Stein, S., Zhao, R., Haeno, H., Vivanco, I. & Michor, F.
(2018). Mathematical modeling identifies optimum lapatinib dosing schedules for the treatment of glioblastoma patients. Plos comput biol,
Human primary glioblastomas (GBM) often harbor mutations within the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Treatment of EGFR-mutant GBM cell lines with the EGFR/HER2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor lapatinib can effectively induce cell death in these models. However, EGFR inhibitors have shown little efficacy in the clinic, partly because of inappropriate dosing. Here, we developed a computational approach to model the in vitro cellular dynamics of the EGFR-mutant cell line SF268 in response to different lapatinib concentrations and dosing schedules. We then used this approach to identify an effective treatment strategy within the clinical toxicity limits of lapatinib, and developed a partial differential equation modeling approach to study the in vivo GBM treatment response by taking into account the heterogeneous and diffusive nature of the disease. Despite the inability of lapatinib to induce tumor regressions with a continuous daily schedule, our modeling approach consistently predicts that continuous dosing remains the best clinically feasible strategy for slowing down tumor growth and lowering overall tumor burden, compared to pulsatile schedules currently known to be tolerated, even when considering drug resistance, reduced lapatinib tumor concentrations due to the blood brain barrier, and the phenotypic switch from proliferative to migratory cell phenotypes that occurs in hypoxic microenvironments. Our mathematical modeling and statistical analysis platform provides a rational method for comparing treatment schedules in search for optimal dosing strategies for glioblastoma and other cancer types..
Oldrini, B., Hsieh, W.-., Erdjument-Bromage, H., Codega, P., Carro, M.S., Curiel-García, A., Campos, C., Pourmaleki, M., Grommes, C., Vivanco, I., et al.
(2017). EGFR feedback-inhibition by Ran-binding protein 6 is disrupted in cancer. Nat commun,
Transport of macromolecules through the nuclear pore by importins and exportins plays a critical role in the spatial regulation of protein activity. How cancer cells co-opt this process to promote tumorigenesis remains unclear. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays a critical role in normal development and in human cancer. Here we describe a mechanism of EGFR regulation through the importin β family member RAN-binding protein 6 (RanBP6), a protein of hitherto unknown functions. We show that RanBP6 silencing impairs nuclear translocation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), reduces STAT3 binding to the EGFR promoter, results in transcriptional derepression of EGFR, and increased EGFR pathway output. Focal deletions of the RanBP6 locus on chromosome 9p were found in a subset of glioblastoma (GBM) and silencing of RanBP6 promoted glioma growth in vivo. Our results provide an example of EGFR deregulation in cancer through silencing of components of the nuclear import pathway..
Tanos, B.E., Perez Bay, A.E., Salvarezza, S., Vivanco, I., Mellinghoff, I., Osman, M., Sacks, D.B. & Rodriguez-Boulan, E.
(2015). IQGAP1 controls tight junction formation through differential regulation of claudin recruitment. J cell sci,
IQGAP1 is a scaffolding protein previously implicated in adherens junction formation. However, its role in the establishment or maintenance of tight junctions (TJs) has not been explored. We hypothesized that IQGAP1 could regulate TJ formation by modulating the expression and/or localization of junctional proteins, and we systematically tested this hypothesis in the model Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell line. We find that IQGAP1 silencing enhances a transient increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) observed during the early stages of TJ formation (Cereijido et al., 1978). Quantitative microscopy and biochemical experiments suggest that this effect of IQGAP1 on TJ assembly is accounted for by reduced expression and TJ recruitment of claudin 2, and increased TJ recruitment of claudin 4. Furthermore, we show that IQGAP1 also regulates TJ formation through its interactor CDC42, because IQGAP1 knockdown increases the activity of the CDC42 effector JNK and dominant-negative CDC42 prevents the increase in TER caused by IQGAP1 silencing. Hence, we provide evidence that IQGAP1 modulates TJ formation by a twofold mechanism: (1) controlling the expression and recruitment of claudin 2 and recruitment of claudin 4 to the TJ, and (2) transient inhibition of the CDC42-JNK pathway. .
(2014). Targeting molecular addictions in cancer. Br j cancer,
Cancer cells depend on a finite number of critical signals for their survival. Oncogene addiction, that is, the acquired dependence of a cancer cell on the activity of a single oncogenic gene product, has been the basis for the targeted therapy paradigm, and operationally defines such signals. Additionally, cancer cells have altered metabolic requirements that create addictions to specific nutrients such as glucose and glutamine. In this review, I will discuss the therapeutic opportunities that these two types of molecular addictions offer, focusing on lessons learned from targeting members of the epidermal growth factor receptor family of kinases, and components of MAPK pathway. I will also discuss the challenges in simultaneously harnessing two types of molecular addictions for therapeutic benefit, and the importance of understanding not only the effects of oncogenic signal transduction on metabolism, but also the impact of metabolic states on signal transduction. .
Vivanco, I., Chen, Z.C., Tanos, B., Oldrini, B., Hsieh, W.-., Yannuzzi, N., Campos, C. & Mellinghoff, I.K.
(2014). A kinase-independent function of AKT promotes cancer cell survival. Elife,
The serine-threonine kinase AKT regulates proliferation and survival by phosphorylating a network of protein substrates. In this study, we describe a kinase-independent function of AKT. In cancer cells harboring gain-of-function alterations in MET, HER2, or Phosphatidyl-Inositol-3-Kinase (PI3K), catalytically inactive AKT (K179M) protected from drug induced cell death in a PH-domain dependent manner. An AKT kinase domain mutant found in human melanoma (G161V) lacked enzymatic activity in vitro and in AKT1/AKT2 double knockout cells, but promoted growth factor independent survival of primary human melanocytes. ATP-competitive AKT inhibitors failed to block the kinase-independent function of AKT, a liability that limits their effectiveness compared to allosteric AKT inhibitors. Our results broaden the current view of AKT function and have important implications for the development of AKT inhibitors for cancer. .
Vivanco, I., Robins, H.I., Rohle, D., Campos, C., Grommes, C., Nghiemphu, P.L., Kubek, S., Oldrini, B., Chheda, M.G., Yannuzzi, N., et al.
(2012). Differential sensitivity of glioma- versus lung cancer-specific EGFR mutations to EGFR kinase inhibitors. Cancer discov,
UNLABELLED: Activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in glioblastoma (GBM) occurs through mutations or deletions in the extracellular (EC) domain. Unlike lung cancers with EGFR kinase domain (KD) mutations, GBMs respond poorly to the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib. Using RNAi, we show that GBM cells carrying EGFR EC mutations display EGFR addiction. In contrast to KD mutants found in lung cancer, glioma-specific EGFR EC mutants are poorly inhibited by EGFR inhibitors that target the active kinase conformation (e.g., erlotinib). Inhibitors that bind to the inactive EGFR conformation, however, potently inhibit EGFR EC mutants and induce cell death in EGFR-mutant GBM cells. Our results provide first evidence for single kinase addiction in GBM and suggest that the disappointing clinical activity of first-generation EGFR inhibitors in GBM versus lung cancer may be attributed to the different conformational requirements of mutant EGFR in these 2 cancer types. SIGNIFICANCE: Approximately 40% of human glioblastomas harbor oncogenic EGFR alterations, but attempts to therapeutically target EGFR with first-generation EGFR kinase inhibitors have failed. Here, we demonstrate selective sensitivity of glioma-specific EGFR mutants to ATP-site competitive EGFR kinase inhibitors that target the inactive conformation of the catalytic domain..
Graham, N.A., Tahmasian, M., Kohli, B., Komisopoulou, E., Zhu, M., Vivanco, I., Teitell, M.A., Wu, H., Ribas, A., Lo, R.S., et al.
(2012). Glucose deprivation activates a metabolic and signaling amplification loop leading to cell death. Mol syst biol,
The altered metabolism of cancer can render cells dependent on the availability of metabolic substrates for viability. Investigating the signaling mechanisms underlying cell death in cells dependent upon glucose for survival, we demonstrate that glucose withdrawal rapidly induces supra-physiological levels of phospho-tyrosine signaling, even in cells expressing constitutively active tyrosine kinases. Using unbiased mass spectrometry-based phospho-proteomics, we show that glucose withdrawal initiates a unique signature of phospho-tyrosine activation that is associated with focal adhesions. Building upon this observation, we demonstrate that glucose withdrawal activates a positive feedback loop involving generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by NADPH oxidase and mitochondria, inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatases by oxidation, and increased tyrosine kinase signaling. In cells dependent on glucose for survival, glucose withdrawal-induced ROS generation and tyrosine kinase signaling synergize to amplify ROS levels, ultimately resulting in ROS-mediated cell death. Taken together, these findings illustrate the systems-level cross-talk between metabolism and signaling in the maintenance of cancer cell homeostasis..
Veeriah, S., Taylor, B.S., Meng, S., Fang, F., Yilmaz, E., Vivanco, I., Janakiraman, M., Schultz, N., Hanrahan, A.J., Pao, W., et al.
(2010). Somatic mutations of the Parkinson's disease-associated gene PARK2 in glioblastoma and other human malignancies. Nat genet,
Mutation of the gene PARK2, which encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is the most common cause of early-onset Parkinson's disease. In a search for multisite tumor suppressors, we identified PARK2 as a frequently targeted gene on chromosome 6q25.2-q27 in cancer. Here we describe inactivating somatic mutations and frequent intragenic deletions of PARK2 in human malignancies. The PARK2 mutations in cancer occur in the same domains, and sometimes at the same residues, as the germline mutations causing familial Parkinson's disease. Cancer-specific mutations abrogate the growth-suppressive effects of the PARK2 protein. PARK2 mutations in cancer decrease PARK2's E3 ligase activity, compromising its ability to ubiquitinate cyclin E and resulting in mitotic instability. These data strongly point to PARK2 as a tumor suppressor on 6q25.2-q27. Thus, PARK2, a gene that causes neuronal dysfunction when mutated in the germline, may instead contribute to oncogenesis when altered in non-neuronal somatic cells..
Peng, L., Wu, T.-., Tchieu, J.H., Feng, J., Brown, H.J., Feng, J., Li, X., Qi, J., Deng, H., Vivanco, I., et al.
(2010). Inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt pathway enhances gamma-2 herpesvirus lytic replication and facilitates reactivation from latency. J gen virol,
Cellular signalling pathways are critical in regulating the balance between latency and lytic replication of herpesviruses. Here, we investigated the effect of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway on replication of two gamma-2 herpesviruses, murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) and human herpesvirus-8/Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV-8/KSHV). We found that de novo infection of MHV-68 induced PI3K-dependent Akt activation and the lytic replication of MHV-68 was enhanced by inhibiting the PI3K-Akt pathway with both chemical inhibitors and RNA interference technology. Inhibiting the activity of Akt using Akt inhibitor VIII also facilitated the reactivation of KSHV from latency. Both lytic replication and latency depend on the activity of viral transactivator RTA and we further show that the activity of RTA is increased by reducing Akt1 expression. The data suggest that the PI3K-Akt pathway suppresses the activity of RTA and thereby contributes to the maintenance of viral latency and promotes tumorigenesis..
Vivanco, I., Rohle, D., Versele, M., Iwanami, A., Kuga, D., Oldrini, B., Tanaka, K., Dang, J., Kubek, S., Palaskas, N., et al.
(2010). The phosphatase and tensin homolog regulates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor response by targeting EGFR for degradation. Proc natl acad sci u s a,
The phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is a tumor suppressor that is inactivated in many human cancers. PTEN loss has been associated with resistance to inhibitors of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), but the molecular basis of this resistance is unclear. It is believed that unopposed phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) activation through multiple receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) can relieve PTEN-deficient cancers from their "dependence" on EGFR or any other single RTK for survival. Here we report a distinct resistance mechanism whereby PTEN inactivation specifically raises EGFR activity by impairing the ligand-induced ubiquitylation and degradation of the activated receptor through destabilization of newly formed ubiquitin ligase Cbl complexes. PTEN-associated resistance to EGFR kinase inhibitors is phenocopied by expression of dominant negative Cbl and can be overcome by more complete EGFR kinase inhibition. PTEN inactivation does not confer resistance to inhibitors of the MET or PDGFRA kinase. Our study identifies a critical role for PTEN in EGFR signal termination and suggests that more potent EGFR inhibition should overcome resistance caused by PI3K pathway activation..
Vivanco, I. & Mellinghoff, I.K.
(2010). Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors in oncology. Curr opin oncol,
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Inhibition of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) by small molecules or antibodies has been pursued as a paradigm to treat human cancers for over two decades. It is now clear that these agents can induce tumor regressions in a variety of human cancers, proving the critical role of EGFR signals for tumor maintenance in subsets of patients with these cancers. Clinically meaningful responses, however, are only transient and further refinement of EGFR-targeted therapies is urgently needed. RECENT FINDINGS: Several studies provide new insights into the molecular basis of EGFR kinase inhibitor resistance, including co-activation of the MET growth factor receptor, loss of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) tumor suppressor, and KRAS mutation. Potential strategies are emerging to overcome acquired EGFR kinase inhibitor resistance associated with the T790 M EGFR mutation, including a new compound identified in a chemical library screen and a combination regimen of an anti-EGFR antibody plus a small molecule EGFR kinase inhibitor. Lastly, pulsatile dosing schedules are being pursued to accomplish more complete target inhibition. SUMMARY: Current data point toward a strong association between EGFR genotype and EGFR kinase inhibitor response, similar to the findings with other oncogenic kinases (BCR-ABL, HER2, KIT, PDGFRA, BRAF). This relationship is less obvious for antibodies targeting EGFR. More complete inhibition of EGFR in tumor cells and more focused clinical drug development remain important goals toward further success with this class of anticancer agents..
Chmielecki, J., Foo, J., Somwar, R., Regales, L., Vivanco, I., Shen, R., Michor, F. & Pao, W.
(2009). EGFR T790M decreases growth potential of lung tumor cells with drug-sensitive EGFR mutant alleles in the absence of drug selection. Cancer research,
Veeriah, S., Brennan, C., Meng, S., Singh, B., Fagin, J.A., Solit, D.B., Paty, P.B., Rohle, D., Vivanco, I., Chmielecki, J., et al.
(2009). The tyrosine phosphatase PTPRD is a tumor suppressor that is frequently inactivated and mutated in glioblastoma and other human cancers. Proc natl acad sci u s a,
Tyrosine phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating cellular function and is a central feature in signaling cascades involved in oncogenesis. The regulation of tyrosine phosphorylation is coordinately controlled by kinases and phosphatases (PTPs). Whereas activation of tyrosine kinases has been shown to play vital roles in tumor development, the role of PTPs is much less well defined. Here, we show that the receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase delta (PTPRD) is frequently inactivated in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a deadly primary neoplasm of the brain. PTPRD is a target of deletion in GBM, often via focal intragenic loss. In GBM tumors that do not possess deletions in PTPRD, the gene is frequently subject to cancer-specific epigenetic silencing via promoter CpG island hypermethylation (37%). Sequencing of the PTPRD gene in GBM and other primary human tumors revealed that the gene is mutated in 6% of GBMs, 13% of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, and in 9% of lung cancers. These mutations were deleterious. In total, PTPRD inactivation occurs in >50% of GBM tumors, and loss of expression predicts for poor prognosis in glioma patients. Wild-type PTPRD inhibits the growth of GBM and other tumor cells, an effect not observed with PTPRD alleles harboring cancer-specific mutations. Human astrocytes lacking PTPRD exhibited increased growth. PTPRD was found to dephosphorylate the oncoprotein STAT3. These results implicate PTPRD as a tumor suppressor on chromosome 9p that is involved in the development of GBMs and multiple human cancers..
Regales, L., Gong, Y., Shen, R., de Stanchina, E., Vivanco, I., Goel, A., Koutcher, J.A., Spassova, M., Ouerfelli, O., Mellinghoff, I.K., et al.
(2009). Dual targeting of EGFR can overcome a major drug resistance mutation in mouse models of EGFR mutant lung cancer. J clin invest,
EGFR is a major anticancer drug target in human epithelial tumors. One effective class of agents is the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as gefitinib and erlotinib. These drugs induce dramatic responses in individuals with lung adenocarcinomas characterized by mutations in exons encoding the EGFR tyrosine kinase domain, but disease progression invariably occurs. A major reason for such acquired resistance is the outgrowth of tumor cells with additional TKI-resistant EGFR mutations. Here we used relevant transgenic mouse lung tumor models to evaluate strategies to overcome the most common EGFR TKI resistance mutation, T790M. We treated mice bearing tumors harboring EGFR mutations with a variety of anticancer agents, including a new irreversible EGFR TKI that is under development (BIBW-2992) and the EGFR-specific antibody cetuximab. Surprisingly, we found that only the combination of both agents together induced dramatic shrinkage of erlotinib-resistant tumors harboring the T790M mutation, because together they efficiently depleted both phosphorylated and total EGFR. We suggest that these studies have immediate therapeutic implications for lung cancer patients, as dual targeting with cetuximab and a second-generation EGFR TKI may be an effective strategy to overcome T790M-mediated drug resistance. Moreover, this approach could serve as an important model for targeting other receptor tyrosine kinases activated in human cancers..
Meng, S., Arbit, T., Veeriah, S., Mellinghoff, I.K., Fang, F., Vivanco, I., Rohle, D. & Chan, T.A.
(2009). 14-3-3sigma and p21 synergize to determine DNA damage response following Chk2 inhibition. Cell cycle,
DNA damage checkpoints are critical for preventing tumorigenesis and regulating the response of cells to genotoxic agents. It is believed that the coordinated actions of a number of effectors underlie proper checkpoint function. The kinase Chk2, p21 and 14-3-3sigma have each been shown to be independent effectors of the G(2) DNA damage checkpoint. However, the relative roles of these proteins remain unclear. To help elucidate this question, we have perturbed each of these 3 genes in combination in human cells. We show that Chk2 depletion causes markedly increased sensitivity to DNA damage in p21(-/-), 14-3-3sigma(-/-) cells but not in cells lacking only one or none of these genes. This greater sensitivity was due to an increase in apoptosis following DNA damage and not due to exacerbation of G(2) checkpoint defects. Pharmacologic inhibition of Chk2 in p21(-/-), 14-3-3sigma(-/-) cells also resulted in greater sensitivity to DNA damage. Our data indicates that p21 and 14-3-3sigma synergize as molecular determinants of sensitivity to DNA damage following Chk2 inhibition, and Chk2 modulates the biological rheostat that determines whether a cancer cell undergoes arrest versus death after treatment with a chemotherapeutic agent. These findings have implications for the targeting of Chk2 in human cancers..
Jiao, J., Wang, S., Qiao, R., Vivanco, I., Watson, P.A., Sawyers, C.L. & Wu, H.
(2007). Murine cell lines derived from Pten null prostate cancer show the critical role of PTEN in hormone refractory prostate cancer development. Cancer res,
PTEN mutations are among the most frequent genetic alterations found in human prostate cancers. Our previous works suggest that although precancerous lesions were found in Pten heterozygous mice, cancer progression and metastasis only happened when both alleles of Pten were deleted. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of PTEN in prostate cancer control, we generated two pairs of isogenic, androgen receptor (AR)-positive prostate epithelial lines from intact conditional Pten knock-out mice that are either heterozygous (PTEN-P2 and -P8) or homozygous (PTEN-CaP2 and PTEN-CaP8) for Pten deletion. Further characterization of these cells showed that loss of the second allele of Pten leads to increased anchorage-independent growth in vitro and tumorigenesis in vivo without obvious structural or numerical chromosome changes based on SKY karyotyping analysis. Despite no prior exposure to hormone ablation therapy, Pten null cells are tumorigenic in both male and female severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Furthermore, knocking down PTEN can convert the androgen-dependent Myc-CaP cell into androgen independence, suggesting that PTEN intrinsically controls androgen responsiveness, a critical step in the development of hormone refractory prostate cancer. Importantly, knocking down AR by shRNA in Pten null cells reverses androgen-independent growth in vitro and partially inhibited tumorigenesis in vivo, indicating that PTEN-controlled prostate tumorigenesis is AR dependent. These cell lines will serve as useful tools for understanding signaling pathways controlled by PTEN and elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in hormone refractory prostate cancer formation..
Vivanco, I., Palaskas, N., Tran, C., Finn, S.P., Getz, G., Kennedy, N.J., Jiao, J., Rose, J., Xie, W., Loda, M., et al.
(2007). Identification of the JNK signaling pathway as a functional target of the tumor suppressor PTEN. Cancer cell,
Although most oncogenic phenotypes of PTEN loss are attributed to AKT activation, AKT alone is not sufficient to induce all of the biological activities associated with PTEN inactivation. We searched for additional PTEN-regulated pathways through gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and identified genes associated with JNK activation. PTEN null cells exhibit higher JNK activity, and genetic studies demonstrate that JNK functions parallel to and independently of AKT. Furthermore, PTEN deficiency sensitizes cells to JNK inhibition and negative feedback regulation of PI3K was impaired in PTEN null cells. Akt and JNK activation are highly correlated in human prostate cancer. These findings implicate JNK in PI3K-driven cancers and demonstrate the utility of GSEA to identify functional pathways using genetically defined systems..
Beroukhim, R., Getz, G., Nghiemphu, L., Barretina, J., Hsueh, T., Linhart, D., Vivanco, I., Lee, J.C., Huang, J.H., Alexander, S., et al.
(2007). Assessing the significance of chromosomal aberrations in cancer: methodology and application to glioma. Proc natl acad sci u s a,
Comprehensive knowledge of the genomic alterations that underlie cancer is a critical foundation for diagnostics, prognostics, and targeted therapeutics. Systematic efforts to analyze cancer genomes are underway, but the analysis is hampered by the lack of a statistical framework to distinguish meaningful events from random background aberrations. Here we describe a systematic method, called Genomic Identification of Significant Targets in Cancer (GISTIC), designed for analyzing chromosomal aberrations in cancer. We use it to study chromosomal aberrations in 141 gliomas and compare the results with two prior studies. Traditional methods highlight hundreds of altered regions with little concordance between studies. The new approach reveals a highly concordant picture involving approximately 35 significant events, including 16-18 broad events near chromosome-arm size and 16-21 focal events. Approximately half of these events correspond to known cancer-related genes, only some of which have been previously tied to glioma. We also show that superimposed broad and focal events may have different biological consequences. Specifically, gliomas with broad amplification of chromosome 7 have properties different from those with overlapping focalEGFR amplification: the broad events act in part through effects on MET and its ligand HGF and correlate with MET dependence in vitro. Our results support the feasibility and utility of systematic characterization of the cancer genome..
Jiao, J., Wang, S., Qiao, R., Vivanco, I., Watson, P.A., Sawyers, C.L. & Wu, H.
(2007). Murine cell lines derived from Pten null prostate cancer show the critical role of PTEN in hormone refractory prostate cancer development (vol 67, pg 6083, 2007). Cancer research,
Lee, J.C., Vivanco, I., Beroukhim, R., Huang, J.H., Feng, W.L., DeBiasi, R.M., Yoshimoto, K., King, J.C., Nghiemphu, P., Yuza, Y., et al.
(2006). Epidermal growth factor receptor activation in glioblastoma through novel missense mutations in the extracellular domain. Plos med,
BACKGROUND: Protein tyrosine kinases are important regulators of cellular homeostasis with tightly controlled catalytic activity. Mutations in kinase-encoding genes can relieve the autoinhibitory constraints on kinase activity, can promote malignant transformation, and appear to be a major determinant of response to kinase inhibitor therapy. Missense mutations in the EGFR kinase domain, for example, have recently been identified in patients who showed clinical responses to EGFR kinase inhibitor therapy. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Encouraged by the promising clinical activity of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitors in treating glioblastoma in humans, we have sequenced the complete EGFR coding sequence in glioma tumor samples and cell lines. We identified novel missense mutations in the extracellular domain of EGFR in 13.6% (18/132) of glioblastomas and 12.5% (1/8) of glioblastoma cell lines. These EGFR mutations were associated with increased EGFR gene dosage and conferred anchorage-independent growth and tumorigenicity to NIH-3T3 cells. Cells transformed by expression of these EGFR mutants were sensitive to small-molecule EGFR kinase inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest extracellular missense mutations as a novel mechanism for oncogenic EGFR activation and may help identify patients who can benefit from EGFR kinase inhibitors for treatment of glioblastoma..
Wang, M.Y., Lu, K.V., Zhu, S., Dia, E.Q., Vivanco, I., Shackleford, G.M., Cavenee, W.K., Mellinghoff, I.K., Cloughesy, T.F., Sawyers, C.L., et al.
(2006). Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibition promotes response to epidermal growth factor receptor kinase inhibitors in PTEN-deficient and PTEN-intact glioblastoma cells. Cancer res,
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is commonly amplified, overexpressed, and mutated in glioblastoma, making it a compelling molecular target for therapy. We have recently shown that coexpression of EGFRvIII and PTEN protein by glioblastoma cells is strongly associated with clinical response to EGFR kinase inhibitor therapy. PTEN loss, by dissociating inhibition of the EGFR from downstream phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway inhibition, seems to act as a resistance factor. Because 40% to 50% of glioblastomas are PTEN deficient, a critical challenge is to identify strategies that promote responsiveness to EGFR kinase inhibitors in patients whose tumors lack PTEN. Here, we show that the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor rapamycin enhances the sensitivity of PTEN-deficient tumor cells to the EGFR kinase inhibitor erlotinib. In two isogenic model systems (U87MG glioblastoma cells expressing EGFR, EGFRvIII, and PTEN in relevant combinations, and SF295 glioblastoma cells in which PTEN protein expression has been stably restored), we show that combined EGFR/mTOR kinase inhibition inhibits tumor cell growth and has an additive effect on inhibiting downstream PI3K pathway signaling. We also show that combination therapy provides added benefit in promoting cell death in PTEN-deficient tumor cells. These studies provide strong rationale for combined mTOR/EGFR kinase inhibitor therapy in glioblastoma patients, particularly those with PTEN-deficient tumors..
Lee, J.C., Vivanco, I., Beroukhim, R., Huang, J.H., Feng, W.L., DeBiasi, R.M., Yoshimoto, K., King, J.C., Nghiemphu, P., Yuza, Y., et al.
(2006). Untitled. Toxicologic pathology,
Mellinghoff, I.K., Wang, M.Y., Vivanco, I., Haas-Kogan, D.A., Zhu, S., Dia, E.Q., Lu, K.V., Yoshimoto, K., Huang, J.H., Chute, D.J., et al.
(2005). Molecular determinants of the response of glioblastomas to EGFR kinase inhibitors. N engl j med,
BACKGROUND: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is frequently amplified, overexpressed, or mutated in glioblastomas, but only 10 to 20 percent of patients have a response to EGFR kinase inhibitors. The mechanism of responsiveness of glioblastomas to these inhibitors is unknown. METHODS: We sequenced kinase domains in the EGFR and human EGFR type 2 (Her2/neu) genes and analyzed the expression of EGFR, EGFR deletion mutant variant III (EGFRvIII), and the tumor-suppressor protein PTEN in recurrent malignant gliomas from patients who had received EGFR kinase inhibitors. We determined the molecular correlates of clinical response, validated them in an independent data set, and identified effects of the molecular abnormalities in vitro. RESULTS: Of 49 patients with recurrent malignant glioma who were treated with EGFR kinase inhibitors, 9 had tumor shrinkage of at least 25 percent. Pretreatment tissue was available for molecular analysis from 26 patients, 7 of whom had had a response and 19 of whom had rapid progression during therapy. No mutations in EGFR or Her2/neu kinase domains were detected in the tumors. Coexpression of EGFRvIII and PTEN was significantly associated with a clinical response (P<0.001; odds ratio, 51; 95 percent confidence interval, 4 to 669). These findings were validated in 33 patients who received similar treatment for glioblastoma at a different institution (P=0.001; odds ratio, 40; 95 percent confidence interval, 3 to 468). In vitro, coexpression of EGFRvIII and PTEN sensitized glioblastoma cells to erlotinib. CONCLUSIONS: Coexpression of EGFRvIII and PTEN by glioblastoma cells is associated with responsiveness to EGFR kinase inhibitors..
Mellinghoff, I.K., Vivanco, I., Kwon, A., Tran, C., Wongvipat, J. & Sawyers, C.L.
(2004). HER2/neu kinase-dependent modulation of androgen receptor function through effects on DNA binding and stability. Cancer cell,
Given the role of the EGFR/HER2 family of tyrosine kinases in breast cancer, we dissected the molecular basis of EGFR/HER2 kinase signaling in prostate cancer. Using the small molecule dual EGFR/HER2 inhibitor PKI-166, we show that the biologic effects of EGFR/HER-2 pathway inhibition are caused by reduced AR transcriptional activity. Additional genetic and pharmacologic experiments show that this modulation of AR function is mediated by the HER2/ERBB3 pathway, not by EGFR. This HER2/ERBB3 signal stabilizes AR protein levels and optimizes binding of AR to promoter/enhancer regions of androgen-regulated genes. Surprisingly, the downstream signaling pathway responsible for these effects appears to involve kinases other than Akt. These data suggest that the HER2/ERBB3 pathway is a critical target in hormone-refractory prostate cancer..
Vivanco, I. & Sawyers, C.L.
(2002). The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT pathway in human cancer. Nature reviews cancer,
Vivanco, I. & Sawyers, C.L.
(2002). The phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase AKT pathway in human cancer. Nat rev cancer,
Jain, A., Lam, A., Vivanco, I., Carey, M.F. & Reiter, R.E.
(2002). Identification of an androgen-dependent enhancer within the prostate stem cell antigen gene. Mol endocrinol,
Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) is emerging as an important diagnostic marker and therapeutic target in prostate cancer. Previous studies indicated that PSCA was directly regulated by androgens, but the mechanism has not been elucidated. Here we describe the identification of a compact cell-specific and androgen-responsive enhancer between 2.7 and 3 kb upstream of the transcription start site. The enhancer functions autonomously when positioned immediately adjacent to a minimal promoter. Deoxyribonuclease I footprinting analysis with recombinant androgen receptor (AR) reveals that the enhancer contains two AR binding sites at one end. Mutational analysis of the AR binding sites revealed the importance of the higher affinity one. The dissociation constant of the high affinity binding site (androgen response element I) was determined to be approximately 87 nM. The remainder of the enhancer contains elements that function synergistically with the AR. We discuss the structural organization of the PSCA enhancer and compare it with that found in other AR-regulated genes..
Afar, D.E., Vivanco, I., Hubert, R.S., Kuo, J., Chen, E., Saffran, D.C., Raitano, A.B. & Jakobovits, A.
(2001). Catalytic cleavage of the androgen-regulated TMPRSS2 protease results in its secretion by prostate and prostate cancer epithelia. Cancer res,
We identified TMPRSS2 as a gene that is down-regulated in androgen-independent prostate cancer xenograft tissue derived from a bone metastasis. Using specific monoclonal antibodies, we show that the TMPRSS2-encoded serine protease is expressed as a Mr 70,000 full-length form and a cleaved Mr 32,000 protease domain. Mutation of Ser-441 in the catalytic triad shows that the proteolytic cleavage is dependent on catalytic activity, suggesting that it occurs as a result of autocleavage. Mutational analysis reveals the cleavage site to be at Arg-255. A consequence of autocatalytic cleavage is the secretion of the protease domain into the media by TMPRSS2-expressing prostate cancer cells and into the sera of prostate tumor-bearing mice. Immunohistochemical analysis of clinical specimens demonstrates the highest expression of TMPRSS2 at the apical side of prostate and prostate cancer secretory epithelia and within the lumen of the glands. Similar luminal staining was detected in colon cancer samples. Expression was also seen in colon and pancreas, with little to no expression detected in seven additional normal tissues. These data demonstrate that TMPRSS2 is a secreted protease that is highly expressed in prostate and prostate cancer, making it a potential target for cancer therapy and diagnosis..
Hubert, R.S., Vivanco, I., Chen, E., Rastegar, S., Leong, K., Mitchell, S.C., Madraswala, R., Zhou, Y., Kuo, J., Raitano, A.B., et al.
(1999). STEAP: a prostate-specific cell-surface antigen highly expressed in human prostate tumors. Proc natl acad sci u s a,
In search of novel genes expressed in metastatic prostate cancer, we subtracted cDNA isolated from benign prostatic hypertrophic tissue from cDNA isolated from a prostate cancer xenograft model that mimics advanced disease. One novel gene that is highly expressed in advanced prostate cancer encodes a 339-amino acid protein with six potential membrane-spanning regions flanked by hydrophilic amino- and carboxyl-terminal domains. This structure suggests a potential function as a channel or transporter protein. This gene, named STEAP for six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of the prostate, is expressed predominantly in human prostate tissue and is up-regulated in multiple cancer cell lines, including prostate, bladder, colon, ovarian, and Ewing sarcoma. Immunohistochemical analysis of clinical specimens demonstrates significant STEAP expression at the cell-cell junctions of the secretory epithelium of prostate and prostate cancer cells. Little to no staining was detected at the plasma membranes of normal, nonprostate human tissues, except for bladder tissue, which expressed low levels of STEAP at the cell membrane. Protein analysis located STEAP at the cell surface of prostate-cancer cell lines. Our results support STEAP as a cell-surface tumor-antigen target for prostate cancer therapy and diagnostic imaging..
Raitano, A.B., Vivanco, I., Kuo, J., Hubert, R.S., Reiter, R.E., Witte, O.N., Jakobovits, A., Afar, D.E. & Saffran, D.C.
(1999). Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA): A target for cancer immunotherapy. Clinical cancer research,
Vivanco, I., Hubert, R.S., Chen, E., Rastegar, S., Leong, K., Mitchell, S.C., Madraswala, R., Zhou, Y.H., Kuo, J., Raitano, A.B., et al.
(1999). Identification of a novel prostate-specific cell surface antigen highly expressed in human tumors. Clinical cancer research,
Poon, E., Jamin, Y., Liang, T., Waltz, S., Kwok, C., Hakkert, A., Richards, M., Urban, Z., Thway, K., Zied, R., et al.
Pharmacological blockade of MYCN in neuroblastoma using orally-bioavailable CDK inhibitors reveals an approach widely applicable to Myc-dependent cancers. Nature medicine,
Paper in submission NOT accepted.