Sorafenib suppresses TGF-β responses by inducing caveolae/lipid raft-mediated internalization/degradation of cell-surface type II TGF-β receptors: Implications in development of effective adjunctive therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Graphical abstractSorafenib is the only FDA approved drug for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other malignancies. Studies indicate that TGF-β signalling is associated with tumour progression in HCC. Autocrine and paracrine TGF-β promotes tumour growth and malignancy by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Sorafenib is believed to antagonize tumour progression by inhibiting TGF-β-induced EMT. It improves survival of patients but HCC later develops resistance and relapses. The underlying mechanism of resistance is unknown. Understanding of the molecular mechanism of sorafenib inhibition of TGF-β-induced signalling or responses in HCC may lead to development of adjunctive effective therapy for HCC. In this study, we demonstrate that sorafenib suppresses TGF-β responsiveness in hepatoma cells, hepatocytes, and animal liver, mainly by downregulating cell-surface type II TGF-β receptors (TβRII) localized in caveolae/lipid rafts and non-lipid raft microdomains via caveolae/lipid rafts-mediated internalization and degradation. Furthermore, sorafenib-induced downregulation and degradation of cell-surface TβRII is prevented by simultaneous treatment with a caveolae disruptor or lysosomal inhibitors. On the other hand, sorafenib only downregulates cell-surface TβRII localized in caveolae/lipid rafts but not localized in non-lipid raft microdomains in hepatic stellate cells. These results suggest that sorafenib inhibits TGF-β signalling mainly by inducing caveolae/lipid raft-mediated internalization and degradation of cell-surface TβR-II in target cells. They may also imply that treatment with agents which promote formation of caveolae/lipid rafts, TGF-β receptor kinase inhibitors (e.g., LY2157299) or TGF-β peptide antagonists (by liver-targeting delivery) may be considered as effective adjunct therapy with sorafenib for HCC.

    loading  Loading Related Articles