The L-type calcium channel blocker fendiline has been shown to interfere with Ras-dependent signaling in K-Ras mutant cancer cells. Earlier studies from our lab had shown that treatment of pancreatic cancer cells with fendiline causes significant cytotoxicity and interferes with proliferation, survival, migration, invasion and anchorage independent growth. Currently there are no effective therapies to manage PDACs. As fendiline has been approved for treatment of patients with angina, we hypothesized that, if proven effective, combinatorial therapies using this agent would be easily translatable to clinic for testing in PDAC patients. Here we tested combinations of fendiline with gemcitabine, visudyne (a YAP1 inhibitor) or tivantinib (ARQ197, a c-Met inhibitor) for their effectiveness in overcoming growth and oncogenic characteristics of PDAC cells. The Hippo pathway component YAP1 has been shown to bypass K-Ras addiction, and allow tumor growth, in a Ras-null mouse model. Similarly, c-Met expression has been associated with poor prognosis and metastasis in PDAC patients. Our results presented here show that combinations of fendiline with these inhibitors show enhanced anti-tumor activity in Panc1, MiaPaCa2 and CD18/HPAF PDAC cells, as evident from the reduced viability, migration, anchorage-independent growth and self-renewal. Biochemical analysis shows that these agents interfere with various signaling cascades such as the activation of Akt and ERK, as well as the expression of c-Myc and CD44 that are altered in PDACs. These results imply that inclusion of fendiline may improve the efficacy of various chemotherapeutic agents that could potentially benefit PDAC patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry