Sorafenib inhibits intracellular signaling pathways and induces cell cycle arrest and cell death in thyroid carcinoma cells irrespective of histological origin or BRAF mutational status.

Patients with dedifferentiated or anaplastic thyroid carcinomas currently lack appropriate treatment options. Kinase inhibitors are among the most promising new agents as alternative strategies. The BRAF- and multi-kinase inhibitor, sorafenib, has already shown antitumor effects in thyroid carcinoma patients in a phase III clinical trial. In this study we aim to better characterize molecular effects and efficacy of sorafenib against thyroid carcinoma cells with various histological origins and different BRAF mutational status. Analysis of different signaling pathways affected by sorafenib may contribute to assist a more specific therapy choice with fewer side effects. Twelve thyroid carcinoma cell lines derived from anaplastic, follicular and papillary thyroid carcinomas with wildtype or mutationally activated BRAF were treated with sorafenib. Growth inhibition, cell cycle arrest, cell death induction and inhibition of intracellular signaling pathways were then comprehensively analyzed.
Cell viability was analyzed by MTT assay, and the cell cycle was assessed by flow cytometry after propidium iodide staining. Cell death was assessed by lactate dehydrogenase liberation assays, caspase activity assays and subG1 peak determinations. Inhibition of intracellular pathways was analyzed in dot blot and western blot analyses.
Sorafenib inhibited proliferation of all thyroid carcinoma cell lines tested with IC50 values ranging between 1.85 and 4.2 μM. Cells derived from papillary carcinoma harboring the mutant BRAF (V600E) allele were slightly more sensitive to sorafenib than those harboring wildtype BRAF. Cell cycle analyses and caspase assays showed a sorafenib-dependent induction of apoptosis in all cell lines, whereas increased lactate dehydrogenase release suggested cell membrane disruption. Sorafenib treatment caused a rapid inhibition of various MAP kinases in addition to inhibiting AKT and receptor tyrosine kinases.
Sorafenib inhibited multiple intracellular signaling pathways in thyroid carcinoma cells, which resulted in cell cycle arrest and the initiation of apoptosis. Sorafenib was effective against all thyroid carcinoma cell lines regardless of their tumor subtype origin or BRAF status, confirming that sorafenib is therapeutically beneficial for patients with any subtype of dedifferentiated thyroid cancer. Inhibition of single intracellular targets of sorafenib in thyroid carcinoma cells may allow the development of more specific therapeutic intervention with less side effects.
AuthorsMartina Broecker-Preuss, Stefan Müller, Martin Britten, Karl Worm, Kurt Werner Schmid, Klaus Mann, Dagmar Fuhrer
JournalBMC cancer (BMC Cancer) Vol. 15 Pg. 184 ( 2015) ISSN: 1471-2407 [Electronic] England
PMID25879531 (Publication Type: Journal Article)

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