Kinase domain mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are common oncogenic events in lung adenocarcinoma. Here we explore the dependency upon asymmetric dimerization of the kinase domain for activation of lung cancer-derived EGFR mutants. We show that while wild-type EGFR and the L858R mutant require dimerization for activation and oncogenic transformation, the exon 19 deletion, exon 20 insertion, and L858R/T790M EGFR mutants do not require dimerization. In addition, treatment with the monoclonal antibody, cetuximab, shrinks mouse lung tumors induced by the dimerization-dependent L858R mutant, but exerts only a modest effect on tumors driven by dimerization-independent EGFR mutants. These data imply that different EGFR mutants show differential requirements for dimerization, and that disruption of dimerization may be among the antitumor mechanisms of cetuximab.
epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR); cetuximab (Erbitux); lung cancer-derived EGFR mutation; receptor dimerization; targeted therapy
Cervical cancer is responsible for 10–15% of cancer-related deaths in women worldwide1,2. The etiological role of infection with high-risk human papilloma viruses (HPV) in cervical carcinomas is well established3. Previous studies have implicated somatic mutations in PIK3CA, PTEN, TP53, STK11 and KRAS4–7 as well as several copy number alterations in the pathogenesis of cervical carcinomas8,9. Here, we report whole exome sequencing analysis of 115 cervical carcinoma-normal paired samples, transcriptome sequencing of 79 cases and whole genome sequencing of 14 tumor-normal pairs. Novel somatic mutations in 79 primary squamous cell carcinomas include recurrent E322K substitutions in the MAPK1 gene (8%), inactivating mutations in the HLA-B gene (9%), and mutations in EP300 (16%), FBXW7 (15%), NFE2L2 (4%) TP53 (5%) and ERBB2 (6%). We also observed somatic ELF3 (13%) and CBFB (8%) mutations in 24 adenocarcinomas. Squamous cell carcinomas had higher frequencies of somatic mutations in the Tp*C dinucleotide context than adenocarcinomas. Gene expression levels at HPV integration sites were significantly higher in tumors with HPV integration compared with expression of the same genes in tumors without viral integration at the same site. These data demonstrate several recurrent genomic alterations in cervical carcinomas that suggest novel strategies to combat this disease.
Inhibition of the activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with either enzymatic kinase inhibitors or anti-EGFR antibodies such as cetuximab, is an effective modality of treatment for multiple human cancers. Enzymatic EGFR inhibitors are effective for lung adenocarcinomas with somatic kinase domain EGFR mutations while, paradoxically, anti-EGFR antibodies are more effective in colon and head and neck cancers where EGFR mutations occur less frequently. In colorectal cancer, anti-EGFR antibodies are routinely used as second-line therapy of KRAS wild-type tumors. However, detailed mechanisms and genomic predictors for pharmacological response to these antibodies in colon cancer remain unclear.
We describe a case of colorectal adenocarcinoma, which was found to harbor a kinase domain mutation, G724S, in EGFR through whole genome sequencing. We show that G724S mutant EGFR is oncogenic and that it differs from classic lung cancer derived EGFR mutants in that it is cetuximab responsive in vitro, yet relatively insensitive to small molecule kinase inhibitors. Through biochemical and cellular pharmacologic studies, we have determined that cells harboring the colon cancer-derived G719S and G724S mutants are responsive to cetuximab therapy in vitro and found that the requirement for asymmetric dimerization of these mutant EGFR to promote cellular transformation may explain their greater inhibition by cetuximab than small-molecule kinase inhibitors.
The colon-cancer derived G719S and G724S mutants are oncogenic and sensitive in vitro to cetuximab. These data suggest that patients with these mutations may benefit from the use of anti-EGFR antibodies as part of the first-line therapy.
Mutations in the kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are found in a subset of patients with lung cancer and correlate with response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI). Resistance to these agents invariably develops, and current treatment strategies have limited efficacy in this setting. Hsp90 inhibitors, such as 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), induce the degradation of EGFR and other Hsp90 interacting proteins and may thus have utility in tumors dependent upon sensitive Hsp90 clients. We find that the EGFR mutations found most commonly in patients with lung adenocarcinoma who respond to EGFR TKIs are potently degraded by 17-AAG. Although the expression of wild-type EGFR was also down-regulated by 17-AAG, its degradation required higher concentrations of drug and a longer duration of drug exposure. In animal models, a single dose of 17-AAG was sufficient to induce degradation of mutant EGFR and inhibit downstream signaling. 17-AAG treatment, at its maximal tolerated dose, caused a significant delay in H3255 (L858R EGFR) xenograft growth but was less effective than the EGFR TKI gefitinib. 17-AAG alone delayed, but did not completely inhibit, the growth of H1650 and H1975 xenografts, two EGFR mutant models which show intermediate and high levels of gefitinib resistance. 17-AAG could be safely coadministered with paclitaxel, and the combination was significantly more effective than either drug alone. These data suggest that Hsp90 inhibition in combination with chemotherapy may represent an effective treatment strategy for patients whose tumors express EGFR kinase domain mutations, including those with de novo and acquired resistance to EGFR TKIs.
Targeted cancer therapies often induce “outlier” responses in molecularly defined patient subsets. One patient with advanced-stage lung adenocarcinoma, who was treated with oral sorafenib, demonstrated a near-complete clinical and radiographic remission for 5 years. Whole-genome sequencing and RNA sequencing of primary tumor and normal samples from this patient identified a somatic mutation, ARAF S214C, present in the cancer genome and expressed at high levels. Additional mutations affecting this residue of ARAF and a nearby residue in the related kinase RAF1 were demonstrated across 1% of an independent cohort of lung adenocarcinoma cases. The ARAF mutations were shown to transform immortalized human airway epithelial cells in a sorafenib-sensitive manner. These results suggest that mutant ARAF is an oncogenic driver in lung adenocarcinoma and an indicator of sorafenib response.
Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) play diverse roles in control of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, angiogenesis, and development. Activating mutations of FGFRs in the germline have long been known to cause a variety of skeletal developmental disorders, but it is only recently that a similar spectrum of somatic FGFR mutations has been associated with human cancers. Many of these somatic mutations are gain-of-function and oncogenic and create dependencies in tumor cell lines harboring such mutations. A combination of knock-down studies and pharmaceutical inhibition in preclinical models has further substantiated genomically-altered FGFR as a therapeutic target in cancer, and the oncology community is responding with clinical trials evaluating multi-kinase inhibitors with anti-FGFR activity and a new generation of specific pan-FGFR inhibitors.
FGFR; tyrosine kinase; somatic mutation; targeted therapy
Lung adenocarcinoma, the most common subtype of non-small cell lung cancer, is responsible for over 500,000 deaths per year worldwide. Here, we report exome and genome sequences of 183 lung adenocarcinoma tumor/normal DNA pairs. These analyses revealed a mean exonic somatic mutation rate of 12.0 events/megabase and identified the majority of genes previously reported as significantly mutated in lung adenocarcinoma. In addition, we identified statistically recurrent somatic mutations in the splicing factor gene U2AF1 and truncating mutations affecting RBM10 and ARID1A. Analysis of nucleotide context-specific mutation signatures grouped the sample set into distinct clusters that correlated with smoking history and alterations of reported lung adenocarcinoma genes. Whole genome sequence analysis revealed frequent structural re-arrangements, including in-frame exonic alterations within EGFR and SIK2 kinases. The candidate genes identified in this study are attractive targets for biological characterization and therapeutic targeting of lung adenocarcinoma.
Medulloblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumors in children1. Identifying and understanding the genetic events that drive these tumors is critical for the development of more effective diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies. Recently, our group and others described distinct molecular subtypes of medulloblastoma based on transcriptional and copy number profiles2–5. Here, we utilized whole exome hybrid capture and deep sequencing to identify somatic mutations across the coding regions of 92 primary medulloblastoma/normal pairs. Overall, medulloblastomas exhibit low mutation rates consistent with other pediatric tumors, with a median of 0.35 non-silent mutations per megabase. We identified twelve genes mutated at statistically significant frequencies, including previously known mutated genes in medulloblastoma such as CTNNB1, PTCH1, MLL2, SMARCA4 and TP53. Recurrent somatic mutations were identified in an RNA helicase gene, DDX3X, often concurrent with CTNNB1 mutations, and in the nuclear co-repressor (N-CoR) complex genes GPS2, BCOR, and LDB1, novel findings in medulloblastoma. We show that mutant DDX3X potentiates transactivation of a TCF promoter and enhances cell viability in combination with mutant but not wild type beta-catenin. Together, our study reveals the alteration of Wnt, Hedgehog, histone methyltransferase and now N-CoR pathways across medulloblastomas and within specific subtypes of this disease, and nominates the RNA helicase DDX3X as a component of pathogenic beta-catenin signaling in medulloblastoma.
Despite the ongoing “war on cancer,” cancer remains one of the major causes of human morbidity and mortality. A new paradigm of targeted therapies holds the most promise for the future, making identification of tumor-specific therapeutic targets of prime importance. ERBB2/HER2, best known for its role in breast cancer tumorigenesis, can be targeted by two types of pharmacological manipulation: antibody therapy against the extracellular receptor domain and small molecule compounds against the intracellular tyrosine kinase domain. Aberrant activation of ERBB2 by gene amplification has been shown to participate in the pathophysiology of breast, ovarian, gastric, colorectal, lung, brain, and head and neck tumors. However, the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies has enabled efficient identification of activating molecular alterations of ERBB2. In this review, we will focus on the functional role of these somatic mutations that cause ERBB2 receptor activation. We will additionally discuss the current preclinical and clinical therapeutic strategies for targeting mutationally activated ERBB2.
ERBB2/HER2; activating somatic mutation; reversible and irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors; targeted therapies; resistance; lung cancer; breast cancer
Medulloblastomas are heterogeneous tumors that collectively represent the most common malignant brain tumor in children. To understand the molecular characteristics underlying their heterogeneity and to identify whether such characteristics represent risk factors for patients with this disease, we performed an integrated genomic analysis of a large series of primary tumors.
Patients and Methods
We profiled the mRNA transcriptome of 194 medulloblastomas and performed high-density single nucleotide polymorphism array and miRNA analysis on 115 and 98 of these, respectively. Non-negative matrix factorization–based clustering of mRNA expression data was used to identify molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma; DNA copy number, miRNA profiles, and clinical outcomes were analyzed for each. We additionally validated our findings in three previously published independent medulloblastoma data sets.
Identified are six molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma, each with a unique combination of numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations that globally influence mRNA and miRNA expression. We reveal the relative contribution of each subgroup to clinical outcome as a whole and show that a previously unidentified molecular subgroup, characterized genetically by c-MYC copy number gains and transcriptionally by enrichment of photoreceptor pathways and increased miR-183∼96∼182 expression, is associated with significantly lower rates of event-free and overall survivals.
Our results detail the complex genomic heterogeneity of medulloblastomas and identify a previously unrecognized molecular subgroup with poor clinical outcome for which more effective therapeutic strategies should be developed.
Despite significant progress in the molecular understanding of medulloblastoma, stratification of risk in patients remains a challenge. Focus has shifted from clinical parameters to molecular markers, such as expression of specific genes and selected genomic abnormalities, to improve accuracy of treatment outcome prediction. Here, we show how integration of high-level clinical and genomic features or risk factors, including disease subtype, can yield more comprehensive, accurate, and biologically interpretable prediction models for relapse versus no-relapse classification. We also introduce a novel Bayesian nomogram indicating the amount of evidence that each feature contributes on a patient-by-patient basis.
Patients and Methods
A Bayesian cumulative log-odds model of outcome was developed from a training cohort of 96 children treated for medulloblastoma, starting with the evidence provided by clinical features of metastasis and histology (model A) and incrementally adding the evidence from gene-expression–derived features representing disease subtype–independent (model B) and disease subtype–dependent (model C) pathways, and finally high-level copy-number genomic abnormalities (model D). The models were validated on an independent test cohort (n = 78).
On an independent multi-institutional test data set, models A to D attain an area under receiver operating characteristic (au-ROC) curve of 0.73 (95% CI, 0.60 to 0.84), 0.75 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.86), 0.80 (95% CI, 0.70 to 0.90), and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.68 to 0.88), respectively, for predicting relapse versus no relapse.
The proposed models C and D outperform the current clinical classification schema (au-ROC, 0.68), our previously published eight-gene outcome signature (au-ROC, 0.71), and several new schemas recently proposed in the literature for medulloblastoma risk stratification.
While genomically targeted therapies have improved outcomes for patients with lung adenocarcinoma, little is known about the genomic alterations which drive squamous cell lung cancer. Sanger sequencing of the tyrosine kinome identified mutations in the DDR2 kinase gene in 3.8% of squamous cell lung cancers and cell lines. Squamous lung cancer cell lines harboring DDR2 mutations were selectively killed by knock-down of DDR2 by RNAi or by treatment with the multi-targeted kinase inhibitor dasatinib. Tumors established from a DDR2 mutant cell line were sensitive to dasatinib in xenograft models. Expression of mutated DDR2 led to cellular transformation which was blocked by dasatinib. A squamous cell lung cancer patient with a response to dasatinib and erlotinib treatment harbored a DDR2 kinase domain mutation. These data suggest that gain-of-function mutations in DDR2 are important oncogenic events and are amenable to therapy with dasatinib. As dasatinib is already approved for use, these findings could be rapidly translated into clinical trials.
Squamous cell lung cancer; DDR2; dasatinib; tyrosine kinase inhibitors; lung cancer genomics
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) secondary kinase domain T790M non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) mutation enhances receptor catalytic activity and confers resistance to the reversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib. Currently, irreversible inhibitors represent the primary approach in clinical use to circumvent resistance. We show that higher concentrations of the irreversible EGFR inhibitor CL-387,785 are required to inhibit EGFR phosphorylation in T790M-expressing cells compared with EGFR mutant NSCLC cells without T790M. Additionally, CL-387,785 does not fully suppress phosphorylation of other activated receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) in T790M-expressing cells. These deficiencies result in residual Akt and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) activities. Full suppression of EGFR-mediated signaling in T790M-expressing cells requires the combination of CL-387,785 and rapamycin. In contrast, Hsp90 inhibition overcomes these limitations in vitro and depletes cells of EGFR, other RTKs, and phospho-Akt and inhibits mTOR signaling whether or not T790M is present. EGFR-T790M– expressing cells rendered resistant to CL-387,785 by a kinase switch mechanism retain sensitivity to Hsp90 inhibition. Finally, Hsp90 inhibition causes regression in murine lung adenocarcinomas driven by mutant EGFR (L858R) with or without T790M. However, efficacy in the L858R-T790M model requires a more intense treatment schedule and responses were transient. Nonetheless, these findings suggest that Hsp90 inhibitors may be effective in T790M-expressing cells and offer an alternative therapeutic strategy for this subset of lung cancers.
Squamous cell lung carcinomas account for approximately 25% of new lung carcinoma cases and 40,000 deaths per year in the United States. Although there are multiple genomically targeted therapies for lung adenocarcinoma, none has yet been reported in squamous cell lung carcinoma.
Using SNP array analysis, we found that a region of chromosome segment 8p11-12 containing three genes–WHSC1L1, LETM2, and FGFR1–is amplified in 3% of lung adenocarcinomas and 21% of squamous cell lung carcinomas. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a non-small cell lung carcinoma cell line harboring focal amplification of FGFR1 is dependent on FGFR1 activity for cell growth, as treatment of this cell line either with FGFR1-specific shRNAs or with FGFR small molecule enzymatic inhibitors leads to cell growth inhibition.
These studies show that FGFR1 amplification is common in squamous cell lung cancer, and that FGFR1 may represent a promising therapeutic target in non-small cell lung cancer.
Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of death from gynecologic malignancies. Treatment for advanced-stage disease remains limited and, to date, targeted therapies have been incompletely explored. By systematically suppressing each human tyrosine kinase in ovarian cancer cell lines by RNAi, we found that an autocrine signal-transducing loop involving NRG1 and activated-ErbB3 operates in a subset of primary ovarian cancers and ovarian cancer cell lines. Perturbation of this circuit with ErbB3-directed RNAi decreased cell growth in 3D culture and resulted in decreased disease progression and prolonged survival in a xenograft mouse model of ovarian cancer. Furthermore, a monoclonal ErbB3-directed antibody (MM-121) also significantly inhibited tumor growth in vivo. These findings identify ErbB3 as a potential therapeutic target in ovarian cancer.
Sarcoma; DNA copy number; Sequencing; RNAi
Standard cytotoxic chemotherapy is effective for some cancers, but for many others, available treatments offer only a limited survival benefit. Lung adenocarcinoma is one such cancer, responsible for approximately half of lung cancer deaths each year. Development of targeted therapies is thought to hold the most promise for successfully treating this disease, but a targeted approach is dependent on understanding the genomic state of the tumor cells. Exon-directed sequencing of large numbers of lung adenocarcinoma tumor samples has provided an initial low-resolution image of the somatic mutation profile of these tumors. Such cancer sequencing studies have confirmed the high frequency of TP53 and KRAS mutations in lung adenocarcinoma, have found inactivating mutations in known tumor suppressor genes not previously associated with lung adenocarcinoma, and have identified oncogenic mutations of EGFR upon which the first targeted therapy for lung adenocarcinoma patients was based. Additional candidate oncogenes await functional validation. It is anticipated that upcoming whole-exome and whole-genome lung adenocarcinoma sequencing experiments will reveal a more detailed landscape of somatic mutations that can be exploited for therapeutic purposes.
lung adenocarcinoma; EGFR; cancer sequencing; targeted therapy
A powerful way to discover key genes playing causal roles in oncogenesis is to identify genomic regions that undergo frequent alteration in human cancers. Here, we report high-resolution analyses of somatic copy-number alterations (SCNAs) from 3131 cancer specimens, belonging largely to 26 histological types. We identify 158 regions of focal SCNA that are altered at significant frequency across multiple cancer types, of which 122 cannot be explained by the presence of a known cancer target gene located within these regions. Several gene families are enriched among these regions of focal SCNA, including the BCL2 family of apoptosis regulators and the NF-κB pathway. We show that cancer cells harboring amplifications surrounding the MCL1 and BCL2L1 anti-apoptotic genes depend upon expression of these genes for survival. Finally, we demonstrate that a large majority of SCNAs identified in individual cancer types are present in multiple cancer types.
Determining the genetic basis of cancer requires comprehensive analyses of large collections of histopathologically well-classified primary tumours. Here we report the results of a collaborative study to discover somatic mutations in 188 human lung adenocarcinomas. DNA sequencing of 623 genes with known or potential relationships to cancer revealed more than 1,000 somatic mutations across the samples. Our analysis identified 26 genes that are mutated at significantly high frequencies and thus are probably involved in carcinogenesis. The frequently mutated genes include tyrosine kinases, among them the EGFR homologue ERBB4; multiple ephrin receptor genes, notably EPHA3; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor KDR; and NTRK genes. These data provide evidence of somatic mutations in primary lung adenocarcinoma for several tumour suppressor genes involved in other cancers—including NF1, APC, RB1 and ATM—and for sequence changes in PTPRD as well as the frequently deleted gene LRP1B. The observed mutational profiles correlate with clinical features, smoking status and DNA repair defects. These results are reinforced by data integration including single nucleotide polymorphism array and gene expression array. Our findings shed further light on several important signalling pathways involved in lung adenocarcinoma, and suggest new molecular targets for treatment.
Somatic genetic alterations in cancers have been linked with response to targeted therapeutics by creation of specific dependency on activated oncogenic signaling pathways. However, no tools currently exist to systematically connect such genetic lesions to therapeutic vulnerability. We have therefore developed a genomics approach to identify lesions associated with therapeutically relevant oncogene dependency. Using integrated genomic profiling, we have demonstrated that the genomes of a large panel of human non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines are highly representative of those of primary NSCLC tumors. Using cell-based compound screening coupled with diverse computational approaches to integrate orthogonal genomic and biochemical data sets, we identified molecular and genomic predictors of therapeutic response to clinically relevant compounds. Using this approach, we showed that v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) mutations confer enhanced Hsp90 dependency and validated this finding in mice with KRAS-driven lung adenocarcinoma, as these mice exhibited dramatic tumor regression when treated with an Hsp90 inhibitor. In addition, we found that cells with copy number enhancement of v-abl Abelson murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 2 (ABL2) and ephrin receptor kinase and v-src sarcoma (Schmidt-Ruppin A-2) viral oncogene homolog (avian) (SRC) kinase family genes were exquisitely sensitive to treatment with the SRC/ABL inhibitor dasatinib, both in vitro and when it xenografted into mice. Thus, genomically annotated cell-line collections may help translate cancer genomics information into clinical practice by defining critical pathway dependencies amenable to therapeutic inhibition.
Neuroblastoma, an embryonal tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system, accounts for approximately 15% of all deaths due to childhood cancer1. High-risk neuroblastomas, prevalent in the majority of patients, are rapidly progressive; even with intensive myeloablative chemotherapy, relapse is common and almost uniformly fatal2,3. Here we report the detection of previously unknown mutations in the ALK gene, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase, in 8% of primary neuroblastomas. Five non-synonymous sequence variations were identified in the kinase domain of ALK, of which three were somatic and two were germline. The most frequent mutation, F1174L, was also identified in three different neuroblastoma cell lines. ALK cDNAs encoding the F1174L and R1275Q variants, but not the wild-type ALK cDNA, transformed IL-3-dependent murine hematopoietic Ba/F3 cells to cytokine-independent growth. Ba/F3 cells expressing these mutations were sensitive to a small-molecule inhibitor of ALK, TAE6844. Furthermore, two human neuroblastoma cell lines harboring the F1174L mutation were sensitive to the inhibitor. Cytotoxicity was associated with increased levels of apoptosis as measured by TUNEL-labeling. shRNA-mediated knockdown of ALK expression in neuroblastoma cell lines with the F1174L mutation also resulted in apoptosis and impaired cell proliferation. Thus, activating alleles of the ALK receptor tyrosine kinase are present in primary neuroblastoma tumors and in established neuroblastoma cell lines, and confer sensitivity to ALK inhibition with small molecules, providing a molecular rationale for targeted therapy of this disease.
There is a growing appreciation of the role that epigenetic alterations can play in oncogenesis. However, given the large number of genetic anomalies present in most cancers, it has been difficult to evaluate the extent to which epigenetic changes contribute to cancer. SNF5 (INI1/SMARCB1/BAF47) is a tumor suppressor that regulates the epigenome as a core member of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. While the SWI/SNF complex displays potent tumor suppressor activity, it is unknown whether this activity is exerted genetically via maintenance of genome integrity or epigenetically via transcriptional regulation. Here we show that Snf5-deficient primary cells do not show altered sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, defects in γ-H2AX induction, or an abrogated DNA damage checkpoint. Further, the aggressive malignancies that arise following SNF5 loss are diploid and genomically stable. Remarkably, we demonstrate that most human SNF5-deficient cancers lack genomic amplifications/deletions and, aside from SNF5 loss, are indistinguishable from normal cells on single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays. Finally, we show that epigenetically based changes in transcription that occur following SNF5 loss correlate with the tumor phenotype. Collectively, our results provide novel insight into the mechanisms of oncogenesis by demonstrating that disruption of a chromatin remodeling complex can largely, if not completely, substitute for genomic instability in the genesis of aggressive cancer.
Somatic alterations in cellular DNA underlie almost all human cancers1. The prospect of targeted therapies2 and the development of high-resolution, genome-wide approaches3–8 are now spurring systematic efforts to characterize cancer genomes. Here we report a large-scale project to characterize copy-number alterations in primary lung adenocarcinomas. By analysis of a large collection of tumors (n = 371) using dense single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, we identify a total of 57 significantly recurrent events. We find that 26 of 39 autosomal chromosome arms show consistent large-scale copy-number gain or loss, of which only a handful have been linked to a specific gene. We also identify 31 recurrent focal events, including 24 amplifications and 7 homozygous deletions. Only six of these focal events are currently associated with known mutations in lung carcinomas. The most common event, amplification of chromosome 14q13.3, is found in ~12% of samples. On the basis of genomic and functional analyses, we identify NKX2-1 (NK2 homeobox 1, also called TITF1), which lies in the minimal 14q13.3 amplification interval and encodes a lineage-specific transcription factor, as a novel candidate proto-oncogene involved in a significant fraction of lung adenocarcinomas. More generally, our results indicate that many of the genes that are involved in lung adenocarcinoma remain to be discovered.
A report on the Keystone Symposium 'Cancer Genomics and Epigenomics', Taos, USA, 19-24 February 2008.
A report on the Keystone Symposium 'Cancer Genomics and Epigenomics', Taos, USA, 19-24 February 2008.
Mutations in the EGFR kinase are a cause of non-small cell lung cancer. To understand their mechanism of activation and effects on drug binding, we studied the kinetics of the L858R and G719S mutants and determined their crystal structures with inhibitors including gefitinib, AEE788 and a staurosporine. We find that the mutations activate the kinase by disrupting autoinhibitory interactions, and that they accelerate catalysis as much as 50-fold in vitro. Structures of inhibitors in complex with both wild-type and mutant kinases reveal similar binding modes for gefitinib and AEE788, but a marked rotation of the staurosporine in the G719S mutant. Strikingly, direct binding measurements show that gefitinib binds 20-fold more tightly to the L858R mutant than to the wild-type enzyme.
Mutations in the EGFR kinase domain occur in approximately 16% of NSCLCs, but at much higher frequencies in selected populations including non-smokers, women, and East Asian patients. The presence of these mutations correlates with response to small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting EGFR. Because the diverse mutations cluster around the catalytic cleft and because differences in inhibitor sensitivity of the mutants have been reported, it is important to understand the effect of the mutations on inhibitor binding at a structural level. The present work provides a structural foundation for understanding the differential inhibitor sensitivities of the L858R and G719S mutants, and will help guide rational application of currently available EGFR inhibitors and development of more potent and perhaps mutation-specific inhibitors.