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Focal adhesion kinase inhibitor TAE226 combined with Sorafenib slows down hepatocellular carcinoma by multiple epigenetic effects

Ilaria, Romito, Manuela, Porru, Maria Rita, Braghini, Luca, Pompili, Nadia, Panera, Annalisa, Crudele, Daniela, Gnani, Cristiano, De Stefanis, Marco, Scarsella, Silvia, Pomella, Stefano Levi, Mortera, Emmanuel, de Billy, Adrian Libenzio, Conti, Valeria, Marzano, Lorenza, Putignani, Manlio, Vinciguerra, Clara, Balsano, Anna, Pastore, Rossella, Rota, Marco, Tartaglia, Carlo, Leonetti and Anna, Alisi (2021) Focal adhesion kinase inhibitor TAE226 combined with Sorafenib slows down hepatocellular carcinoma by multiple epigenetic effects. Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research. ISSN 1756-9966; 0392-9078


Background & Aims
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and lethal malignant tumours worldwide. Sorafenib (SOR), the first-line systemic treatment against advanced HCC, causes resistance as unresolved question. Recent studies highlighted the ability of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitors (FAKi) in reducing HCC growth. Therefore, we investigated the antitumor effects of three different FAKi, alone or in combination with SOR, using in vitro and in vivo models of HCC.
The effect of PND1186, PF431396, TAE226 on cell viability was compared to SOR. TAE226, emerging as the most effective FAKi, was then tested alone or in combination with SOR using 2D/3D human HCC cell line cultures and HCC xenograft murine models. The mechanisms of action were assessed by gene/protein expression and imaging approaches, combined with high-throughput methods.
TAE226 emerged as the more effective FAKi to be combined with SOR against HCC. Combined TAE226 plus SOR treatment reduced HCC growth both in vitro and in vivo by affecting tumour-promoting gene expression and inducing epigenetic changes via dysregulation of the nuclear interactome of FAK. In particular, we characterize a novel nuclear functional interaction between FAK and the NuRD complex. TAE226-mediated FAK depletion and SOR-promoted MAPK down-modulation caused a decrease of the nuclear amount of HDAC1/2 with consequent increase of histone H3 lysine 27 acetylation, counteracting its trimethylation.
Altogether, our findings provide the first evidence that TAE226 combined with SOR efficiently reduce HCC growth in vitro and in vivo. Our data also highlight that deep analysis of FAK nuclear interactome may lead to the identification of new promising therapeutic approaches for HCC.

Item Type: Article
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2021 00:45
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2021 00:45


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