Clinical benefit of ALK tyrosine kinase inhibitors (ALK-TKIs) in ALK-rearranged lung cancer has been limited by the inevitable development of acquired resistance, and bypass-molecular resistance mechanisms remain poorly understood. We investigated a novel therapeutic target through screening FDA-approved drugs in ALK-TKI-resistant models. Cerivastatin, the rate-limiting enzyme inhibitor of the mevalonate pathway, showed anti-cancer activity against ALK-TKI resistance in vitro/in vivo, accompanied by cytoplasmic retention and subsequent inactivation of transcriptional co-regulator YAP. The marked induction of YAP-targeted oncogenes (EGFR, AXL, CYR61, and TGFβR2) in resistant cells was abolished by cerivastatin. YAP silencing suppressed tumor growth in resistant cells, patient-derived xenografts, and EML4-ALK transgenic mice, whereas YAP overexpression decreased the responsiveness of parental cells to ALK inhibitor. In matched patient samples before/after ALK inhibitor treatment, nuclear accumulation of YAP was mainly detected in post-treatment samples. High expression of YAP in pretreatment samples was correlated with poor response to ALK-TKIs. Our findings highlight a crucial role of YAP in ALK-TKI resistance and provide a rationale for targeting YAP as a potential treatment option for ALK-rearranged patients with acquired resistance to ALK inhibitors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all the patients who donated samples for this study. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2016R1A2B3016282 to BCC) and the NRF grant funded by the Korean government (2014R1A1A1006865 to MRY). The authors thank MID (Medical Illustration & Design) for helping to design the figures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine