MK-4101, a potent inhibitor of the hedgehog pathway, is highly active against medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma

Gessica Filocamo, Mirko Brunetti, Fabrizio Colaceci, Romina Sasso, Mirella Tanori, Emanuela Pasquali, Romina Alfonsi, Mariateresa Mancuso, Anna Saran, Armin Lahm, Lucia Di Marcotullio, Christian Steinkühler, Simonetta Pazzaglia

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is implicated in the pathogenesis of many cancers, including medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). In this study, using neonatally irradiated Ptch1 /-mice as a model of Hh-dependent tumors, we investigated the in vivo effects of MK-4101, a novel SMO antagonist, for the treatment of medulloblastoma and BCC. Results clearly demonstrated a robust antitumor activity of MK-4101, achieved through the inhibition of proliferation and induction of extensive apoptosis in tumor cells. Of note, beside antitumor activity on transplanted tumors, MK-4101 was highly efficacious against primary medulloblastoma and BCC developing in the cerebellum and skin of Ptch1 /-mice. By identifying the changes induced by MK-4101 in gene expression profiles in tumors, we also elucidated the mechanism of action of this novel, orally administrable compound. MK-4101 targets the Hh pathway in tumor cells, showing the maximum inhibitory effect on Gli1. MK-4101 also induced deregulation of cell cycle and block of DNA replication in tumors. Members of the IGF and Wnt signaling pathways were among the most highly deregulated genes by MK-4101, suggesting that the interplay among Hh, IGF, and Wnt is crucial in Hh-dependent tumorigenesis. Altogether, the results of this preclinical study support a therapeutic opportunity for MK-4101 in the treatment of Hh-driven cancers, also providing useful information for combination therapy with drugs targeting pathways cooperating with Hh oncogenic activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177 - 1189
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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