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Biochemistry - Biotechnology - Oncology - Pharmacology - Respiratory Medicine

Perifosine as a Potential Novel Anti-Cancer Agent Inhibits EGFR/MET-AKT Axis in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Author: Giulia Pinton et al.

by Giulia Pinton, Arcangela Gabriella Manente, Giovanni Angeli, Luciano Mutti, Laura Moro


PI3K/AKT signalling pathway is aberrantly active and plays a critical role for cell cycle progression of human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MMe) cells.AKT is one of the important cellular targets of perifosine, a novel bio-available alkylphospholipid that has displayed significant anti-proliferative activity in vitro and in vivo in several human tumour model systems and is currently being tested in clinical trials.


We tested Perifosine activity on human mesothelial cells and different mesothelioma cell lines, in order to provide evidence of its efficacy as single agent and combined therapy.


We demonstrate here that perifosine, currently being evaluated as an anti-cancer agent in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, caused a dose-dependent reduction of AKT activation, at concentrations causing MMe cell growth arrest. In this study we firstly describe that MMe cells express aside from AKT1 also AKT3 and that either the myristoylated, constitutively active, forms of the two proteins, abrogated perifosine-mediated cell growth inhibition. Moreover, we describe here a novel mechanism of perifosine that interferes, upstream of AKT, affecting EGFR and MET phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate a significant increase in cell toxicity when MMe cells were treated with perifosine in combination with cisplatin.


This study provides a novel mechanism of action of perifosine, directly inhibiting EGFR/MET-AKT1/3 axis, providing a rationale for a novel translational approach to the treatment of MMe.