Preclinical evaluation of combined TKI-258 and RAD001 in hepatocellular carcinoma

Stephen L. Chan, Chi Hang Wong, Cecilia P.Y. Lau, Qian Zhou, Connie W.C. Hui, Vivian W.Y. Lui, Brigette B.Y. Ma, Anthony T.C. Chan, Winnie Yeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: RAD001 targets at the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), while TKI-258 is a potent tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting at fibroblast growth factor receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor and c-kit. We aim to study the activity of combined RAD001 and TKI-258 in cell lines and xenograft model of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with reference to the parallel and upstream pathways of Akt-mTOR axis. Methods: A panel of 4 human HCC cell lines HepG2, Hep3B, PLC/PRF/5 and Huh7 and the Hep3B-derived xenograft were treated with TKI-258 or/and RAD001, respectively. Related mechanistic studies (including apoptosis and angiogenesis) were conducted. Results: There was an enhanced increase in suppression of cell proliferation with combined TKI-258 and RAD001 compared with either drug alone. The combination could significantly suppress the phosphorylation of mTOR, MEK1/2 and p38 MAPK. Although the addition of the TKI258 only slightly suppressed the phosphorylation of AKT induced by RAD001, the pi-mTOR and its downstream signaling pathways including pi-p70S6K, pi-S6 and pi-4EBP1 were lowered in the combination. In Hep3B-derived xenograft, TKI-258 and RAD001 had shown an enhanced inhibition of tumor growth without impact on the weight of animals. There was a reduction in microvessel density in the xenograft with the combination, which indicated an enhanced inhibition on angiogenesis. Pro-caspases-3 and PARP cleavage were slightly detected at 48 h after treatment, suggesting that the combination mainly increased the cytostatic arrest ability. Conclusions: The combination of RAD001 and TKI-258 was active in HCC via inhibition of both mTOR-mediated signaling and its parallel pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1425
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • AKT
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • mTOR
  • RAD001
  • TKI-258

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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