Efficacy and mechanism of action of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors gefitinib, lapatinib and neratinib in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer: preclinical and clinical evidence.
Neratinib (HKI-272) is a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of the ErbB receptor family currently in Phase III clinical trials. Despite its efficacy, the mechanism of potential cellular resistance to neratinib and genes involved with it remains unknown. We have used a pool-based lentiviral genome-wide functional RNAi screen combined with a lethal dose of neratinib to discover chemoresistant interactions with neratinib. Our screen has identified a collection of genes whose inhibition by RNAi led to neratinib resistance including genes involved in oncogenesis (e.g. RAB33A, RAB6A and BCL2L14), transcription factors (e.g. FOXP4, TFEC, ZNF), cellular ion transport (e.g. CLIC3, TRAPPC2P1, P2RX2), protein ubiquitination (e.g. UBL5), cell cycle (e.g. CCNF), and genes known to interact with breast cancer-associated genes (e.g. CCNF, FOXP4, TFEC, several ZNF factors, GNA13, IGFBP1, PMEPA1, SOX5, RAB33A, RAB6A, FXR1, DDO, TFEC, OLFM2). The identification of novel mediators of cellular resistance to neratinib could lead to the identification of new or neoadjuvant drug targets. Their use as patient or treatment selection biomarkers could make the application of anti-ErbB therapeutics more clinically effective.