Effect of Z-360, a novel orally active CCK-2/gastrin receptor antagonist on tumor growth in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines in vivo and mode of action determinations in vitro

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2008 Apr;61(5):883-92. doi: 10.1007/s00280-007-0591-8. Epub 2007 Sep 28.


Purpose: Gastrin is known to enhance the growth of pancreatic carcinoma via the cholecystokinin (CCK)-2/gastrin receptor. We investigated the anti-tumor effect of Z-360 (calcium bis [(R)-(-)-3-[3-{5-cyclohexyl-1-(3,3-dimethyl-2-oxo-butyl)-2-oxo-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-1H-benzo[b][1,4]diazepin-3-yl}ureido]benzoate]), a novel orally active CCK-2 receptor antagonist alone or combined with the chemotherapeutic agent, gemcitabine in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell lines.

Results: Z-360 potently inhibited specific binding of [3H]CCK-8 to the human CCK-2 receptor, with a Ki value of 0.47 nmol/l, and showed antagonistic activity for this receptor. The anti-tumor effect of Z-360 alone or combined with gemcitabine was assessed using subcutaneous xenografts of MiaPaCa2 and PANC-1 and an orthotopic xenograft model (PANC-1). Oral administration of Z-360 significantly inhibited the growth of MiaPaCa2 (41.7% inhibition at 100 mg/kg, P<0.01). Combined administration of Z-360 and gemcitabine significantly inhibited subcutaneous PANC-1 tumor growth compared with either agent alone (27.1% inhibition compared to effect with gemcitabine, P<0.05), and significantly prolonged survival compared with the vehicle control (median survival of 49 days in vehicle compared to 57 days in the combination group, P<0.05). In vitro studies showed that Z-360 significantly inhibited gastrin-induced proliferation of human CCK-2 receptor-expressing cells, and also significantly reduced gastrin-induced PKB/Akt phosphorylation to the level of untreated controls.

Conclusion: In the present study, we have shown that Z-360 combined with gemcitabine can inhibit pancreatic tumor growth and prolong survival in a pancreatic carcinoma xenograft model, on a possible mode of action being the inhibition of gastrin-induced PKB/Akt phosphorylation through blockade of the CCK-2 receptor. Our results suggest that Z-360 may be a useful adjunct to gemcitabine for the treatment of pancreatic carcinoma and a therapeutic option for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology
  • Benzodiazepinones / administration & dosage
  • Benzodiazepinones / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Gastrins
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Receptor, Cholecystokinin B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Survival Rate
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzodiazepinones
  • Gastrins
  • Receptor, Cholecystokinin B
  • Z-360
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gastrin 17
  • gemcitabine
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt