The selective MEK1 inhibitor Selumetinib enhances the antitumor activity of everolimus against renal cell carcinoma in vitro and in vivo

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a urologic malignant cancer and often diagnosed at an advanced stage, which results in high mortality. Targeted therapy may improve the quality of life and survival of patients who are not suitable for nephrectomy. Everolimus, an mTOR inhibitor, is currently used as sequential or second-line therapy for RCC refractory to Sunitinib or sorafenib. However, its efficiency is palliative. In this study, we evaluated whether the antitumor activity of everolimus against RCC is enhanced by Selumetinib, a selective MEK1 inhibitor. We discovered that everolimus in combination with Selumetinib synergistically inhibited the proliferation of Caki-1, 786-O and 769-P cells in vitro. Mechanistically, this combination decreased p-RPS6 and p-4E-BP1 dramatically, which causes G1 cell cycle arrest and prevents reactivation of AKT and ERK. In vivo, the antitumor efficacy and pharmacodynamic biomarkers of the combination therapy were recapitulated in Caki-1 xenograft model. In addition, this combination treatment potently inhibited angiogenesis in xenograft models by impairing VEGF secretion from tumor cells. Our findings provide a sound evidence that combination of everolimus and Selumetinib is a potential dual-targeted strategy for renal cell carcinoma.

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