Therapeutic targeting of PTK7 is cytotoxic in atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors

Shanta M. Messerli, Mariah M. Hoffman, Etienne Z. Gnimpieba, Ratan D. Bhardwaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Novel discoveries involving the evaluation of potential therapeutics are based on newly identified molecular targets for atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors (ATRT), which are the most common form of infantile brain tumors. Central nervous system ATRTs are rare, aggressive, and fast growing tumors of the brain and spinal cord and carry a very poor prognosis. Currently, the standard of care for ATRT patients is based on surgical resection followed by systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which result in severe side effects. As protein tyrosine kinases have proven to be actionable targets that reduce tumor growth in a number of cancers, we examined how inhibiting tyrosine kinases affected ATRT tumor growth. Here, we examine the therapeutic efficacy of the broad-spectrum tyrosine kinase inhibitor vatalanib in the treatment of ATRT. Vatalanib significantly reduced the growth of ATRT tumor cell lines, both in two-dimensional cell culture and in three-dimensional cell culture using a spheroid model. As vatalanib had a remarkable effect on the growth of ATRT, we decided to use a transcriptomic approach to therapy by examining new actionable targets, such as tyrosine kinases. Next-generation RNA-sequencing and NanoString data analysis showed a significant increase in PTK7 RNA expression levels in ATRT tumors. Inhibition of PTK7 by siRNA treatment significantly decreases the viability of ATRT patient-derived tumor cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-983
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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