The combination of RAD001 and MK-2206 exerts synergistic cytotoxic effects against PTEN mutant gastric cancer cells: involvement of MAPK-dependent autophagic, but not apoptotic cell death pathway.PLoS One 2014; 9(1):e85116Plos
In the current study, we showed that the combination of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor RAD001 (everolimus) and Akt inhibitor MK-2206 exerted synergistic cytotoxic effects against low-phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) gastric cancer cells (HGC-27 and SNU-601 lines). In HGC-27 cells, RAD001 and MK-2206 synergistically induced G1/S cell cycle arrest, growth inhibition, cell death but not apoptosis. RAD001 and MK-2206 synergistically induced light chain 3B (LC3B) and beclin-1 expression, two important autophagy indicators. Meanwhile, the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and chloroquine inhibited the cytotoxic effects by RAD001 and MK-2206, suggesting that autophagic, but not apoptotic cell death was important for the cytotoxic effects by the co-administration. We observed that the combination of RAD001 and MK-2206 exerted enhanced effects on Akt/mTOR inhibition, cyclin D1 down-regulation and ERK/MAPK(extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinases) activation. Intriguingly, MEK/ERK inhibitors PD98059 and U0126 suppressed RAD001 plus MK-2206-induced beclin-1 expression, autophagy induction and cytotoxicity in HGC-27 cells. In conclusion, these results suggested that the synergistic anti-gastric cancer cells ability by RAD001 and MK-2206 involves ERK-dependent autophagic cell death pathway.