Systemic analysis of tyrosine kinase signaling reveals a common adaptive response program in a HER2-positive breast cancer

Sci Signal. 2019 Jan 22;12(565):eaau2875. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aau2875.


Drug-induced compensatory signaling and subsequent rewiring of the signaling pathways that support cell proliferation and survival promote the development of acquired drug resistance in tumors. Here, we sought to analyze the adaptive kinase response in cancer cells after distinct treatment with agents targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), specifically those that induce either only temporary cell cycle arrest or, alternatively, apoptosis in HER2-overexpressing cancers. We compared trastuzumab, ARRY380, the combination thereof, and a biparatopic, HER2-targeted designed ankyrin repeat protein (DARPin; specifically, 6L1G) and quantified the phosphoproteome by isobaric tagging using tandem mass tag liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (TMT LC-MS/MS). We found a specific signature of persistently phosphorylated tyrosine peptides after the nonapoptotic treatments, which we used to distinguish between different treatment-induced cancer cell fates. Next, we analyzed the activation of serine/threonine and tyrosine kinases after treatment using a bait peptide chip array and predicted the corresponding active kinases. Through a combined system-wide analysis, we identified a common adaptive kinase response program that involved the activation of focal adhesion kinase 1 (FAK1), protein kinase C-δ (PRKCD), and Ephrin (EPH) family receptors. These findings reveal potential targets to prevent adaptive resistance to HER2-targeted therapies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / pharmacology*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Trastuzumab / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Proteome
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Protein Kinases
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Trastuzumab