Valproic acid, an inhibitor of class I histone deacetylases, reverses acquired Erlotinib-resistance of lung adenocarcinoma cells: a Connectivity Mapping analysis and an experimental study.
ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) have been used as a powerful targeting therapeutic agent for treatment of lung adenocarcinoma for years. Nevertheless, the efficacy of TKI was hampered by the appearance of acquired TKI-resistance. In the present study, we aimed to search, predict, and screen the agents that can overcome the acquired TKI-resistance of lung adenocarcinoma by using the expression profiles of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and Connectivity map (CMAP). The profiles of DEGs were obtained by searching GEO microarray database, and then, they were submitted to CMAP for analysis in order to predict and screen the agent that might reverse the TKI-resistance of lung cancer cells. Next, the effects of the selected agent on TKI-resistant cancer cells were tested and the possible signaling pathways were also evaluated. As a result, valproic acid (VPA) was selected. Then, we used a low-concentration of VPA that has little effect on the cell growth for analysis. Interestingly, the results showed that treatment with a combination of VPA and Erlotinib significantly led to a decrease in cell viability and an increase in cell apoptosis for TKI-resistant HCC827-ER cells, relative to those treated with VPA or Erlotinib alone. Further experiments confirmed that inhibition of MAPK and AKT might be involved in this process. Analyzing the DEGs through the CMAP is a good strategy for exploitation of anti-tumor agents. VPA might markedly increase the sensitivity of TKI-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cells to Erlotinib, thus reversing the acquired TKI-resistance of cancer cells and raising VPA as a potential agent for TKI-resistant lung cancer therapy.
Project description:PURPOSE:The EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), erlotinib and afatinib, have transformed the treatment of advanced EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. However, almost all patients who respond develop acquired resistance on average approximately 1 year after starting therapy. Resistance is commonly due to a secondary mutation in EGFR (EGFR(T790M)). We previously found that the combination of the EGFR TKI afatinib and the EGFR antibody cetuximab could overcome EGFR(T790M)-mediated resistance in preclinical models. This combination has shown a 29% response rate in a clinical trial in patients with acquired resistance to first-generation TKIs. An outstanding question is whether this regimen is beneficial when used as first-line therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Using mouse models of EGFR-mutant lung cancer, we tested whether the combination of afatinib plus cetuximab delivered upfront to mice with TKI-naïve EGFR(L858R)-induced lung adenocarcinomas delayed tumor relapse and drug-resistance compared with single-agent TKIs. RESULTS:Afatinib plus cetuximab markedly delayed the time to relapse and incidence of drug-resistant tumors, which occurred in only 63.6% of the mice, in contrast to erlotinib or afatinib treatment where 100% of mice developed resistance. Mechanisms of tumor escape observed in afatinib plus cetuximab resistant tumors include the EGFR(T790M) mutation and Kras mutations. Experiments in cell lines and xenografts confirmed that the afatinib plus cetuximab combination does not suppress the emergence of EGFR(T790M). CONCLUSIONS:These results highlight the potential of afatinib plus cetuximab as an effective treatment strategy for patients with TKI-naïve EGFR-mutant lung cancer and indicate that clinical trial development in this area is warranted.
Project description:The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) erlotinib has been approved based on the clinical benefit in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients over the past decade. Unfortunately, cancer cells become resistant to this agent via various mechanisms, and this limits the improvement in patient outcomes. Thus, it is urgent to develop novel agents to overcome erlotinib resistance. Here, we propose a novel strategy to overcome acquired erlotinib resistance in NSCLC by inhibiting glutaminase activity. Compound 968, an inhibitor of the glutaminase C (GAC), when combined with erlotinib potently inhibited the cell proliferation of erlotinib-resistant NSCLC cells HCC827ER and NCI-H1975. The combination of compound 968 and erlotinib not only decreased GAC and EGFR protein expression but also inhibited GAC activity in HCC827ER cells. The growth of erlotinib-resistant cells was glutamine-dependent as proved by GAC gene knocked down and rescue experiment. More importantly, compound 968 combined with erlotinib down-regulated the glutamine and glycolysis metabolism in erlotinib-resistant cells. Taken together, our study provides a valuable approach to overcome acquired erlotinib resistance by blocking glutamine metabolism and suggests that combination of EGFR-TKI and GAC inhibitor maybe a potential treatment strategy for acquired erlotinib-resistant NSCLC.
Project description:Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase domain occur in 10-30% of lung adenocarcinoma and are associated with tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) sensitivity. We sought to identify the immediate direct and indirect phosphorylation targets of mutant EGFRs in lung adenocarcinoma. We undertook SILAC strategy, phosphopeptide enrichment, and quantitative MS to identify dynamic changes of phosphorylation downstream of mutant EGFRs in lung adenocarcinoma cells harboring EGFR(L858R) and EGFR(L858R/T790M) , the TKI-sensitive, and TKI-resistant mutations, respectively. Top canonical pathways that were inhibited upon erlotinib treatment in sensitive cells, but not in the resistant cells include EGFR, insulin receptor, hepatocyte growth factor, mitogen-activated protein kinase, mechanistic target of rapamycin, ribosomal protein S6 kinase beta 1, and Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling. We identified phosphosites in proteins of the autophagy network, such as ULK1 (S623) that is constitutively phosphorylated in these lung adenocarcinoma cells; phosphorylation is inhibited upon erlotinib treatment in sensitive cells, but not in resistant cells. Finally, kinase-substrate prediction analysis from our data indicated that substrates of basophilic kinases from, AGC and Calcium and calmodulin-dependent kinase groups, as well as STE group kinases were significantly enriched and those of proline-directed kinases from, CMGC and Casein kinase groups were significantly depleted among substrates that exhibited increased phosphorylation upon EGF stimulation and reduced phosphorylation upon TKI inhibition. This is the first study to date to examine global phosphorylation changes upon erlotinib treatment of lung adenocarcinoma cells and results from this study provide new insights into signaling downstream of mutant EGFRs in lung adenocarcinoma. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001101 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD001101).
Project description:Despite the success of treating EGFR-mutant lung cancer patients with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), all patients eventually acquire resistance to these therapies. Although various resistance mechanisms have been described, there are currently no FDA-approved therapies that target alternative mechanisms to treat lung tumors with acquired resistance to first-line EGFR TKI agents. Here we found that EPHA2 is overexpressed in EGFR TKI-resistant tumor cells. Loss of EPHA2 reduced the viability of erlotinib-resistant tumor cells harboring EGFR(T790M) mutations in vitro and inhibited tumor growth and progression in an inducible EGFR(L858R+T790M)-mutant lung cancer model in vivo. Targeting EPHA2 in erlotinib-resistant cells decreased S6K1-mediated phosphorylation of cell death agonist BAD, resulting in reduced tumor cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Furthermore, pharmacologic inhibition of EPHA2 by the small-molecule inhibitor ALW-II-41-27 decreased both survival and proliferation of erlotinib-resistant tumor cells and inhibited tumor growth in vivo. ALW-II-41-27 was also effective in decreasing viability of cells with acquired resistance to the third-generation EGFR TKI AZD9291. Collectively, these data define a role for EPHA2 in the maintenance of cell survival of TKI-resistant, EGFR-mutant lung cancer and indicate that EPHA2 may serve as a useful therapeutic target in TKI-resistant tumors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Protein tyrosine kinase 2 (PTK2) expression has been reported in various types of human epithelial cancers including lung cancer; however, the role of PTK2 in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has not been elucidated. We previously reported that pemetrexed-resistant NSCLC cell line PC-9/PEM also acquired EGFR-TKI resistance with constitutive Akt activation, but we could not find a therapeutic target. METHODS:Cell viability in EGFR-mutant NSCLC cell lines was measured by the WST-8 assay. Phosphorylation antibody array assay for receptor tyrosine kinases was performed in PC-9 and PC-9/PEM cell lines. We evaluated the efficacy of EGFR and PTK2 co-inhibition in EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLC in vitro. Oral defactinib and osimertinib were administered in mice bearing subcutaneous xenografts to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment combination in vivo. Both the PTK2 phosphorylation and the treatment combination efficacy were evaluated in erlotinib-resistant EGFR-mutant NSCLC cell lines. RESULTS:PTK2 was hyperphosphorylated in PC-9/PEM. Defactinib (PTK2 inhibitor) and PD173074 (FGFR inhibitor) inhibited PTK2 phosphorylation. Combination of PTK2 inhibitor and EGFR-TKI inhibited Akt and induced apoptosis in PC-9/PEM. The combination treatment showed improved in vivo therapeutic efficacy compared to the single-agent treatments. Furthermore, erlotinib-resistant NSCLC cell lines showed PTK2 hyperphosphorylation. PTK2 inhibition in the PTK2 hyperphosphorylated erlotinib-resistant cell lines also recovered EGFR-TKI sensitivity. CONCLUSION:PTK2 hyperphosphorylation occurs in various EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLCs. Combination of PTK2 inhibitor and EGFR-TKI (defactinib and osimertinib) recovered EGFR-TKI sensitivity in the EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLC. Our study result suggests that this combination therapy may be a viable option to overcome EGFR-TKI resistance in NSCLC.
Project description:The use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) against EGFR/c-Met in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been shown to be effective in increasing patient progression free survival (PFS), but their efficacy is limited due to the development of resistance and tumor recurrence. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying development of drug resistance in NSCLC is necessary for developing novel and effective therapeutic approaches to improve patient outcome. This study aims to understand the mechanism of EGFR/c-Met tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistance in NSCLC. H2170 and H358 cell lines were made resistant to SU11274, a c-Met inhibitor, and erlotinib, an EGFR inhibitor, through step-wise increases in TKI exposure. The IC50 concentrations of resistant lines exhibited a 4-5 and 11-22-fold increase for SU11274 and erlotinib, respectively, when compared to parental lines. Furthermore, mTOR and Wnt signaling was studied in both cell lines to determine their roles in mediating TKI resistance. We observed a 2-4-fold upregulation of mTOR signaling proteins and a 2- to 8-fold upregulation of Wnt signaling proteins in H2170 erlotinib and SU11274 resistant cells. H2170 and H358 cells were further treated with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus and the Wnt inhibitor XAV939. H358 resistant cells were inhibited by 95% by a triple combination of everolimus, erlotinib and SU11274 in comparison to 34% by a double combination of these drugs. Parental H2170 cells displayed no sensitivity to XAV939, while resistant cells were significantly inhibited (39%) by XAV939 as a single agent, as well as in combination with SU11274 and erlotinib. Similar results were obtained with H358 resistant cells. This study suggests a novel molecular mechanism of drug resistance in lung cancer.
Project description:Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase domain occur in 10-30% of lung adenocarcinoma. Leucine to arginine substitution at amino acid position 858 (L858R) accounts for around 50% of EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) sensitizing mutations. A second site mutation in the gatekeeper residue (T790M) accounts for around 60% of acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs. We sought to identify the immediate direct and indirect targets of these mutant EGFRs in lung adenocarcinoma and their modulation by erlotinib, the first generation, and most widely used EGFR-directed TKI. We undertook stable isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), phosphopeptide enrichment, and quantitative mass spectrometry to identify dynamic changes of phosphorylation downstream of mutant EGFRs in lung adenocarcinoma cells harboring L858R or L858R/T790M mutations and their modulation by erlotinib inhibition. Phosphorylation at the majority of phosphosites identified exhibited no change upon either EGF stimulation or erlotinib inhibition. Only around 7% of phosphosites identified and quantified showed increased phosphorylation upon EGF stimulation in either cell line. However, while phosphorylation at 61% of these phosphosites decreased upon erlotinib inhibition in the TKI sensitive H3255 cells, only 24% of such sites exhibited decreased phosphorylation upon erlotinib inhibition in the TKI resistant H1975 cells. Top canonical pathways that were inhibited upon erlotinib treatment in sensitive cells, but not the resistant cells include EGFR, Insulin receptor, HGF, MAPK, mTOR, p70S6K and JAK/STAT signaling. We identified phosphosites in proteins of the autophagy network, such as ULK1 (S623) that is constitutive phosphorylated in these lung adenocarcinoma cells, but phosphorylation is inhibited upon erlotinib treatment in sensitive cells, but not resistant cells. Finally, kinase-substrate prediction analysis from our data indicated that substrates of basophilic kinase families, AGC, CAMK and STE were significantly enriched and those of proline directed kinase families, CMGC and CK were significantly depleted among substrates that exhibit increased phosphorylation upon EGF stimulation and reduced phosphorylation upon TKI inhibition. This is the first study to date to examine global phosphorylation changes upon erlotinib treatment of lung adenocarcinoma cells and results from this study provide new insights into signaling downstream of mutant EGFRs in lung adenocarcinoma.
Project description:PURPOSE: Erlotinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), and bevacizumab, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agent, are promising therapies for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Our study was aimed to determine whether there were conditions under which the addition of bevacizumab would enhance the antitumor activity of erlotinib against NSCLC tumors in vitro and in vivo. METHODS: MTS was for NSCLC cell (PC9, 11-18, H1975, H157, H460 and A549) growth assay in vitro. ELISA was for VEGF protein assay in cells and tumor tissues. Mouse xenograft models were established with H157, H460 and A549 with primary resistance to erlotinib and treated with erlotinib plus bevacizumab or each agent alone. Erlotinib concentrations in tumors were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Bevacizumab alone did not inhibit NSCLC cell growth in vitro. In primarily erlotinib-resistant NSCLC cells, the levels of VEGF protein were highest in H157 cell followed in order by H460 and A549 cells. In vivo, bevacizumab alone significantly inhibited tumor growth only in xenograft models with high (H157) and/or moderate (H460) levels of VEGF protein. A combination of erlotinib and bevacizumab partially reversed resistance to erlotinib in H157 xenografts (high VEGF level) with increasing intratumoral erlotinib concentrations, but not in H460 (moderate) or A549 (low) xenografts. CONCLUSIONS: These results support that combined with anti-VEGF therapy could enhance antitumor activity of anti-EGFR therapy and/or partially reverse resistance to EGFR TKI, by increasing EGFR TKI concentration in specific tumors that express high levels of VEGF protein.
Project description:Non-small cell lung cancers harboring somatic gain-of-function mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase domain respond well to treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) including gefitinib and erlotinib. However, all patients who experience a marked improvement with these drugs eventually develop disease progression due to the acquisition of drug resistance. Approximately half of the cases with acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs can be accounted for by a second-site mutation in exon 20 of the EGFR kinase domain (T790M). However, the changes of gene expression involved in EGFR TKI resistance due to the T790M mutation remain poorly defined. The present study established lung cancer cell lines that were resistant to gefitinib or erlotinib, and these cell lines were verified to contain the EGFR T790M mutation. The differential expression of genes associated with acquired resistance was verified in the present study by mRNA microarray analysis. Among the genes whose expression was significantly altered, genes whose expression was altered in gefitinib- and erlotinib-resistant cells were focused on. Notably, a total of 1,617 genes were identified as being differentially expressed in gefitinib- and erlotinib-resistant cells. Indeed, Gene ontology analysis revealed altered expression of genes involved in the regulation of cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and the cell cycle in EGFR TKI-resistant cells. The present results demonstrate distinctive gene expression patterns of EGFR TKI-resistant lung cancer cells with the EGFR T790M mutation. The present study can provide key insights into gene expression profiles involved in conferring resistance to EGFR TKI therapy in lung cancer cells.
Project description:In Taiwan, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs), gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib are served as first-line therapy for non-small lung cell cancer (NSCLC) patients with EGFR sensitizing mutations. However, the majority of patients who initially respond to EGFR-TKIs, progress through acquiring EGFR T790M mutations (T790M), which is the most common resistant mechanism. Patients with T790M gain the opportunity of subsequent treatment with third-generation EGFR-TKI, osimertinib. This study aimed to evaluate the association between prior EGFR-TKI therapy and incidence of acquired T790M resistance in lung adenocarcinoma patients who have progressed on first/second-generation EGFR-TKI therapy. This retrospective study included lung adenocarcinoma patients who had a radiographically-confirmed progressive disease under EGFR-TKI treatment and had re-biopsy samples for T790M testing from seven medical centers in Taiwan from June 2013 to December 2018. Patients harboring de novo T790M or using more than one EGFR-TKI were excluded. Of the 407 patients enrolled, the overall T790M acquisition rate was 52.8%. The patients treated with gefitinib, erlotinib or afatinib had a statistically significant difference in the T790M rates (59.9, 45.5, and 52.7%, respectively; p = 0.037) after disease progression. Patients with common baseline EGFR mutations (Del-19 and L858R) (p = 0.005) and longer treatment duration with EGFR-TKIs (p < 0.001) had higher chances of T790M acquisition. Multivariate logistic regression analysis further showed that patients with common baseline EGFR mutations, gefitinib (compared to erlotinib) administration, and longer treatment duration with EGFR-TKIs had higher T790M incidence. There was no significant difference in the incidence of acquired T790M between different re-biopsy tissue samples or complications. In conclusion, this study showed that patients who progressed from gefitinib treatment, bearing common EGFR mutations, and with longer EGFR-TKI treatment duration had increased incidence of T790M acquisition and, therefore, were suitable for subsequent osimertinib treatment.