Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer. Multimodality treatment involving chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery is not effective enough to control osteosarcoma. Regorafenib, the oral multi-kinase inhibitor, has been shown to have positive efficacy on disease progression delay in chemotherapy resistant osteosarcoma patients. However anti-cancer effect and mechanism of regorafenib in osteosarcoma is ambiguous. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy and molecular mechanism of regorafenib on osteosarcoma in vitro and in vivo. Human osteosarcomas U-2 OS or MG-63 were treated with regorafenib, miltefosine (protein kinase B (AKT) inhibitor), or PD98059 (mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MEK) pathway inhibitor) for 24 or 48 h. Cell viability, apoptotic signaling transduction, tumor invasion, expression of tumor progression-associated proteins and tumor growth after regorafenib treatment were assayed by MTT 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, flow cytometry, transwell assay, Western blotting assay and in vivo animal experiment, respectively. In these studies, we also indicated that regorafenib suppressed cell growth by prompting apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells, which is mediated through inactivation of ERK and AKT signaling pathways. After regorafenib treatment, downregulation of related genes in invasion (vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9)), proliferation (CyclinD1) and anti-apoptosis (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1), and cellular FLICE (FADD-like IL-1β-converting enzyme)-inhibitory protein (C-FLIP)) were found. Moreover, upregulation of caspase-3 and caspase-8 cleavage were also observed. In sum, we suggest that regorafenib has potential to suppress osteosarcoma progression via inactivation of AKT and ERK mediated signaling pathway.
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