Epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been widely used in the clinical treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with EGFR mutations. Previous studies have shown that Aurora kinase A (AURKA) is overexpressed in a broad spectrum of cancer cells, which can induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and contribute to the occurrence of acquired EGFR-TKI resistance. However, whether the inhibition of AURKA could overcome EGFR-TKI resistance or reverse the EMT in TKI-resistant NSCLC cells remains unclear. In the current study, we established three EGFR-TKI-resistant cell lines and analyzed their expression profiles by RNA sequencing. The results revealed that the EMT pathway is significantly upregulated in the three cell lines with EGFR-TKI resistance. The phosphorylation of AURKA at Thr 288 was also upregulated, suggesting that the activation of AURKA plays an important role in the occurrence of EGFR-TKI resistance. Interestingly, the AURKA inhibitor, alisertib treatment restored the susceptibility of resistant cells to EGFR-TKIs and partially reversed the EMT process, thereby reducing migration and invasion in EGFR-TKI-resistant cells. This study provides evidence that targeting AURKA signaling pathway by alisertib may be a novel approach for overcoming EGFR-TKI resistance and for the treatment of metastatic EGFR-TKIs in NSCLC patients.
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research|
|State||Published - May 2021|
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- TKI resistance