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J Proteomics. 2018 Oct 30;189:48-59. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Quantitative targeted proteomic analysis of potential markers of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) sensitivity in EGFR mutated lung adenocarcinoma.

Author information

1
Thoracic & Gastrointestinal Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, Bethesda, MD, United States; School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, United States.
2
Thoracic & Gastrointestinal Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, Bethesda, MD, United States.
3
School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, United States.
4
School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, United States.
5
Thoracic & Gastrointestinal Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, Bethesda, MD, United States. Electronic address: udayan.guha@nih.gov.

Abstract

Lung cancer causes the highest mortality among all cancers. Patients harboring kinase domain mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) respond to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), however, acquired resistance always develops. Moreover, 30-40% of patients with EGFR mutations exhibit primary resistance. Hence, there is an unmet need for additional biomarkers of TKI sensitivity that complement EGFR mutation testing and predict treatment response. We previously identified phosphopeptides whose phosphorylation is inhibited upon treatment with EGFR TKIs, erlotinib and afatinib in TKI sensitive cells, but not in resistant cells. These phosphosites are potential biomarkers of TKI sensitivity. Here, we sought to develop modified immuno-multiple reaction monitoring (immuno-MRM)-based quantitation assays for select phosphosites including EGFR-pY1197, pY1172, pY998, AHNAK-pY160, pY715, DAPP1-pY139, CAV1-pY14, INPPL1-pY1135, NEDD9-pY164, NF1-pY2579, and STAT5A-pY694. These sites were significantly hypophosphorylated by erlotinib and a 3rd generation EGFR TKI, osimertinib, in TKI-sensitive H3255 cells, which harbor the TKI-sensitizing EGFRL858R mutation. However, in H1975 cells, which harbor the TKI-resistant EGFRL858R/T790M mutant, osimertinib, but not erlotinib, could significantly inhibit phosphorylation of EGFR-pY-1197, STAT5A-pY694 and CAV1-pY14, suggesting these sites also predict response in TKI-resistant cells. We could further validate EGFR-pY-1197 as a biomarker of TKI sensitivity by developing a calibration curve-based modified immuno-MRM assay. SIGNIFICANCE: In this report, we have shown the development and optimization of MRM assays coupled with global phosphotyrosine enrichment (modified immuno-MRM) for a list of 11 phosphotyrosine peptides. Our optimized assays identified the targets reproducibly in biological samples with good selectivity. We also developed and characterized quantitation methods to determine endogenous abundance of these targets and correlated the results of the relative quantification with amounts estimated from the calibration curves. This approach represents a way to validate and verify biomarker candidates discovered from large-scale global phospho-proteomics analysis. The application of these modified immuno-MRM assays in lung adenocarcinoma cells provides proof-of concept for the feasibility of clinical applications. These assays may be used in prospective clinical studies of EGFR TKI treatment of EGFR mutant lung cancer to correlate treatment response and other clinical endpoints.

KEYWORDS:

EGFR; Lung cancer; MRM; Phosphoproteomics; Targeted proteomics; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor

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