ALK inhibitor resistance in ALK(F1174L)-driven neuroblastoma is associated with AXL activation and induction of EMT.
ABSTRACT: The crizotinib-resistant ALK(F1174L) mutation arises de novo in neuroblastoma (NB) and is acquired in ALK translocation-driven cancers, lending impetus to the development of novel anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors with different modes of action. The diaminopyrimidine TAE684 and its derivative ceritinib (LDK378), which are structurally distinct from crizotinib, are active against NB cells expressing ALK(F1174L). Here we demonstrate acquired resistance to TAE684 and LDK378 in ALK(F1174L)-driven human NB cells that is linked to overexpression and activation of the AXL tyrosine kinase and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). AXL phosphorylation conferred TAE684 resistance to NB cells through upregulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling. Inhibition of AXL partly rescued TAE684 resistance, resensitizing these cells to this compound. AXL activation in resistant cells was mediated through increased expression of the active form of its ligand, GAS6, that also served to stabilize the AXL protein. Although ectopic expression of AXL and TWIST2 individually in TAE684-sensitive parental cells led to the elevated expression of mesenchymal markers and invasive capacity, only AXL overexpression induced resistance to TAE684 as well. TAE684-resistant cells showed greater sensitivity to HSP90 inhibition than did their parental counterparts, with downregulation of AXL and AXL-mediated ERK signaling. Our studies indicate that aberrant AXL signaling and development of an EMT phenotype underlie resistance of ALK(F1174L)-driven NB cells to TAE684 and its derivatives. We suggest that the combination of ALK and AXL or HSP90 inhibitors be considered to delay the emergence of such resistance.
Project description:The crizotinib–resistant ALKF1174L mutation arises de novo in neuroblastoma (NB) and is acquired in ALK translocation-driven cancers, lending impetus to the development of novel ALK inhibitors with different modes of action. The diaminopyrimidine TAE684 and its derivative ceritinib (LDK378), which are structurally distinct from crizotinib, are active against NB cells expressing ALKF1174L. Here we demonstrate acquired resistance to TAE684 and LDK378 in ALKF1174L-driven human NB cells that is linked to overexpression and activation of the AXL tyrosine kinase and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). AXL phosphorylation conferred TAE684 resistance to NB cells through upregulated ERK signaling. Inhibition of AXL partly rescued TAE684 resistance, resensitizing these cells to this compound. AXL activation in resistant cells was mediated through increased expression of the active form of its ligand, GAS6, which also served to stabilize the AXL protein. Although ectopic expression of AXL and TWIST2 individually in TAE684-sensitive parental cells led to the elevated expression of mesenchymal markers and invasive capacity, only AXL overexpression induced resistance to TAE684 as well. TAE684-resistant cells showed greater sensitivity to HSP90 inhibition than did their parental counterparts, with downregulation of AXL and AXL-mediated ERK signaling. Our studies indicate that aberrant AXL signaling and development of an EMT phenotype underlie resistance of ALKF1174L-driven NB cells to TAE684 and its derivatives. We suggest that the combination of ALK and AXL or HSP90 inhibitors be considered to delay the emergence of such resistance. In order to understand the molecular mechanisms driving resistance to ALK inhibition in ALK-mutated neuroblatoma, we established cell line models of resistance to TAE684, an ALK inhibitor, by treating SH-SY5Y cells (bearing the ALKF1174L mutation) with increasing concentration of this compound over time. We then performed an analysis of gene expression changes genome wide using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2 arrays, by comparing the TAE684-sensitive parental SH-SY5Y cells to the TAE684-resistant SH-SY5Y cells (named SY5Y-TR1). For that experiment, we analyzed gene expression variations by comparing the parental SH-SY5Y (control sample) to the resistant SY5Y-TR1 cells. So 2 samples were analyzed, with 3 replicates run for each.
Project description:The ALK kinase inhibitor crizotinib (PF-02341066) is clinically effective in patients with ALK-translocated cancers, but its efficacy will ultimately be limited by acquired drug resistance. Here we report the identification of a secondary mutation in ALK, F1174L, as one cause of crizotinib resistance in a patient with an inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) harboring a RANBP2-ALK translocation who progressed while on crizotinib therapy. When present in cis with an ALK translocation, this mutation (also detected in neuroblastomas) causes an increase in ALK phosphorylation, cell growth, and downstream signaling. Furthermore, the F1174L mutation inhibits crizotinib-mediated downregulation of ALK signaling and blocks apoptosis in RANBP2-ALK Ba/F3 cells. A chemically distinct ALK inhibitor, TAE684, and the HSP90 inhibitor 17-AAG are both effective in models harboring the F1174L ALK mutation. Our findings highlight the importance of studying drug resistance mechanisms in order to develop effective clinical treatments for patients with ALK-translocated cancers.
Project description:EML4-ALK fusions define a subset of lung cancers that can be effectively treated with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitors. Unfortunately, the duration of response is heterogeneous and acquired resistance limits their ultimate efficacy. Thus, a better understanding of resistance mechanisms will help to enhance tumor control in EML4-ALK-positive tumors.By applying orthogonal functional mutagenesis screening approaches, we screened for mutations inducing resistance to the aminopyridine PF02341066 (crizotinib) and/or the diaminopyrimidine TAE684.Here, we show that the resistance mutation, L1196M, as well as other crizotinib resistance mutations (F1174L and G1269S), are highly sensitive to the structurally unrelated ALK inhibitor TAE684. In addition, we identified two novel EML4-ALK resistance mutations (L1198P and D1203N), which unlike previously reported mutations, induced resistance to both ALK inhibitors. An independent resistance screen in ALK-mutant neuroblastoma cells yielded the same L1198P resistance mutation but defined two additional mutations conferring resistance to TAE684 but not to PF02341066.Our results show that different ALK resistance mutations as well as different ALK inhibitors impact the therapeutic efficacy in the setting of EML4-ALK fusions and ALK mutations.
Project description:ALK receptor tyrosine kinase has been shown to be a therapeutic target in neuroblastoma. Germline ALK activating mutations are responsible for the majority of hereditary neuroblastoma and somatic ALK activating mutations are also frequently observed in sporadic cases of advanced NB. Crizotinib, a first-line therapy in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring ALK rearrangements, demonstrates striking efficacy against ALK-rearranged NB. However, crizotinib fails to effectively inhibit the activity of ALK when activating mutations are present within its kinase domain, as with the F1174L mutation. Here we show that a new ALK inhibitor AZD3463 effectively suppressed the proliferation of NB cell lines with wild type ALK (WT) as well as ALK activating mutations (F1174L and D1091N) by blocking the ALK-mediated PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway and ultimately induced apoptosis and autophagy. In addition, AZD3463 enhanced the cytotoxic effects of doxorubicin on NB cells. AZD3463 also exhibited significant therapeutic efficacy on the growth of the NB tumors with WT and F1174L activating mutation ALK in orthotopic xenograft mouse models. These results indicate that AZD3463 is a promising therapeutic agent in the treatment of NB.
Project description:Activating gene rearrangements of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) have been identified as driver mutations in non-small-cell lung cancer, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors, and other cancers. Crizotinib, a dual MET/ALK inhibitor, has demonstrated promising clinical activity in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors harboring ALK translocations. Inhibitors of driver kinases often elicit kinase domain mutations that confer resistance, and such mutations have been successfully predicted using in vitro mutagenesis screens. Here, this approach was used to discover an extensive set of ALK mutations that can confer resistance to crizotinib. Mutations at 16 residues were identified, structurally clustered into five regions around the kinase active site, which conferred varying degrees of resistance. The screen successfully predicted the L1196M, C1156Y, and F1174L mutations, recently identified in crizotinib-resistant patients. In separate studies, we demonstrated that crizotinib has relatively modest potency in ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines. A more potent ALK inhibitor, TAE684, maintained substantial activity against mutations that conferred resistance to crizotinib. Our study identifies multiple novel mutations in ALK that may confer clinical resistance to crizotinib, suggests that crizotinib's narrow selectivity window may underlie its susceptibility to such resistance and demonstrates that a more potent ALK inhibitor may be effective at overcoming resistance.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Neuroblastomas harboring activating point mutations in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) are differentially sensitive to the ALK inhibitor crizotinib, with certain mutations conferring intrinsic crizotinib resistance. To overcome this clinical obstacle, our goal was to identify inhibitors with improved potency that can target intractable ALK variants such as F1174L. We find that PF-06463922 has high potency across ALK variants and inhibits ALK more effectively than crizotinib in vitro. Most importantly, PF-06463922 induces complete tumor regression in both crizotinib-resistant and crizotinib-sensitive xenograft mouse models of neuroblastoma, as well as in patient-derived xenografts harboring the crizotinib-resistant F1174L or F1245C mutations. These studies demonstrate that PF-06463922 has the potential to overcome crizotinib resistance and exerts unprecedented activity as a single targeted agent against F1174L and F1245C ALK-mutated xenograft tumors, while also inducing responses in an R1275Q xenograft model. Taken together, these results provide the rationale to move PF-06463922 into clinical trials for treatment of patients with ALK-mutated neuroblastoma. SIGNIFICANCE:The next-generation ALK/ROS1 inhibitor PF-06463922 exerts unparalleled activity in ALK-driven neuroblastoma models with primary crizotinib resistance. Our biochemical and in vivo data provide the preclinical rationale for fast-tracking the development of this agent in children with relapsed/refractory ALK-mutant neuroblastoma.
Project description:Crizotinib, the first FDA-approved ALK inhibitor, showed significant antitumor activity in young patients with anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL) frequently displaying ALK rearrangement. However, long-term therapeutic benefits of crizotinib are limited due to development of drug resistance. CH5424802--more potent and selective ALK inhibitor--comprises a good candidate for second-line treatment in crizotinib-relapsed patients. The aim of this study was to determine possible mechanisms of resistance to ALK inhibitors that can appear in ALCL patients.ALK+ ALCL cell lines resistant to crizotinib (Karpas299CR) and to CH5424802 (Karpas299CHR) were established by long-term exposure of Karpas299 cells to these inhibitors. Next, alterations in their sensitivity to ALK, HSP90 and mTOR inhibitors were investigated by cell viability and BrdU incorporation assays and immunoblot analysis.cDNA sequencing of ALK kinase domain revealed activating mutations-I1171T in Karpas299CR and F1174C in Karpas299CHR. The resistant cells displayed diminished sensitivity to structurally unrelated ALK inhibitors-crizotinib, CH5424802 and TAE684. Nevertheless, CH5424802 and TAE684 were still more potent against the resistant cells than crizotinib. Moreover, Karpas299CR and Karpas299CHR cells remained sensitive to HSP90 or mTOR inhibitors.Resistance mediated by activating mutations in ALK kinase domain may emerge in ALCL patients during ALK inhibitors treatment. However, more potent second-generation ALK inhibitors, HSP90 or mTOR inhibitors may represent an effective therapy for relapsed ALK+ ALCL patients.
Project description:The ALK(F1174L) mutation is associated with intrinsic and acquired resistance to crizotinib and cosegregates with MYCN in neuroblastoma. In this study, we generated a mouse model overexpressing ALK(F1174L) in the neural crest. Compared to ALK(F1174L) and MYCN alone, co-expression of these two oncogenes led to the development of neuroblastomas with earlier onset, higher penetrance, and enhanced lethality. ALK(F1174L)/MYCN tumors exhibited increased MYCN dosage due to ALK(F1174L)-induced activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and MAPK pathways, coupled with suppression of MYCN pro-apoptotic effects. Combined treatment with the ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor Torin2 overcame the resistance of ALK(F1174L)/MYCN tumors to crizotinib. Our findings demonstrate a pathogenic role for ALK(F1174L) in neuroblastomas overexpressing MYCN and suggest a strategy for improving targeted therapy for ALK-positive neuroblastoma.
Project description:Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor during infancy and childhood.Outcome of high-risk and late-stage disease remains poor despite intensive treatment regimens.Suppressing inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) using Smac mimetics (SM) significantly sensitizes neuroblastoma (NB) cells for chemotherapy, however strongly dependent on the cytotoxic drug combined with SM.Therefore, a systematic analysis of the impact of SM in combination with different classes of chemotherapeutics was of crucial importance. Treatment of NB cell lines with SM LCL161 and vinca alkaloids revealed a strong synergistic inhibition of proliferation and significant induction of apoptosis in virtually all established and de novo NB cell lines (n=8).In contrast, combination of anthracyclines or topoisomerase inhibitors with LCL161 showed a synergism for single drugs and/or cell lines only.Furthermore, we could show that insensibility to LCL161-mediated sensitization for chemotherapeutics is associated with aberrant activation of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) by common mutation F1174L. Inhibition of ALK using TAE684 is able to overcome this resistance in a synergistic fashion, a finding that could be highly relevant for improvement of neuroblastoma therapy.
Project description:We present the development of the first small molecule degraders that can induce anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) degradation, including in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL), and neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines. These degraders were developed through conjugation of known pyrimidine-based ALK inhibitors, TAE684 or LDK378, and the cereblon ligand pomalidomide. We demonstrate that in some cell types degrader potency is compromised by expression of drug transporter ABCB1. In addition, proteomic profiling demonstrated that these compounds also promote the degradation of additional kinases including PTK2 (FAK), Aurora A, FER, and RPS6KA1 (RSK1).