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Zhang J, Zhou L, Zhao S, Dicker DT, El-Deiry WS
The CDK4/6 inhibitor palbociclib synergizes with irinotecan to promote colorectal cancer cell death under hypoxia
Cell Cycle (2017) 16:1193-1200.
Hypoxia is an inherent impediment to cancer therapy. Palbociclib, a highly selective inhibitor for CDK4/6, has been tested in numerous clinical trials and has been approved by the FDA. We previously reported that CDK inhibitors can destabilize HIF1alpha regardless of the presence of hypoxia and can sensitize tumor cells to TRAIL through dual blockade of CDK1 and GSK-3beta. To translate this knowledge into a cancer therapeutic strategy, we investigated the therapeutic effects and molecular mechanisms of CDK inhibition against colon cancer cells under normoxia and hypoxia. We found that palbociclib sensitizes colon cancer cells to hypoxia-induced apoptotic resistance via deregulation of HIF-1alpha accumulation. In addition to inhibition of cell proliferation, we observed that palbociclib promotes colon cancer cell death regardless of the presence of hypoxia at a comparatively high concentration via regulating ERK/GSK-3beta signaling and GSK-3beta expression. Furthermore, palbociclib synergized with irinotecan in a variety of colon cancer cell lines with various molecular subtypes via deregulating irinotecan-induced Rb phosphorylation and reducing HIF-1alpha accumulation under normoxia or hypoxia. Collectively, our findings provide a novel combination therapy strategy against hypoxic colon cancer cells that may be further translated in the clinic.
Publication Date: 2017-06-18.
PMCID: PMC5499912
Last updated on Tuesday, June 05, 2018