Radiation-induced activation of the phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase/Akt signal transduction pathway requires Akt binding to phosphatidyl-inositol phosphates (PIP) on the cell membrane. The tyrosine kinase bone marrow X kinase (Bmx) binds to membrane-associated PIPs in a manner similar to Akt. Because Bmx is involved in cell growth and survival pathways, it could contribute to the radiation response within the vascular endothelium. We therefore studied Bmx signaling within the vascular endothelium. Bmx was activated rapidly in response to clinically relevant doses of ionizing radiation. Bmx inhibition enhanced the efficacy of radiotherapy in endothelial cells as well as tumor vascular endothelium in lung cancer tumors in mice. Retroviral shRNA knockdown of Bmx protein enhanced human umbilical vascular endothelial cell (HUVEC) radiosensitization. Furthermore, pretreatment of HUVEC with a pharmacologic inhibitor of Bmx, LFM-A13, produced significant radiosensitization of endothelial cells as measured by clonogenic survival analysis and apoptosis as well as functional assays including cell migration and tubule formation. In vivo, LFM-A13, when combined with radiation, resulted in significant tumor microvascular destruction as well as enhanced tumor growth delay. Bmx therefore represents a molecular target for the development of novel radiosensitizing agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2861-2869
Number of pages9
JournalCancer research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2008


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