Simultaneous targeting of Src kinase and receptor tyrosine kinase results in synergistic inhibition of renal cell carcinoma proliferation and migration

Lanfang Bai, Joy C. Yang, Joon Ha Ok, Philip C. MacK, Hsing Jien Kung, Christopher P. Evans

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29 Citations (Scopus)


There have been recent improvements in the treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors being one of newer treatment options. We hypothesized that simultaneous targeting of Src kinase and the RTK may have synergistic effects to further improve therapies on metastatic RCC. The effects of Src kinase inhibitor saracatinib and multiple RTK inhibitor sunitinib on RCC cell line (ACHN) and Caki-1 were studied. Saracatinib alone or in combination with sunitinib inhibited the migration of ACHN and Caki-1 cells in vitro. Activation of migration related components FAK, P130Cas and Paxillin were blocked by saracatinib at 0.05- to 3-μM concentrations. Combined treatment resulted in improved growth inhibition, greater loss of the S phase cell population and decreased clonogenic colony formation compared to sunitinib alone in the metastatic Caki-1 line. Molecular studies in Caki-1 showed that saracatinib alone and in combination with sunitinib inhibited phosphorylation of the cell progression regulator c-Myc in a dose-dependent manner. Sunitinib alone or in combination suppressed cyclin-D1 expression with the combination showing greater dose-dependent effect. Sunitinib inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion through the inhibition of STAT3 signaling and VEGF biosynthesis. HIF1-α expression in normoxic and hypoxic conditions in Caki-1 cells was inhibited by either saracatinib or sunitinib when administered alone, however, a greater reduction occurred when these compounds were given in combination. Targeting Src kinase and RTK simultaneously with saracatinib and sunitinib resulted in 70-80% blockade of RCC cell migration, synergistic inhibition of cell growth and reduction of acquired drug resistance in Caki-1 cells. The results show promise for combination targeted therapy of RCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2693-2702
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • RCC
  • receptor tyrosine kinase
  • Src kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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