FAK inhibition abrogates the malignant phenotype in aggressive pediatric renal tumors

Michael L. Megison, Lauren A. Gillory, Jerry E. Stewart, Hugh C. Nabers, Elizabeth Mrozcek-Musulman, Elizabeth A. Beierle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Despite the tremendous advances in the treatment of childhood kidney tumors, there remain subsets of pediatric renal tumors that continue to pose a therapeutic challenge,mainly malignant rhabdoid kidney tumors and nonosseous renal Ewing sarcoma. Children with advanced, metastatic, or relapsed disease have a poor disease-free survival rate. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase that is important in many facets of tumor development and progression. FAK has been found in other pediatric solid tumors and in adult renal cellular carcinoma, leading to the hypothesis thatFAKcontributes to pediatric kidney tumors and would affect cellular survival. In the current study, FAK was present and phosphorylated in pediatric kidney tumor specimens. Moreover, the effects of FAK inhibition upon G401 and SK-NEP-1 cell lines were examined using a number of parallel approaches to block FAK, including RNAinterference and small-molecule FAK inhibitors. FAK inhibition resulted in decreased cellular survival, invasion and migration, and increased apoptosis. Furthermore, small-molecule inhibition of FAK led to decreased SK-NEP-1 xenograft growth in vivo. These data deepen the knowledge of the tumorigenic process in pediatric renal tumors, and provide desperately needed therapeutic strategies and targets for these rare, but difficult to treat, malignancies. Implications: This study provides a fundamental understanding of tumorigenesis in difficult to treat renal tumors and provides an impetus for new avenues of research and potential for novel, targeted therapies. Mol Cancer Res; 12(4); 514-26.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-526
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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