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Cancer Res. 2008 Jun 1;68(11):4398-405. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6390.

Beta1 integrin inhibition dramatically enhances radiotherapy efficacy in human breast cancer xenografts.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA 94143-1708, USA. Catherine.Park@ucsf.edu


Beta(1) integrin signaling has been shown to mediate cellular resistance to apoptosis after exposure to ionizing radiation (IR). Other signaling molecules that increase resistance include Akt, which promotes cell survival downstream of beta(1) integrin signaling. We previously showed that beta(1) integrin inhibitory antibodies (e.g., AIIB2) enhance apoptosis and decrease growth in human breast cancer cells in three-dimensional laminin-rich extracellular matrix (lrECM) cultures and in vivo. Here, we asked whether AIIB2 could synergize with IR to modify Akt-mediated IR resistance. We used three-dimensional lrECM cultures to test the optimal combination of AIIB2 with IR treatment of two breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and HMT3522-T4-2, as well as T4-2 myr-Akt breast cancer colonies or HMT3522-S-1, which form normal organotypic structures in three-dimensional lrECM. Colonies were assayed for apoptosis and beta(1) integrin/Akt signaling pathways were evaluated using Western blot. In addition, mice bearing MCF-7 xenografts were used to validate the findings in three-dimensional lrECM. We report that AIIB2 increased apoptosis optimally post-IR by down-regulating Akt in breast cancer colonies in three-dimensional lrECM. In vivo, addition of AIIB2 after IR significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibition and apoptosis compared with either treatment alone. Remarkably, the degree of tumor growth inhibition using AIIB2 plus 2 Gy radiation was similar to that of 8 Gy alone. We previously showed that AIIB2 had no discernible toxicity in mice; here, its addition allowed for a significant reduction in the IR dose that was necessary to achieve comparable growth inhibition and apoptosis in breast cancer xenografts in vivo.

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