The Src homology 2-containing phosphotyrosine phosphatase (SHP2) is primarily a positive effector of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling. However, the molecular mechanism by which SHP2 effects its biological function is unknown. In this report, we provide evidence that defines the molecular mechanism and site of action of SHP2 in the epidermal growth factor-induced mitogenic pathway. We demonstrate that SHP2 acts upstream of Ras and functions by increasing the half-life of activated Ras (GTP-Ras) in the cell by interfering with the process of Ras inactivation catalyzed by Ras GTPase-activating protein (RasGAP). It does so by inhibition of tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent translocation of RasGAP to the plasma membrane, to its substrate (GTP-Ras) microdomain. Inhibition is achieved through the dephosphorylation of RasGAP binding sites at the level of the plasma membrane. We have identified Tyr992 of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) to be one such site, since its mutation to Phe renders the EGFR refractory to the effect of dominant-negative SHP2. To our knowledge, this is the first report to outline the site and molecular mechanism of action of SHP2 in EGFR signaling, which may also serve as a model to describe its role in other receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathways.
Senescent human diploid fibroblasts do not respond to growth factors like epidermal growth factor (EGF), although they have a normal level of receptors and downstream signaling molecules. To examine the mechanism of signaling attenuation, we investigated Erk activation after EGF stimulation in senescent cells. Senescent cells did not phosphorylate Erk-1/2 after EGF stimulation, whereas young cells did. In those senescent cells, we found an increased level of caveolin proteins and strong interactions between caveolin-1 and EGF receptor. Electron microscopic analysis demonstrated an increased number of caveolae structures in senescent cells. More interestingly, brain, spleen, and lung from 26-month-old rats showed substantial increases of caveolin proteins. However, in the case of p53-induced senescence, caveolin-1 was not induced, and EGF stimulation phosphorylated Erk-1/2 as much as young control cells. Finally, we overexpressed caveolin-1 in young human diploid fibroblasts in which the activation of Erk-1/2 upon EGF stimulation was significantly suppressed. These results suggest that the unresponsiveness of senescent fibroblasts to EGF stimulation may be due to the overexpression of caveolins, which seems to be independent of growth arrest and other aging phenotypes.
In Drosophila, as in mammalian cells, the Raf serine/threonine kinase appears to act as a common transducer of signals from several different receptor tyrosine kinases. We describe a new role for Raf in Drosophila development, showing that Raf acts in the somatic follicle cells to specify the dorsoventral polarity of the egg. Targeted expression of activated Raf (Rafgof) within follicle cells is sufficient to dorsalize both the eggshell and the embryo, whereas reduced Raf activity ventralizes the eggshell. We show that Raf functions downstream of the EGF receptor to instruct the dorsal follicle cell fate. In this assay, human and Drosophila Rafgof are functionally similar, in that either can induce ventral follicle cells to assume a dorsal fate.
EGF receptor (EGFR) and HER2 positivity are considered to be negative prognostic factors in gastric cancer. Biomarker analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of EGFR and HER2 expression on the outcome of patients enrolled in the Adjuvant Chemotherapy Trial of TS-1 for Gastric Cancer (ACTS-GC), a randomized controlled trial comparing postoperative adjuvant S-1 therapy with surgery alone in 1,059 patients with stage II/III gastric cancer.
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded surgical specimens were retrospectively examined in 829 patients (78.3%). The effects of EGFR and HER2 positivity on survival were analyzed on the basis of the 5-year survival data from the study. EGFR positivity was defined as an immunohistochemistry (IHC) score of 3+, and HER2 positivity as an IHC score of 3+ or an IHC score of 2+ with a positive dual-color in situ hybridization status.
EGFR and HER2 were positive in 75 (9.0%) and 113 (13.6%) patients, respectively. The overall and relapse-free survival rates were significantly lower in EGFR-positive patients than in EGFR-negative patients, whereas they were similar in HER2-positive and HER2-negative patients. Multivariate analysis showed that EGFR positivity correlated with poor outcomes [HR = 1.504; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.020-2.149; P = 0.040]. Treatment with S-1 improved survival compared with surgery alone, irrespective of EGFR and HER2 status.
EGFR positivity, but not HER2 positivity, was associated with poor patient outcomes after curative resection of stage II/III gastric cancer. There was no interaction between S-1 and EGFR or HER2 status with respect to survival outcome.
Ligand-induced down-regulation controls the signaling potency of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1). Overexpression studies have identified Cbl-mediated ubiquitinylation of EGFR as a mechanism of ligand-induced EGFR down-regulation. However, the role of endogenous Cbl in EGFR down-regulation and the precise step in the endocytic pathway regulated by Cbl remain unclear. Using Cbl-/- mouse embryonic fibroblast cell lines, we demonstrate that endogenous Cbl is essential for ligand-induced ubiquitinylation and efficient degradation of EGFR. Further analyses using Chinese hamster ovary cells with a temperature-sensitive defect in ubiquitinylation confirm a crucial role of the ubiquitin machinery in Cbl-mediated EGFR degradation. However, internalization into early endosomes did not require Cbl function or an intact ubiquitin pathway. Confocal immunolocalization studies indicated that Cbl-dependent ubiquitinylation plays a critical role at the early endosome to late endosome/lysosome sorting step of EGFR down-regulation. These findings establish Cbl as the major endogenous ubiquitin ligase responsible for EGFR degradation, and show that the critical role of Cbl-mediated ubiquitinylation is at the level of endosomal sorting, rather than at the level of internalization.
We investigated the molecular effect of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors erlotinib and gefitinib in vivo on all available tumors from patients treated on North American Brain Tumor Consortium trials 01-03 and 00-01 for recurrent or progressive malignant glioma.
EGFR expression and signaling during treatment with erlotinib or gefitinib were analyzed by Western blot and compared with pre-erlotinib/gefitinib-exposed tissue or unexposed controls. Tumors were also analyzed for EGFR mutations and for other genomic abnormalities by array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Clinical data were used to associate molecular features with tumor sensitivity to erlotinib or gefitinib.
Erlotinib and gefitinib did not markedly affect EGFR activity in vivo. No lung signature mutations of EGFR exons 18 to 21 were observed. There was no clear association between erlotinib/gefitinib sensitivity and deletion or amplification events on array-based comparative genomic hybridization analysis, although novel genomic changes were identified.
As erlotinib and gefitinib were generally ineffective at markedly inhibiting EGFR phosphorylation in these tumors, other assays may be needed to detect molecular effects. Additionally, the mechanism of erlotinib/gefitinib sensitivity likely differs between brain and lung tumors. Finally, novel genomic changes, including deletions of chromosomes 6, 21, and 22, represent new targets for further research.
It is not determined whether the continuous use of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) is reasonable for patients with activating EGFR mutations, who have progressed with the drug.
We retrospectively analyzed the data from 2002 to 2010 of consecutive patients who had advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring activating EGFR mutations and showed radiological disease progression after EGFR-TKI treatment as the first-line or second-line setting. We classified them into two groups: continuous EGFR-TKI and switching to chemotherapy, and compared the clinical outcomes. Multivariate analysis for survival was performed including age, sex, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (0-1/ 2-4), brain metastasis, EGFR mutations (deletions in exon 19 versus L858R), continuous EGFR-TKI (yes/no), and initiation of EGFR-TKI (first versus second).
A total of 551 NSCLC patients were screened for EGFR mutations in the period, and 186 patients had activating EGFR mutations. To explore the potential use of EGFR-TKI beyond progressive disease (PD), 64 patients were selected and analyzed. There were 13 men and 51 women, and median age was 65.5 years (range, 42-86). Among them, 31 patients had deletions in exon 19, and 33 had point mutation of L858R in exon 21. Thirty-nine patients were continuing EGFR-TKI beyond PD; 25 patients were switched to cytotoxic chemotherapy alone. The median overall survival was 32.2 months in the patients continuing EGFR-TKI, and 23.0 months in the patients switching to chemotherapy, presenting a significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.005). Cox analysis showed that continuous EGFR-TKI after PD (hazards ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval: 0.21-0.83, p = 0.013) was associated with improved survival.
Continuous use of EGFR-TKI beyond PD may prolong overall survival compared with switching to cytotoxic chemotherapy in patients with activating EGFR mutations. A prospective study will be needed to confirm our results.
During the past decade, the incidence of EGFR mutation has been shown to vary across different ethnicities. It occurs at the rate of 10-15% in North Americans and Europeans, 19% in African-Americans, 20-30% in various East Asian series including Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese. Frequency of EGFR mutations in India however remains sparsely explored.
We report 23% incidence of Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in 907 Non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients of Indian ethnicity, in contrast to 10-15% known in Caucasians and 27-62% among East Asians. In this study, EGFR mutations were found to be more common in never-smokers 29.4% as compared to smokers 15.3%. Consistent with other populations, mutation rates among adenocarcinoma-males were predominantly lower than females with 32% incidence. However unlike Caucasians, EGFR mutation rate among adenocarcinoma-never-smoker females were comparable to males suggesting lack of gender bias among never smokers likely to benefit from EGFR targeted therapy.
This study has an overall implication for establishing relevance for routine EGFR mutation diagnostics for NSCLC patients in clinics and emphasizes effectiveness for adoption of EGFR inhibitors as the first line treatment among Indian population. The intermediate frequency of EGFR mutation among Indian population compared to Caucasians and East Asians is reminiscent of an ancestral admixture of genetic influence from Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans on modern- Indian population that may confer differential susceptibility to somatic mutations in EGFR.
In proneural groups of cells in the morphogenetic furrow of the developing Drosophila eye phosphorylated mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) antigen is held in the cytoplasm for hours. We have developed a reagent to detect nuclear MAPK non-antigenically and report our use of this reagent to confirm that MAPK nuclear translocation is regulated by a second mechanism in addition to phosphorylation. This "cytoplasmic hold" of activated MAPK has not been observed in cell culture systems. We also show that MAPK cytoplasmic hold has an essential function in vivo: if it is overcome, developmental patterning in the furrow is disrupted.
Patients with EGFR-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer generally have a progression-free survival of 9-13 months while being treated with the EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors gefitinib or erlotinib. However, resistance inevitably develops, and more effective EGFR inhibitors are needed. Dacomitinib is a covalent pan-HER inhibitor that has shown clinical activity in patients previously treated with gefitinib or erlotinib. We did a trial of dacomitinib as initial systemic therapy in clinically and molecularly selected patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.
In this open-label, multicentre, phase 2 trial, we enrolled treatment-naive patients with advanced lung cancer who had clinical (never-smokers [<100 cigarettes per lifetime] or former light smokers [<10 pack-years per lifetime] and ≥15 years since last cigarette) or molecular (EGFR mutation, regardless of smoking status) characteristics associated with response to EGFR inhibitors. We gave dacomitinib orally once daily (45 mg or 30 mg) until progressive disease, unacceptable toxicity, or patient withdrawal. We used Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria (version 1.0) to investigate the activity of dacomitinib in all patients with a baseline scan and at least one post-treatment scan, with investigator assessment of response and progression. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival at 4 months in the as-enrolled population, with a null hypothesis of progression-free survival at 4 months of 50% or less. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00818441, and is no longer accruing patients.
Between March 11, 2009, and April 1, 2011, we enrolled 89 patients from 25 centres, including 45 (51%) with EGFR-activating mutations in exon 19 (n=25) or exon 21 (n=20). Progression-free survival at 4 months was 76·8% (95% CI 66·4-84·4) in the as-enrolled population, and was 95·5% (95% CI 83·2-98·9) in the EGFR-mutant population. The most common all-grade treatment-related adverse events were diarrhoea in 83 (93%) patients, dermatitis acneiform in 69 (78%) patients, dry skin in 39 (44%) patients, and stomatitis in 36 (40%) patients. Two patients (2%) had grade 4 treatment-related events (one with hypokalaemia and one with dyspnoea). No grade 5 toxicities were recorded.
Dacomitinib had encouraging clinical activity as initial systemic treatment in clinically or molecularly selected patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer.
We retrospectively analyzed the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as a prognostic marker to predict neoadjuvant chemotherapy response and survival among breast cancer subtypes. We used immunohistochemical profiles to subtype the patients. EGFR expression was determined using immunohistochemistry. All patients received an anthracycline-based regimen preoperatively. Ninety-three patients also received docetaxel. Of the 117 patients tested, 28 (24%) were triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and 73 (62%) were hormone receptor-positive (luminal) subtype. Among the TNBC patients, a significantly higher incidence of EGFR expression (50%) was observed (P=0.002), and EGFR expression was related to a less favorable response to chemotherapy (P=0.03) and poorer survival (P=0.17); in contrast, among the luminal subtype patients, positive EGFR expression was related to a favorable clinical response (P=0.06) and better survival (P=0.11). This retrospective analysis demonstrated that EGFR expression may represent an adverse prognostic marker in patients with TNBC and may provide a valuable tool for selecting appropriate treatment regimens for patients with TNBC.
The sensitivity of the crossveins of the Drosophila wing to reductions in BMP signaling provides a valuable system for characterizing members of this signaling pathway. We demonstrate here two reasons for that sensitivity. First, the initial stage of posterior crossvein development depends on BMP signaling but is independent of EGF signaling. This is the opposite of the longitudinal veins, which rely of EGF signaling for their initial specification. Second, BMP signaling in the posterior crossvein depends on Decapentaplegic (Dpp) at a stage when it is being produced in the longitudinal veins. Thus, the posterior crossvein will be especially vulnerable to reductions in the levels or range of Dpp signaling. We investigated the roles of the BMP receptor Thickveins (Tkv) and the BMP inhibitor Short gastrulation (Sog) in allowing this long-range signaling. Expression of both is downregulated in the developing posterior crossvein. The Tkv downregulation depends on BMP signaling and may provide a positive feedback by allowing the spread of Dpp. The Sog downregulation is independent of BMP signaling; Sog misexpression experiments indicate that this prepattern is essential for posterior crossvein development. However, this requirement can be overridden by co-misexpression of the BMP agonist Cv-2, indicating the presence of as yet unknown cues; we discuss possible candidates.
Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) are implicated in diabetic nephropathy (DN). Therefore, we asked if AGEs-induced ERK protein phosphorylation and mitogenesis are dependent on the receptor for AGEs (RAGE)-ROS-EGFR pathway in normal rat kidney interstitial fibroblast (NRK-49F) cells. We found that AGEs (100 microg/ml) activated EGFR and ERK1/2, which was attenuated by RAGE short-hairpin RNA (shRNA). AGEs also increased RAGE protein and intracellular ROS levels while RAGE shRNA and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) attenuated AGEs-induced intracellular ROS. Hydrogen peroxide (5-25 microM) increased RAGE protein level while activating both EGFR and ERK1/2. Low-dose hydrogen peroxide (5 microM) increased whereas high-dose hydrogen peroxide (100 microM) decreased mitogenesis at 3 days. AGEs-activated EGFR and ERK1/2 were attenuated by an anti-oxidant (NAC) and an EGFR inhibitor (Iressa). Moreover, AGEs-induced mitogenesis was attenuated by RAGE shRNA, NAC, Iressa, and an ERK1/2 inhibitor (PD98059). In conclusion, it was found that AGEs-induced mitogenesis is dependent on the RAGE-ROS-EGFR-ERK1/2 pathway whereas AGEs-activated ERK1/2 is dependent on the RAGE-ROS-EGFR pathway in NRK-49F cells.
Although in Fischer-344 rats, aging is associated with increased activation of EGF-receptor (EGFR) in mucosa of much of the gastrointestinal tract, including the colon, regulation of this process is poorly understood. We hypothesize that loss of suppressor of EGFR may partly be responsible for this process. To test this hypothesis, we examined the expression of EGFR related protein (ERRP), a recently identified negative regulator of EGFR, in the colonic mucosa during aging and following administration of the colonic carcinogen dimethylhydrazine (DMH) that resulted in the formation of aberrant crypt foci (ACF), which are considered to be precursor of adenoma and carcinoma. In Fischer-344 rats, aging is associated with increased activation of EGFR in the colonic mucosa, as evidenced by 30-35% increase in the levels of tyrosine phosphorylated EGFR in the proximal and distal colon of aged (20-22 months old) than in young (4-6 months old) rats. In contrast, the levels of ERRP in both regions of the colon of aged rats were decreased by 50-60%, compared to their younger counterparts. Administration of DMH, which induced a greater number of ACF in the colon of aged rats than in young animals, resulted in a corresponding reduction in ERRP in the colon. These results suggest that loss of ERRP expression is a common event during aging and early stages of chemically induced colon cancer. We also suggest that loss of ERRP could be a risk factor for developing colorectal cancer in the older population.
Cancer cells emit extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing unique molecular signatures. Here, we report that the oncogenic EGF receptor (EGFR) and its inhibitors reprogram phosphoproteomes and cargo of tumor cell-derived EVs. Thus, phosphorylated EGFR (P-EGFR) and several other receptor tyrosine kinases can be detected in EVs purified from plasma of tumor-bearing mice and from conditioned media of cultured cancer cells. Treatment of EGFR-driven tumor cells with second generation EGFR kinase inhibitors (EKIs), including CI-1033 and PF-00299804 but not with anti-EGFR antibody (Cetuximab) or etoposide, triggers a burst in emission of exosome-like EVs containing EGFR, P-EGFR, and genomic DNA (exo-gDNA). The EV release can be attenuated by treatment with inhibitors of exosome biogenesis (GW4869) and caspase pathways (ZVAD). The content of P-EGFR isoforms (Tyr-845, Tyr-1068, and Tyr-1173), ERK, and AKT varies between cells and their corresponding EVs and as a function of EKI treatment. Immunocapture experiments reveal the presence of EGFR and exo-gDNA within the same EV population following EKI treatment. These findings suggest that targeted agents may induce cancer cells to change the EV emission profiles reflective of drug-related therapeutic stress. We suggest that EV-based assays may serve as companion diagnostics for targeted anticancer agents.
Hedgehog (Hh) plays an important role in Drosophila wing patterning by inducing expression of Dpp, which serves to organize the wing globally across the A-P axis. We show here how Hh signalling also plays a direct role in patterning the medial wing through the activation of the Hh-target gene, knot (kn). kn is expressed in Hh-responsive cells near the A-P compartment boundary, where its expression is dependent on fu, a component of Hh signalling. kn is required for the proper positioning of veins 3 and 4 and to prevent ectopic venation between them. Furthermore, the expansion anteriorly of the normal kn expression domain causes an associated anterior shift in the position of vein 3 in the resultant wing. Ectopic expression of kn elsewhere in the wing imaginal disc results in the failure to properly activate the vein initiation genes, rho and Dl. Expression of the gene encoding the EGF-receptor (EGFR), which is required for vein initiation and subsequent differentiation, is normally depressed in the 3-4 intervein region. This downregulation of EGFR in the medial portion of the imaginal disc is dependent on kn activity and ectopic expression of kn inactivates EGFR elsewhere in the wing primordium. We propose kn expression in Hh-responsive cells of the wing blade anlagen during the late third instar creates a zone of cells in the medial wing in which vein primordia cannot be induced. The primordia for veins 3 and 4 are laid down adjacent to the kn-imposed vein-free zone, presumably by a signalling factor (such as Vn) also synthesized in the medial region of the wing.
The erb type 1 tyrosine kinase receptors are important for mediating proliferation and differentiation, and aberrant activation may contribute to tumour development and progression. They comprise epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), c-erbB-2, c-erbB-3, and c-erbB-4. There are overlaps and differences in the cellular distribution of the four receptors, which is of significance since they can form heterodimers that give differing responses to different ligands. The different distributions could be of particular importance in cancer if therapeutic modalities are identified to inhibit or stimulate the different ligands.
The Drosophila fusilli (fus) gene was identified in a genetic screen for dominant maternal enhancers of an unusual dorsalizing mutation in the cactus gene, cact(E10). While females that are heterozygous for the cact(E10) allele produce embryos with wild-type dorsal-ventral patterning, more than 90% of the embryos produced by females that are heterozygous for both cact(E10) and the fus(1) mutation are weakly dorsalized. Loss of fusilli activity causes lethality during embryogenesis but not dorsal-ventral patterning defects, indicating that fusilli is important in more than one developmental process. The fusilli gene encodes a protein with RNA binding motifs related to those in mammalian hnRNP F and H, which play roles in regulated RNA splicing. The fusilli RNA is not present in the oocyte or early embryo, and germ-line clones of fusilli mutations have no maternal effect on dorsal-ventral patterning, indicating that the fusilli maternal effect does not depend on germ-line expression of the gene. Because the fusilli RNA is present in ovarian follicle cells, we propose that fusilli acts downstream of the Drosophila EGF receptor to control the biogenesis of follicle cell transcripts that control the initial dorsal-ventral asymmetry of the embryo.
Current understanding of amyloid-β (Aβ) metabolism and toxicity provides an extensive list of potential targets for developing drugs for treating Alzheimer's disease. We took two independent approaches, including synaptic-plasticity-based analysis and behavioral screening of synthetic compounds, for identifying single compounds that are capable of rescuing the Aβ-induced memory loss in both transgenic fruit fly and transgenic mouse models. Two clinically available drugs and three synthetic compounds not only showed positive effects in behavioral tests but also antagonized the Aβ oligomers-induced activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Such surprising converging outcomes from two parallel approaches lead us to conclude that EGFR is a preferred target for treating Aβ-induced memory loss.
To assess the prognostic value of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) molecular characteristics of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
HNSCC tumors from patients prospectively enrolled in either an Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) study and treated with surgery without an EGFR-targeted agent (N = 154) or enrolled in a chemoradiation trial involving the EGFR-targeted antibody cetuximab (N = 39) were evaluated for EGFR gene amplification by FISH and EGFR protein by immunohistochemical staining. Fresh-frozen tumors (EDRN) were also evaluated for EGFR protein and site-specific phosphorylation at Y992 and Y1068 using reverse-phase protein array (n = 67). Tumor (n = 50) EGFR and EGFRvIII mRNA levels were quantified using real-time PCR.
EGFR expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) was significantly higher in the EDRN tumors with EGFR gene amplification (P < 0.001), and a similar trend was noted in the cetuximab-treated cohort. In the EDRN and cetuximab-treated cohorts elevated EGFR by IHC was associated with reduced survival (P = 0.019 and P = 0.06, respectively). Elevated expression of total EGFR and EGFR PY1068 were independently significantly associated with reduced progression-free survival in the EDRN cohort [HR = 2.75; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.26-6.00 and HR = 3.29; 95% CI = 1.34-8.14, respectively].
In two independent HNSCC cohorts treated with or without cetuximab, tumor EGFR levels were indicative of survival. Tumor EGFR PY1068 levels provided prognostic information independent of total EGFR.
The Hippo signaling pathway inhibits cell growth and regulates organ size through a kinase cascade that leads to the phosphorylation and nuclear exclusion of the growth-promoting transcriptional coactivator Yes-associated protein (YAP)/Yorkie. It mediates contact inhibition of cell growth downstream of cadherin adhesion molecules and other cell surface proteins. Contact inhibition is often antagonized by mitogenic growth factor signaling. We report an important mechanism for this antagonism, inhibition of Hippo pathway signaling by mitogenic growth factors. EGF treatment of immortalized mammary cells triggers the rapid translocation of YAP into the nucleus along with YAP dephosphorylation, both of which depend on Lats, the terminal kinase in the Hippo pathway. A small-molecule inhibitor screen of downstream effector pathways shows that EGF receptor inhibits the Hippo pathway through activation of PI3-kinase (PI3K) and phosphoinositide-dependent kinase (PDK1), but independent of AKT activity. The PI3K-PDK1 pathway also mediates YAP nuclear translocation downstream of lysophosphatidic acid and serum as a result of constitutive oncogenic activation of PI3K. PDK1 associates with the core Hippo pathway-kinase complex through the scaffold protein Salvador. The entire Hippo core complex dissociates in response to EGF signaling in a PI3K-PDK1-dependent manner, leading to inactivation of Lats, dephosphorylation of YAP, and YAP nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activation of its target gene, CTGF. These findings show that an important activity of mitogenic signaling pathways is to inactivate the growth-inhibitory Hippo pathway and provide a mechanism for antagonism between contact inhibition and growth factor action.
The transcription factors Glial cells missing (Gcm) and Gcm2 are known to play a crucial role in promoting glial-cell differentiation during Drosophila embryogenesis. Our findings reveal a central function for gcm genes in regulating neuronal development in the postembryonic visual system. We demonstrate that Gcm and Gcm2 are expressed in both glial and neuronal precursors within the optic lobe. Removal of gcm and gcm2 function shows that the two genes act redundantly and are required for the formation of a subset of glial cells. They also cell-autonomously control the differentiation and proliferation of specific neurons. We show that the transcriptional regulator Dachshund acts downstream of gcm genes and is required to make lamina precursor cells and lamina neurons competent for neuronal differentiation through regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor levels. Our findings further suggest that gcm genes regulate neurogenesis through collaboration with the Hedgehog-signaling pathway.
Trophic mechanisms in which neighboring cells mutually control their survival by secreting extracellular factors play an important role in determining cell number. However, how trophic signaling suppresses cell death is still poorly understood. We now show that the survival of a subset of midline glia cells in Drosophila depends upon direct suppression of the proapoptotic protein HID via the EGF receptor/RAS/MAPK pathway. The TGFalpha-like ligand SPITZ is activated in the neurons, and glial cells compete for limited amounts of secreted SPITZ to survive. In midline glia that fail to activate the EGFR pathway, HID induces apoptosis by blocking a caspase inhibitor, Diap1. Therefore, a direct pathway linking a specific extracellular survival factor with a caspase-based death program has been established.
The-216G/T, -191C/A, intron 1 and Arg497Lys epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) polymorphisms were evaluated in 92 advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients treated with gefitinib, an EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitor. Improved progression free survival (PFS) was found in patients homozygous for the shorter lengths of intron 1 polymorphism (S/S; S=16 or fewer CA repeats; log-rank test (LRT) P=0.03) and for patients carrying any T allele of the -216G/T polymorphism (LRT, P=0.005). When considered together, patients with intron 1 S/S genotype and at least one T allele of -216G/T had improved PFS (LRT P=0.0006; adjusted hazard ratio (AHR), 0.60 (95% confidence interval, 0.36-0.98)) and overall survival (LRT P=0.02; AHR, 0.60 (0.36-1.00)) when compared with all others. The T allele of -216G/T was also associated with significantly higher rates of stable disease/partial response (P=0.01) and a significantly higher risk of treatment-related rash/diarrhea (P=0.004, multivariate model). EGFR intron 1 and -216G/T polymorphisms influence clinical outcomes in gefitinib-treated non-small-cell lung cancer patients.