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Akt and RhoA inhibition promotes anoikis of aggregated B16F10 melanoma cells


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In the highly metastatic B16F10 melanoma cell line, activation of the signalling molecules that promote cell proliferation and survival on conventional adhesive culture dishes may also be responsible for the growth and resistance to anoikis of aggregates on a non-adhesive substratum. We have examined the influence of bacterial ADP-ribosyltransferases C3-like exoenzymes, which selectively modify RhoA, B and C proteins and inhibit signal pathways controlled by them. RNA interference [siRNA (small interfering RNA) Akt (also known as protein kinase B)] and a PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) inhibitor were used to analyse the changes caused by inhibiting the PI3K/Akt pathway. Inhibiting the activation of RhoA, B, C and Akt expression resulted in a decrease of the number of cells cultured in aggregates, and caspase 3 activation. RhoA activation and RhoB and RhoC expression were controlled by Akt, but not RhoA expression. Inhibiting Akt and RhoA reduced the expression of α5 integrin, and inactivated FAK (focal adhesion kinase) in B16F10 cells cultured as aggregates. Thus, inhibiting Rho subfamily proteins and Akt expression inactivates the FAK pathway and induces anoikis in anoikis-resistant cells. The activation of RhoA in melanoma cells can depend on PI3K/Akt activation, suggesting that PI3K/Akt is a suitable target for new therapeutic approaches.