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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48004. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048004. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Modeling of tumor progression in NSCLC and intrinsic resistance to TKI in loss of PTEN expression.

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Laboratory of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


EGFR signaling plays a very important role in NSCLC. It activates Ras/ERK, PI3K/Akt and STAT activation pathways. These are the main pathways for cell proliferation and survival. We have developed two mathematical models to relate to the different EGFR signaling in NSCLC and normal cells in the presence or absence of EGFR and PTEN mutations. The dynamics of downstream signaling pathways vary in the disease state and activation of some factors can be indicative of drug resistance. Our simulation denotes the effect of EGFR mutations and increased expression of certain factors in NSCLC EGFR signaling on each of the three pathways where levels of pERK, pSTAT and pAkt are increased. Over activation of ERK, Akt and STAT3 which are the main cell proliferation and survival factors act as promoting factors for tumor progression in NSCLC. In case of loss of PTEN, Akt activity level is considerably increased. Our simulation results show that in the presence of erlotinib, downstream factors i.e. pAkt, pSTAT3 and pERK are inhibited. However, in case of loss of PTEN expression in the presence of erlotinib, pAkt level would not decrease which demonstrates that these cells are resistant to erlotinib.

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