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To study epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) resistance mechanisms, we established a novel gefitinib-resistant lung cancer cell line derived from an EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer cell line (PC-9) pretreated with 4-(methylnitrosamino)1-(3-pyridy1)-1-butanone (designated PC9-GR). We found that gefitinib substantially suppressed the EGFR signaling pathway, whereas ERK was reactivated after several hours in PC9-GR but not in PC-9. The combination of gefitinib with ERK inhibition (by U0126) restored gefitinib susceptibility in PC9-GR, but PI3K-Akt inhibition with LY294002 did not. Although the levels of phosphorylated Src were up-regulated simultaneously with ERK reactivation, neither ERK suppression using U0126 nor an ERK-specific siRNA induced Src phosphorylation. Furthermore, dual inhibition of EGFR and Src restored gefitinib sensitivity in PC9-GR in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, our results indicate that Src-mediated ERK reactivation may play a role in a novel gefitinib resistance mechanism, and that the combined use of gefitinib with a Src inhibitor may be a potent strategy to overcome this resistance.


  • Experimental Cell Research

    Experimental Cell Research 322(1), 168-177, 2014-03-10


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