Our aim was to assess the activation profile of EGFR, PDGFRB and PDGFRA receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and their downstream effectors in a series of cryopreserved diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM) surgical specimens to discover the targets for drug inhibition. We also made a complementary analysis of the cytotoxic effects of some kinase inhibitors on the proliferation of the human peritoneal mesothelioma STO cell line. We found the expression/phosphorylation of EGFR and PDGFRB in most of the tumours, and PDGFRA activation in half. The expression of the cognate ligands TGF-α, PDGFB and PDGFA in the absence of RTK mutation and amplification suggested the presence of an autocrine/paracrine loop. There was also evidence of EGFR and PDGFRB co-activation. RTK downstream signalling analysis demonstrated the activation/expression of ERK1/2, AKT and mTOR, together with S6 and 4EBP1, in almost all the DMPMs. No KRAS/BRAF mutations, PI3KCA mutations/amplifications or PTEN inactivation were observed. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed the decreased expression of TSC1 c-DNA in half of the tumours. In vitro cytotoxicity studies showed the STO cell line to be resistant to gefitinib and sensitive to sequential treatment with RAD001 and sorafenib; these findings were consistent with the presence of the KRAS mutation G12D in these cells although it was not detectable in the original tumour. Our results highlight the ligand-dependent activation and co-activation of EGFR and PDGFRB, as well as a connection between these activated RTKs and the downstream mTOR pathway, thus supporting the role of combined treatment with RTK and mTOR inhibitors in DMPM.
- Diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research