RB status governs differential sensitivity to cytotoxic and molecularly-targeted therapeutic agents

Kristy R. Stengel, Jeffry L. Dean, Sarah L. Seeley, Christopher N. Mayhew, Erik S. Knudsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (RB) is frequently inactivated in human cancers and has been shown to modulate the anti-proliferative effects of DNA-damaging therapies. However, the impact of RB loss on response to disparately functioning cytotoxic agents as well as targeted therapies is poorly understood. Here 3T3-immortalized and Ras-transformed mouse adult fibroblasts (MAFs) containing conditional RB alleles were utilized to investigate the consequence of RB loss on cellular response to cytotoxic agents and therapies targeting the MEK and PI3K pathways. Using these models, we demonstrate that RB deficiency is associated with bypass of therapy-induced checkpoints in response to both cytotoxic and targeted treatments. Interestingly, while checkpoint bypass following treatment with cytotoxic therapy results in an agent specific increase in drug sensitivity, checkpoint bypass following treatment targeting MEK and PI3K function results in increased cellular proliferation. These results indicate that RB status differentially impacts therapeutic response and should be considered when evaluating the efficacy of molecularly targeted therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1095-1103
Number of pages9
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle checkpoints
  • Chemotherapeutics
  • Ras
  • Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor (RB)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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