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Co-targeting EGFR and mTOR with gefitinib and everolimus in triple-negative breast cancer cells

Abstract : Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are unlikely to respond to hormonal therapies and anti-HER2-targeted therapies. TNBCs overexpress EGFR and exhibit constitutive activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signalling pathway. We hypothesized that simultaneously blocking EGFR and mTOR could be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of TNBC. We examined the antitumour activity of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus combined with the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib in TNBC cell with or without activating mutations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signalling pathway. We demonstrated that everolimus and gefitinib induced synergistic growth inhibition in the PI3K and PTEN-mutant CAL-51 cell line but not in the PTEN-null HCC-1937 cell line. The antiproliferative effect was associated with synergistic inhibition of mTOR and P70S6K phosphorylation, as well as a significant reduction in 4E-BP1 activation in the CAL-51 cell line. We also showed that combination therapy significantly inhibited cell cycle progression and increased apoptosis in this cell line. Gene and protein expression analysis revealed significant downregulation of cell cycle regulators after exposure to combined treatment. Collectively, these results suggested that dual inhibition of mTOR and EGFR may be an effective treatment for TNBC with activating mutations of PI3K.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 5:08:25 PM
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Abderrahim El Guerrab, Mahchid Bamdad, Yves-Jean Bignon, Frédérique Penault-Llorca, Corinne Aubel. Co-targeting EGFR and mTOR with gefitinib and everolimus in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 10 (1), pp.6367. ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-63310-2⟩. ⟨inserm-02750447⟩

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