J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 19 ;40(1):34. Epub 2021 Jan 19. PMID: 33468157
Vitamin C sensitizes BRAFthyroid cancer to PLX4032 via inhibiting the feedback activation of MAPK/ERK signal by PLX4032.
BACKGROUND: BRAFV600E mutation is the most common mutation in thyroid cancer. It strongly activates MAPK/ERK pathway and indicates an invasive subtype of thyroid cancer. PLX4032 is a selective oral inhibitor of the BRAFV600 kinase although with limited effect in treating this panel of thyroid cancer, due to the feedback activation of MAPK/ERK as well as PI3K/AKT pathways. It was investigated that Vitamin C plays a positive role in inhibiting these pathways in thyroid cancer. However, whether Vitamin C could enhance the antitumor effect of PLX4032 remains largely unclear.METHODS: The antitumor efficacy of combination therapy with PLX4032 and Vitamin C on BRAFthyroid cancer cell was assessed by the MTT assay, EdU assay and colony formation, Chou-Talalay way was employed to analyze the synergistic effect. Flow cytometry were employed to assess cells' apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in response to combination therapy. Xenograft models were used to test its in vivo antitumor activity. Western blot and IHC were applied to investigate the mechanism underlying synergistic effect.RESULTS: PLX4032 or Vitamin C monotherapy was mildly effective in treating BRAFthyroid cancer cell and xenografts model. The combination therapy significantly inhibited cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth in nude mice, and induced cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest compared to either monotherapy. PLX4032 monotherapy induced feedback activation of MAPK/ERK as well as PI3K/AKT pathway; while combination therapy significantly relieved this feedback.CONCLUSION: Vitamin C promotes the antitumor effect of PLX4032 in BRAFthyroid cancer cell and xenografts model via relieving the feedback activation of MAPK/ERK as well as PI3K/AKT pathway. PLX4032/Vitamin C combination may be a potential therapeutic approach to treat BRAFthyroid cancer.