Genes & Cancer 2017 January [a href=”″>Link]

Melaiu O, Catalano C, De Santi C, Cipollini M, Figlioli G, Pellè L, Barone E, Evangelista M, Guazzelli A, Boldrini L, Sensi E, Bonotti A, Foddis R, Cristaudo A, Mutti L, Fontanini G, Gemignani F, Landi S


Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a cancer of the pleural cavity resistant to chemotherapy. The identification of novel therapeutic targets is needed to improve its poor prognosis. Following a review of literature and a screening of specimens we found that platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRB) is over-expressed, but not somatically mutated, in MPM tissues. We aimed to ascertain whether PDGFRB is a MPM-cancer driver gene. The approaches employed included the use of gene silencing and the administration of small molecules, such as crenolanib and imatinib (PDGFR inhibitors) on MPM cell lines (IstMes2, Mero-14, Mero-25). Met5A cells were used as non-malignant mesothelial cell line. PDGFRB-silencing caused a decrease in the proliferation rate, and a reduced colony formation capacity, as well as an increase of the share of cells in sub-G1 and in G2 phase, and increased apoptotic rate of MPM cell lines. Loss of migration ability was also observed. Similar, or even further enhanced, results were obtained with crenolanib. Imatinib showed the least effective activity on the phenotype. In conclusion, our study highlights PDGFRB as target with a clear role in MPM tumorigenesis and provided a rationale to explore further the efficacy of crenolanib in MPM patients, with promising results.