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Cell Death Dis. 2019 Mar 25;10(4):283. doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-1519-z.

TAZ sensitizes EGFR wild-type non-small-cell lung cancer to gefitinib by promoting amphiregulin transcription.

Author information

1
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geriatrics, Department of Geriatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
2
Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
3
Nanjing Lishui People's Hospital, Zhongda Hospital Lishui Branch, Southeast University, Nanjing, China.
4
Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geriatrics, Department of Geriatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China. jwunjmu@163.com.

Abstract

Comparatively less toxic and more tolerated, epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) are recommendable for advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with EGFR-sensitive mutations. Some EGFR wild-type patients with specific biomarkers also show a response to the drug. TAZ is an oncogene closely associated with the therapeutic effect of EGFR-TKIs. However, this association remains to be clarified. This study aimed to clarify the mechanism through which TAZ sensitizes EGFR wild-type NSCLC to gefitinib. We used CCK-8 assays and in vivo experiments to investigate the influence of TAZ on gefitinib in EGFR wild-type NSCLC. To further validate the tumorigenic role of TAZ, we performed Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tube formation and migration assays. Luciferase reporter assays, quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), immunoblotting and Chromatin immunoprecipitation collaborated with qPCR illuminated the mechanism through which TAZ caused those phenotypes. The results showed TAZ promoted the angiogenesis of NSCLC cell lines and improved gefitinib sensitivity in EGFR wild-type NSCLC in vitro and in vivo. Luciferase reporter assays and ChIP-qPCR experiments showed TAZ upregulated AREG by promoting its transcription. EGFR signaling pathway was activated as TAZ was highly expressed. Rescue experiments were conducted to confirm the indispensable role of AREG in tumorigenesis and gefitinib sensitivity regulated by TAZ. Our study concluded that TAZ sensitized EGFR wild-type NSCLC to gefitinib through promoting amphiregulin transcription.

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