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Gefitinib Induces Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Dimers Which Alters the Interaction Characteristics with 125I-EGF

By Hanna Björkelund, Lars Gedda, Pavel Barta, Magnus Malmqvist and Karl Andersson


The tyrosine kinase inhibitor gefitinib inhibits growth in some tumor types by targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Previous studies show that the affinity of the EGF-EGFR interaction varies between hosting cell line, and that gefitinib increases the affinity for some cell lines. In this paper, we investigate possible mechanisms behind these observations. Real-time interaction analysis in LigandTracer® Grey revealed that the HER2 dimerization preventing antibody pertuzumab clearly modified the binding of 125I-EGF to EGFR on HER2 overexpressing SKOV3 cells in the presence of gefitinib. Pertuzumab did not affect the binding on A431 cells, which express low levels of HER2. Cross-linking measurements showed that gefitinib increased the amount of EGFR dimers 3.0–3.8 times in A431 cells in the absence of EGF. In EGF stimulated SKOV3 cells the amount of EGFR dimers increased 1.8–2.2 times by gefitinib, but this effect was cancelled by pertuzumab. Gefitinib treatment did not alter the number of EGFR or HER2 expressed in tumor cell lines A431, U343, SKOV3 and SKBR3. Real-time binding traces were further analyzed in a novel tool, Interaction Map, which deciphered the different components of the measured interaction and supports EGF binding to multiple binding sites. EGFR and HER2 expression affect the levels of EGFR monomers, homodimers and heterodimers and EGF binds to the various monomeric/dimeric forms of EGFR with unique binding properties. Taken together, we conclude that dimerization explains the varying affinity of EGF – EGFR in different cells, and we propose that gefitinib induces EGFR dimmers, which alters the interaction characteristics with 125I-EGF

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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