Response of Subcutaneous Xenografts of Endometrial Cancer in Nude Mice to Inhibitors of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/Akt and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) Pathways: An Effective Therapeutic Strategy for Endometrial Cancer


Objective: This study was designed to explore whether inhibition of the extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways can inhibit the growth of xenografts of endometrial cancer cell lines with different estrogen receptors (ER) profiles in vivo and to provide preliminary laboratory basis for the probability of endometrial adenocarcinoma treatment with blockage of the two pathways, especially to endometrial cancer with low ER status. Methods: Human endometrial cancer Ishikawa bearing ER and HEC-1Awith low ER status cells were subcutaneously injected into BALB/c nude mice to establish endometrial cancer xenograft tumor models. The effects of PI3K/Akt inhibitor LY294002, MAPK/ERK1/2 inhibitor PD-98059 and their combinations on the growth of the xenograft tumors and apoptotic state of Ishikawa and HEC-1Acells were tested in vivo using the inhibitory rate, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick-end labeling assay, H/E-stain. Western blot analysis was used to detect the alterations of activated ERK (P-ERK) and AKT (P-AKT) during this process. Results: LY294002, a PI3K/Akt pathway inhibitor, induced significant suppression in the growth of both Ishikawa and HEC-1Acell xenograft tumors, concomitant with increased apoptosis in xenografts as evidenced by TUNEL. A similar effect was also observed when the MAPK/ERK1/2 signaling pathway was inhibited by PD98059. Concurrent inhibition of the PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK1/2 pathways showed enhanced anti-tumor effects in vivo as indicated by increased apoptosis. At the same time, the levels of P-ERK and P-AKT in both xenograft tumors decreased, and their levels in combination group was the lowest. Conclusions: PD98059, LY294002 and their combinations showed remarkable inhibitory effects on xenograft tumors of endometrial carcinoma cell lines with different expression status of ER in vivo through blockage of PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK1/2 signaling pathways. This suggests that targeting these pathways may be an effective therapeutic strategy against endometrial carcinomas, especially for ER-negative cancers which show poor response to endocrinal therapy.

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Guo, R. , Wang, X. , Zhang, R. , Shi, H. , Qiao, Y. , Yun, W. , Ge, X. , Lin, Y. and Lei, J. (2015) Response of Subcutaneous Xenografts of Endometrial Cancer in Nude Mice to Inhibitors of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/Akt and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) Pathways: An Effective Therapeutic Strategy for Endometrial Cancer. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 6, 1083-1092. doi: 10.4236/jct.2015.612118.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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