Inhibition of ErbB3 by a monoclonal antibody that locks the extracellular domain in an inactive configuration.
ABSTRACT: ErbB3 (HER3) is a member of the EGF receptor (EGFR) family of receptor tyrosine kinases, which, unlike the other three family members, contains a pseudo kinase in place of a tyrosine kinase domain. In cancer, ErbB3 activation is driven by a ligand-dependent mechanism through the formation of heterodimers with EGFR, ErbB2, or ErbB4 or via a ligand-independent process through heterodimerization with ErbB2 overexpressed in breast tumors or other cancers. Here we describe the crystal structure of the Fab fragment of an antagonistic monoclonal antibody KTN3379, currently in clinical development in human cancer patients, in complex with the ErbB3 extracellular domain. The structure reveals a unique allosteric mechanism for inhibition of ligand-dependent or ligand-independent ErbB3-driven cancers by binding to an epitope that locks ErbB3 in an inactive conformation. Given the similarities in the mechanism of ErbB receptor family activation, these findings could facilitate structure-based design of antibodies that inhibit EGFR and ErbB4 by an allosteric mechanism.
Project description:The human ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases comprises the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1/HER1), ErbB2 (HER2/Neu), ErbB3 (HER3), and ErbB4 (HER4). ErbBs play fundamental roles in cell growth and differentiation events in embryonic and adult tissues, and inappropriate ErbB activity has been implicated in several human cancers. We report here the 2.4 A crystal structure of the extracellular region of human ErbB4 in the absence of ligand and show that it adopts a tethered conformation similar to inactive forms of ErbB1 and ErbB3. This structure completes the gallery of unliganded ErbB receptors and demonstrates that all human ligand-binding ErbBs adopt the autoinhibited conformation. We also show that the binding of neuregulin-1beta to ErbB4 and ErbB3 and the binding of betacellulin to both ErbB4 and ErbB1 does not decrease at low pH, unlike the binding of epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor-alpha to ErbB1. These results indicate an important role for ligand in determining pH-dependent binding and may explain different responses observed when the same ErbB receptor is stimulated by different ligands.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The ErbB family consists of four proteins including (EGFR)/ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4, and plays a crucial role in the promotion of multiple tumorigenic processes. In addition to the traditional pathways of EGFR signaling, EGFR translocates to the nucleus and acts as a transcription factor in the proliferation of cancer cells. Heregulin is known as both an ErbB3 and an ErbB4 ligand. This study aimed to investigate the expression of heregulin and its relevant EGFR family members as well as their phosphorylated forms in human colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues and to determine the relationship between their expression and clinicopathological factors including patient prognosis. METHODS: We analyzed the effects of exogenous heregulin on ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4 phosphorylation in Caco-2, DLD-1, and HCT 116 colon cancer cell lines by western blot analysis. We examined 155 surgical resections from colorectomy patients. Cellular localization of ErbB1-4, their phosphorylated forms and heregulin protein was analyzed in CRC surgical resections by immunohistochemical analysis. Immunohistochemical results were compared with clinicopathological factors and patient prognosis. RESULTS: Phosphorylated ErbB2 (pErbB2) and phosphorylated ErbB3 (pErbB3) were detected in both nuclear and cytosolic fractions of Caco-2 and DLD-1 cells stimulated by exogenous heregulin. Whereas, phosphorylated ErbB4 (pErbB4) was detected only in cytosolic fractions of HCT 116 cells stimulated by exogenous heregulin. Phosphorylated EGFR (pEGFR) immunoreactivity was observed in the cytoplasm and nuclei of cancer cells, whereas the pattern of EGFR staining was membranous and cytoplasmic. Subcellular localization of pErbB2, cytoplasmic, membranous, or nuclear, varied among cases. pErbB3 immunoreactivity was exclusively observed in the nuclei of cancer cells. pErbB4 immunoreactivity was observed in the cell membrane of cancer cells. Statistically, heregulin immunoreactivity correlated with pErbB2 and pErbB4 expression. In multivariate analysis for disease free survival, lymph node status, pErbB3 and pErbB4 expression retained independent prognostic significance. In multivariate analysis for overall survival, lymph node status, pEGFR and pErbB4 retained independent prognostic significance. CONCLUSIONS: ErbB2 and ErbB3 phosphorylated by heregulin localized in the nucleus of CRC cells. Phosphorylated ErbB1-4 and heregulin contribute to poorer patient prognosis in CRC. This heregulin-ErbB family member autocrine loop may be a candidate for targeted treatment of CRC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) ERBB2 is known to dimerize with other EGFR family members, particularly ERBB3, through which it potently activates PI3K signalling. Antibody-mediated inhibition of this ERBB2/ERBB3/PI3K axis has been a cornerstone of treatment for ERBB2-amplified breast cancer patients for two decades. However, the lack of response and the rapid onset of relapse in many patients now question the assumption that the ERBB2/ERBB3 heterodimer is the sole relevant effector target of these therapies. METHODS:Through a systematic protein-protein interaction screen, we have identified and validated alternative RTKs that interact with ERBB2. Using quantitative readouts of signalling pathway activation and cell proliferation, we have examined their influence upon the mechanism of trastuzumab- and pertuzumab-mediated inhibition of cell growth in ERBB2-amplified breast cancer cell lines and a patient-derived xenograft model. RESULTS:We now demonstrate that inactivation of ERBB3/PI3K by these therapeutic antibodies is insufficient to inhibit the growth of ERBB2-amplified breast cancer cells. Instead, we show extensive promiscuity between ERBB2 and an array of RTKs from outside of the EGFR family. Paradoxically, pertuzumab also acts as an artificial ligand to promote ERBB2 activation and ERK signalling, through allosteric activation by a subset of these non-canonical RTKs. However, this unexpected activation mechanism also increases the sensitivity of the receptor network to the ERBB2 kinase inhibitor lapatinib, which in combination with pertuzumab, displays a synergistic effect in single-agent resistant cell lines and PDX models. CONCLUSIONS:The interaction of ERBB2 with a number of non-canonical RTKs activates a compensatory signalling response following treatment with pertuzumab, although a counter-intuitive combination of ERBB2 antibody therapy and a kinase inhibitor can overcome this innate therapeutic resistance.
Project description:ErbB3/HER3 is one of four members of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/HER) or ErbB receptor tyrosine kinase family. ErbB3 binds neuregulins via its extracellular region and signals primarily by heterodimerizing with ErbB2/HER2/Neu. A recently appreciated role for ErbB3 in resistance of tumor cells to EGFR/ErbB2-targeted therapeutics has made it a focus of attention. However, efforts to inactivate ErbB3 therapeutically in parallel with other ErbB receptors are challenging because its intracellular kinase domain is thought to be an inactive pseudokinase that lacks several key conserved (and catalytically important) residues-including the catalytic base aspartate. We report here that, despite these sequence alterations, ErbB3 retains sufficient kinase activity to robustly trans-autophosphorylate its intracellular region--although it is substantially less active than EGFR and does not phosphorylate exogenous peptides. The ErbB3 kinase domain binds ATP with a K(d) of approximately 1.1 microM. We describe a crystal structure of ErbB3 kinase bound to an ATP analogue, which resembles the inactive EGFR and ErbB4 kinase domains (but with a shortened alphaC-helix). Whereas mutations that destabilize this configuration activate EGFR and ErbB4 (and promote EGFR-dependent lung cancers), a similar mutation conversely inactivates ErbB3. Using quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations, we delineate a reaction pathway for ErbB3-catalyzed phosphoryl transfer that does not require the conserved catalytic base and can be catalyzed by the "inactive-like" configuration observed crystallographically. These findings suggest that ErbB3 kinase activity within receptor dimers may be crucial for signaling and could represent an important therapeutic target.
Project description:The ErbB4 receptor tyrosine kinase possesses both tumour suppressor and oncogenic activities. Thus pharmacological agents are needed to help elucidate ErbB4 functions. However, limitations of existing ErbB4 agonists and antagonists have led us to seek novel ErbB4 antagonists. The Q43L mutant of the ErbB4 agonist NRG2? (neuregulin 2?) stimulates ErbB4 tyrosine phosphorylation, yet fails to stimulate ErbB4 coupling to cell proliferation. Thus in the present paper we hypothesize that NRG2?/Q43L may be an ErbB4 antagonist. NRG2?/Q43L competitively antagonizes agonist stimulation of ErbB4 coupling to cell proliferation. NRG2?/Q43L stimulates less ErbB4 tyrosine phosphorylation than does NRG2?. In addition, NRG2? stimulation of cell proliferation requires PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) activity and NRG2? stimulates greater Akt phosphorylation than does NRG2?/Q43L. Moreover, EGFR [EGF (epidermal growth factor) receptor] kinase activity (but not that of ErbB4) is critical for coupling ErbB4 to proliferation. Experiments utilizing ErbB4 splicing isoforms and mutants suggest that NRG2? and NRG2?/Q43L may differentially stimulate ErbB4 coupling to the transcriptional co-regulator YAP (Yes-associated protein). Finally, NRG2?/Q43L competitively antagonizes agonist stimulation of EGFR and ErbB2/ErbB3, indicating that NRG2?/Q43L is a pan-ErbB antagonist. Thus we postulate that NRG2?/Q43L and other antagonistic ligands stimulate ErbB tyrosine phosphorylation on a set of residues distinct from that stimulated by agonists, thus suggesting a novel mechanism of ErbB receptor regulation. Moreover, NRG2?/Q43L and related ligand-based antagonists establish a paradigm for the discovery of anti-ErbB therapeutics.
Project description:As ErbB signaling is a determinant of prolactin synthesis, role of ErbB receptors was tested for prolactinoma outcomes and therapy. The objective of this study was to characterize ErbB receptor expression in prolactinomas and then perform a pilot study treating resistant prolactinomas with a targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). Retrospective analysis of prolactinomas and pilot study for dopamine agonist resistant prolactinomas in tertiary referral center. We performed immunofluorescent staining of a tissue array of 29 resected prolactinoma tissues for EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4 correlated with clinical features. Two patients with aggressive resistant prolactinomas enrolled and completed trial. They received lapatinib 1,250 mg daily for 6 months with tumor and hormone assessments. Main outcome measures were positive tumor staining of respective ErbB receptors, therapeutic reduction of prolactin levels and tumor shrinkage. Treated PRL levels and tumor volumes were suppressed in both subjects treated with TKI. EGFR expression was positive in 82 % of adenomas, ErbB2 in 92 %, ErbB3 in 25 %, and ErbB4 in 71 %, with ErbB2 score > EGFR > ErbB4 > ErbB3. Higher ErbB3 expression was associated with optic chiasm compression (p = 0.03), suprasellar extension (p = 0.04), and carotid artery encasement (p = 0.01). Higher DA response rates were observed in tumors with higher ErbB3 expression. Prolactinoma expression of specific ErbB receptors is associated with tumor invasion, symptoms, and response to dopamine agonists. Targeting ErbB receptors may be effective therapy in patients with resistant prolactinomas.
Project description:Neisseria meningitidis, the causative agent of meningitis and septicemia, attaches to and invades various cell types. Both steps induce and/or require tyrosine phosphorylation of host cell proteins. Here, we used a phospho array platform to identify active receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and key signaling nodes in N. meningitidis-infected brain endothelial cells to decipher RTK-dependent signaling pathways necessary for bacterial uptake. We detected several activated RTKs, including the ErbB family receptors epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), ErbB2, and ErbB4. We found that pharmacological inhibition and genetic ablation of ErbB receptor tyrosine phosphorylation and expression resulted in decreased bacterial uptake and heterologous expression of EGFR, ErbB2, or ErbB4 in Chinese ovary hamster (CHO-K1) cells, which do not express of EGFR and ErbB4; the decrease caused a significant increase in meningococcal invasion. Activation of EGFR and ErbB4 was mediated by transactivation via the common ligand HB-EGF (heparin-binding EGF-like ligand), which was significantly elevated in infected cell culture supernatants. We furthermore determined that N. meningitidis induced phosphorylation of EGFR at Tyr845 independent of ligand binding, which required c-Src activation and was involved in mediating uptake of N. meningitidis into eukaryotic cells. Increased uptake was repressed by expression of EGFR Y845F, which harbored a point mutation in the kinase domain. In addition, activation of ErbB4 at its autophosphorylation site, Tyr1284, and phosphorylation of ErbB2 Thr686 were observed. Altogether, our results provide evidence that EGFR, ErbB2, and ErbB4 are activated in response to N. meningitidis infection and shed new light on the role of ErbB signaling in meningococcal infection biology.
Project description:The first three members of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases activate a wide variety of signaling pathways and are frequently misregulated in cancer. Much less is known about ErbB4. Here we use tandem mass spectrometry to identify 19 sites of tyrosine phosphorylation on ErbB4, and protein microarrays to quantify biophysical interactions between these sites and virtually every SH2 and PTB domain encoded in the human genome. Our unbiased approach highlighted several previously unrecognized interactions and led to the finding that ErbB4 can recruit and activate STAT1. At a systems level, we found that ErbB4 is much more selective than the other ErbB receptors. This suggests that ErbB4 may enable ErbB2 and ErbB3 to signal independently of EGFR under normal conditions, and provides a possible explanation for the protective properties of ErbB4 in cancer.
Project description:Background:Somatic mutations in the ERBB genes (epidermal growth factor receptor: EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB3, ERBB4) promote oncogenesis and lapatinib resistance in metastatic HER2+ (human epidermal growth factor-like receptor 2) breast cancer in vitro. Our study aimed to determine the frequency of mutations in four genes: EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB3 and ERBB4 and to investigate whether these mutations affect cellular behaviour and therapy response in vitro and outcomes after adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy in clinical samples. Methods:We performed Agena MassArray analysis of 227 HER2+ breast cancer samples to identify the type and frequency of ERBB family mutations. Of these, two mutations, the somatic mutations ERBB4-V721I and ERBB4-S303F, were stably transfected into HCC1954 (PIK3CA mutant), HCC1569 (PIK3CA wildtype) and BT474 (PIK3CA mutant, ER positive) HER2+ breast cancer cell lines for functional in vitro experiments. Results:A total of 12 somatic, likely deleterious mutations in the kinase and furin-like domains of the ERBB genes (3 EGFR, 1 ERBB2, 3 ERBB3, 5 ERBB4) were identified in 7% of HER2+ breast cancers, with ERBB4 the most frequently mutated gene. The ERBB4-V721I kinase domain mutation significantly increased 3D-colony formation in 3/3 cell lines, whereas ERBB4-S303F did not increase growth rate or 3D colony formation in vitro. ERBB4-V721I sensitized HCC1569 cells (PIK3CA wildtype) to the pan class I PI3K inhibitor copanlisib but increased resistance to the pan-HER family inhibitor afatinib. The combinations of copanlisib with trastuzumab, lapatinib, or afatinib remained synergistic regardless of ERBB4-V721I or ERBB4-S303F mutation status. Conclusions:ERBB gene family mutations, which are present in 7% of our HER2+ breast cancer cohort, may have the potential to alter cellular behaviour and the efficacy of HER- and PI3K-inhibition.
Project description:Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States. Failure may be due to variable expression and/or complex interactions of growth factor receptors in individual tumors. As ErbB3-MET cooperativity is implicated in solid tumor resistance to EGFR/ErbB2 inhibitors, we evaluated expression of MET and all 4 ErbB family members in ovarian cancers. Tissue arrays were prepared from archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor samples, including 202 ovarian carcinomas (Stage I-IV) and controls. Of 202 patient samples, only 25% were positive for EGFR and 35% for ErbB2 expression. ErbB3, ErbB4, and MET showed marked expression in 76%, 98%, and 96% of cases. Consistent with high incidence, there was no significant correlation for expression of ErbB3, ErbB4, or MET with outcome. On the basis of their high expression in the majority of cases, inhibitors targeting ErbB3, ErbB4, and/or MET may be broadly applicable as therapeutic agents in this disease.