A reversible SRC-relayed COX2 inflammatory program drives resistance to BRAF and EGFR inhibition in BRAF<sup>V600E</sup> colorectal tumors.


BRAFV600E mutation confers a poor prognosis in metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) despite combinatorial targeted therapies based on the latest understanding of signaling circuitry. To identify parallel resistance mechanisms induced by BRAF-MEK-EGFR co-targeting, we used a high-throughput kinase activity mapping platform. Here we show that SRC kinases are systematically activated in BRAFV600E CRC following targeted inhibition of BRAF ± EGFR and that coordinated targeting of SRC with BRAF ± EGFR increases treatment efficacy in vitro and in vivo. SRC drives resistance to BRAF ± EGFR targeted therapy independently of ERK signaling by inducing transcriptional reprogramming through β-catenin (CTNNB1). The EGFR-independent compensatory activation of SRC kinases is mediated by an autocrine prostaglandin E2 loop that can be blocked with cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitors. Co-targeting of COX2 with BRAF + EGFR promotes durable suppression of tumor growth in patient-derived tumor xenograft models. COX2 inhibition represents a drug-repurposing strategy to overcome therapeutic resistance in BRAFV600E CRC.

More about this publication

Nature cancer
  • Volume 4
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 240-256
  • Publication date 01-02-2023

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