Discovery of a Highly Potent and Broadly Effective Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and HER2 Exon 20 Insertion Mutant Inhibitor.
ABSTRACT: Exon 20 insertion (Ex20Ins) mutations are the third most prevalent epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activating mutation and the most prevalent HER2 mutation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Novel therapeutics for the patients with Ex20Ins mutations are urgently needed, due to their poor responses to the currently approved EGFR and HER2 inhibitors. Here we report the discovery of highly potent and broadly effective EGFR and HER2 Ex20Ins mutant inhibitors. The co-crystal structure of compound 1?b in complex with wild type EGFR clearly revealed an additional hydrophobic interaction of 4-fluorobenzene ring within a deep hydrophobic pocket, which has not been widely exploited in the development of EGFR and HER2 inhibitors. As compared with afatinib, compound 1?a exhibited superior inhibition of proliferation and signaling pathways in Ba/F3 cells harboring either EGFR or HER2 Ex20Ins mutations, and in the EGFR P772_H773insPNP patient-derived lung cancer cell line DFCI127. Our study identifies promising strategies for development of EGFR and HER2 Ex20Ins mutant inhibitors.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are associated with favorable response in EGFR mutant lung cancer. Acquired resistance to reversible EGFR TKIs remains a significant barrier, and acquired EGFR T790M-mutation is the major mechanism. Second-generation irreversible EGFR TKI, afatinib, had also been approved for treating EGFR mutant lung cancer patients, but the mechanism of acquired resistance to afatinib has not been well studied.Forty-two patients had tissue specimens taken after acquiring resistance to afatinib. The sensitizing EGFR mutation were all consistent between pre- and post-afatinib tissues. Twenty patients (47.6%) had acquired T790M mutation. T790M rate was not different between first-generation EGFR TKI-naïve patients (50%) and first-generation EGFR TKI-treated patients (46.4%) (p = 0.827). No clinical characteristics or EGFR mutation types were associated with the development of acquired T790M. No other second-site EGFR mutations were detected. There were no small cell or squamous cell lung cancer transformation. Other genetic mutations were not identified in PIK3CA, BRAF, HER2, KRAS, NRAS, MEK1, AKT2, LKB1 and JAK2.Afatinib-prescription record of our department of pharmacy from January 2007 and December 2014 was retrieved. We investigated patients with tissue specimens available after acquiring resistance to afatinib. Enrolled patients should have partial response or durable stable disease of treatment response to afatinib. Various mechanisms of acquired resistance to first-generation EGFR TKIs were evaluated. Histology and cytology were reviewed. EGFR, PIK3CA, BRAF, HER2, KRAS, NRAS, MEK1, AKT2, LKB1 and JAK2 genetic alterations were evaluated by sequencing. Statistical analysis was performed using Chi-square test and Kaplan-Meier method.T790M was detected in half of the lung adenocarcinoma after acquiring resistance to afatinib. T790M is still the major acquired resistance mechanism. First-generation EGFR TKI exposure did not influence the prevalence of T790M in lung cancer acquired resistance to afatinib.
Project description:Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a member of the HER family of proteins containing four receptor tyrosine kinases. It plays an important role in the pathogenesis of certain human cancers. In non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), HER2 amplification or mutations have been reported. However, little is known about the benefit of HER2-targeted therapy for NSCLCs harboring HER2 alterations. In this study, we investigated the antitumor effect of afatinib, an irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-HER2 dual inhibitor, in lung cancers harboring HER2 oncogene alterations, including novel HER2 mutations in the transmembrane domain, which we recently identified. Normal bronchial epithelial cells, BEAS-2B, ectopically overexpressing wild-type HER2 or mutants (A775insYVMA, G776VC, G776LC, P780insGSP, V659E, and G660D) showed constitutive autophosphorylation of HER2 and activation of downstream signaling. They were sensitive to afatinib, but insensitive to gefitinib. Furthermore, we examined the antitumor activity of afatinib and gefitinib in several NSCLC cell lines, and investigated the association between their genetic alterations and sensitivity to afatinib treatment. In HER2-altered NSCLC cells (H2170, Calu-3, and H1781), afatinib downregulated the phosphorylation of HER2 and EGFR as well as their downstream signaling, and induced an antiproliferative effect through G1 arrest and apoptotic cell death. In contrast, HER2- or EGFR-non-dependent NSCLC cells were insensitive to afatinib. In addition, these effects were confirmed in vivo by using a xenograft mouse model of HER2-altered lung cancer cells. Our results suggest that afatinib is a therapeutic option as a HER2-targeted therapy for NSCLC harboring HER2 amplification or mutations.
Project description:The discovery of epidermal growth-factor receptor (EGFR)-activating mutations and the introduction of oral EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) have expanded the treatment options for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The first two reversible EGFR-TKIs, erlotinib and gefitinib, are approved for use in the first-line setting in patients with known EGFR-activating mutations and in the second- and third-line settings for all NSCLC patients. These first-generation EGFR-TKIs improve progression-free survival when compared to chemotherapy in patients with EGFR-activating mutations in the first-line setting. However, nearly all patients develop resistance to EGFR-directed agents. There is a need for further therapy options for patients with disease progression after treatment with reversible EGFR-TKIs. Afatinib is an irreversible ErbB family blocker that inhibits EGFR, HER2, and HER4. In vitro and in vivo, afatinib have shown increased inhibition of the common EGFR-activating mutations as well as the T790M resistance mutation when compared to erlotinib and gefitinib. Clinically, afatinib has been evaluated in the LUX-Lung series of trials, with improvement in progression-free survival reported in patients with EGFR-activating mutations in both first- and second-/third-line settings when compared to chemotherapy. Further investigation is needed to determine the precise role that afatinib will play in the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and EGFR-activating mutations.
Project description:EGF receptor (EGFR)-mutant lung cancers eventually become resistant to treatment with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). The combination of EGFR-TKI afatinib and anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab can overcome acquired resistance in mouse models and human patients. Because afatinib is also a potent HER2 inhibitor, we investigated the role of HER2 in EGFR-mutant tumor cells. We show in vitro and in vivo that afatinib plus cetuximab significantly inhibits HER2 phosphorylation. HER2 overexpression or knockdown confers resistance or sensitivity, respectively, in all studied cell line models. FISH analysis revealed that HER2 was amplified in 12% of tumors with acquired resistance versus only 1% of untreated lung adenocarcinomas. Notably, HER2 amplification and EGFR(T790M) were mutually exclusive. Collectively, these results reveal a previously unrecognized mechanism of resistance to EGFR-TKIs and provide a rationale to assess the status and possibly target HER2 in EGFR-mutant tumors with acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sublethal radiation induces matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9)-mediated radioresistance in Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells and their metastatic dissemination. We aim to determine if EGFR/HER2 activation associates with MMP-9-mediated radioresistance and invasiveness in irradiated LLC cells. METHODS:LLC cells were treated with erlotinib or afatinib followed by sublethal radiation. After irradiation, we examined the phosphorylation of EGFR/HER2 and MMP-9 expression. Colony formation assay determined if the kinase inhibitors sensitize LLC cells to radiation. Matrigel-coated Boyden chamber assay assessed cellular invasiveness. Resulting tumors of wild-type LLC cells or HER2 knock-down mutant cells were irradiated to induce pulmonary metastases. RESULTS:Afatinib more effectively sensitized LLC cells to radiation and decreased invasiveness by inhibiting phosphorylation of EGFR, HER2, Akt, ERK, and p38, and down-regulating MMP-9 when compared to erlotinib. Afatinib abolished radiation-induced lung metastases in vivo. Furthermore, LLC HER2 knock-down cells treated with radiation had growth inhibition. CONCLUSION:Dual inhibition of radiation-activated EGFR and HER2 signaling by afatinib suppressed the proliferation and invasion of irradiated LLC cells. Increased radiosensitivity and decreased metastatic dissemination were observed by pharmacological or genetic HER2 inhibition in vivo. These findings indicate that HER2 plays a pivotal role in enhancing radioresistance and reducing metastatic potential of LLC cells.
Project description:The first targeted agents approved for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) gefitinib and erlotinib, have an impressive activity in the presence of activating mutations of the EGFR gene. However, all patients develop acquired resistance principally through secondary mutations (T790M), HER2 amplification, MET amplification, and other molecular aberrations. An attempt to overcome EGFR TKI resistance has been through the development of irreversible blockers. Afatinib is an irreversible inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase activity of all members of the HER family. The pharmacologic properties of afatinib (formation of covalent bonds, inhibition of other family members, and in vitro and in vivo activity on T790M mutation positive tumors) made this drug particularly appealing to study in clinic. Therefore, an intense program of clinical research (LUX-Lung program) was started and clinical results have shown very encouraging activity profiles in patients harboring EGFR activating mutations and in those with acquired resistance to reversible TKIs.
Project description:Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Most of lung cancers develop sporadically and thus inherited lung cancers are rare. Several reports show that germline mutations in the kinase domain of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) such as R776G, R776H, T790M, V843I and P848L, predispose to develop lung cancer. Most lung cancer cases with germline EGFR T790M mutations had secondary EGFR somatic mutations. Never smokers with germline EGFR T790M mutations develop lung cancer more frequently than ever smokers. In addition, germline EGFR T790M mutations favored female gender. Therefore, germline EGFR T790M mutations result in a unique inherited lung cancer syndrome targeting never smokers. The authors previously reported a Japanese familial lung cancer pedigree with germline mutations in the transmembrane domain of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The female proband and her mother in this pedigree, who were light or never smokers, developed multiple lung adenocarcinomas, and had germline HER2 G660D mutations. They had no EGFR somatic mutations or other genes known to cause lung cancers. Although we know only one pedigree with germline HER2 mutations, these mutations may also cause inherited lung cancers targeting female never smokers. Based on our in vitro analyses, we administered HER2 inhibitor afatinib to the proband and achieved partial response. These lung cancers arising from germline mutations of receptor tyrosine kinases such as EGFR and HER2 may have different features from those with sporadic mutations.
Project description:Afatinib is a second generation epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) characterized as an irreversible pan-human EGFR (HER) family inhibitor. Afatinib remains effective for a subpopulation of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with acquired resistance to first generation EGFF-TKIs such as erlotinib. Heregulin activates HER3 in an autocrine fashion and causes erlotinib resistance in NSCLC. Here we examine whether afatinib is effective against heregulin-overexpressing NSCLCs harboring EGFR activating mutations. Afatinib but not erlotinib decreased EGFR mutant NSCLC PC9HRG cell proliferation in vitro and in mouse xenografts. Afatinib inhibited phosphorylation of the cell signaling pathway proteins HER3, EGFR, HER2, and HER4, likely by prevention of trans-phosphorylation as HER3 kinase activity is inadequate for auto-phosphorylation. Afatinib, unlike erlotinib, inhibited AKT activation, resulting in elevated apoptosis in PC9HRG cells. Clinically, a subpopulation of 33 patients with EGFR mutations and NSCLC who had received first generation EGFR-TKIs exhibited elevated plasma heregulin levels compared to healthy volunteers; one of these achieved a response with afatinib therapy despite having previously developed erlotinib resistance. Afatinib can overcome heregulin-mediated resistance to erlotinib in EGFR mutant NSCLC. Further studies are necessary to determine whether heregulin can predict afatinib efficacy after development offirst generation EGFR-TKI resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In the majority of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with uncommon EGFR mutations, first generation epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) are ineffective. The second-generation TKI, afatinib, is considered effective in patients with uncommon mutations, however, long-term survivors have been rare. CASE REPORT:We report herein a patient with lung adenocarcinoma harboring double uncommon EGFR L861Q and G719X mutations, who is free of disease 32 months after initiation of afatinib therapy. To our best knowledge, this patient has the longest response among other patients with double uncommon mutations. CONCLUSION:Patients with this type of NSCLC may obtain long-term survival with afatinib.