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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

The Synergistic Anti-colon Cancer Effect of Aurora A Inhibitors and AKT Inhibitors Through PI3K/AKT Pathway

Author(s): Cheng Sun, Zhen Qu, Weilin Liu, Zhigang Qiu, Yanfeng Lü* and Zhenqing Sun*

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2023

Published on: 11 August, 2022

Page: [87 - 93] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1871520622666220422133537

Price: $65


Background: Both AKT and Aurora inhibitors are a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of malignant tumors. However, the role of combined inhibition of AKT and Aurora in colon cancer and its underlying mechanism have yet to be fully investigated.

Objective: To investigate the role of combined AKT and Aurora inhibitors in colon cancer and its underlying mechanisms.

Methods: CCK8 assay, colony formation assay, and flow cytometry were performed to analyze the proliferation and apoptosis of colon cancer cell line SW480 treated with combined AKT inhibitor MK2206 and Aurora inhibitor Alisertib, respectively. And tumor formation and growth were measured in tumor allograft model mice administered with the combined inhibitors. Western blot analysis was used to examine the expression levels of apoptosis-related proteins and signal transduction pathway components. The PI3K agonist 740Y-P and Overexpression of AKT are used to verify whether the PI3K/AKT pathway plays an anti-tumor effect when combined with inhibitory administration.

Results: Aurora A inhibitor Alisertib and AKT inhibitor MK2206 displayed consistent and synergistic antiproliferation and proapoptotic effects. Combined inhibition of Aurora A and AKT down-regulated the expression of Bcl-2/Bax and up-regulated the expression of cleaved-caspase-3 and cleaved-PARP. While single-drug treatment can significantly inhibit the expression of P-PI3K and P-AKT as well as increase the expression of P53 and H2A.X, the combined drugs had a more significant inhibitory effect than the single drug. Moreover, administration of PI3K agonist 740Y-P and AKT1 overexpression in experiments proved that the combined drugs exert an anticancer effect by inhibiting the PI3K/AKT pathway. Meanwhile, we showed that the combined administration had an anti-colon cancer effect on tumor allograft mice, and the underlying mechanism involved inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway.

Conclusion: Combined administration of Aurora A inhibitor Alisertib and AKT inhibitor MK2206 can inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer cells and induce apoptosis, while inhibiting tumor growth in vivo. The underlying mechanism may involve the PI3K/AKT pathway and DNA damage pathway.

Keywords: Aurora kinase A, colon cancer, PI3K/Akt, P53, proliferation, apoptosis.

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