TANKYRASE Inhibition Enhances the Antiproliferative Effect of PI3K and EGFR Inhibition, Mutually Affecting β-CATENIN and AKT Signaling in Colorectal Cancer

Mol Cancer Res. 2018 Mar;16(3):543-553. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-17-0362. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Overactivation of the WNT/β-CATENIN signaling axis is a common denominator in colorectal cancer. Currently, there is no available WNT inhibitor in clinical practice. Although TANKYRASE (TNKS) inhibitors have been proposed as promising candidates, there are many colorectal cancer models that do not respond positively to TNKS inhibition in vitro and in vivo Therefore, a combinatorial therapeutic approach combining a TNKS inhibitor (G007-LK) with PI3K (BKM120) and EGFR (erlotinib) inhibitors in colorectal cancer was investigated. The data demonstrate that TNKS inhibition enhances the effect of PI3K and EGFR inhibition in the TNKS inhibitor-sensitive COLO320DM, and in the nonsensitive HCT-15 cell line. In both cell lines, combined TNKS/PI3K/EGFR inhibition is more effective at reducing growth than a dual TNKS/MEK inhibition. TNKS/PI3K/EGFR inhibition affected in a context-dependent manner components of the WNT/β-CATENIN, AKT/mTOR, EGFR, and RAS signaling pathways. TNKS/PI3K/EGFR inhibition also efficiently reduced growth of both COLO320DM and HCT-15 tumor xenografts in vivo At the highest doses, tumor xenograft growth was halted without affecting the body weight of the tested animals.Implications: Combining TNKS inhibitors with PI3K and EGFR inhibition may expand the therapeutic arsenal against colorectal cancers. Mol Cancer Res; 16(3); 543-53. ©2017 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tankyrases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tankyrases / metabolism
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • beta Catenin
  • Tankyrases
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt