Expression and pharmacological inhibition of TrkB and EGFR in glioblastoma.

Molecular biology reports (2020-08-31)
Kelly V Pinheiro, Amanda Thomaz, Bárbara Kunzler Souza, Victoria Anne Metcalfe, Natália Hogetop Freire, André Tesainer Brunetto, Caroline Brunetto de Farias, Mariane Jaeger, Victorio Bambini, Christopher G S Smith, Lisa Shaw, Rafael Roesler

A member of the Trk family of neurotrophin receptors, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB, encoded by the NTRK2 gene) is an increasingly important target in various cancer types, including glioblastoma (GBM). EGFR is among the most frequently altered oncogenes in GBM, and EGFR inhibition has been tested as an experimental therapy. Functional interactions between EGFR and TrkB have been demonstrated. In the present study, we investigated the role of TrkB and EGFR, and their interactions, in GBM. Analyses of NTRK2 and EGFR gene expression from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets showed an increase in NTRK2 expression in the proneural subtype of GBM, and a strong correlation between NTRK2 and EGFR expression in glioma CpG island methylator phenotype (G-CIMP+) samples. We showed that when TrkB and EGFR inhibitors were combined, the inhibitory effect on A172 human GBM cells was more pronounced than when either inhibitor was given alone. When U87MG GBM cells were xenografted into the flank of nude mice, tumor growth was delayed by treatment with TrkB and EGFR inhibitors, given alone or combined, only at specific time points. Intracranial GBM growth in mice was not significantly affected by drug treatments. Our findings indicate that correlations between NTRK2 and EGFR expression occur in specific GBM subgroups. Also, our results using cultured cells suggest for the first time the potential of combining TrkB and EGFR inhibition for the treatment of GBM.

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Tyrphostin AG 1478, ≥98%