Modulation of Regorafenib effects on HCC cell lines by epidermal growth factor

Rosalba D'Alessandro, Maria Grazia Refolo, Catia Lippolis, Nicola Carella, Caterina Messa, Aldo Cavallini, Brian Irving Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Blood platelet numbers are correlated to growth and aggressiveness of several tumor types, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We previously found that platelet lysates (hPLs) also stimulated growth and migration, and antagonized the growth-inhibitory and apoptotic effects of both Sorafenib and Regorafenib, two multikinase inhibitors, on three HCC cell lines. In this study, in vitro function of human epidermal growth factor (EGF) with and without Sorafenib or Regorafenib was investigated. Methods: An ELISA kit was used to evaluate the EGF concentrations in hPLs. In vitro function of EGF was assessed with proliferation MTT test. Apoptosis assay, scratch assays, and Transwell assays were performed for apoptosis, invasion, and migration, respectively. MAPK Activation Kit was used to explore MAPK phosphorylation. Results: EGF antagonized the growth inhibition of Regorafenib on three HCC cell lines. Regorafenib-mediated growth inhibition was blocked by 70 % when the cells were pre-treated with EGF. EGF also blocked Regorafenib-induced apoptosis, as well as Regorafenib-induced decreases in cell migration and invasion. The EGF effects were in turn antagonized by concomitant addition to the cultures of EGF receptor antagonist Erlotinib, showing that the EGF receptor was involved in the mechanisms of EGF-mediated blocking of Regorafenib effects. Erlotinib also partially blocked the effects of hPLs in antagonizing Regorafenib-mediated growth inhibition, showing that EGF was an important component of hPL actions. Conclusions: All these results show that EGF antagonized Regorafenib-mediated growth and migration inhibition and apoptosis induction in HCC cells and reinforce the idea that microenvironment can influence cancer drug actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1245
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 24 2015


  • Epidermal growth factor
  • HCC cells
  • Platelets
  • Regorafenib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Toxicology


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