We describe the potential benefit of PIK-75 in combination of gemcitabine to treat pancreatic cancer in a preclinical mouse model. The effect of PIK-75 on the level and activity of NRF2 was characterized using various assays including reporter gene, quantitative PCR, DNA-binding and western blot analyses. Additionally, the combinatorial effect of PIK-75 and gemcitabine was evaluated in human pancreatic cancer cell lines and a xenograft model. PIK-75 reduced NRF2 protein levels and activity to regulate its target gene expression through proteasome-mediated degradation of NRF2 in human pancreatic cancer cell lines. PIK-75 also reduced the gemcitabine-induced NRF2 levels and the expression of its downstream target MRP5. Co-treatment of PIK-75 augmented the antitumor effect of gemcitabine both in vitro and in vivo. Our present study provides a strong mechanistic rationale to evaluate NRF2 targeting agents in combination with gemcitabine to treat pancreatic cancers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research