Association of constitutively activated hepatocyte growth factor receptor (Met) with resistance to a dual EGFR/Her2 inhibitor in non-small-cell lung cancer cells

Br J Cancer. 2009 Mar 24;100(6):941-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604937. Epub 2009 Feb 24.


There is a pressing need to identify new drug targets and novel approaches for treatment of non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Members of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Met receptor families have been identified as important molecular targets for NSCLC. Two EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs; erlotinib and gefitinib) are in current clinical use, but a majority of patients do not respond to these targeted therapies. We used receptor TK (RTK) capture arrays to identify receptors active in NSCLC cell lines. As Met and ErbBs were active, we explored the potential therapeutic advantage of combined targeting of Met with ErbB receptor family inhibitors for treatment of NSCLC. We found that Met physically interacts with both EGFR and Her2 in a NSCLC cell line with overexpression/overactivation of Met. Combined use of a dual EGFR/Her2 inhibitor with a Met inhibitor yields maximal growth inhibition compared with the use of EGFR and/or Met inhibitors. This suggests that simultaneous inhibition of multiple RTKs may be needed to effectively abrogate tumour cell growth. Phosphoproteomic analysis by RTK capture arrays may be a valuable tool for identifying the subset of tumours with functional receptor activation, regardless of mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met
  • Quinazolines / pharmacology*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • GW2974
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Quinazolines
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • MET protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met
  • Receptor, ErbB-2