Background: The four ErbB/HER receptor tyrosine kinases and their multiple EGF-Iike growth factors constitute a layered signaling network, whose action is unleashed in human cancer. ErbB interceptors (e.g., Erbitux, and Iressa) have already established the therapeutic significance of the network, but lack of patient selection criteria, low drug effectiveness, and development of resistance limit clinical efficacy. Our observations implicate a sub-set of low-affinity ErbB ligands in signaling and highlight the potential of harnessing protein endocytosis/degradation pathways. Objectives: The following lines of research are designed to resolve the molecular bases of drug action and pave the way for next generation ErbB therapeutics: (i) Ligands and soluble receptors- We hypothesize that autocrine loops involving low-affinity and other ErbB ligands drive the network in cancer and may limit drug efficacy. These possibilities will be examined and the therapeutic potential of blocking such loops by using monoclonal antibodies to specific ligands, as well as engineered bi-specific soluble ErbB receptors, will be tested in model systems. (ii) Monoclonal antibodies and their mechanisms of action- We hypothesize that endocytic removal of antibody-receptor complexes from the cell surface enhances efficacy of immunotherapy. Because certain combinations of anti-ErbB-2 antibodies better down regulate ErbB-2, we will design antibodies that simultaneously bind two epitopes of ErbB-2. The efficacy of the bi-epitopic antibodies will be compared to the parental antibodies in tumor-bearing animals. (iii) Chaperone and kinase inhibitors promoting ErbB degradation- Our results implicate Hsp90 as a suppressor of ligand-induced heterodimerization of ErbB-2. This model will be tested by using chaperone antagonists, as well as kinase inhibitors that occlude binding of Hsp90 to ErbB-2. Using chemical libraries and novel ErbB-2 degradation assays as read-out, we will select lead compounds and examine their tumor-inhibitory action. Significance: By highlighting the role of ErbB ligands, especially a previously ignored class of low-affinity growth factors, we hope to gain knowledge on patient stratification, response and resistance to therapy. Through blocking of autocrine loops, anti-ligand antibodies and bi-specific soluble ErbB proteins, we will construct may prevent resistance to immunotherapy and arrest tumors. Likewise, recombinant bi-epitopic monoclonal antibodies to ErbB-2 described herein may emerge as next generation immunotherapeutics. Finally, deeper understanding of the regulation of ErbB signaling by molecular chaperones, as well as selection of compounds that block chaperone-ErbB interactions, will enable clinical harnessing of the 26s proteasome to selective degradation of ErbB-2.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
5R37CA072981-10
Application #
7037649
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-DT (01))
Program Officer
Perry, Mary Ellen
Project Start
1997-04-25
Project End
2010-03-31
Budget Start
2006-04-01
Budget End
2007-03-31
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2006
Total Cost
$237,290
Indirect Cost
Name
Weizmann Institute of Science
Department
Type
DUNS #
600048466
City
Rehovot, Israel
State
Country
Israel
Zip Code
76100
Sas-Chen, Aldema; Aure, Miriam R; Leibovich, Limor et al. (2016) LIMT is a novel metastasis inhibiting lncRNA suppressed by EGF and downregulated in aggressive breast cancer. EMBO Mol Med 8:1052-64
Schneider, Marlon R; Yarden, Yosef (2014) Structure and function of epigen, the last EGFR ligand. Semin Cell Dev Biol 28:57-61
Feldman, Morris E; Yarden, Yosef (2014) Steering tumor progression through the transcriptional response to growth factors and stroma. FEBS Lett 588:2407-14
Maron, Ruth; Schechter, Bilha; Mancini, Maicol et al. (2013) Inhibition of pancreatic carcinoma by homo- and heterocombinations of antibodies against EGF-receptor and its kin HER2/ErbB-2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:15389-94
Mahlknecht, Georg; Maron, Ruth; Mancini, Maicol et al. (2013) Aptamer to ErbB-2/HER2 enhances degradation of the target and inhibits tumorigenic growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:8170-5
Ferraro, Daniela A; Gaborit, Nad├Ęge; Maron, Ruth et al. (2013) Inhibition of triple-negative breast cancer models by combinations of antibodies to EGFR. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:1815-20
Zwang, Yaara; Oren, Moshe; Yarden, Yosef (2012) Consistency Test of the Cell Cycle: Roles for p53 and EGR1. Cancer Res :
Pradeep, C-R; Kostler, W J; Lauriola, M et al. (2012) Modeling ductal carcinoma in situ: a HER2-Notch3 collaboration enables luminal filling. Oncogene 31:907-17
Tarcic, Gabi; Avraham, Roi; Pines, Gur et al. (2012) EGR1 and the ERK-ERF axis drive mammary cell migration in response to EGF. FASEB J 26:1582-92
Lindzen, M; Carvalho, S; Starr, A et al. (2012) A recombinant decoy comprising EGFR and ErbB-4 inhibits tumor growth and metastasis. Oncogene 31:3505-15

Showing the most recent 10 out of 65 publications