Effects of dasatinib on EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase activity and downstream signalling in pancreatic cancer

Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 7;99(7):1074-82. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604676. Epub 2008 Sep 16.


Eph receptors constitute the largest family of receptor tyrosine kinases in the human genome. EphA2 is one prominent member that is overexpressed and functionally altered in many invasive cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Dasatinib, which is a multi-targeted kinase inhibitor mainly developed for Bcr-Abl and Src family kinases, has recently been shown to have significant activity against EphA2. As selective small molecule EphA2 inhibitors are not currently available, we investigated the therapeutic potential to target EphA2 by dasatinib in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Using in vitro kinase assays, we found that EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase was inhibited directly by dasatinib in a dose-dependent manner. Stimulation with ephrinA1 produced rapid increases of EphA2 phosphorylation that were inhibited by dasatinib, although the effects on activation of downstream signalling differed among the pancreatic cancer cell lines. Dasatinib also inhibited ligand-induced binding of EphA2 to the ubiquitin ligase Cbl, and the internalisation and degradation of EphA2, suggesting that these processes are dependent on kinase activity. Treatment with dasatinib decreased EphA2 phosphorylation in BxPC-3 xenografts, suggesting that dasatinib might have activity in pancreatic cancer due to EphA2 inhibition, besides its effects on Src.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dasatinib
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology*
  • Receptor, EphA2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, EphA2 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*


  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • Thiazoles
  • Receptor, EphA2
  • Dasatinib