The efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as gefitinib and erlotinib in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is often limited by the emergence of drug resistance conferred either by a secondary T790M mutation of EGFR or by acquired amplification of the MET gene. We now show that the extent of activation of the tyrosine kinase Src is markedly increased in gefitinib-resistant NSCLC (HCC827 GR) cells with MET amplification compared with that in the gefitinib-sensitive parental (HCC827) cells. In contrast, the extent of Src activation did not differ between gefitinib-resistant NSCLC (PC9/ZD) cells harboring the T790M mutation of EGFR and the corresponding gefitinib-sensitive parental (PC9) cells. This activation of Src in HCC827 GR cells was largely abolished by the MET-TKI PHA-665752 but was only partially inhibited by gefitinib, suggesting that Src activation is more dependent on MET signaling than on EGFR signaling in gefitinib-resistant NSCLC cells with MET amplification. Src inhibitors blocked Akt and Erk signaling pathways, resulting in both suppression of cell growth and induction of apoptosis, in HCC827 GR cells as effectively as did the combination of gefitinib and PHA-665752. Furthermore, Src inhibitor dasatinib inhibited tumor growth in HCC827 GR xenografts to a significantly greater extent than did treatment with gefitinib alone. These results provide a rationale for clinical targeting of Src in gefitinib-resistant NSCLC with MET amplification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research