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Title: Targeting microtubules sensitizes drug resistant lung cancer cells to lysosomal pathway inhibitors
Authors: Chin, T.-M.
Boopathy, G.T.K. 
Man, E.P.S.
Clohessy, J.G.
Csizmadia, E.
Quinlan, M.P.
Putti, T.
Wan, S.-C. 
Xie, C.
Ali, A. 
Wai, F.C. 
Ong, Y.S.
Goh, B.-C. 
Settleman, J.
Hong, W.
Levantini, E.
Tenen, D.G. 
Keywords: Chloroquine
EGFR mutants
Microtubule dysfunction
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Ivyspring International Publisher
Citation: Chin, T.-M., Boopathy, G.T.K., Man, E.P.S., Clohessy, J.G., Csizmadia, E., Quinlan, M.P., Putti, T., Wan, S.-C., Xie, C., Ali, A., Wai, F.C., Ong, Y.S., Goh, B.-C., Settleman, J., Hong, W., Levantini, E., Tenen, D.G. (2020). Targeting microtubules sensitizes drug resistant lung cancer cells to lysosomal pathway inhibitors. Theranostics 10 (6) : 2727-2743. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Abstract: Oncogene-addicted cancers are predominantly driven by specific oncogenic pathways and display initial exquisite sensitivity to designer therapies, but eventually become refractory to treatments. Clear understanding of lung tumorigenic mechanisms is essential for improved therapies. Methods: Lysosomes were analyzed in EGFR-WT and mutant cells and corresponding patient samples using immunofluorescence or immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. Microtubule organization and dynamics were studied using immunofluorescence analyses. Also, we have validated our findings in a transgenic mouse model that contain EGFR-TKI resistant mutations. Results: We herein describe a novel mechanism that a mutated kinase disrupts the microtubule organization and results in a defective endosomal/lysosomal pathway. This prevents the efficient degradation of phosphorylated proteins that become trapped within the endosomes and continue to signal, therefore amplifying downstream proliferative and survival pathways. Phenotypically, a distinctive subcellular appearance of LAMP1 secondary to microtubule dysfunction in cells expressing EGFR kinase mutants is seen, and this may have potential diagnostic applications for the detection of such mutants. We demonstrate that lysosomal-inhibitors re-sensitize resistant cells to EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Identifying the endosome-lysosome pathway and microtubule dysfunction as a mechanism of resistance allows to pharmacologically intervene on this pathway. Conclusions: We find that the combination of microtubule stabilizing agent and lysosome inhibitor could reduce the tumor progression in EGFR TKI resistant mouse models of lung cancer. © The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Source Title: Theranostics
ISSN: 18387640
DOI: 10.7150/thno.38729
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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