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Targeted therapies against oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) show promising results in the clinic. Unfortunately, despite the initial positive response, most patients develop therapeutic resistance. Most research has focused on acquired resistance occurring after an extensive time of treatment, however the question remains as to how cells can survive an initial treatment, as early resistance to apoptosis will enable cells to develop any growth stimulating mechanism. Here, the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) PC9 cell line was used to systematically profile, by mass spectrometry, changes in the proteome, kinome and phosphoproteome during early treatment with the EGFR inhibitor afatinib. Regardless of the response, initial drug sensitive cells rapidly adapt to targeted therapy and within days, cells regained the capacity to proliferate, despite persisting target inhibition. These data reveal a rapid re-activation of mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways after initial inhibition and an increase in abundance and activity of cytoskeleton and calcium signaling related proteins. Pharmacologic inhibition of re-activated pathways resulted in increased afatinib efficacy. However more strikingly, cells that were restricted from accessing extracellular calcium, were extremely sensitive to afatinib treatment. These findings were validated using three additional inhibitors tested in four different NSCLC cell lines and the data clearly indicated a role for Ca2+ signaling during the development of adaptive resistance. From a therapeutic point of view, the increased inhibitor efficacy could limit or even prevent further resistance development.
PMID: 29967110 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]