Lapatinib, a preventive/therapeutic agent against mammary cancer, suppresses RTK-mediated signaling through multiple signaling pathways.

Author(s): Li J,  Cho YY,  Langfald A,  Carper A,  Lubet RA,  Grubbs CJ,  Ericson ME,  Bode AM

Journal: Cancer Prev Res (Phila)

Date: 2011 Aug

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): CADRG

PubMed ID: 21791570

PMC ID: not available

Abstract: Activation of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) plays a key role in the prognosis of mammary cancer. Lapatinib is a small molecule dual RTK inhibitor that targets epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Identifying the protein targets involved in the effects of lapatinib and other RTK inhibitors might help determine why preventive efficacy varies. In this study, female Sprague-Dawley rats were given methylnitrosourea (MNU) by intravenous injection resulting in the development of multiple estrogen receptor-positive tumors. Treatment with lapatinib beginning 5 days after MNU was highly effective in preventing cancer development. In addition, we treated rats with palpable mammary tumors with lapatinib daily. In these tumor-bearing animals, treatment continued for 42 days and therapeutic results were obtained. Some rats bearing cancers were treated for 5 days, and the resulting lesions were examined for biomarker modulation. Lapatinib effectively suppressed the abundance of HER2, phosphorylated HER2 (Tyr1221/1222), and phosphorylated EGFR (Tyr1173, Tyr1110) compared with tumors from untreated rats. Protein array analyses allowed parallel determination of the effect of lapatinib on the relative levels of protein phosphorylation and proteins associated with apoptosis. These results combined with immunoreactivity data indicated that, in addition to EGFR and HER2, lapatinib treatment was associated with changes in a number of other signaling molecules, including IGF-1R, Akt, and downstream targets such as GSK3, p27, p53, and cyclin D1 presumably leading to impaired proliferation, apoptosis, or cell-cycle arrest.