Sorafenib inhibits MAPK-mediated proliferation in a Barrett's esophageal adenocarcinoma cell line

R. N. Keswani, A. Chumsangsri, R. Mustafi, J. Delgado, E. E.W. Cohen, Marc Bissonnette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Esophageal adenocarcinoma continues to rise in incidence. Despite recognition of Barrett's metaplasia as the histological precursor, prognosis remains poor. The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) pathway is activated in Barrett's-associated dysplasia and adenocarcinoma and this activation is, in part, due to acid and bile acid reflux. We investigated the effects of sorafenib, an orally active Raf-inhibitor, on acid and bile acid-stimulated growth and signaling in SEG-1 cells, derived from a Barrett's esophageal cancer. SEG-1 cells were pretreated with sorafenib or vehicle and subsequently stimulated with acid or bile acid. MAPK signals, including phospho-ERK and phospho-p38, as well as cyclin D1 expression were assessed by Western blotting. Cell proliferation was measured by WST-1 colorimetric assay. Acid (pH 3.0-4.0) and bile acid (taurocholate 50-100 μmol/L) activated ERK and p38. Acid and bile acid exposure also increased levels of cyclin D1, a G1 to S cell cycle regulator. Furthermore, acid and taurocholate exposure increased cell proliferation. Sorafenib abrogated MAPK activation and cyclin D1 up-regulation and significantly inhibited cell growth. In summary, sorafenib inhibits acid or bile acid-stimulated Barrett's esophageal cancer cell proliferation by a mechanism involving the MAPK pathway. Our results suggest that sorafenib might be useful in the management of Barrett's-associated dysplasia and adenocarcinoma. These findings provide a foundation for in vivo studies to assess the efficacy of sorafenib in Barrett's-related neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-521
Number of pages8
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bile acid
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • RAF inhibitor
  • p38

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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