There are currently no approved targeted therapies for advanced KRAS mutant (KRASMT) colorectal cancer (CRC). Using a unique systems biology approach, we identified JAK1/2-dependent activation of STAT3 as the key mediator of resistance toMEK inhibitors in KRASMT CRC invitro and invivo.Further analyses identified acute increases in c-MET activity following treatment with MEK inhibitors in KRASMT CRC models, which was demonstrated to promote JAK1/2-STAT3-mediated resistance. Furthermore, activation of c-MET following MEK inhibition was found tobe due to inhibition of the ERK-dependent metalloprotease ADAM17, which normally inhibits c-MET signaling by promoting shedding of its endogenous antagonist, soluble "decoy" MET. Most importantly, pharmacological blockade of this resistance pathway with either c-MET or JAK1/2 inhibitors synergisticallyincreased MEK-inhibitor-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition invitro and invivo in KRASMT models, providing clear rationales for the clinical assessment of these combinations in KRASMT CRC patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)