Reactivation of mutant-EGFR degradation through clathrin inhibition overcomes resistance to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Ludovic Ménard*, Nicolas Floc'h, Matthew J. Martin, Darren A.E. Cross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) targeting mutant EGFR in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have been successful to control cancer growth, but acquired resistance inevitably occurs, including mutations directly on EGFR, for example, T790M and C797S. Strategies to prevent such acquired mutations by reducing mutant-EGFR expression have met limited success. Here, we propose a new model of mutant-EGFR trafficking and demonstrate that clathrin inhibition induces rapid degradation across a large panel of endogenous mutant-EGFR (Ex19del, L858R, and Ex20Ins). This panel included mutant-EGFR (T790M) resistant to the first- and second-generation EGFR inhibitors and to the thirdgeneration TKI osimertinib and occurs through both mutational (C797S) and nonmutational EGFR mechanisms. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis inhibition of mutant EGFR induced a macropinocytosis- dependent lysosomal pathway associated with a loss of mutant-EGFR-dependent signaling (pAKT, pERK). Moreover, induction of this macropinocytic pathway led to robust apoptosis- dependent death across all mutant-EGFR cell lines tested, including those resistant to TKIs. We, therefore, propose a novel strategy to target mutant-EGFR refractory to approved existing TKI treatments in NSCLC and where new treatment strategies remain a key area of unmet need. Significance: These findings extend our mechanistic understanding of NSCLC mutant EGFR trafficking biology, the role that trafficking may play in resistance of mutant EGFR to tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and provide new therapeutic and biological insights to tackle this fundamental issue and improve benefit to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3267-3279
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


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