Antitumor effects of AZD2014, a dual mTORC1/2 inhibitor, against human hepatocellular carcinoma xenograft in nude mice

Objective: To investigate the antitumor effects of AZD2014 (a dual mTORC1/2 inhibitor) against human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) xenograft in mice.

Methods: HCCLM3 cells were injected subcutaneously in the right flank of nude mice, and when the tumors were macroscopic, the mice were randomized into 2 groups for daily intraperitoneal injection of AZD2014 (5 mg/kg, n=5) or vehicle (5 mL/kg, n=5) for 24 days. Tumor growth was assessed using calipers every 4 days and the tumor growth curve was drawn. After the final injection, the mice were euthanized and the tumors were dissected for measuring tumor weight and histopathological analysis with HE staining. Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the expressions of Ki-67, cleaved caspase-3, CD31, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related proteins (Ecadherin, N-cadherin, and vimentin) in the tumor tissue.

Results: Daily treatment with AZD2014 significantly suppressed HCC growth as compared with the control group. HE staining showed significantly increased tumor necrosis in AZD2014-treated mice. AZD2014 treatment inhibited tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis and EMT progression as shown by decreased expressions of Ki-67, CD31, N-cadherin, and vimentin and increased expression of E-cadherin in the tumor tissue, and significantly promoted tumor cell apoptosis as shown by an increased expression of cleaved caspase-3 in AZD2014-treated mice.

Conclusions: AZD2014 is a highly potent antitumor agent for HCC in nude mice bearing HCC xenografts. AZD2014 can effectively inhibit tumor proliferation, angiogenesis and EMT progression and induce tumor cell necrosis and apoptosis.

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S2783 Vistusertib (AZD2014) Vistusertib (AZD2014) is a novel mTOR inhibitor with IC50 of 2.8 nM in a cell-free assay; highly selective against multiple PI3K isoforms (α/β/γ/δ). AZD2014 showed no or weak binding to the majority of kinases when tested at 1 μM. AZD2014 induces proliferation suppression, apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and autophagy in HCC cells with antitumor activity. (78) (14)

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