Purpose: The mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway is important for cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation, and is frequently up-regulated in cancers. The MAP kinase pathway is also activated after exposure to ionizing radiation. We investigated the effects of AZD6244 (ARRY-142886), an inhibitor of MAP kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, on radiation response. Experimental Design: The effects of AZD6244 on the in vitro radiosensitivity of human cancer cell lines (A549, MiaPaCa2, and DU145) were evaluated using clonogenic assays. DNA damage repair was evaluated using γH2AX, and mitotic catastrophe was measured using nuclear fragmentation. Cell cycle effects were measured with flow cytometry. Growth delay was used to evaluate the effects of AZD6244 on in vivo tumor radiosensitivity. Results: Exposure of each cell line to AZD6244 before irradiation resulted in an increase in radiosensitivity with dose enhancement factors at a surviving fraction of 0.1, ranging from 1.16 to 2.0. No effects of AZD6244 on radiation-induced apoptosis or persistence of γH2AX foci after irradiation were detected. Cells treatedwith AZD6244 had anincreasedmitotic index and decreased Chk1 phosphorylation at 1 and 2 hours after irradiation. Mitotic catastrophe was increased in cells receiving AZD6244 and irradiation compared with the single treatments. In vivo studies revealed that AZD6244 administration to mice bearing A549 tumor xenografts resulted in a greater than additive increase in radiation-induced tumor growth delay (dose enhancement factor of 3.38). Conclusions: These results indicate that AZD6244 can enhance tumor cell radiosensitivity in vitro and in vivo and suggest that this effect involves an increase inmitotic catastrophe.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research