Int J Cancer 2015 Dec 6;137(11):2578-88. Epub 2015 Jul 6.
Department of Pathology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
Liposarcomas (LS) are the most common malignant mesenchymal tumors, with an overall long-term mortality rate of 60%. LS comprise three major subtypes, i.e., well-differentiated/dedifferentiated liposarcoma (WDLS/DDLS), myxoid/round cell liposarcoma (MLS) and pleomorphic liposarcoma (PLS). Aiming at the preclinical identification of novel therapeutic options, we here investigate the functional significance of SRC in primary human LS and in LS-derived cell lines. Immunohistochemical and Western blot analyses reveal relevant levels of activated p-(Tyr416)-SRC in LS of the different subtypes with particular activation in MLS and PLS. Dysregulation of the SRC modifiers CSK and PTP1B was excluded as major reason for the activation of the kinase. Consistent siRNA-mediated knockdown of SRC or inhibition by the SRC inhibitor Dasatinib led to decreased proliferation of LS cell lines of the different subtypes, with MLS cells reacting particularly sensitive in MTT assays. Flow cytometric analyses revealed that this effect was due to a significant decrease in mitotic activity and an induction of apoptosis. SRC inhibition by Dasatinib resulted in dephosphorylation of SRC itself, its interacting partners FAK and IGF-IR as well as its downstream target AKT. Consistent with a particular role of SRC in cell motility, Dasatinib reduced the migratory and invasive potential of MLS cells in Boyden chamber and Matrigel chamber assays. In summary, we provide evidence that SRC activation plays an important role in LS biology and therefore represents a potential therapeutic target, particularly in MLS and PLS.