Growth-factor-driven rescue to receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors through Akt and Erk phosphorylation in pediatric low grade astrocytoma and ependymoma.
ABSTRACT: Up to now, several clinical studies have been started investigating the relevance of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors upon progression free survival in various pediatric brain tumors. However, single targeted kinase inhibition failed, possibly due to tumor resistance mechanisms. The present study will extend our previous observations that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2, platelet derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)?, Src, the epidermal growth factor receptor (ErbB) family, and hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR/cMet) are potentially drugable targets in pediatric low grade astrocytoma and ependymoma with investigations concerning growth-factor-driven rescue. This was investigated in pediatric low grade astrocytoma and ependymoma cell lines treated with receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors e.g. sorafenib, dasatinib, canertinib and crizotinib. Flow cytometry analyses showed high percentage of cells expressing VEGFR-1, fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR)-1, ErbB1/EGFR, HGFR and recepteur d'origine nantais (RON) (respectively 52-77%, 34-51%, 63-90%, 83-98%, 65-95%). Their respective inhibitors induced decrease of cell viability, measured with WST-1 cell viability assays. At least this was partially due to increased apoptotic levels measured by Annexin V/Propidium Iodide apoptosis assays. EGF, HGF and FGF, which are normally expressed in brain (tumor) tissue, showed to be effective rescue inducing growth factors resulting in increased cell survival especially during treatment with dasatinib (complete rescue) or sorafenib (partial rescue). Growth-factor-driven rescue was less prominent when canertinib or crizotinib were used. Rescue was underscored by significantly activating downstream Akt and/or Erk phosphorylation and increased tumor cell migration. Combination treatment showed to be able to overcome the growth-factor-driven rescue. In conclusion, our study highlights the extensive importance of environmentally present growth factors in developing tumor escape towards RTK inhibitors in pediatric low grade astrocytoma and ependymoma. It is of great interest to anticipate upon these results for the design of new therapeutic trials with RTK inhibitors in these pediatric brain tumors.
Project description:Recent clinical trials investigating receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitors showed a limited clinical response in medulloblastoma. The present study investigated the role of micro-environmental growth factors expressed in the brain, such as HGF and EGF, in relation to the effects of hepatocyte growth factor receptor (MET) and epidermal growth factor receptor family (ErbB1-4) inhibition in medulloblastoma cell lines. Medulloblastoma cell lines were treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors crizotinib or canertinib, targeting MET and ErbB1-4, respectively. Upon treatment, cells were stimulated with VEGF-A, PDGF-AB, HGF, FGF-2 or EGF. Subsequently, we measured cell viability and expression levels of growth factors and downstream signaling proteins. Addition of HGF or EGF phosphorylated MET or EGFR, respectively, and demonstrated phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2 as well as increased tumor cell viability. Crizotinib and canertinib both inhibited cell viability and phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. Specifically targeting MET using shRNA's resulted in decreased cell viability. Interestingly, addition of HGF to canertinib significantly enhanced cell viability as well as phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2. The HGF-induced bypass of canertinib was reversed by addition of crizotinib. HGF protein was hardly released by medulloblastoma cells itself. Addition of canertinib did not affect RTK cell surface or growth factor expression levels. This manuscript points to the bypassing capacity of exogenous HGF in medulloblastoma cell lines. It might be of great interest to anticipate on these results in developing novel clinical trials with a combination of MET and EGFR inhibitors in medulloblastoma.
Project description:Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) play key roles in various aspects of cell biology, including cell-to-cell communication, proliferation and differentiation, survival, and tissue homeostasis, and have been implicated in various diseases including cancer and neurodevelopmental disorders. Ligand-activated RTKs recruit adapter proteins through a phosphotyrosine (p-Tyr) motif that is present on the RTK and a p-Tyr-binding domain, like the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain found in adapter proteins. Notably, numerous combinations of RTK/adapter combinations exist, making it challenging to compare receptor activities in standardised assays. In cell-based assays, a regulated adapter recruitment can be investigated using genetically encoded protein-protein interaction detection methods, such as the split TEV biosensor assay. Here, we applied the split TEV technique to robustly monitor the dynamic recruitment of both naturally occurring full-length adapters and artificial adapters, which are formed of clustered SH2 domains. The applicability of this approach was tested for RTKs from various subfamilies including the epidermal growth factor (ERBB) family, the insulin receptor (INSR) family, and the hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR) family. Best signal-to-noise ratios of ligand-activated RTK receptor activation was obtained when clustered SH2 domains derived from GRB2 were used as adapters. The sensitivity and robustness of the RTK recruitment assays were validated in dose-dependent inhibition assays using the ERBB family-selective antagonists lapatinib and WZ4002. The RTK split TEV recruitment assays also qualify for high-throughput screening approaches, suggesting that the artificial adapter may be used as universal adapter in cell-based profiling assays within pharmacological intervention studies.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) are well-known proto-oncogenes in several human malignancies and are currently therapeutically targeted in clinical trials. Among glioma subtypes, activating FGFR1 alterations have been observed in a subpopulation of pilocytic astrocytomas while FGFR3 fusions occur in IDH wild-type diffuse gliomas, resulting in high FGFR3 protein expression. The purpose of this study was to associate FGFR1 and FGFR3 protein levels with clinical features and genetic alterations in ependymoma and pilocytic astrocytoma.<h4>Methods</h4>FGFR1 and FGFR3 expression levels were detected in ependymoma and pilocytic astrocytoma tissues using immunohistochemistry. Selected cases were further analyzed using targeted sequencing.<h4>Results</h4>Expression of both FGFR1 and FGFR3 varied within all tumor types. In ependymomas, increased FGFR3 or FGFR1 expression was associated with high tumor grade, cerebral location, young patient age, and poor prognosis. Moderate-to-strong expression of FGFR1 and/or FGFR3 was observed in 76% of cerebral ependymomas. Cases with moderate-to-strong expression of both proteins had poor clinical prognosis. In pilocytic astrocytomas, moderate-to-strong FGFR3 expression was detected predominantly in non-pediatric patients. Targeted sequencing of 12 tumors found no protein-altering mutations or fusions in FGFR1 or FGFR3.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Elevated FGFR3 and FGFR1 protein expression is common in aggressive ependymomas but likely not driven by genetic alterations. Further studies are warranted to evaluate whether ependymoma patients with high FGFR3 and/or FGFR1 expression could benefit from treatment with FGFR inhibitor based therapeutic approaches currently under evaluation in clinical trials.
Project description:Astrocytomas account for the majority of malignant brain tumors diagnosed in both adult and pediatric patients. The therapies available to treat these neoplasms are limited, and the prognosis associated with high-grade lesions is extremely poor. Mer (MerTK) and Axl receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) are expressed at abnormally high levels in a variety of malignancies, and these receptors are known to activate strong antiapoptotic signaling pathways that promote oncogenesis. In this study, we found that Mer and Axl mRNA transcript and protein expression were elevated in astrocytic patient samples and cell lines. shRNA-mediated knockdown of Mer and Axl RTK expression led to an increase in apoptosis in astrocytoma cells. Apoptotic signaling pathways including Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, which have been shown to be activated in resistant astrocytomas, were downregulated with Mer and Axl inhibition whereas poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage was increased. Furthermore, Mer and Axl shRNA knockdown led to a profound decrease of astrocytoma cell proliferation in soft agar and a significant increase in chemosensitivity in response to temozolomide, carboplatin, and vincristine treatment. Our results suggest Mer and Axl RTK inhibition as a novel method to improve apoptotic response and chemosensitivity in astrocytoma and provide support for these oncogenes as attractive biological targets for astrocytoma drug development.
Project description:To identify targets critical to malignant childhood astrocytoma, we compared the expression of receptor tyrosine kinase- associated genes between low-grade and high-grade pediatric astrocytomas. The highest differentially overexpressed gene in high-grade astrocytoma is insulin-like growth factor- binding protein-2 (P = .0006). Immunohistochemistry confirmed overexpression of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 protein (P = .027). Insulin-like growth factor- binding protein-2 stimulation had no effect on astrocytoma cell growth and migration, and minimally inhibited insulin-like growth factor-1-mediated migration, but not insulin-like growth factor-2-mediated migration. However, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 stimulation significantly upregulated the major DNA repair enzyme gene, DNA-PKcs, and induced DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit protein expression in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner, whereas insulin-like growth factor-1 had no effect. DNA-PKcs is also highly overexpressed by high-grade astrocytomas. These findings suggest insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 plays a role in astrocytoma progression by promoting DNA-damage repair and therapeutic resistance.
Project description:Photoreceptors in the crystalline Drosophila eye are recruited by receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)/Ras signaling mediated by Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the Sevenless (Sev) receptor. Analyses of an allelic deletion series of the mir-279/996 locus, along with a panel of modified genomic rescue transgenes, show that Drosophila eye patterning depends on both miRNAs. Transcriptional reporter and activity sensor transgenes reveal expression and function of miR-279/996 in non-neural cells of the developing eye. Moreover, mir-279/996 mutants exhibit substantial numbers of ectopic photoreceptors, particularly of R7, and cone cell loss. These miRNAs restrict RTK signaling in the eye, since mir-279/996 nulls are dominantly suppressed by positive components of the EGFR pathway and enhanced by heterozygosity for an EGFR repressor. miR-279/996 limit photoreceptor recruitment by targeting multiple positive RTK/Ras signaling components that promote photoreceptor/R7 specification. Strikingly, deletion of mir-279/996 sufficiently derepresses RTK/Ras signaling so as to rescue a population of R7 cells in R7-specific RTK null mutants boss and sev, which otherwise completely lack this cell fate. Altogether, we reveal a rare setting of developmental cell specification that involves substantial miRNA control.
Project description:Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) use a variety of cellular receptors/coreceptors to gain entry into cells. A number of AAV serotypes are now available, and the cognate receptors/coreceptors for only a handful of those have been identified thus far. Of the 10 commonly used AAV serotypes, AAV3 is by far the least efficient in transducing cells in general. However, in our more recent studies, we observed that AAV3 vectors transduced human liver cancer cells remarkably well, which led to the hypothesis that AAV3 uses hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR) as a cellular coreceptor for viral entry. AAV3 infection of human liver cancer cell lines was strongly inhibited by hepatocyte growth factor, HGFR-specific small interfering RNA, and anti-HGFR antibody, which corroborated this hypothesis. However, AAV3 vectors failed to transduce murine hepatocytes, both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that AAV3 specifically uses human HGFR, but not murine HGFR, as a cellular coreceptor for transduction. AAV3 may prove to be a useful vector for targeting human liver cancers for the potential gene therapy.
Project description:Sunitinib malate is a small multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and stem cell factor receptor (KIT), which are highly expressed by some high-grade brain tumors. We conducted a phase II study to estimate the efficacy and further characterize the pharmacokinetics of sunitinib in pediatric patients with recurrent or refractory high-grade glioma (Stratum A) or ependymoma (Stratum B). This was a prospective, multicenter Phase II trial conducted through the Children's Oncology Group (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01462695). Sunitinib, 15 mg/m2, was orally administered once daily for 4 weeks every 6 weeks. The safety and tolerability of sunitinib, an estimate of progression-free survival (PFS), analyses of sunitinib pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics modulation of plasma VEGF and VEGFR2 were also assessed. Thirty eligible patients (17 patients on Stratum A, 13 patients on Stratum B) were enrolled and 29 patients were evaluable for response. Sunitinib was reasonably well tolerated in children with recurrent ependymoma or high-grade glioma. Most adverse events were of mild-to-moderate severity and manageable with supportive treatment. While there was a statistically significant modulation of plasma VEGFR2 with sunitinib exposure, there were no sustained tumor responses. Both strata were closed at time of planned interim analysis as there was not sufficient efficacy associated with sunitinib in children with recurrent brain tumors. Sunitinib was well tolerated in children and young adults with recurrent high-grade glioma or ependymoma but had no single agent objective antitumor activity in these patients.
Project description:Hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR, c-Met) is an essential member of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family that is often dysregulated during tumor progression, driving a malignant phenotypic state and modulating important cellular functions including tumor growth, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis, providing a strong rationale for targeting HGF/c-Met signaling axis in cancer therapy. Based on its protumorigenic potentials, we developed IRCR201, a potent antagonistic antibody targeting the plexin-semaphorin-integrin (PSI) domain of c-Met, using synthetic human antibody phage libraries. We characterized and evaluated the biochemical properties and tumor inhibitory effect of IRCR201 in vitro and in vivo. IRCR201 is a novel fully-human bivalent therapeutic antibody that exhibits cross-reactivity against both human and mouse c-Met proteins with high affinity and specificity. IRCR201 displayed low agonist activity and rapidly depleted total c-Met protein via the lysosomal degradation pathway, inhibiting c-Met-dependent downstream activation and attenuating cellular proliferation in various c-Met-expressing cancer cells. In vivo tumor xenograft models also demonstrated the superior tumor inhibitory responsiveness of IRCR201. Taken together, IRCR201 provides a promising therapeutic agent for c-Met-positive cancer patients through suppressing the c-Met signaling pathway and tumor growth.
Project description:Paediatric brain tumors are becoming well characterized due to large genomic and epigenomic studies. Metabolomics is a powerful analytical approach aiding in the characterization of tumors. This study shows that common cerebellar tumors have metabolite profiles sufficiently different to build accurate, robust diagnostic classifiers, and that the metabolite profiles can be used to assess differences in metabolism between the tumors. Tissue metabolite profiles were obtained from cerebellar ependymoma (n?=?18), medulloblastoma (n?=?36), pilocytic astrocytoma (n?=?24) and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (n?=?5) samples using HR-MAS. Quantified metabolites accurately discriminated the tumors; classification accuracies were 94% for ependymoma and medulloblastoma and 92% for pilocytic astrocytoma. Using current intraoperative examination the diagnostic accuracy was 72% for ependymoma, 90% for medulloblastoma and 89% for pilocytic astrocytoma. Elevated myo-inositol was characteristic of ependymoma whilst high taurine, phosphocholine and glycine distinguished medulloblastoma. Glutamine, hypotaurine and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) were increased in pilocytic astrocytoma. High lipids, phosphocholine and glutathione were important for separating ATRTs from medulloblastomas. This study demonstrates the ability of metabolic profiling by HR-MAS on small biopsy tissue samples to characterize these tumors. Analysis of tissue metabolite profiles has advantages in terms of minimal tissue pre-processing, short data acquisition time giving the potential to be used as part of a rapid diagnostic work-up.