Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are transmembrane receptors of great clinical interest due to their role in disease. Historically, therapeutics targeting RTKs have been identified using in vitro kinase assays. Due to frequent development of drug resistance, however, there is a need to identify more diverse compounds that inhibit mutated but not wild-type RTKs. Here, we describe MaMTH-DS (mammalian membrane two-hybrid drug screening), a live-cell platform for high-throughput identification of small molecules targeting functional protein–protein interactions of RTKs. We applied MaMTH-DS to an oncogenic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant resistant to the latest generation of clinically approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). We identified four mutant-specific compounds, including two that would not have been detected by conventional in vitro kinase assays. One of these targets mutant EGFR via a new mechanism of action, distinct from classical TKI inhibition. Our results demonstrate how MaMTH-DS is a powerful complement to traditional drug screening approaches.
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All data supporting the findings presented in this study are available in the paper and its Supplementary Information files.
All R code used in the analysis of the presented drug screening data is available from the authors on request.
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We thank L. Riley for valuable discussions and editing of this manuscript. We also thank P.A. Jänne and M.J. Eck (both at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA) for providing us with the PC9-T790M and PC9-C797S cells used in our study, and the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing of the TU Dresden for providing support and computational resources. This research was supported by funding from Consortium Québécois sur la Découverte du Médicament (CQDM) (Explore) and OCE (no. 23929). In addition, work in the Stagljar laboratory is supported by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (no. 703889), Genome Canada via Ontario Genomics (grant nos, 9427 and 9428), Ontario Research fund (grant nos. ORF/DIG-501411 and RE08-009), CQDM (Quantum Leap) and Brain Canada (Quantum Leap, and Cancer Research Society (grant no. 23235)). J.H.P.’s work in the laboratory of Mark Lemmon at Yale was supported by National Institutes of Health grant nos. R01-CA198164 and R35-GM122485. G.P. acknowledges the support of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and its funding from the Government of Ontario.
I.S., P.S. and J.S. (in conjunction with the University of Toronto) are listed as inventors on a patent (publication no. 20190091205) for the use of EMI1 (and structurally related analogs), midostaurin, gilteritinib and AZD7762 (and structurally related analogs) in the treatment of mutant EGFR-mediated NSCLC.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Supplementary Figs. 1–32, Tables 1 and 2 and Notes 1 and 2
Collection of compounds used in MaMTH-DS pilot screening.
Results of MaMTH-DS screening of EGFR L858R/T790M/C797S in the presence of ShcI (round 1).
Results of MaMTH-DS screening of EGFR L858R/T790M/C797S in the presence of ShcI (round 2).
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Saraon, P., Snider, J., Kalaidzidis, Y. et al. A drug discovery platform to identify compounds that inhibit EGFR triple mutants. Nat Chem Biol 16, 577–586 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-020-0484-2
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