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J Biol Chem. 2014 Aug 29;289(35):24202-14. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M114.567552. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

Synergistic therapeutic effect of cisplatin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitors in cancer growth and metastasis of Brca1 mutant tumors.

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From the Genetics of Development and Disease Branch.
Microarray Core Facility, and.
Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
From the Genetics of Development and Disease Branch,


Drug resistance and cancer metastasis are two major problems in cancer research. During a course of therapeutic treatment in Brca1-associated tumors, we found that breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) exhibit an intrinsic ability to metastasize and acquire drug resistance through distinct signaling pathways. Microarray analysis indicated that the cytoskeletal remodeling pathway was differentially regulated in CSCs, and this was further evidenced by the inhibitory role of reagents that impair this pathway in the motility of cancer cells. We showed that cisplatin treatment, although initially inhibiting cancer growth, preventing metastasis through blocking cytoskeletal remodeling, and retarding CSC motility, eventually led to drug resistance associated with a marked increase in the number of CSCs. This event was at least partially attributed to the activation of PI3K signaling, and it could be significantly inhibited by co-treatment with rapamycin. These results provide strong evidence that cytoskeletal rearrangement and PI3K/AKT signaling play distinct roles in mediating CSC mobility and viability, respectively, and blocking both pathways synergistically may inhibit primary and metastatic cancer growth.


Breast Cancer; Cancer Stem Cells; Cytoskeleton; Drug Resistance; PI3K Signaling; Tumor Metastases

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