Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 2005 Mar 25;120(6):747-59.

The mTOR inhibitor RAD001 sensitizes tumor cells to DNA-damaged induced apoptosis through inhibition of p21 translation.

Author information

Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Maulbeerstrasse 66, P.O. Box 2543, CH-4058 Basel, Switzerland.


Although DNA damaging agents have revolutionized chemotherapy against solid tumors, a narrow therapeutic window combined with severe side effects has limited their broader use. Here we show that RAD001 (everolimus), a rapamycin derivative, dramatically enhances cisplatin-induced apoptosis in wild-type p53, but not mutant p53 tumor cells. The use of isogenic tumor cell lines expressing either wild-type mTOR cDNA or a mutant that does not bind RAD001 demonstrates that the effects of RAD001 are through inhibition of mTOR function. We further show that RAD001 sensitizes cells to cisplatin by inhibiting p53-induced p21 expression. Unexpectedly, this effect is attributed to a small but significant inhibition of p21 translation combined with its short half-life. These findings provide the molecular rationale for combining DNA damaging agents with RAD001, showing that a general effect on a major anabolic process may dramatically enhance the efficacy of an established drug protocol in the treatment of cancer patients with solid tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center