• PI3K;
  • Bcl-2;
  • apoptosis;
  • renal carcinoma cell;
  • XIAP


Inhibitors of PI3-K/Akt are currently being assessed clinically in patients with advanced RCC. Identification of therapeutic strategies that might enhance the efficacy of PI3-K/Akt inhibitors is therefore of great interest. As PI3-K inhibition would be expected to have many pro-apoptotic effects, we hypothesized that there may be unique synergy between PI3-K inhibitors and BH3-mimetics. Towards this end, we assessed the combination of the PI3K inhibitor LY 294002 and the Bcl-2 family inhibitor ABT-737 in RCC cell lines. We found that the combinatorial treatment with these agents led to a significant increase in PARP cleavage and cell death in all RCC cell lines. The synergized cell death was correlated with decreased levels of Mcl-1 and XIAP, and increased levels in Bim, and appears critically dependent upon the activation of caspase 3 and 8. The enhanced lethality observed with the combination also appears dependent upon the regulation of XIAP, Mcl-1 and Bim levels. Our results suggest that the combination of PI3-K inhibitors with BH3-mimetics may be a viable therapeutic strategy in RCC.