Upregulation of EphB3 in gastric cancer with acquired resistance to a FGFR inhibitor

Suk young Lee, Yoo Jin Na, Yoon A. Jeong, Jung Lim Kim, Sang Cheul Oh, Dae Hee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Amplification of fibroblast growth factor receptor2 (FGFR2) has been regarded as a druggable target in gastric cancer (GC). Despite known potential of AZD4547, a selective inhibitor of FGFR 1–3, to suppress tumorigenic effects of activated FGFR2, resistance to the targeted agent has been an unresolved issue. This study was performed to elucidate the mechanism of AZD4547 resistance in GC cells. SNU-16 cells were used to establish an AZD4547-resistant GC cell line, SNU-16R. Elevated phosphorylation of EphB3 was confirmed using the Human Phospho-Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Array kit. A tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of EphB3 was used to investigate the effects of suppressed EphB3 activity in the SNU-16R cell line. SNU-16R cells exhibited upregulated phosphorylation of EphB3. Treatment of SNU-16R cells with the EphB3 TKI resulted in induction of apoptosis, decreased cellular viability, and cell cycle arrest at sub-G1 phase. SNU-16R cells expressed upregulated levels of N-cadherin, vimentin, Snail, matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2), and MMP-9, and reduced levels of E-cadherin, characteristic of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Matrigel invasion assay also demonstrated the increased invasiveness of SNU-16R cells. EphB3 TKI treatment inhibited EMT of SNU-16R cells. Activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) through the Ras-ERK1/2 pathway was suggested as the signal transduction mechanism downstream EphB3 by showing enhanced phosphorylation of Raf-1, MEK1/2, ERK1/2, mTOR and its downstream substrates in SNU-16R cells. As expected, EphB3 TKI decreased phosphorylation of these proteins. Our data suggest phosphorylation of mTOR through signaling by EphB3 is a potential mechanism of AZD4547 resistance in GC cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sang Cheul Oh received a research grant from the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI)(grant number: N1400021) and a Korea University Grant. Otherwise, there is nothing to declare.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • EphB3
  • FGFR inhibitor
  • Gastric cancer
  • Resistance
  • mTOR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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