Extracellular signal regulated kinase 5 and inflammasome in progression of mesothelioma.


Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer in desperate need of treatment. We have previously shown that extracellular signaling regulated kinase 5 (ERK5) plays an important role in mesothelioma pathogenesis using ERK5 silenced human mesothelioma cells exhibiting significantly reduced tumor growth in immunocompromised mice. Here, we used a specific ERK 5 inhibitor, XMD8-92 in various <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> models to demonstrate that inhibition of ERK5 can slow down mesothelioma tumorigenesis. First, we show a dose dependent toxicity of XMD8-92 to 2 human mesothelioma cell lines growing as a monolayer. We also demonstrate the inhibition of ERK5 phosphorylation in various human mesothelioma cell lines by XMD8-92. We further confirmed the toxicity of XMD8-92 towards mesothelioma cell lines grown as spheroids in a 3-D model as well as in intraperitoneal (immune-competent) and intrapleural (immune-deficient) mouse models with and without chemotherapeutic drugs. To ascertain the mechanism, we explored the role of the nod-like receptor family member containing a pyrin domain 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome in the process. We found XMD8-92 attenuated naïve and chemotherapeutic-induced inflammasome priming and activation in mesothelioma cells. It can thus be concluded that ERK5 inhibition attenuates mesothelioma tumor growth and this phenomenon in part is regulated by the inflammasome.

  • Beuschel SL
  • Leggett AL
  • MacPherson MB
  • Miller JM
  • Munson PB
  • Pass HI
  • Shukla A
  • Shukla A
  • Thompson JK
PubMed ID
Appears In
Oncotarget, 2018, 9 (1)