AZD9291 overcomes T790 M-mediated resistance through degradation of EGFR(L858R/T790M) in non-small cell lung cancer cells

Invest New Drugs. 2016 Aug;34(4):407-15. doi: 10.1007/s10637-016-0350-y. Epub 2016 Apr 5.


The discovery of activating mutations of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has resulted in the development of more effective treatments for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) provide significant clinical benefit, acquired resistance often occurs, most commonly (>50 %) via a T790 M resistance mutation. Although AZD9291 is selective for both T790 M and activating EGFR mutations over wild-type EGFR, it is highly active when T790 M is present, especially EGFR(L858R/T790M), and modestly active when T790 M is absent. The aim of this study was to elucidate the underlying mechanism of the high sensitivity of NSCLC cells harboring EGFR(L858R/T790M) to AZD9291. In H1975 cells harboring EGFR(L858R/T790M), AZD9291 potently inhibited cellular growth and EGFR signaling pathways together with depletion of mutant EGFR protein. AZD9291-induced depletion of EGFR(L858R/T790M) protein was abrogated through inhibition of the proteasome with MG132. However, AZD9291 had no effect on protein levels of EGFR(WT) and EGFR(L858R). In addition, AZD9291 induced apoptosis and caused expression changes in cell cycle-related genes. Moreover, oral administration of AZD9291 as a single agent induced tumor regression in vivo in a H1975 tumor xenograft model and reduced EGFR(L858R/T790M) protein levels in xenograft tumors. Taken together, our results provide a potential mechanism for the sensitivity of EGFR(L858R/T790M) cells to AZD9291 and suggest that AZD9291 may be effective in cases of T790 M-positive EGFR resistance.

Keywords: AZD9291; Apoptosis; Mutant EGFR; Non-small cell lung cancer; T790 M mutation.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamides / pharmacology*
  • Acrylamides / therapeutic use
  • Aniline Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Aniline Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • CHO Cells
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cricetulus
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / physiology
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude


  • Acrylamides
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • osimertinib
  • EGFR protein, human
  • ErbB Receptors