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Int J Cancer. 2003 Aug 10;106(1):116-24.

Synergistic antiproliferative and apoptotic effects induced by epidermal growth factor receptor and protein kinase a inhibitors in human prostatic cancer cell lines.

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Institut de Chimie Pharmaceutique Albert Lespagnol, Lille, France.


Our results revealed that the blockade of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase and protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathways by specific inhibitors (PD153035 and Rp-cAMPs) leads to a synergistic inhibition of EGF- and serum-stimulated growth of human prostatic cancer cells (LNCaP, DU145 and PC3) concomitant with an arrest in the G1 phase of cellular cycle. Of particular interest, the combination of PD153035 and Rp-cAMPs also caused a more substantial apoptotic/necrotic death of these prostatic cancer cells as compared to drugs alone. Moreover, we observed that the inhibition of acidic sphingomyelinase and caspase cascades results in a marked reduction of DNA fragmentation and apoptotic death induced by PD153035, alone or in combination with Rp-cAMPs, in EGF stimulated PC3 cells. This suggests that these agents might mediate their cytotoxic effects at least in part via the ceramide generation and activation of caspase signaling pathways. N-oleoylethanolamine (OE), an inhibitor of acidic ceramidase, consistently potentiated the apoptotic effects of PD153035 in all the prostatic cancer cell lines tested. Additionally, the cellular ceramide content estimated for PC3 cells was increased after treatment with PD153035, alone or in combination, at a lower dose with OE and Rp-cAMPs. The synergistic apoptotic effect of PD153035 plus Rp-cAMPs induced in PC3 was also accompanied by a significant rate of mitochondrial membrane depolarization and release of cytochrome c into cytosol as compared to drugs alone. Combined, the results indicated that the simultaneous inhibition of EGFR and PKA signaling cascades might lead to a more massive apoptotic death of metastatic prostatic cancer cells by increasing ceramide accumulation and activating of caspase cascade of a mitochondrial dependent manner.

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