SRC inhibition represents a potential therapeutic strategy in liposarcoma

Elisabeth Sievers, Marcel Trautmann, Dagmar Kindler, Sebastian Huss, Inga Gruenewald, Uta Dirksen, Marcus Renner, Gunhild Mechtersheimer, Florence Pedeutour, Pierre Åman, Jun Nishio, Hans Ulrich Schildhaus, Jutta Kirfel, Peter Schirmacher, Eva Wardelmann, Reinhard Buettner, Wolfgang Hartmann*

*Corresponding author for this work
16 Citations (Scopus)


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. What's new? The proto-oncogene SRC plays a critical role in several cancers, with its activation influencing cellular proliferation, invasiveness, and metastasis. Little is known, about SRC involvement in liposarcoma (LS), the most common soft tissue sarcoma. The present study provides evidence for a functional role for SRC activation in two LS subtypes: myxoid/round cell LS and pleomorphic LS. In primary human LS and LS-derived cell lines, relevant activated SRC levels were detected, and cell proliferation decreased in response to SRC knockdown and Dasatinib inhibition, which further curbed cell motility. The data reveal therapeutic promise for SRC inhibition in LS.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)2578-2588
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2015


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