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Cancer Res. 2001 May 15;61(10):4278-82.

The Ras radiation resistance pathway.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, 195 John Morgan Building, 3620 Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The critical pathways determining the resistance of tumor cells to ionizing radiation are poorly defined. Because the ras oncogene, a gene activated in many human cancers treated with radiotherapy, can induce increased radioresistance, we have asked which Ras effector pathways are significant in conferring a survival advantage to tumor cells. The phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002 radiosensitized cells bearing mutant ras oncogenes, but the survival of cells with wild-type ras was not affected. Inhibition of the PI3K downstream target p70S6K by rapamycin, the Raf-MEK-MAPK pathway with PD98059, or the Ras-MEK kinase-p38 pathway with SB203580 had no effect on radiation survival in cells with oncogenic ras. Expression of active PI3K in cells with wild-type ras resulted in increased radiation resistance that could be inhibited by LY294002. These experiments have indicated the importance of PI3K in mediating enhanced radioresistance and have implicated PI3K as a potential target for specific radiosensitization of tumors.

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