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    Here we show that d,l-Threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (PDMP), a glycosphingolipid biosynthesis inhibitor, increases the sensitivity of pancreatic cancer cells to the novel MEK-ERK inhibitor AZD-6244. AZD-6244 and PDMP co-administration induced massive pancreatic cancer cell death and apoptosis, more potently than either drug alone. We discovered that AZD-6244 induced ceramide production in pancreatic cancer cells, yet the excess ceramide was metabolically removed in the long-term (24-48h). PDMP facilitated AZD-6244-induced ceramide production, and ceramide level remained elevated up to 48h. Meanwhile, exogenously-added cell-permeable short chain ceramide (C2) similarly sensitized AZD-6244's activity, the two caused substantial pancreatic cancer cell death and apoptosis. At the molecular level, PDMP and AZD-6244 co-treatment inactivated ERK1/2 and AKT-mTOR signalings simultaneously in pancreatic cancer cells, while either agent alone only affected one signaling. In summary, PDMP significantly increased the sensitivity of AZD-6244 in pancreatic cancer cells. This appears to involve a sustained ceramide production as well as concurrent block of ERK and AKT-mTOR signalings. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Ting Wang, Jue Wei, Na Wang, Jia-Li Ma, Ping-Ping Hui. The glucosylceramide synthase inhibitor PDMP sensitizes pancreatic cancer cells to MEK/ERK inhibitor AZD-6244. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2015 Jan 16;456(3):821-6

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    PMID: 25498501

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