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Efficacy of AKT Inhibitor ARQ 092 Compared with Sorafenib in a Cirrhotic Rat Model with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Abstract : Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. The AKT pathway has been found activated in 50% of HCC cases, making it a promising target. Therefore, we assess efficacy of the allosteric AKT inhibitor ARQ 092 compared with untreated control and standard treatment, sorafenib, in vitro and in vivo. ARQ 092 blocked phosphorylation of AKT in vitro and strongly inhibited cell growth with significantly higher potency than sorafenib. Similarly, apoptosis and cell migration were strongly reduced by ARQ 092 in vitro. To mimic human advanced HCC, we used a diethylnitrosamine-induced cirrhotic rat model with fully developed HCC. MRI analyses showed that ARQ 092 significantly reduced overall tumor size. Furthermore, number of tumors was decreased by ARQ 092, which was associated with increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation. Tumor contrast enhancement was significantly decreased in the ARQ 092 group. Moreover, on tumor tissue sections, we observed a vascular normalization and a significant decrease in fibrosis in the surrounding liver of animals treated with ARQ 092. Finally, pAKT/AKT levels in ARQ 092-treated tumors were reduced, followed by downregulation of actors of AKT downstream signaling pathway: pmTOR, pPRAS40, pPLCg1, and pS6K1. In conclusion, we demonstrated that ARQ 092 blocks AKT phosphorylation in vitro and in vivo. In the HCC-rat model, ARQ 092 was well tolerated, showed antifibrotic effect, and had stronger antitumor effect than sorafenib. Our results confirm the importance of targeting AKT in HCC. Mol Cancer Ther; 16(10); 2157-65. Ó2017 AACR.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 25, 2019 - 10:48:13 AM
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Gaël S. Roth, Zuzana Jilkova, Ayca Zeybek Kuyucu, Keerthi Kurma, Ahmad Pour, et al.. Efficacy of AKT Inhibitor ARQ 092 Compared with Sorafenib in a Cirrhotic Rat Model with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, American Association for Cancer Research, 2017, 9, pp.2803. ⟨10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0602-T⟩. ⟨inserm-02333028⟩



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