The Journal of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics

The mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase inhibitor PD184352 (CI-1040) selectively induces apoptosis in malignant schwannoma cell lines.

PMID 16239399


Type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1) is a common autosomal dominant disorder that results in neuroectodermal tumors. The NF1 tumor-suppressor gene encodes neurofibromin, which includes a GTPase-activating domain for Ras inactivation. Affinity purification showed N-Ras to be the predominant activated isoform of Ras in two independent neurofibrosarcoma cell lines from NF1 patients (lines ST88-14 and NF90-8). These NF1 cells also demonstrated increased constitutive activity of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1,2) mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases compared with a sporadic malignant schwannoma cell line that maintains neurofibromin expression (STS-26T). Thus, MAP kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors may be a rational approach to NF1 therapy. The MEK inhibitors PD98059 [2'-amino-3'-methoxyflavone], PD184352 (also called CI-1040) [2-(2-chloro-4-iodo-phenylamino)-N-cyclopropylmethoxy-3,4-difluoro-benzamide], and U0126 [1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)butadiene] all produced concentration-dependent suppression of the proliferation of the three cell lines. Individual MEK inhibitors had similar effects in all three cell lines. However, only the antiproliferative effects of PD184352 correlated closely with the elimination of ERK1,2 MAP kinase activities. PD98059 was primarily cytostatic, whereas U0126 and PD184352 were cytotoxic. Only PD184352 induced apoptosis in all three lines, as indicated by morphology, activation of DEVDase, procaspase-3 cleavage, and the appearance of populations having sub-G(0)/G(1) DNA contents. The differential effects of the MEK inhibitors on cell survival were not dependent on p53 status or effects on the ERK5 pathway. PD184352 was also proapoptotic to primary rat Schwann cells. Hence, although PD184352 effectively killed neurofibrosarcoma cells, its effects on normal Schwann cells may limit its usefulness in the clinic.

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PD184352, ≥98% (HPLC)