Inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin pathway but not the MEK/ERK pathway attenuates laminin-mediated small cell lung cancer cellular survival and resistance to imatinib mesylate or chemotherapy.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The fact that small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is commonly incurable despite being initially responsive to chemotherapy, combined with disappointing results from a recent SCLC clinical trial with imatinib, has intensified efforts to identify mechanisms of SCLC resistance. Adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) is one mechanism that can increase therapeutic resistance in SCLC cells. To address whether adhesion to ECM increases resistance through modulation of signaling pathways, a series of SCLC cell lines were plated on various ECM components, and activation of two signaling pathways that promote cellular survival, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK/ERK) pathway, was assessed. Although differential activation was observed, adhesion to laminin increased Akt activation, increased cellular survival after serum starvation, and caused the cells to assume a flattened, epithelial morphology. Inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway (LY294002, rapamycin) but not the MEK/ERK pathway (U0126) abrogated laminin-mediated survival. SCLC cells plated on laminin were not only resistant to serum starvation-induced apoptosis but were also resistant to apoptosis caused by imatinib. Combining imatinib with LY294002 or rapamycin but not U0126 caused greater than additive increases in apoptosis compared with apoptosis caused by the inhibitor or imatinib alone. Similar results were observed when adenoviruses expressing mutant Akt were combined with imatinib, or when LY294002 was combined with cisplatin or etoposide. These studies identify laminin-mediated activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway as a mechanism of cellular survival and therapeutic resistance in SCLC cells and suggest that inhibition of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is one strategy to overcome SCLC resistance mediated by ECM.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Tsurutani, J; West, KA; Sayyah, J; Gills, JJ; Dennis, PA

Published Date

  • September 15, 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 / 18

Start / End Page

  • 8423 - 8432

PubMed ID

  • 16166321

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0008-5472

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-0058


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States