Cell lines and tumors with defined genetic alterations provide ideal systems in which to test the molecular mechanisms of tumor sensitivity to pathway-targeted therapy. We have generated mouse ovarian epithelial tumor cell lines that contain various combinations of genetic alterations in the p53, c-myc, K-ras and Akt genes. Using both in vitro and in vivo approaches, we investigated the effect of rapamycin on cell proliferation, tumor growth, and the accumulation of peritoneal ascites. We demonstrated that rapamycin effectively inhibits the growth of tumors that rely on Akt signaling for proliferation, whereas tumors in which Akt signaling is not the driving force in proliferation are resistant to rapamycin. The introduction of activated Akt to the rapamycin-resistant cells does not render the cells susceptible to rapamycin if they can use alternative pathways for survival and proliferation. Accordingly, the rapamycin-sensitive tumors develop resistance to rapamycin when presented with alternative survival pathways, such as the mitogen-activated extracellular kinase signaling pathway. The combination of rapamycin and the mitogen-activated extracellular kinase inhibitor PD98059 is required to diminish proliferation in these cell lines. Our results indicate that mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors may be effective in a subset of tumors that depend on Akt activity for survival but not effective in all tumors that exhibit Akt activation. Tumors with alternative survival pathways may require the inactivation of multiple individual pathways for successful treatment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - May 10 2005|
- Mouse model
- Ovarian cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas