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BACKGROUND: Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is a rare tumor that is caused by activating mutations in the proto-oncogene RET. Vandetanib, a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor, has been recently approved to treat adult patients with metastatic MTC. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in signaling pathways induced by vandetanib treatment in preclinical MTC models, using the reverse-phase protein array method (RPPA). METHODS: The human TT cell line was used to assess in vitro and in vivo activity of vandetanib. Protein extracts from TT cells or TT xenografted mice, treated by increasing concentrations of vandetanib for different periods of time, were probed with a set of 12 antibodies representing major signaling pathways, using RPPA. Results were validated using two distinct protein detection methods: Western immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Vandetanib displays antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activities and inhibits RET autophosphorylation. The MAPK and AKT pathways were the two major signaling pathways inhibited by vandetanib. Interestingly, phosphorylated levels of NFκB-p65 were significantly increased by vandetanib. Comparable results were obtained in both the in vitro and in vivo approaches, as well as for the protein detection methods. However, some discrepancies were observed between RPPA and Western immunoblotting, possibly due to lack of specificity of the primary antibodies used. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results confirmed the interest of RPPA for screening global changes induced in signaling pathways by kinase inhibitors. MAPK and AKT were identified as the main pathways involved in vandetanib response in MTC models. Our results also suggest alternative routes for controlling the disease, and provide a rationale for the development of therapeutic combinations based on the comprehensive identification of molecular events induced by inhibitors.

Original publication

DOI

10.1089/thy.2013.0514

Type

Journal article

Journal

Thyroid

Publication Date

01/2014

Volume

24

Pages

43 - 51

Keywords

Adult, Animals, Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Proliferation, Humans, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Mice, Piperidines, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt, Quinazolines, Signal Transduction, Thyroid Neoplasms