Synergistic effects of Rapamycin and Fluorouracil to treat a gastric tumor in a PTEN conditional deletion mouse model

Cong hui Zhu, Shuang qing Peng, Li li Cui, Wanying Cao, Li shi Zhang, Zeng ming Zhao, Li Jia, Ting fen Zhang, Jia bin Guo, Chengfang Pang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The tumor suppressor gene phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is essential in inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis. However, whether the mutation of PTEN gene could induce tumorigenesis and impact the treatment of gastric cancer is still unclear. The purpose of the study was to investigate the combined treatment of gastric tumorigenesis using Rapamycin and Fluorouracil (5-Fu) through interfering with the Akt/mTOR pathway in a mouse model with PTEN conditional deletion. Three groups of mice were exposed for 5 days to Rapamycin and 5-Fu separately and together. The gene expression of the Akt/mTOR pathway, the protein expression of caspase-3 and p-Akt, p-S6K and p-4EBP1, and the pathological changes in stomachs were analyzed. Our study demonstrates that the conditional PTEN deletion in the cells of glandular stomach induces hyperplastic gastric tumors in mice. The combined Rapamycin administration with 5-Fu resulted in better outcomes than their separate administration for the treatment of gastric cancer by inhibiting the mTOR signal pathway. Our study indicates that Rapamycin has a synergistic interaction with chemotherapeutic 5-Fu, and demonstrates a potential therapeutic combination treatment on glandular stomach tumor with PTEN functional absence or aberrantly activated Akt/mTOR pathway. It provides important insights into the inhibition of the Akt/mTOR pathway in gastric cancer clinical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGastric Cancer
Pages (from-to)96–106
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • 5-Fluorouracil
  • Akt/mTOR
  • Gastric tumorigenesis
  • PTEN
  • Rapamycin


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