EMBO molecular medicine 2018 02 15() pii 10.15252/emmm.201708313
Metabolic reprogramming is widely known as a hallmark of cancer cells to allow adaptation of cells to sustain survival signals. In this report, we describe a novel oncogenic signaling pathway exclusively acting in mutated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with acquired tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistance. Mutated EGFR mediates TKI resistance through regulation of the fatty acid synthase (FASN), which produces 16-C saturated fatty acid palmitate. Our work shows that the persistent signaling by mutated EGFR in TKI-resistant tumor cells relies on EGFR palmitoylation and can be targeted by Orlistat, an FDA-approved anti-obesity drug. Inhibition of FASN with Orlistat induces EGFR ubiquitination and abrogates EGFR mutant signaling, and reduces tumor growths both in culture systems andTogether, our data provide compelling evidence on the functional interrelationship between mutated EGFR and FASN and that the fatty acid metabolism pathway is a candidate target for acquired TKI-resistant EGFR mutant NSCLC patients.