The ErbB family of receptors is overexpressed in numerous human tumors. Overexpression correlates with poor prognosis and resistance to therapy. Use of ErbB-specific antibodies to the receptors (Herceptin or Erbitux) or ErbB-specific small-molecule inhibitors of the receptor tyrosine kinase activity (Iressa or Tarceva) has shown clinical efficacy in several solid tumors. An alternative method of affecting ErbB-initiated tumor growth and survival is to block sheddase activity. Sheddase activity is responsible for cleavage of multiple ErbB ligands and receptors, a necessary step in availability of the soluble, active form of the ligand and a constitutively activated ligand-independent receptor. This sheddase activity is attributed to the ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloprotease)family of proteins. ADAM 10 is the main sheddase of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and HER-2/neu cleavage, whereas ADAM17 is required for cleavage of additional EGF receptor (EGFR) ligands (transforming growth factor-α, amphiregulin, heregulin, heparin binding EGF-like ligand). This study has shown that addition of INCB3619, a potent inhibitor of ADAM10 and ADAM17, reduces in vitro HER-2/neu and amphiregulin shedding, confirming that it interferes with both HER-2/neu and EGFR ligand cleavage. Combining INCB3619 with a lapatinib-like dual inhibitor of EGFR and HER-2/neu kinases resulted in synergistic growth inhibition in MCF-7 and HER-2/neu-transfected MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Combining the INCB7839 second-generation sheddase inhibitor with lapatinib prevented the growth of HER-2/neu-positive BT474-SC1 human breast cancer xenografts in vivo. These results suggest that there may be an additional clinical benefit of combining agents that target the ErbB pathways at multiple points.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research