Synergistic inhibition of survival, proliferation, and migration of U87 cells with a combination of LY341495 and Iressa

PLoS One. 2013 May 27;8(5):e64588. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064588. Print 2013.


Glioblastomas exploit various molecular pathways to promote glutamate- dependent growth by activating the AMPA (2-amino-3-(3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazol-4-yl) propanoic acid) receptor, the group II metabotropic glutamate receptor, mGluR, and the epidermal growth factor receptor, EGFR. We hypothesized that targeting more than one of these pathways would be more effective in inhibiting glutamate-dependent growth. Using a model of U87 cell line, we show that blocking glutamate release by Riluzole inhibits cell proliferation. Glutamate-dependent growth is effectively inhibited by a combination of Iressa, an inhibitor of EGFR activation and LY341495, a group II mGluR inhibitor. Treatment of U87 cells with a combination of Iressa and LY341495 inhibits proliferation as indicated by Ki-67 staining, induces apoptosis and inhibits migration of U87 cells more effectively than the treatment by Iressa or LY341495 alone. These results demonstrate that a combinatorial therapy with Iressa and LY341495 is more effective due to synergistic effects of these drugs in inhibiting the growth of glioblastoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Synergism
  • Gefitinib
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Glutamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Quinazolines / pharmacology*
  • Riluzole / pharmacology
  • Xanthenes / pharmacology*


  • Amino Acids
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • LY 341495
  • Quinazolines
  • Xanthenes
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Riluzole
  • Gefitinib

Grant support

This work is supported by Hunter College President’s Fund for Faculty Enhancement and PSC-CUNY grant # TRADB 43-141. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.