Molecular targeted therapy for non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is restricted due to resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). This study evaluated the effects of dual targeting of MEK and PI3K in human EGFR-TKI resistant NSCLC cell lines.
EGFR-TKI resistant NSCLC cell lines H1975, H460, and A549, with different mutation and amplification status in EGFR, K-RAS, PIK3CA, and MET genes, were treated with a MEK162 (MEK inhibitor) and BKM120 (PI3K inhibitor) combination or a BIBW2992 (EGFR inhibitor) and ARQ197 (MET inhibitor) combination and assayed for cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle distribution.
Dual targeting of MEK and PI3K efficiently inhibited the cell proliferation, induced apoptosis and the G0/G1 cell cycle, and decreased the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, AKT, S6, and 4E-BP1. H460 cells with K-RAS and PIK3CA mutation were most sensitive to MEK162 and BKM120 combinations. H1975 cells with EGFR and PIK3CA mutation and MET amplification were sensitive to BIBW2992 and ARQ197 combinations.
Dual targeting regulated the proliferation of EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLC cells, especially mutants in K-RAS and PIK3CA that are promising for EGFR-TKI-resistant NSCLC therapeutics.