Gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas (GEAs) harbor recurrent amplification of KRAS, leading to marked overexpression of WT KRAS protein. We previously demonstrated that SHP2 phosphatase, which acts to promote KRAS and downstream MAPK pathway activation, is a target in these tumors when combined with MEK inhibition. We hypothesized that SHP2 inhibitors may serve as a foundation for developing novel combination inhibitor strategies for therapy of KRAS-amplified GEA, including with targets outside the MAPK pathway. Here, we explore potential targets to effectively augment the efficacy of SHP2 inhibition, starting with genome-wide CRISPR screens in KRAS-amplified GEA cell lines with and without SHP2 inhibition. We identify candidate targets within the MAPK pathway and among upstream RTKs that may enhance SHP2 efficacy in KRAS-amplified GEA. Additional in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated the potent cytotoxicity of pan-ERBB kinase inhibitions in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, beyond targets within the MAPK pathway, we demonstrate that inhibition of CDK4/6 combines potently with SHP2 inhibition in KRAS-amplified GEA, with greater efficacy of this combination in KRAS-amplified, compared with KRAS-mutant, tumors. These results suggest therapeutic combinations for clinical study in KRAS-amplified GEAs.
Tianxia Li, Osamu Kikuchi, Jin Zhou, Yichen Wang, Babita Pokharel, Klavdija Bastl, Prafulla Gokhale, Aine Knott, Yanxi Zhang, John G. Doench, Zandra V. Ho, Daniel V.T. Catenacci, Adam J. Bass