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Radiosensitization of human pancreatic cancer cells by MLN4924, an investigational NEDD8-activating enzyme inhibitor.

Authors
  • Wei, Dongping
  • Li, Hua
  • Yu, Jie
  • Sebolt, Jonathan T
  • Zhao, Lili
  • Lawrence, Theodore S
  • Smith, Peter G
  • Morgan, Meredith A
  • Sun, Yi
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cancer Research
Publisher
American Association for Cancer Research
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Volume
72
Issue
1
Pages
282–293
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2866
PMID: 22072567
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Radiotherapy is used in locally advanced pancreatic cancers in which it can improve survival in combination with gemcitabine. However, prognosis is still poor in this setting in which more effective therapies remain needed. MLN4924 is an investigational small molecule currently in phase I clinical trials. MLN4924 inhibits NAE (NEDD8 Activating Enzyme), a pivotal regulator of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SCF (SKP1, Cullins, and F-box protein), that has been implicated recently in DNA damage and repair. In this study, we provide evidence that MLN4924 can be used as an effective radiosensitizer in pancreatic cancer. Specifically, MLN4924 (20-100 nmol/L) effectively inhibited cullin neddylation and sensitized pancreatic cancer cells to ionizing radiation in vitro with a sensitivity enhancement ratio of approximately 1.5. Mechanistically, MLN4924 treatment stimulated an accumulation of several SCF substrates, including CDT1, WEE1, and NOXA, in parallel with an enhancement of radiation-induced DNA damage, aneuploidy, G(2)/M phase cell-cycle arrest, and apoptosis. RNAi-mediated knockdown of CDT1 and WEE1 partially abrogated MLN4924-induced aneuploidy, G(2)/M arrest, and radiosensitization, indicating a causal effect. Furthermore, MLN4924 was an effective radiosensitizer in a mouse xenograft model of human pancreatic cancer. Our findings offer proof-of-concept for use of MLN4924 as a novel class of radiosensitizer for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

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