Sequential Application of Anticancer Drugs Enhances Cell Death by Rewiring Apoptotic Signaling Networks

Cell. 2012 May 11;149(4):780-94. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.031.

Abstract

Crosstalk and complexity within signaling pathways and their perturbation by oncogenes limit component-by-component approaches to understanding human disease. Network analysis of how normal and oncogenic signaling can be rewired by drugs may provide opportunities to target tumors with high specificity and efficacy. Using targeted inhibition of oncogenic signaling pathways, combined with DNA-damaging chemotherapy, we report that time-staggered EGFR inhibition, but not simultaneous coadministration, dramatically sensitizes a subset of triple-negative breast cancer cells to genotoxic drugs. Systems-level analysis-using high-density time-dependent measurements of signaling networks, gene expression profiles, and cell phenotypic responses in combination with mathematical modeling-revealed an approach for altering the intrinsic state of the cell through dynamic rewiring of oncogenic signaling pathways. This process converts these cells to a less tumorigenic state that is more susceptible to DNA damage-induced cell death by reactivation of an extrinsic apoptotic pathway whose function is suppressed in the oncogene-addicted state.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Apoptosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Caspase 8
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Damage
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods*
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction*

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Caspase 8

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE30516