Tumor acquired radioresistance remains as the major limit in cancer radiotherapy (RT). Rab25, a receptor recycling protein, has been reported to be enhanced in tumors with aggressive phenotype and chemotherapy resistance. In this study, elevated Rab25 expression was identified in an array of radioresistant human cancer cell lines, in vivo radioresistant xenograft tumors. Clinical investigation confirmed that Rab25 expression was also associated with a worse prognosis in patients with lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Enhanced activities of EGFR were observed in both NPC and LUAD radioresistant cells. Rab25 interacts with EGFR to enhance EGFR recycling to cell surface and to decrease degradation in cytoplasm. Inhibition of Rab25 showed synergized radiosensitivity with reduced aggressive phenotype. This study provides the clinical and experimental evidence that Rab25 is a potential therapeutic target to alleviate the hyperactive EGFR signaling and to prevent RT-acquired tumor resistance in patients with LUAD and NPC.
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