Project description:KRAS is a frequently mutated oncogene in lung cancer and among the most refractory to EGFR targeted therapy. Recently, preclinical evidence in pancreatic cancer has demonstrated that mutant KRAS can be regulated by EGFR. However, the distinct correlation between the EGFR/HER family members and mutant KRAS has not been investigated. Here, we show that non-small cell lung cancer cell lines harboring differing isoforms of mutant KRAS, can be broadly divided into EGFR/HER dependent and EGFR/HER independent groups. Combined therapeutic targeting of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 in isoforms regulated by extracellular growth signals promotes in vitro and in vivo efficacy. We also provide evidence that depletion of EGFR via RNA interference specifically abolishes the EGFR/KRAS interaction in the dependent subset. Taken together, these findings suggest that upstream inhibition of the EGFR/HER receptors may be effective in treating a subset of KRAS mutant lung cancers.
Project description:Adenocarcinoma of the lung, a leading cause of cancer death, frequently displays mutational activation of the KRAS proto-oncogene but, unlike lung cancers expressing mutated EGFR, ROS1, or ALK, there is no pathway-targeted therapy for patients with KRAS-mutated lung cancer. In preclinical models, expression of oncogenic KRAS(G12D) in the lung epithelium of adult mice initiates development of lung adenocarcinoma through activation of downstream signaling pathways. In contrast, mutationally activated BRAF(V600E), a KRAS effector, fails to initiate lung carcinogenesis despite highly efficient induction of benign lung tumorigenesis. To test if phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-? (PIK3CA), another KRAS effector, might cooperate with oncogenic BRAF(V600E) to promote lung cancer progression, we used mice carrying a conditional allele of Pik3ca that allows conversion of the wild-type catalytic subunit of PIK3CA to mutationally activated PIK3CA(H1047R). Although expression of PIK3CA(H1047R) in the lung epithelium, either alone or in combination with PTEN silencing, was without phenotype, concomitant expression of BRAF(V600E) and PIK3CA(H1047R) led to dramatically decreased tumor latency and increased tumor burden compared with BRAF(V600E) alone. Most notably, coexpression of BRAF(V600E) and PIK3CA(H1047R) elicited lung adenocarcinomas in a manner reminiscent of the effects of KRAS(G12D). These data emphasize a role for PI3K signaling, not in lung tumor initiation per se, but in both the rate of tumor growth and the propensity of benign lung tumors to progress to a malignant phenotype. Finally, biologic and biochemical analysis of BRAF(V600E)/PIK3CA(H1047R)-expressing mouse lung cancer cells revealed mechanistic clues about cooperative regulation of the cell-division cycle and apoptosis by these oncogenes.
Project description:KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 13 are established predictive biomarkers for anti-EGFR therapy in colorectal cancer. Previous studies suggest that KRAS codon 61 and 146 mutations may also predict resistance to anti-EGFR therapy in colorectal cancer. However, clinicopathological, molecular, and prognostic features of colorectal carcinoma with KRAS codon 61 or 146 mutation remain unclear.We utilized a molecular pathological epidemiology database of 1267 colon and rectal cancers in the Nurse's Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. We examined KRAS mutations in codons 12, 13, 61 and 146 (assessed by pyrosequencing), in relation to clinicopathological features, and tumor molecular markers, including BRAF and PIK3CA mutations, CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), LINE-1 methylation, and microsatellite instability (MSI). Survival analyses were performed in 1067 BRAF-wild-type cancers to avoid confounding by BRAF mutation. Cox proportional hazards models were used to compute mortality hazard ratio, adjusting for potential confounders, including disease stage, PIK3CA mutation, CIMP, LINE-1 hypomethylation, and MSI.KRAS codon 61 mutations were detected in 19 cases (1.5%), and codon 146 mutations in 40 cases (3.2%). Overall KRAS mutation prevalence in colorectal cancers was 40% (=505/1267). Of interest, compared to KRAS-wild-type, overall, KRAS-mutated cancers more frequently exhibited cecal location (24% vs. 12% in KRAS-wild-type; P?<?0.0001), CIMP-low (49% vs. 32% in KRAS-wild-type; P?<?0.0001), and PIK3CA mutations (24% vs. 11% in KRAS-wild-type; P?<?0.0001). These trends were evident irrespective of mutated codon, though statistical power was limited for codon 61 mutants. Neither KRAS codon 61 nor codon 146 mutation was significantly associated with clinical outcome or prognosis in univariate or multivariate analysis [colorectal cancer-specific mortality hazard ratio (HR)?=?0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI)?=?0.29-2.26 for codon 61 mutation; colorectal cancer-specific mortality HR?=?0.86, 95% CI?=?0.42-1.78 for codon 146 mutation].Tumors with KRAS mutations in codons 61 and 146 account for an appreciable proportion (approximately 5%) of colorectal cancers, and their clinicopathological and molecular features appear generally similar to KRAS codon 12 or 13 mutated cancers. To further assess clinical utility of KRAS codon 61 and 146 testing, large-scale trials are warranted.
Project description:Non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) that have developed resistance to EGF receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), including gefitinib and erlotinib, are clinically linked to an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype. Here, we examined whether modulating EMT maintains the responsiveness of EGFR-mutated NSCLCs to EGFR TKI therapy. Using human NSCLC cell lines harboring mutated EGFR and a transgenic mouse model of lung cancer driven by mutant EGFR (EGFR-Del19-T790M), we demonstrate that EGFR inhibition induces TGF? secretion followed by SMAD pathway activation, an event that promotes EMT. Chronic exposure of EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells to TGF? was sufficient to induce EMT and resistance to EGFR TKI treatment. Furthermore, NSCLC HCC4006 cells with acquired resistance to gefitinib were characterized by a mesenchymal phenotype and displayed a higher prevalence of the EGFR T790M mutated allele. Notably, combined inhibition of EGFR and the TGF? receptor in HCC4006 cells prevented EMT but was not sufficient to prevent acquired gefitinib resistance because of an increased emergence of the EGFR T790M allele compared with cells treated with gefitinib alone. Conversely, another independent NSCLC cell line, PC9, reproducibly developed EGFR T790M mutations as the primary mechanism underlying EGFR TKI resistance, even though the prevalence of the mutant allele was lower than that in HCC4006 cells. Thus, our findings underscore heterogeneity within NSCLC cells lines harboring EGFR kinase domain mutations that give rise to divergent resistance mechanisms in response to treatment and anticipate the complexity of EMT suppression as a therapeutic strategy.
Project description:Lung cancers with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutation account for ?40% of adenocarcinoma in East Asians and ?15% of that in Caucasians, which makes them one of the most common molecularly defined lung cancer subsets. The role of EGFR mutation as a strong predictive biomarker of response to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) was finally confirmed by the biomarker analysis of Iressa Pan-Asian Study (IPASS). Since the 2004 discovery of EGFR mutation in lung cancer, the EGFR mutation and EGFR-TKI treatment have been widely studied. These include characteristics of lung cancers with EGFR mutations; clinical efficacies and adverse effects of EGFR-TKIs in patients with EGFR-mutated lung cancers; development of novel EGFR-TKIs that may prolong progression-free survival of these patients or overcome resistance to first-generation EGFR-TKIs (gefitinib and erlotinib); optimal treatment schedules for EGFR-TKIs to delay emergence of resistance; molecular mechanisms of acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs; treatment strategies after patients acquire resistance to EGFR-TKIs; and predictive biomarkers for EGFR-TKIs among patients with EGFR-mutated lung cancers. Some of these results are widely accepted, while others are apparent only in cell line models, preclinical animal models, or retrospective analyses (and sometimes conflict with each other). In this review, we summarize accumulated reports from the past decade, especially focusing on unanswered but important clinical questions in treating patients with EGFR-mutated lung cancers.
Project description:KRAS mutations occur in ?35% of colorectal cancers and promote tumor growth by constitutively activating the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. KRAS mutations at codons 12, 13, or 61 are thought to prevent GAP protein-stimulated GTP hydrolysis and render KRAS-mutated colorectal cancers unresponsive to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. We report here that KRAS G13-mutated cancer cells are frequently comutated with NF1 GAP but NF1 is rarely mutated in cancers with KRAS codon 12 or 61 mutations. Neurofibromin protein (encoded by the NF1 gene) hydrolyzes GTP directly in complex with KRAS G13D, and KRAS G13D-mutated cells can respond to EGFR inhibitors in a neurofibromin-dependent manner. Structures of the wild type and G13D mutant of KRAS in complex with neurofibromin (RasGAP domain) provide the structural basis for neurofibromin-mediated GTP hydrolysis. These results reveal that KRAS G13D is responsive to neurofibromin-stimulated hydrolysis and suggest that a subset of KRAS G13-mutated colorectal cancers that are neurofibromin-competent may respond to EGFR therapies.
Project description:PURPOSE:Although patients with advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) harboring MET exon 14 skipping mutations (METex14) often benefit from MET tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment, clinical benefit is limited by primary and acquired drug resistance. The molecular basis for this resistance remains incompletely understood. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Targeted sequencing analysis was performed on cell-free circulating tumor DNA obtained from 289 patients with advanced-stage METex14-mutated NSCLC. RESULTS:Prominent co-occurring RAS-MAPK pathway gene alterations (e.g., in KRAS, NF1) were detected in NSCLCs with METex14 skipping alterations as compared with EGFR-mutated NSCLCs. There was an association between decreased MET TKI treatment response and RAS-MAPK pathway co-occurring alterations. In a preclinical model expressing a canonical METex14 mutation, KRAS overexpression or NF1 downregulation hyperactivated MAPK signaling to promote MET TKI resistance. This resistance was overcome by cotreatment with crizotinib and the MEK inhibitor trametinib. CONCLUSIONS:Our study provides a genomic landscape of co-occurring alterations in advanced-stage METex14-mutated NSCLC and suggests a potential combination therapy strategy targeting MAPK pathway signaling to enhance clinical outcomes.
Project description:The Zinc-finger E-box-binding Homeobox-1 (ZEB1) is a transcription factor that promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and acts as an oncogene in KRAS-mutated lung cancer models. Here we report that ZEB1 exerts the opposite effect in EGFR-mutated lung cancer cells, where it suppresses growth by increasing microRNA-200 targets to antagonize ERBB3, a driver of mutant EGFR-dependent cell growth. Among these targets, NOTCH1 represses ERBB3 promoter activity and the expression of ERBB3. Furthermore, we find that EGFR inhibitor treatment, which inhibits the growth of EGFR-mutated cells, induces ZEB1. Despite its growth-inhibiting effect, EGFR inhibitor-induced ZEB1 strongly promotes EMT-dependent resistance to EGFR inhibitors partially through NOTCH1, suggesting a multifunctional role for NOTCH1 in EGFR-mutated cells. These results support a previously unrecognized genetic cell context-dependent role for ZEB1 and suggest that NOTCH1 may be a useful target for treating resistance to EGFR inhibitors, especially EMT-driven resistance.
Project description:Lung adenocarcinoma has distinctive clinicopathological features that are related to specific genetic alterations, including EGFR and KRAS mutations and ALK rearrangement. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate many important biological processes and influence cancer phenotypes. This study retrospectively investigated microRNA expression profiles, and their clinicopathological implications, in lung adenocarcinoma according to genetic status (EGFR, KRAS, ALK, and triple negative). A total of 72 surgically resected lung adenocarcinoma specimens (19 EGFR-mutated, 17 KRAS-mutated, 16 ALK-rearranged, and 20 triple negative cancers) were screened for 23 microRNAs using quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. We then evaluated the associations between the microRNA expressions and the cancers' genetic and clinicopathological features. Eight microRNAs were associated with clinicopathological features, such as male sex and ever-smoker status (high miR-373-3p, miR-1343-3p, miR-138-1-3p, and miR-764; low miR-27b-3p) and vascular invasion (high miR-27b-3p; low miR-1343-3p and miR-764). Clustering and discriminant analyses revealed that the microRNA expression patterns in the ALK group were different from those in the EGFR and KRAS groups. Five microRNAs (high miR-1343-3p; low miR-671-3p, miR-103a-3p, let-7e, and miR-342-3p) were especially distinctive in the ALK group, compared to the EGFR and KRAS groups. Moreover, a significant association was observed between ALK-rearrangement, decreased miR-342-3p expression, and immunohistochemical loss of E-cadherin. Therefore, microRNA expression profiles appear to have distinctive clinicopathological implications in ALK-rearranged lung adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, the association of ALK rearrangement, decreased miR-342-3p expression, and E-cadherin loss might indicate that miR-342-3p is involved in the ALK-associated phenotypes and epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Project description:Currently, there are no effective therapeutic strategies targeting Kras driven cancers, and therefore, identifying new targeted therapies and overcoming drug resistance have become paramount for effective long-term cancer therapy. We have found that reducing expression of the palmitoyl transferase DHHC20 increases cell death induced by the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib in Kras and EGFR mutant cell lines, but not MCF7 cells harboring wildtype Kras. We show that the increased gefitinib sensitivity in cancer cells induced by DHHC20 inhibition is mediated directly through loss of palmitoylation on a previously identified cysteine residue in the C-terminal tail of EGFR. We utilized an EGFR point mutant in which the palmitoylated cysteine 1025 is mutated to alanine (EGFRC1025A), that results in receptor activation. Expression of the EGFR mutant alone in NIH3T3 cells does not increase sensitivity to gefitinib-induced cell death. However, when EGFRC1025A is expressed in cells expressing activated KrasG12V, EGFR inhibitor induced cell death is increased. Surprisingly, lung cancer cells harboring the EGFR inhibitor resistant mutation, T790M, become sensitive to EGFR inhibitor treatment when DHHC20 is inhibited. Finally, the small molecule, 2-bromopalmitate, which has been shown to inhibit palmitoyl transferases, acts synergistically with gefitinib to induce cell death in the gefitinib resistant cell line NCI-H1975.