Characterization of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) P848L, an unusual EGFR variant present in lung cancer patients, in a murine Ba/F3 model.
ABSTRACT: Lung cancer patients with mutations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) benefit from treatments targeting tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, both intrinsic and acquired resistance of tumors to TKIs are common, and EGFR variants have been identified that are resistant to multiple TKIs. In the present study, we characterized selected EGFR variants previously observed in lung cancer patients and expressed in a murine bone marrow pro-B Ba/F3 cell model. Among these EGFR variants, we report that an exon 20 deletion/insertion mutation S768insVGH is resistant to erlotinib (a first-generation TKI), but sensitive to osimertinib (a third-generation TKI). We also characterized a rare exon 21 germline variant, EGFR P848L, which transformed Ba/F3 cells and conferred resistance to multiple EGFR-targeting TKIs. Our analysis revealed that P848L (a) does not bind erlotinib; (b) is turned over less rapidly than L858R (a common tumor-derived EGFR mutation); (c) is not autophosphorylated at Tyr 1045 [the major docking site for Cbl proto-oncogene (c-Cbl) binding]; and (d) does not bind c-Cbl. Using viability assays including 300 clinically relevant targeted compounds, we observed that Ba/F3 cells transduced with EGFR P848L, S768insVGH, or L858R have very different drug-sensitivity profiles. In particular, EGFR P848L, but not L858R or S768insVGH, was sensitive to multiple Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitors. In contrast, cells driven by L858R, but not by P848L, were sensitive to multikinase MAPK/extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase and ERK inhibitors including EGFR-specific TKIs. These observations suggest that continued investigation of rare TKI-resistant EGFR variants is warranted to identify optimal treatments for cancer.
Project description:Most patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring common epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, such as deletions in exon 19 or the L858R mutation in exon 21, respond dramatically to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI), and their sensitivities to various EGFR-TKI have been well characterized. Our previous article showed the in vitro sensitivities of EGFR exon 18 mutations to EGFR-TKI, but little information regarding the sensitivities of other uncommon EGFR mutations is available. First, stable transfectant Ba/F3 cell lines harboring EGFR L858R (Ba/F3-L858R), L861Q (Ba/F3-L861Q) or S768I (Ba/F3-S768I) mutations were created and their drug sensitivities to various EGFR-TKI were examined. Both the Ba/F3-L861Q and Ba/F3-S768I cell lines were less sensitive to erlotinib, compared with the Ba/F3-L858R cell line, but their sensitivities to afatinib were similar to that of the Ba/F3-L858R cell line. The Ba/F3-L861Q cell line was similarly sensitive and the Ba/F3-S768I cell line was less sensitive to osimertinib, compared with the Ba/F3-L858R cell line. The results of western blot analyses were consistent with these sensitivities. Next, similar experiments were also performed using the KYSE270 (L861Q) and KYSE 450 (S768I) cell lines, and their results were compatible with those of the transfectant Ba/F3 cell lines. Our findings suggest that NSCLC harboring the EGFR L861Q mutation might be sensitive to afatinib or osimertinib and that NSCLC harboring the EGFR S768I mutation might be sensitive to afatinib. Overall, afatinib might be the optimal EGFR-TKI against these uncommon EGFR mutations.
Project description:Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients carrying specific EGFR kinase activating mutations (L858R, delE746-A750) respond well to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, drug resistance develops within a year. In about 50% of such patients, acquired drug resistance is attributed to the enrichment of a constitutively active point mutation within the EGFR kinase domain (T790M). To date, differential drug-binding and altered ATP affinities by EGFR mutants have been shown to be responsible for differential TKI response. As it has been reported that EGFR stability plays a role in the survival of EGFR driven cancers, we hypothesized that differential TKI-induced receptor degradation between the sensitive L858R and delE746-A750 and the resistant T790M may also play a role in drug responsiveness. To explore this, we have utilized an EGFR-null CHO overexpression system as well as NSCLC cell lines expressing various EGFR mutants and determined the effects of erlotinib treatment. We found that erlotinib inhibits EGFR phosphorylation in both TKI sensitive and resistant cells, but the protein half-lives of L858R and delE746-A750 were significantly shorter than L858R/T790M. Third generation EGFR kinase inhibitor (AZD9291) inhibits the growth of L858R/T790M-EGFR driven cells and also induces EGFR degradation. Erlotinib treatment induced polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation, primarily in a c-CBL-independent manner, in TKI sensitive L858R and delE746-A750 mutants when compared to the L858R/T790M mutant, which correlated with drug sensitivity. These data suggest an additional mechanism of TKI resistance, and we postulate that agents that degrade L858R/T790M-EGFR protein may overcome TKI resistance.
Project description:The EGF receptor (EGFR) is a proto-oncogene commonly dysregulated in several cancers including non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) and, thus, is targeted for treatment using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) such as erlotinib. However, despite the efficacy observed in patients with NSCLC harboring oncogenic variants of the EGFR, general ineffectiveness of TKIs in patients with NSCLC who are current and former smokers necessitates identification of novel mechanisms to overcome this phenomenon. Previously, we showed that NSCLC cells harboring either wild-type (WT) EGFR or oncogenic mutant (MT) L858R EGFR become resistant to the effects of TKIs when exposed to cigarette smoke, evidenced by their autophosphorylation and prolonged downstream signaling. Here, we present Src as a target mediating cigarette smoke-induced resistance to TKIs in both WT EGFR- and L858R MT EGFR-expressing NSCLC cells. First, we show that cigarette smoke exposure of A549 cells leads to time-dependent activation of Src, which then abnormally binds to the WT EGFR causing TKI resistance, contrasting previous observations of constitutive binding between inactive Src and TKI-sensitive L858R MT EGFR. Next, we show that Src inhibition restores TKI sensitivity in cigarette smoke-exposed NSCLC cells, preventing EGFR autophosphorylation in the presence of erlotinib. Furthermore, we show that overexpression of a dominant-negative Src (Y527F/K295R) restores TKI sensitivity to A549 exposed to cigarette smoke. Importantly, the TKI resistance that emerges even in cigarette smoke-exposed L858R EGFR-expressing NSCLC cells could be eliminated with Src inhibition. Together, these findings offer new rationale for using Src inhibitors for treating TKI-resistant NSCLC commonly observed in smokers.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations (G719X, exon 19 deletions/insertions, L858R, and L861Q) predict favorable responses to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations (~10% of all EGFR mutations) are generally associated with insensitivity to available TKIs (gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib). The basis of this primary resistance is poorly understood. We studied a broad subset of exon 20 insertion mutations, comparing in vitro TKI sensitivity with responses to gefitinib and erlotinib in NSCLC patients, and found that most are resistant to EGFR TKIs. The crystal structure of a representative TKI-insensitive mutant (D770_N771insNPG) reveals an unaltered adenosine triphosphate-binding pocket, and the inserted residues form a wedge at the end of the C helix that promotes the active kinase conformation. Unlike EGFR-L858R, D770_N771insNPG activates EGFR without increasing its affinity for EGFR TKIs. Unexpectedly, we find that EGFR-A763_Y764insFQEA is highly sensitive to EGFR TKIs in vitro, and patients whose NSCLCs harbor this mutation respond to erlotinib. Analysis of the A763_Y764insFQEA mutant indicates that the inserted residues shift the register of the C helix in the N-terminal direction, altering the structure in the region that is also affected by the TKI-sensitive EGFR-L858R. Our studies reveal intricate differences between EGFR mutations, their biology, and their response to EGFR TKIs.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations are present in the majority of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) responsive to the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) gefitinib or erlotinib. These EGFR-dependent tumors eventually become TKI resistant, and the common secondary T790M mutation accounts for half the tumors with acquired resistance to gefitinib. However, the key proapoptotic proteins involved in TKI-induced cell death and other secondary mutations involved in resistance remain unclear. The objective of this study was to identify the mechanism of EGFR TKI-induced apoptosis and secondary resistant mutations that affect this process.To study TKI-induced cell death and mechanisms of resistance, we used lung cancer cell lines (with or without EGFR mutations), Ba/F3 cells stably transfected with EGFR mutation constructs, and tumor samples from a gefitinib-resistant patient. Here we show that up-regulation of the BH3-only polypeptide BIM (also known as BCL2-like 11) correlated with gefitinib-induced apoptosis in gefitinib-sensitive EGFR-mutant lung cancer cells. The T790M mutation blocked gefitinib-induced up-regulation of BIM and apoptosis. This blockade was overcome by the irreversible TKI CL-387,785. Knockdown of BIM by small interfering RNA was able to attenuate apoptosis induced by EGFR TKIs. Furthermore, from a gefitinib-resistant patient carrying the activating L858R mutation, we identified a novel secondary resistant mutation, L747S in cis to the activating mutation, which attenuated the up-regulation of BIM and reduced apoptosis.Our results provide evidence that BIM is involved in TKI-induced apoptosis in sensitive EGFR-mutant cells and that both attenuation of the up-regulation of BIM and resistance to gefitinib-induced apoptosis are seen in models that contain the common EGFR T790M and the novel L747S secondary resistance mutations. These findings also suggest that induction of BIM may have a role in the treatment of TKI-resistant tumors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 20 insertions (exon20ins) represent approximately 10% of EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinomas, and are associated with resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Clinical outcomes in comparison with patients with sensitizing EGFR mutations are not well established. METHODS:Patients with stage IV lung adenocarcinomas with EGFR exon20ins were identified through routine molecular testing. Clinicopathologic data were collected. Overall survival (OS) was measured from the diagnosis of stage IV disease, and in patients treated with EGFR TKIs, the time to progression (TTP) on erlotinib was measured. RESULTS:One thousand eight hundred and eighty-two patients with stage IV lung adenocarcinomas were identified: 46 patients had EGFR exon20ins (2%), and 258 patients had an EGFR exon 19 deletion (exon19del)/L858R point mutation (14%). Among 11 patients with lung adenocarcinomas with EGFR exon20ins who received erlotinib, 3 patients (27%) had a partial response (FQEA, 1; ASV, 1; and unknown variant, 1). TTP for patients with EGFR exon20ins and patients with EGFR exon19del/L858R on erlotinib were 3 and 12 months, respectively (P < .01). Responses to chemotherapy were similar for patients with lung adenocarcinomas with EGFR exon20ins and patients with lung adenocarcinomas with EGFR exon19del/L858R. Median OS from the diagnosis of stage IV disease for patients with EGFR exon20ins and patients with EGFR exon19del/L858R was 26 months (95% confidence interval, 19 months-not reached n = 46) and 31 months (95% confidence interval, 28-33 months; n = 258), respectively (P = .53). CONCLUSIONS:The majority of patients with advanced lung adenocarcinomas harboring EGFR exon20ins do not respond to EGFR TKI therapy. Standard chemotherapy should be used as first-line therapy. These patients have an OS similar to that of patients with sensitizing EGFR mutations. Individuals with certain variants such as FQEA and ASV may respond to erlotinib.
Project description:Third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) were developed to overcome EGFR T790M-mediated resistance to first- and second-generation EGFR-TKIs. Third-generation EGFR-TKIs, such as osimertinib and nazartinib, are effective for patients with the EGFR T790M mutation. However, there are no direct comparison data to guide the selection of a third-generation EGFR-TKI for patients with different EGFR mutations. We previously established an in vitro model to estimate the therapeutic windows of EGFR-TKIs by comparing their relative efficacies against cells expressing mutant or wild type EGFRs. The present study used this approach to characterize the efficacy of third-generation EGFR-TKIs and compare them with that of other EGFR-TKIs. Treatment efficacy was examined using human lung cancer-derived cell lines and Ba/F3 cells, which were transduced with clinically relevant mutant EGFRs. Interestingly, mutation-related differences in EGFR-TKI sensitivity were observed. For classic EGFR mutations (exon 19 deletion and L858R, with or without T790M), osimertinib showed lower IC50 values and wider therapeutic windows than nazartinib. For less common EGFR mutations (G719S or L861Q), afatinib showed the lowest IC50 values. For G719S+T790M or L861Q+T790M, the IC50 values of osimertinib and nazartinib were around 100 nM, which was 10- to 100-fold higher than those for classic+T790M mutations. On the contrary, osimertinib and nazartinib showed similar efficacies in cells expressing EGFR exon 20 insertions. The findings highlight the diverse mutation-related sensitivity pattern of EGFR-TKIs. These data may help in the selection of EGFR-TKIs for non-small cell lung cancer patients harboring EGFR mutations.
Project description:Non-small-cell lung cancer harboring epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations attains a meaningful response to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs could affect long-term outcome in almost all patients. To identify the potential mechanisms of resistance, we established cell lines resistant to EGFR-TKIs from the human lung cancer cell lines PC9 and11-18, which harbored activating EGFR mutations. One erlotinib-resistant cell line from PC9 and two erlotinib-resistant cell lines and two gefitinib-resistant cell lines from 11-18 were independently established. Almost complete loss of mutant delE746-A750 EGFR gene was observed in the erlotinib-resistant cells isolated from PC9, and partial loss of the mutant L858R EGFR gene copy was specifically observed in the erlotinib- and gefitinib-resistant cells from 11-18. However, constitutive activation of EGFR downstream signaling, PI3K/Akt, was observed even after loss of the mutated EGFR gene in all resistant cell lines even in the presence of the drug. In the erlotinib-resistant cells from PC9, constitutive PI3K/Akt activation was effectively inhibited by lapatinib (a dual TKI of EGFR and HER2) or BIBW2992 (pan-TKI of EGFR family proteins). Furthermore, erlotinib with either HER2 or HER3 knockdown by their cognate siRNAs also inhibited PI3K/Akt activation. Transfection of activating mutant EGFR complementary DNA restored drug sensitivity in the erlotinib-resistant cell line. Our study indicates that loss of addiction to mutant EGFR resulted in gain of addiction to both HER2/HER3 and PI3K/Akt signaling to acquire EGFR-TKI resistance.
Project description:Most advanced non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (exon 19 deletions or L858R) initially respond to the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) gefitinib and erlotinib. However, over time (median of 6-12 months), most tumors develop acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs. Intense research in these NSCLCs has identified two major mechanisms of resistance to gefitinib/erlotinib: secondary resistance mutations and "oncogene kinase switch" systems. The secondary T790M mutation occurs in 50% of EGFR-mutated patients with TKI resistance, and in vitro, this mutation negates the hypersensitivity of activating EGFR mutations. Sensitive detection methods have identified a proportion of TKI-naive tumors that carry T790M, and these resistant clones may be selected after exposure to gefitinib or erlotinib. Other secondary resistance mutations (D761Y, L747S, T854A) seem to be rare. The amplification of the MET oncogene is present in 20% of TKI-resistant tumors; however, in half of the cases with this "oncogene kinase switch" mechanism the T790M is coexistent. It is possible that other kinases (such as insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor [IGF-1R]) might also be selected to bypass EGFR pathways in resistant tumors. The growing preclinical data in EGFR-mutated NSCLCs with acquired resistance to gefitinib or erlotinib has spawned the initiation or conception of clinical trials testing novel EGFR inhibitors that in vitro inhibit T790M (neratinib, XL647, BIBW 2992, and PF-00299804), MET, or IGF-1R inhibitors in combination with EGFR TKIs, and heat shock protein 90 inhibitors. Ongoing preclinical and clinical research in EGFR-mutated NSCLC has the potential to significantly improve the outcomes of patients with these somatic mutations.
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.