Vorinostat synergizes with ridaforolimus and abrogates the ridaforolimus-induced activation of AKT in synovial sarcoma cells

Sherif S. Morgan, Lee D. Cranmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Curative treatments for patients with metastatic synovial sarcoma (SS) do not exist, and such patients have a poor prognosis. We explored combinations of molecularly-Targeted and cytotoxic agents to identify synergistic treatment combinations in SS cells. Methods: Two SS cell lines (HS-SY-II and SYO-I) were treated with single agents or combinations of molecularly targeted therapies (HDAC inhibitor, vorinostat; mTOR inhibitor, ridaforolimus) and cytotoxic agents. After 72 hours, cell viability was measured using the MTS cell proliferation assay. Combination Indices (CI) were calculated to determine whether each combination was synergistic, additive, or antagonistic. Western Blot analysis assessed alterations in total and phospho-AKT protein levels in response to drug treatment. Results: We determined the single-Agent IC50 for ridaforolimus, vorinostat, doxorubicin, and melphalan in HS-SY-II and SYO-I. Synergism was apparent in cells co-Treated with ridaforolimus and vorinostat: CI was 0.28 and 0.63 in HS-SY-II and SYO-I, respectively. Ridaforolimus/doxorubicin and ridaforolimus/melphalan exhibited synergism in both cell lines. An additive effect was observed with combination of vorinostat/doxorubicin in both cell lines. Vorinostat/melphalan was synergistic in HS-SY-II and additive in SYO-I. Western blot analysis demonstrated that ridaforolimus increased pAKT-ser473 levels; this effect was abrogated by vorinostat co-Treatment. Conclusions: The combination of ridaforolimus and vorinostat demonstrates in vitro synergism in SS. Addition of vorinostat abrogated ridaforolimus-induced AKT activation. Since AKT activation is a possible mechanism of resistance to mTOR inhibitors, adding vorinostat (or another HDAC inhibitor) may be a route to circumvent AKT-mediated resistance to mTOR inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number812
JournalBMC research notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • AKT
  • Histone deacetylase inhibitor
  • Soft-Tissue sarcoma
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • mTOR inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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