Differential responses to kinase inhibition in FGFR2-addicted triple negative breast cancer cells: a quantitative phosphoproteomics study

Sci Rep. 2020 May 14;10(1):7950. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-64534-y.


Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) dependent signalling is frequently activated in cancer by a variety of different mechanisms. However, the downstream signal transduction pathways involved are poorly characterised. Here a quantitative differential phosphoproteomics approach, SILAC, is applied to identify FGF-regulated phosphorylation events in two triple- negative breast tumour cell lines, MFM223 and SUM52, that exhibit amplified expression of FGF receptor 2 (FGFR2) and are dependent on continued FGFR2 signalling for cell viability. Comparative Gene Ontology proteome analysis revealed that SUM52 cells were enriched in proteins associated with cell metabolism and MFM223 cells enriched in proteins associated with cell adhesion and migration. FGFR2 inhibition by SU5402 impacts a significant fraction of the observed phosphoproteome of these cells. This study expands the known landscape of FGF signalling and identifies many new targets for functional investigation. FGF signalling pathways are found to be flexible in architecture as both shared, and divergent, responses to inhibition of FGFR2 kinase activity in the canonical RAF/MAPK/ERK/RSK and PI3K/AKT/PDK/mTOR/S6K pathways are identified. Inhibition of phosphorylation-dependent negative-feedback pathways is observed, defining mechanisms of intrinsic resistance to FGFR2 inhibition. These findings have implications for the therapeutic application of FGFR inhibitors as they identify both common and divergent responses in cells harbouring the same genetic lesion and pathways of drug resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Gene Ontology
  • Humans
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Proteomics*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Phosphoproteins
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2