Molecular insights: Suppression of EGFR and AKT activation by a small molecule in non-small cell lung cancer

Balaji Chandrasekaran, Ashish Tyagi, Arun K. Sharma, Lu Cai, Murali Ankem, Chendil Damodaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation events and the mammalian target of rampamycin (mTOR) are considered important therapeutic targets in alleviating cancer conditions. The current treatment paradigm has shifted to personalized treatment strategies with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors, due to low survival rates in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in terms of the prevailing platinum-based therapy. In the present study, we examined the anticancer potential of Verrucarin J (VJ), a small molecule, in NSCLC cell lines (H460 and A549). The small molecule significantly inhibited cell growth, proliferation, colony forming ability, and induced apoptosis in both lung cancer cell lines. The inhibitory effects on EGFR (pEGFR –tyr1173) and AKT (pAKT Serine473) signaling, downregulates downstream pro-survival signaling (mTOR and NF-κB) in cancer cell lines. In addition, VJ abrogated invasive and migratory potential of A549 and H460 cells. We also observed a downregulation of mesenchymal markers such as N-cadherin, Slug, β-catenin, and vimentin expression in both cell lines. Our results suggest that VJ inhibited cancer cell growth and could be a potent molecule to inhibit EGFR and AKT signaling in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-724
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Cancer
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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