Functional analysis of cancer-associated EGFR mutants using a cellular assay with YFP-tagged EGFR intracellular domain
De Gunst, Matheus M.
Gallegos Ruiz, Marielle I.
Rodríguez Pérez, José Antonio
MetadataShow full item record
Molecular Cancer 6 : (2007) // Article n. 56
Background: The presence of EGFR kinase domain mutations in a subset of NSCLC patients correlates with the response to treatment with the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib and erlotinib. Although most EGFR mutations detected are short deletions in exon 19 or the L858R point mutation in exon 21, more than 75 different EGFR kinase domain residues have been reported to be altered in NSCLC patients. The phenotypical consequences of different EGFR mutations may vary dramatically, but the majority of uncommon EGFR mutations have never been functionally evaluated. Results: We demonstrate that the relative kinase activity and erlotinib sensitivity of different EGFR mutants can be readily evaluated using transfection of an YFP-tagged fragment of the EGFR intracellular domain (YFP-EGFR-ICD), followed by immunofluorescence microscopy analysis. Using this assay, we show that the exon 20 insertions Ins770SVD and Ins774HV confer increased kinase activity, but no erlotinib sensitivity. We also show that, in contrast to the common L858R mutation, the uncommon exon 21 point mutations P848L and A859T appear to behave like functionally silent polymorphisms. Conclusion: The ability to rapidly obtain functional information on EGFR variants of unknown relevance using the YFP-EGFR-ICD assay might prove important in the future for the management of NSCLC patients bearing uncommon EGFR mutations. In addition, our assay may be used to determine the response of resistant EGFR mutants to novel second-generation TKIs.