American Association for Cancer Research
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Supplementary Figure 4 from YAP1-Mediated CDK6 Activation Confers Radiation Resistance in Esophageal Cancer – Rationale for the Combination of YAP1 and CDK4/6 Inhibitors in Esophageal Cancer

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-31, 21:31 authored by Fan Li, Yan Xu, Bovey Liu, Pankaj Kumar Singh, Wei Zhao, Jiankang Jin, Guangchun Han, Ailing W. Scott, Xiaochuan Dong, Longfei Huo, Lang Ma, Melissa Pool Pizzi, Ying Wang, Yuan Li, Kazuto Harada, Min Xie, Heath D. Skinner, Sheng Ding, Linghua Wang, Sunil Krishnan, Randy L. Johnson, Shumei Song, Jaffer A. Ajani

Supplemental Figure 4. Anti-tumor effects of combination inhibition of YAP1 and CDK6 as well as radiation therapy in mice bearing radiation resistant tumors.


MD Anderson Institutional Research

Department of Defense




Esophageal cancer is a lethal disease that is often resistant to therapy. Alterations of YAP1 and CDK6 are frequent in esophageal cancer. Deregulation of both molecules may be responsible for therapy resistance. Expressions of YAP1 and CDK6 were examined in esophageal cancer cells and tissues using immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. YAP1 expression was induced in esophageal cancer cells to examine YAP1-mediated CDK6 activation and its association with radiation resistance. Pharmacologic and genetic inhibitions of YAP1 and CDK6 were performed to dissect the mechanisms and assess the antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. YAP1 expression was positively associated with CDK6 expression in resistant esophageal cancer tissues and cell lines. YAP1 overexpression upregulated CDK6 expression and transcription, and promoted radiation resistance, whereas treatment with the YAP1 inhibitor, CA3, strongly suppressed YAP1 and CDK6 overexpression, reduced Rb phosphorylation, as well as sensitized radiation-resistant/YAP1high esophageal cancer cells to irradiation. CDK4/6 inhibitor, LEE011, and knock down of CDK6 dramatically inhibited expression of YAP1 and sensitized resistant esophageal cancer cells to irradiation indicating a positive feed-forward regulation of YAP1 by CDK6. In addition, suppression of both the YAP1 and CDK6 pathways by the combination of CA3 and LEE011 significantly reduced esophageal cancer cell growth and cancer stem cell population (ALDH1+ and CD133+), sensitized cells to irradiation, and showed a strong antitumor effect in vivo against radiation-resistant esophageal cancer cells. Our results document that a positive crosstalk between the YAP1 and CDK6 pathways plays an important role in conferring radiation resistance to esophageal cancer cells. Targeting both YAP1 and CDK6 pathways could be a novel therapeutic strategy to overcome resistance in esophageal cancer.

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