Some non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase domain mutations require altered signaling through the EGFR for cell survival and are exquisitely sensitive to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. EGFR down-regulation was impaired in two NSCLCs with EGFR tyrosine kinase domain mutations. The mutant receptors were poorly ubiquitylated and exhibited decreased association with the ubiquitin ligase Cbl. Overexpression of Cbl increased the degradation of EGFR. Treatment with geldanamycin, an inhibitor of the chaperone heat shock protein 90, also increased both wild-type and mutant EGFR degradation without affecting internalization. The down-regulation of the mutant EGFRs was still impaired when they were stably expressed in normal human bronchial epithelial cells. Thus, the mutations that altered signaling also decreased the interaction of EGFRs with the mechanisms responsible for endosomal sorting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research