EGFR and Prion protein promote signaling via FOXO3a-KLF5 resulting in clinical resistance to platinum agents in colorectal cancer

Atkinson, Caroline J. and Kawamata, Futoshi and Liu, Cheng and Ham, Sunyoung and Győrffy, Balázs and Munn, Alan L. and Wei, Ming Q. and Möller, Andreas and Whitehall, Vicki and Wiegmans, Adrian P. (2019) EGFR and Prion protein promote signaling via FOXO3a-KLF5 resulting in clinical resistance to platinum agents in colorectal cancer. MOLECULAR ONCOLOGY, 13 (4). pp. 725-737. ISSN 1574-7891


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Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) supports colorectal cancer progression via oncogenic signaling. Anti-EGFR therapy is being investigated as a clinical option for colorectal cancer, and an observed interaction between EGFR and Prion protein has been detected in neuronal cells. We hypothesized that PrPC expression levels may regulate EGFR signaling and that detailed understanding of this signaling pathway may enable identification of resistance mechanisms and new actionable targets in colorectal cancer. We performed molecular pathway analysis following knockdown of PrPC or inhibition of EGFR signaling via gefitinib to identify changes in expression of key signaling proteins that determine cellular sensitivity or resistance to cisplatin. Expression of these proteins was examined in matched primary and metastatic patient samples and was correlated for resistance to therapy and progression of disease. Utilizing three colorectal cancer cell lines, we observed a correlation between high expression of PrPC and resistance to cisplatin. Investigation of molecular signaling in a resistant cell line revealed that PrPC contributed to signaling via colocalization with EGFR, which could be overcome by targeting p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38 MAPK). We revealed that the level of Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5), a target downstream of p38 MAPK, was predictive for cell line and patient response to platinum agents. Further, high KLF5 expression was observed in BRAF-mutant colorectal cancer. Our study indicates that the EGFR to KLF5 pathway is predictive of patient progression on platinum-based therapy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: SIGNAL TRANSDUCTION; PRION PROTEIN; colorectal cancer; cisplatin; FOXO3a;
Subjects: R Medicine / orvostudomány > RC Internal medicine / belgyógyászat > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer) / daganatok, tumorok, onkológia
R Medicine / orvostudomány > RJ Pediatrics / gyermekgyógyászat
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 14:11
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2019 14:11

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