Cellular oncology (Dordrecht)

Cross-resistance to clinically used tyrosine kinase inhibitors sunitinib, sorafenib and pazopanib.

PMID 25665527


When during cancer treatment resistance to a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) occurs, switching to another TKI is often considered as a reasonable option. Previously, we reported that resistance to sunitinib may be caused by increased lysosomal sequestration, leading to increased intracellular lysosomal storage and, thereby, inactivity. Here, we studied the effect of several other TKIs on the development of (cross-) resistance. TKI resistance was induced by continuous exposure of cancer cell lines to increasing TKI concentrations for 3-4 months. (Cross-) resistance was evaluated using MTT cell proliferation assays. Intracellular TKI concentrations were measured using LC-MS/MS. Western blotting was used to detect lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 and -2 (LAMP1/2) expression. The previously generated sunitinib-resistant (SUN) renal cancer cells (786-O) and colorectal cancer cells (HT-29) were found to be cross-resistant to pazopanib, erlotinib and lapatinib, but not sorafenib. Exposure of 786-O and HT-29 cells to sorafenib, pazopanib or erlotinib for 3-4 months induced drug resistance to pazopanib and erlotinib, but not sorafenib. Intracellular drug accumulation was found to be increased in pazopanib- and erlotinib-, but not in sorafenib-exposed cells. Lysosomal capacity, reflected by LAMP1/2 expression, was found to be increased in resistant cells and, in addition, to be transient. No cross-resistance to the mTOR inhibitor everolimus was detected. Our data indicate that tumor cells can develop (cross-) resistance to TKIs, and that such resistance includes increased intracellular drug accumulation accompanied by increased lysosomal storage. Transient (cross-) resistance was found to occur for several of the TKIs tested, but not for everolimus, indicating that switching from a TKI to a mTOR inhibitor may be an attractive therapeutic option.