The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is up-regulated in lung cancer, involves the activation of mitogenic signals and triggers multiple signaling cascades. To dissect these EGFR cascades, we used 14 different phospho-EGFR antibodies to quantify protein phosphorylation using an in situ proximity ligation assay (in situ PLA). Phosphorylation at EGFR-Thr654 and -Ser1046 was EGF-dependent in the wild-type (WT) receptor but EGF-independent in a cell line carrying the EGFR-L858R mutation. Using a ProtoAarray™ containing ~5000 recombinant proteins on the protein chip, we found that AURKA interacted with the EGFR-L861Q mutant. Moreover, overexpression of EGFR could form a complex with AURKA, and the inhibitors of AURKA and EGFR decreased EGFR-Thr654 and -Ser1046 phosphorylation. Immunohistochemical staining of stage I lung adenocarcinoma tissues demonstrated a positive correlation between AURKA expression and phosphorylation of EGFR at Thr654 and Ser1046 in EGFR-mutant specimens, but not in EGFR-WT specimens. The interplay between EGFR and AURKA provides an explanation for the difference in EGF dependency between EGFR-WT and EGFR-mutant cells and may provide a new therapeutic strategy for lung cancer patients carrying EGFR mutations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)