The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a central regulator of tumor progression in human cancers. Cetuximab is an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody that has been approved for use in oncology. Despite clinical success the majority of patients do not respond to cetuximab and those who initially respond frequently acquire resistance. To understand how tumor cells acquire resistance to cetuximab we developed a model of resistance using the non-small cell lung cancer line NCI-H226. We found that cetuximab-resistant (Ctx (R) ) clones manifested strong activation of EGFR, PI3K/AKT and MAPK. To investigate the role of AKT signaling in cetuximab resistance we analyzed the activation of the AKT pathway effector molecules using a human AKT phospho-antibody array. Strong activation was observed in Ctx (R) clones for several key AKT substrates including c-jun, GSK3β, eIF4E, rpS6, IKKα, IRS-1 and Raf1. Inhibition of AKT signaling by siAKT1/2 or by the allosteric AKT inhibitor MK-2206 resulted in robust inhibition of cell proliferation in all Ctx (R) clones. Moreover, the combinational treatment of cetuximab and MK-2206 resulted in further decreases in proliferation than either drug alone. This combinatorial treatment resulted in decreased activity of both AKT and MAPK thus highlighting the importance of simultaneous pathway inhibition to maximally affect the growth of Ctx (R) cells. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that AKT activation is an important pathway in acquired resistance to cetuximab and suggests that combinatorial therapy directed at both the AKT and EGFR/MAPK pathways may be beneficial in this setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Chromosome-centric Human Proteome Project (C-HPP) was recently initiated as an international collaborative effort. Our team adopted chromosome 9 (Chr 9) and performed a bioinformatics and proteogenomic analysis to catalog Chr 9-encoded proteins from normal tissues, lung cancer cell lines and lung cancer tissues. Approximately 74.7% of the Chr 9 genes of the human genome were identified, which included approximately 28% of missing proteins (46 of 162) on Chr 9 compared with the list of missing proteins from the neXtProt master table (2013-09). In addition, we performed a comparative proteomics analysis between normal lung and lung cancer tissues. Based on the data analysis, 15 proteins from Chr 9 were detected only in lung cancer tissues. Finally, we conducted a proteogenomic analysis to discover Chr 9-residing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and mutations described in the COSMIC cancer mutation database. We identified 21 SNPs and 4 mutations containing peptides on Chr 9 from normal human cells/tissues and lung cancer cell lines, respectively. In summary, this study provides valuable information of the human proteome for the scientific community as part of C-HPP. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium with the data set identifier PXD.
Journal of Proteome Research 11/2013; 13(1). DOI:10.1021/pr400792p · 4.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Met is a receptor tyrosine kinase that promotes cancer progression. In addition, Met has been implicated in resistance of tumors to various targeted therapies such as epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors in lung cancers, and has been prioritized as a key molecular target for cancer therapy. However, the underlying mechanism of resistance to Met-targeting drugs is poorly understood. Here, we describe screening of 1310 genes to search for key regulators related to drug resistance to an anti-Met therapeutic antibody (SAIT301) by using a small interfering RNA-based synthetic lethal screening method. We found that knockdown of 69 genes in Met-amplified MKN45 cells sensitized the antitumor activity of SAIT301. Pathway analysis of these 69 genes implicated fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) as a key regulator for antiproliferative effects of Met-targeting drugs. Inhibition of FGFR3 increased target cell apoptosis through the suppression of Bcl-xL expression, followed by reduced cancer cell growth in the presence of Met-targeting drugs. Treatment of cells with the FGFR inhibitors substantially restored the efficacy of SAIT301 in SAIT301-resistant cells and enhanced the efficacy in SAIT301-sensitive cells. In addition to FGFR3, integrin β3 is another potential target for combination treatment with SAIT301. Suppression of integrin β3 decreased AKT phosphorylation in SAIT301-resistant cells and restored SAIT301 responsiveness in HCC1954 cells, which are resistant to SAIT301. Gene expression analysis using CCLE database shows that cancer cells with high levels of FGFR and integrin β3 are resistant to crizotinib treatment, suggesting that FGFR and integrin β3 could be used as predictive markers for Met-targeted therapy and provide a potential therapeutic option to overcome acquired and innate resistance for the Met-targeting drugs.Oncogene advance online publication, 24 March 2014; doi:10.1038/onc.2014.51.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction:
In recent times, there has been much interest in the development of pharmacological kinase inhibitors that treat NSCLC. Furthermore, treatment options have been guided by the development of a wide panel of synthetic small molecule kinase inhibitors. Most of the molecules developed belong to the type I class of inhibitors that target the ATP-binding site in its active conformation. The high sequence similarity in the ATP-binding site among members of the kinase families often results in low selectivity and additional toxicities. Also, second mutations in the ATP-binding site, such as threonine to methionine at position 790, have been described as a mechanism of resistance to ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors. For these reasons, alternative drug development approaches targeting sites other than the ATP cleft are being pursued. The class III or allosteric inhibitors, which bind outside the ATP-binding site, have been shown to negatively modulate kinase activity.
In this review, the authors discuss the most well-characterised allosteric inhibitors that have reached clinical development in NSCLC.
Great progress has made in developing inhibitors with entirely new modes of action. That being said, it is important to highlight that despite their apparent simplicity, biochemical assays will remain at the core of drug discovery activities to better explore these new opportunities.
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