagy. Furthermore, we show that blocking apoptosis with caspase inhibition and Bax/Bak small interfering RNA in these cell lines enhances radiation-induced mortality and induces autophagy. Together, these data highlight the emerging importance of mTOR as a molecular target for therapeutic intervention, and lend support to the idea that nonapoptotic modes of cell death may play a crucial role in improving tumor cell kill.

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    • "The morphological features of cells exposed to everolimus are typical of autophagy, a well-known outcome of mTOR inhibition [35]. Biochemical data, showing lipidation of LC3 and accumulation of acid vacuoles, also support the induction of autophagy in these cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increasingly, anti-cancer medications are being reported to induce cell death mechanisms other than apoptosis. Activating alternate death mechanisms introduces the potential to kill cells that have defects in their apoptotic machinery, as is commonly observed in cancer cells, including in hematological malignancies. We, and others, have previously reported that the mTOR inhibitor everolimus has pre-clinical efficacy and induces caspase-independent cell death in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Furthermore, everolimus is currently in clinical trial for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Here we characterize the death mechanism activated by everolimus in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells. We find that cell death is caspase-independent and lacks the morphology associated with apoptosis. Although mitochondrial depolarization is an early event, permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane only occurs after cell death has occurred. While morphological and biochemical evidence shows that autophagy is clearly present it is not responsible for the observed cell death. There are a number of features consistent with paraptosis including morphology, caspase-independence, and the requirement for new protein synthesis. However in contrast to some reports of paraptosis, the activation of JNK signaling was not required for everolimus-induced cell death. Overall in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells everolimus induces a cell death that resembles paraptosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "In addition, concurrent administration of rapamycin with radiation significantly increases breast cancer cell death [10] and also sensitises radiotherapy resistant hepatocellular carcinoma to radiation [22]. Concurrent administration of RAD001, a rapamycin-derivative, and radiotherapy increases sensitivity to radiation in both breast cancer cells [23] as well as prostate cancer cells [24]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy, the catabolic pathway in which cells recycle organelles and other parts of their own cytoplasm, is increasingly recognised as an important cytoprotective mechanism in cancer cells. Several cancer treatments stimulate the autophagic process and when autophagy is inhibited, cancer cells show an enhanced response to multiple treatments. These findings have nourished the theory that autophagy provides cancer cells with a survival advantage during stressful conditions, including exposure to therapeutics. Therefore, interference with the autophagic response can potentially enhance the efficacy of cancer therapy. In this review we examine two approaches to modulate autophagy as complementary cancer treatment: inhibition and induction. Inhibition of autophagy during cancer treatment eliminates its cytoprotective effects. Conversely, induction of autophagy combined with conventional cancer therapy exerts severe cytoplasmic degradation that can ultimately lead to cell death. We will discuss how autophagy can be therapeutically manipulated in cancer cells and how interactions between the conventional cancer therapies and autophagy modulation influence treatment outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Seminars in Cancer Biology
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    • "Everolimus has been reported to inhibit tumor growth in human prostate cancer cell lines as well as in transgenic mice expressing human Akt (72). Everolimus treatment was also shown to increase sensitivity to mTOR inhibition in tumors cells with PTEN loss in vitro (73, 74). In this study 35% of chemotherapy-naïve patients with mCRPC treated with a daily dose of 10 mg of single-agent Everolimus showed progression-free survival (PFS) at the primary end point of 12 weeks. "
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN) on chromosome 10q23.3 is a negative regulator of the PIK3/Akt survival pathway and is the most frequently deleted tumor suppressor gene in prostate cancer. Monoallelic loss of PTEN is present in up to 60% of localized prostate cancers and complete loss of PTEN in prostate cancer is linked to metastasis and androgen-independent progression. Studies on the genomic status of PTEN in prostate cancer initially used a two-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay for PTEN copy number detection in formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissue preparations. More recently, a four-color FISH assay containing two additional control probes flanking the PTEN locus with a lower false-positive rate was reported. Combined with the detection of other critical genomic biomarkers for prostate cancer such as ERG, androgen receptor, and MYC, the evaluation of PTEN genomic status has proven to be invaluable for patient stratification and management. Although less frequent than allelic deletions, point mutations in the gene and epigenetic silencing are also known to contribute to loss of PTEN function, and ultimately to prostate cancer initiation. Overall, it is clear that PTEN is a powerful biomarker for prostate cancer. Used as a companion diagnostic for emerging therapeutic drugs, FISH analysis of PTEN is promisingly moving human prostate cancer closer to more effective cancer management and therapies.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Frontiers in Oncology
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