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Combination effects of sorafenib with PI3K inhibitors under hypoxia in colorectal cancer

Authors Bhatia DR, Thiagarajan P

Received 22 June 2016

Accepted for publication 26 August 2016

Published 8 December 2016 Volume 2016:4 Pages 163—174

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HP.S115500

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Dörthe Katschinski


Dimple R Bhatia, Padma Thiagarajan

School of Biosciences and Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Aim: This study reports the influence of hypoxia on response of colorectal cancer cells to anticancer effects of sorafenib in combination with PI3K inhibitors GDC-0941 and BEZ-235.
Materials and methods: All hypoxic exposures were carried out at 1% O2/5% CO2. Antiproliferation activity was evaluated by 48 hours propidium iodide and 14 days clonogenic assay. Protein levels were evaluated by fluorescence ELISA. Metabolites lactate and glucose were evaluated biochemically.
Results: In the 48-hour proliferation assay, sorafenib acted synergistically with GDC-0941 but not with BEZ-235. In long-term colony-forming assays, both GDC-0941 and BEZ-235 were shown to potentiate the antiproliferative activity of sorafenib. At the molecular level, the synergism is mediated through inhibition of pAKT, pS6, p4EBP1, pERK, cyclin D1, and Bcl-2. No change in hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) levels was observed in cells treated with the combination of compounds under hypoxia. A significant reduction in glucose uptake and lactate release was observed in cells treated with the combination of compounds under normoxia and hypoxia.
Conclusion: Combinations of sorafenib with PI3K inhibitors BEZ-235 and GDC-0941 are efficacious under hypoxia. Thus, these anticancer combinations have a potential to overcome the hypoxia-mediated resistance mechanisms to antiproliferative agents in cancer therapy.

Keywords: GDC-0941, BEZ-235, anticancer, antiproliferation

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