Dasatinib modulates sensitivity to pemetrexed in malignant pleural mesothelioma cell lines

Oncotarget 2016 July 6 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Monica V, Lo Iacono M, Bracco E, Busso S, Di Blasio L, Primo L, Peracino B, Papotti M, Scagliotti G


Thymidylate synthase (TS), one of the key enzymes for thymidine synthesis, is a target of pemetrexed (PEM), a key agent for the systemic therapy of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and its overexpression has been correlated to PEM-resistance. In MPM, experimental data report activation of the c-SRC tyrosine kinase suggesting it as a potential target to be further investigated.
MPM cell lines showed different sensitivity, being MSTO the most and REN the least sensitive to PEM. REN cells showed high levels of both TS and SRC: dasatinib inhibited SRC activation and suppressed TS protein expression, starting from 100 nM dose, blocking the PEM-induced up regulation of TS protein levels. Dasatinib treatment impaired cells migration, and both sequential and co-administration with PEM significantly increased apoptosis. Dasatinib pretreatment improved sensitivity to PEM, downregulated TS promoter activity and, in association with PEM, modulated the downstream PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling.Cell lines and Methods: In three MPM cell lines (MPP89, REN and MSTO), the effects of c-SRC inhibition, in correlation with TS expression and PEM sensitivity, were evaluated. PEM and dasatinib, a SRC inhibitor, were administered as single agents, in combination or sequentially. Cell viability, apoptosis and migration, as well as TS expression and SRC activation have been assessed.
These data indicate that dasatinib sensitizes mesothelioma cells to PEM through TS down-regulation.