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Cancer Biol Ther. 2012 Apr;13(6):379-88. doi: 10.4161/cbt.19240. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Enhancing CHK1 inhibitor lethality in glioblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University; Richmond, VA, USA.


The present studies were initiated to determine whether inhibitors of MEK1/2 or SRC signaling, respectively, enhance CHK1 inhibitor lethality in primary human glioblastoma cells. Multiple MEK1/2 inhibitors (CI-1040 (PD184352); AZD6244 (ARRY-142886)) interacted with multiple CHK1 inhibitors (UCN-01, AZD7762) to kill multiple primary human glioma cell isolates that have a diverse set of genetic alterations typically found in the disease. Inhibition of SRC family proteins also enhanced CHK1 inhibitor lethality. Combined treatment of glioma cells with (MEK1/2 + CHK1) inhibitors enhanced radiosensitivity. Combined (MEK1/2 + CHK1) inhibitor treatment led to dephosphorylation of ERK1/2 and S6 ribosomal protein, whereas the phosphorylation of JNK and p38 was increased. MEK1/2 + CHK1 inhibitor-stimulated cell death was associated with the cleavage of pro-caspases 3 and 7 as well as the caspase substrate (PARP). We also observed activation of pro-apoptotic BCL-2 effector proteins BAK and BAX and reduced levels of pro-survival BCL-2 family protein BCL-XL. Overexpression of BCL-XL alleviated but did not completely abolish MEK1/2 + CHK1 inhibitor cytotoxicity in GBM cells. These findings argue that multiple inhibitors of the SRC-MEK pathway have the potential to interact with multiple CHK1 inhibitors to kill glioma cells.

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