Sorafenib inhibits p38α activity in colorectal cancer cells and synergizes with the DFG-in inhibitor SB202190 to increase apoptotic response

Valentina Grossi, Micaela Liuzzi, Stefania Murzilli, Nicola Martelli, Anna Napoli, Giuseppe Ingravallo, Alberto Del Rio, Cristiano Simone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the search for new strategies to efficiently fight colorectal cancer, efforts are being increasingly focused on targeting regulatory signaling pathways involved in cancer-specific features. As a result, several studies have recently addressed the therapeutic potential of molecularly-targeted drugs capable of inhibiting the activity of protein kinases involved in relevant signaling cascades. Here we show that simultaneous inhibition of the DFG-in and DFG-out conformations of p38α by means of type-I and type-II inhibitors is beneficial to impair more efficiently its kinase activity. Moreover, we found that SB202190 (type-I) and sorafenib (type-II) synergize at the molecular and biological level, as co-treatment with these compounds enhances tumor growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis both in colorectal cancer cell lines and animal models. These results support the need to reconsider sorafenib as a therapeutic agent against colorectal cancer and provide new insights that underline the importance to elucidate the activity of protein kinase inhibitors for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1481
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Volume13
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • BRAF
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Conformations
  • DFG-in and DFG-out
  • MEK/ERK
  • P38α
  • Protein kinase
  • Sorafenib
  • Type-I and type-II inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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