The EGFR family members sustain the neoplastic phenotype of ALK+ lung adenocarcinoma via EGR1

C. Voena, F. Di Giacomo, E. Panizza, L. D'Amico, F. E. Boccalatte, E. Pellegrino, M. Todaro, D. Recupero, F. Tabbò, C. Ambrogio, C. Martinengo, L. Bonello, R. Pulito, J. Hamm, R. Chiarle, M. Cheng, B. Ruggeri, E. Medico, G. Inghirami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) stand out among causal dominant oncogenes, and the ablation of RTK signaling has emerged as a novel tailored therapeutic strategy. Nonetheless, long-term RTK inhibition leads invariably to acquired resistance, tumor recurrence and metastatic dissemination. In ALK+ cell lines, inhibition of ALK signaling was associated with coactivation of several RTKs, whose pharmacological suppression reverted the partial resistance to ALK blockade. Remarkably, ERBB2 signaling synergized with ALK and contributed to the neoplastic phenotype. Moreover, the engagement of wild-type epidermal growth factor receptor or MET receptors could sustain cell viability through early growth response 1 (EGR1) and/or Erk1/2; Akt activation and EGR1 overexpression prevented cell death induced by combined ALK/RTK inhibition. Membrane expression of ERBB2 in a subset of primary naive ALK+ NSCLC could be relevant in the clinical arena. Our data demonstrate that the neoplastic phenotype of ALK-driven NSCLC relays 'ab initio' on the concomitant activation of multiple RTK signals via autocrine/paracrine regulatory loops. These findings suggest that molecular and functional signatures are required in de novo lung cancer patients for the design of efficacious and multi-targeted 'patient-specific' therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere43
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • ALK tyrosine kinase
  • EGR1
  • HER family
  • Lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The EGFR family members sustain the neoplastic phenotype of ALK+ lung adenocarcinoma via EGR1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this