EPHA2 Blockade Overcomes Acquired Resistance to EGFR Kinase Inhibitors in Lung Cancer.

Amato KR, Wang S, Tan L, Hastings AK, Song W, Lovly CM, Meador CB, Ye F, Lu P, Balko JM, Colvin DC, Cates JM, Pao W, Gray NS, Chen J
Cancer Res. 2016 76 (2): 305-18

PMID: 26744526 · PMCID: PMC4715957 · DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-0717

Despite the success of treating EGFR-mutant lung cancer patients with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), all patients eventually acquire resistance to these therapies. Although various resistance mechanisms have been described, there are currently no FDA-approved therapies that target alternative mechanisms to treat lung tumors with acquired resistance to first-line EGFR TKI agents. Here we found that EPHA2 is overexpressed in EGFR TKI-resistant tumor cells. Loss of EPHA2 reduced the viability of erlotinib-resistant tumor cells harboring EGFR(T790M) mutations in vitro and inhibited tumor growth and progression in an inducible EGFR(L858R+T790M)-mutant lung cancer model in vivo. Targeting EPHA2 in erlotinib-resistant cells decreased S6K1-mediated phosphorylation of cell death agonist BAD, resulting in reduced tumor cell proliferation and increased apoptosis. Furthermore, pharmacologic inhibition of EPHA2 by the small-molecule inhibitor ALW-II-41-27 decreased both survival and proliferation of erlotinib-resistant tumor cells and inhibited tumor growth in vivo. ALW-II-41-27 was also effective in decreasing viability of cells with acquired resistance to the third-generation EGFR TKI AZD9291. Collectively, these data define a role for EPHA2 in the maintenance of cell survival of TKI-resistant, EGFR-mutant lung cancer and indicate that EPHA2 may serve as a useful therapeutic target in TKI-resistant tumors.

©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.

MeSH Terms (19)

Animals Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols Apoptosis Benzamides Cell Line, Tumor Cell Proliferation Drug Resistance, Neoplasm Drug Synergism ErbB Receptors Erlotinib Hydrochloride Humans Lung Neoplasms Mice Mice, Nude Niacinamide Protein Kinase Inhibitors Receptor, EphA2 Signal Transduction Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays

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