By Filocamo Gessica; Brunetti Mirko; Colaceci Fabrizio; Sasso Romina; Tanori Mirella; Pasquali Emanuela; Mancuso Mariateresa; Saran Anna; Pazzaglia Simonetta; Alfonsi Romina; et al
From Molecular cancer therapeutics (2016), 15(6), 1177-89, Language: English, Database: MEDLINE
Aberrant activation of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is implicated in the pathogenesis of many cancers, including medulloblastoma and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). In this study, using neonatally irradiated Ptch1(+/-) mice as a model of Hh-dependent tumors, we investigated the in vivo effects of MK-4101, a novel SMO antagonist, for the treatment of medulloblastoma and BCC. Results clearly demonstrated a robust antitumor activity of MK-4101, achieved through the inhibition of proliferation and induction of extensive apoptosis in tumor cells. Of note, beside antitumor activity on transplanted tumors, MK-4101 was highly efficacious against primary medulloblastoma and BCC developing in the cerebellum and skin of Ptch1(+/-) mice. By identifying the changes induced by MK-4101 in gene expression profiles in tumors, we also elucidated the mechanism of action of this novel, orally administrable compound. MK-4101 targets the Hh pathway in tumor cells, showing the maximum inhibitory effect on Gli1 MK-4101 also induced deregulation of cell cycle and block of DNA replication in tumors. Members of the IGF and Wnt signaling pathways were among the most highly deregulated genes by MK-4101, suggesting that the interplay among Hh, IGF, and Wnt is crucial in Hh-dependent tumorigenesis. Altogether, the results of this preclinical study support a therapeutic opportunity for MK-4101 in the treatment of Hh-driven cancers, also providing useful information for combination therapy with drugs targeting pathways cooperating with Hh oncogenic activity.