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Chemical Biology

Molecular Characterization of c-Abl/c-Src Kinase Inhibitors Targeted against Murine Tumour Progenitor Cells that Express Stem Cell Markers
Published: Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Author: Thomas Kruewel et al.

by Thomas Kruewel, Silvia Schenone, Marco Radi, Giovanni Maga, Astrid Rohrbeck, Maurizio Botta, Juergen Borlak


The non-receptor tyrosine kinases c-Abl and c-Src are overexpressed in various solid human tumours. Inhibition of their hyperactivity represents a molecular rationale in the combat of cancerous diseases. Here we examined the effects of a new family of pyrazolo [3,4-d] pyrimidines on a panel of 11 different murine lung tumour progenitor cell lines, that express stem cell markers, as well as on the human lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549, the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 and the human colon cancer cell line CaCo2 to obtain insight into the mode of action of these experimental drugs.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Treatment with the dual kinase inhibitors blocked c-Abl and c-Src kinase activity efficiently in the nanomolar range, induced apoptosis, reduced cell viability and caused cell cycle arrest predominantly at G0/G1 phase while western blot analysis confirmed repressed protein expression of c-Abl and c-Src as well as the interacting partners p38 mitogen activated protein kinase, heterogenous ribonucleoprotein K, cyclin dependent kinase 1 and further proteins that are crucial for tumour progression. Importantly, a significant repression of the epidermal growth factor receptor was observed while whole genome gene expression analysis evidenced regulation of many cell cycle regulated genes as well integrin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) signalling to impact cytoskeleton dynamics, migration, invasion and metastasis.


Our experiments and recently published in vivo engraftment studies with various tumour cell lines revealed the dual kinase inhibitors to be efficient in their antitumour activity.