Inhibition of Hedgehog signalling by NVP-LDE225 (Erismodegib) interferes with growth and invasion of human renal cell carcinoma cells

C. D'Amato, R. Rosa, R. Marciano, V. D'Amato, L. Formisano, L. Nappi, L. Raimondo, C. Di Mauro, A. Servetto, F. Fulciniti, A. Cipolletta, C. Bianco, F. Ciardiello, B. M. Veneziani, S. De Placido, R. Bianco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Multiple lines of evidence support that the Hedgehog (Hh) signalling has a role in the maintenance and progression of different human cancers. Therefore, inhibition of the Hh pathway represents a valid anticancer therapeutic approach for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients. NVP-LDE225 is a Smoothened (Smo) antagonist that induces dose-related inhibition of Hh and Smo-dependent tumour growth.Methods: We assayed the effects of NVP-LDE225 alone or in combination with everolimus or sunitinib on the growth and invasion of human RCC models both in vitro and in vivo. To this aim, we used a panel of human RCC models, comprising cells with acquired resistance to sunitinib - a multiple tyrosine kinase inhibitor approved as a first-line treatment for RCC.Results: NVP-LDE225 cooperated with either everolimus or sunitinib to inhibit proliferation, migration, and invasion of RCC cells even in sunitinib-resistant (SuR) cells. Some major transducers involved in tumour cell motility, including paxillin, were also efficiently inhibited by the combination therapy, as demonstrated by western blot and confocal microscopy assays. Moreover, these combined treatments inhibited tumour growth and increased animal survival in nude mice xenografted with SuR RCC cells. Finally, lung micrometastasis formation was reduced when mice were treated with NVP-LDE225 plus everolimus or sunitinib, as evidenced by artificial metastatic assays.Conclusions: Hedgehog inhibition by NVP-LDE225 plus sunitinib or everolimus bolsters antitumour activity by interfering with tumour growth and metastatic spread, even in SuR cells. Thus, this new evidence puts forward a new promising therapeutic approach for RCC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168-1179
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 9 2014


  • Hedgehog
  • NVP-LDE225
  • RCC
  • sunitinib resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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