Approximately 5-10% of metastatic colorectal cancers harbor a BRAF-V600E mutation, which is correlated with resistance to EGFR-targeted therapies and worse clinical outcome. Vice versa, targeted inhibition of BRAF-V600E with the selective inhibitor PLX 4032 (Vemurafenib) is severely limited due to feedback re-activation of EGFR in these tumors. Mounting evidence indicates that upregulation of the ErbB-3 signaling axis may occur in response to several targeted therapeutics, including Vemurafenib, and NRG-1β-dependent re-activation of the PI3K/AKT survival pathway has been associated with therapy resistance.Here we show that colon CSCs express, next to EGFR and ErbB-2, also significant amounts of ErbB-3 on their membrane. This expression is functional as NRG-1β strongly induces AKT/PKB and ERK phosphorylation, cell proliferation, clonogenic growth and promotes resistance to Vemurafenib in BRAF-V600E mutant colon CSCs. This resistance was completely dependent on ErbB-3 expression, as evidenced by knockdown of ErbB-3. More importantly, resistance could be alleviated with therapeutic antibody blocking ErbB-3 activation, which impaired NRG-1β-driven AKT/PKB and ERK activation, clonogenic growth in vitro and tumor growth in xenograft models. In conclusion, our findings suggest that targeting ErbB-3 receptors could represent an effective therapeutic approach in BRAF-V600E mutant colon cancer.

ErbB-3 activation by NRG-1β sustains growth and promotes vemurafenib resistance in BRAF-V600E colon cancer stem cells (CSCs)

CAPONE, EMILY;BARCAROLI, DANIELA;D'AGOSTINO, DANIELA;ROSSI, COSMO;IACOBELLI, Stefano;DE LAURENZI, Vincenzo;SALA, GIANLUCA
2015

Abstract

Approximately 5-10% of metastatic colorectal cancers harbor a BRAF-V600E mutation, which is correlated with resistance to EGFR-targeted therapies and worse clinical outcome. Vice versa, targeted inhibition of BRAF-V600E with the selective inhibitor PLX 4032 (Vemurafenib) is severely limited due to feedback re-activation of EGFR in these tumors. Mounting evidence indicates that upregulation of the ErbB-3 signaling axis may occur in response to several targeted therapeutics, including Vemurafenib, and NRG-1β-dependent re-activation of the PI3K/AKT survival pathway has been associated with therapy resistance.Here we show that colon CSCs express, next to EGFR and ErbB-2, also significant amounts of ErbB-3 on their membrane. This expression is functional as NRG-1β strongly induces AKT/PKB and ERK phosphorylation, cell proliferation, clonogenic growth and promotes resistance to Vemurafenib in BRAF-V600E mutant colon CSCs. This resistance was completely dependent on ErbB-3 expression, as evidenced by knockdown of ErbB-3. More importantly, resistance could be alleviated with therapeutic antibody blocking ErbB-3 activation, which impaired NRG-1β-driven AKT/PKB and ERK activation, clonogenic growth in vitro and tumor growth in xenograft models. In conclusion, our findings suggest that targeting ErbB-3 receptors could represent an effective therapeutic approach in BRAF-V600E mutant colon cancer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/641693
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