American Association for Cancer Research
10780432ccr193373-sup-230651_2_supp_6159662_q753lr.png (346.62 kB)

Figure S4 from Wee1 Kinase Inhibitor AZD1775 Effectively Sensitizes Esophageal Cancer to Radiotherapy

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posted on 2023-03-31, 21:50 authored by Linlin Yang, Changxian Shen, Cory J. Pettit, Tianyun Li, Andrew J. Hu, Eric D. Miller, Junran Zhang, Steven H. Lin, Terence M. Williams

Weight changes in nude mice compared to baseline (pre-therapy) weights over time (days). Note that radiation treatment was associated with decline in weight which recovered with time. Treatments occurred during Days 1-5 as described in the text.



National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

National Institutes of Health



Esophageal cancer is a deadly malignancy with a 5-year survival rate of only 5% to 20%, which has remained unchanged for decades. Esophageal cancer possesses a high frequency of TP53 mutations leading to dysfunctional G1 cell-cycle checkpoint, which likely makes esophageal cancer cells highly reliant upon G2–M checkpoint for adaptation to DNA replication stress and DNA damage after radiation. We aim to explore whether targeting Wee1 kinase to abolish G2–M checkpoint sensitizes esophageal cancer cells to radiotherapy. Cell viability was assessed by cytotoxicity and colony-forming assays, cell-cycle distribution was analyzed by flow cytometry, and mitotic catastrophe was assessed by immunofluorescence staining. Human esophageal cancer xenografts were generated to explore the radiosensitizing effect of AZD1775 in vivo. The IC50 concentrations of AZD1775 on esophageal cancer cell lines were between 300 and 600 nmol/L. AZD1775 (100 nmol/L) as monotherapy did not alter the viability of esophageal cancer cells, but significantly radiosensitized esophageal cancer cells. AZD1775 significantly abrogated radiation-induced G2–M phase arrest and attenuation of p-CDK1-Y15. Moreover, AZD1775 increased radiation-induced mitotic catastrophe, which was accompanied by increased γH2AX levels, and subsequently reduced survival after radiation. Importantly, AZD1775 in combination with radiotherapy resulted in marked tumor regression of esophageal cancer tumor xenografts. Abrogation of G2–M checkpoint by targeting Wee1 kinase with AZD1775 sensitizes esophageal cancer cells to radiotherapy in vitro and in mouse xenografts. Our findings suggest that inhibition of Wee1 by AZD1775 is an effective strategy for radiosensitization in esophageal cancer and warrants clinical testing.