MYC Promotes Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Resistance in ROS1-Fusion-Positive Lung Cancer

Sudarshan R. Iyer, Igor Odintsov, Adam J. Schoenfeld, Evan Siau, Marissa S. Mattar, Elisa de Stanchina, Inna Khodos, Alexander Drilon, Gregory J. Riely, Marc Ladanyi, Romel Somwar, Monika A. Davare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Targeted therapy of ROS1-fusion-driven non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has achieved notable clinical success. Despite this, resistance to therapy inevitably poses a significant challenge. MYC amplification was present in ~19% of lorlatinib-resistant ROS1-driven NSCLC. We hypothesized that MYC overexpression drives ROS1-TKI resistance. Using complementary approaches in multiple models, including a MYC-amplified patient-derived cell line and xenograft (LUAD-0006), we established that MYC overexpression induces broad ROS1-TKI resistance. Pharmacologic inhibition of ROS1 combined with MYC knockdown were essential to completely suppress LUAD-0006 cell proliferation compared with either treatment alone. We interrogated cellular signaling in ROS1-TKIresistant LUAD-0006 and discovered significant differential regulation of targets associated with cell cycle, apoptosis, and mitochondrial function. Combinatorial treatment of mitochondrial inhibitors with crizotinib revealed inhibitory synergism, suggesting increased reliance on glutamine metabolism and fatty-acid synthesis in chronic ROS1-TKI treated LUAD-0006 cells. In vitro experiments further revealed that CDK4/6 and BET bromodomain inhibitors effectively mitigate ROS1-TKI resistance in MYCoverexpressing cells. Notably, in vivo studies demonstrate that tumor control may be regained by combining ROS1-TKI and CDK4/6 inhibition. Our results contribute to the broader understanding of ROS1-TKI resistance in NSCLC. Implications: This study functionally characterizes MYC overexpression as a novel form of therapeutic resistance to ROS1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer and proposes rational combination treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-734
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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