TIE2–FGFR1 interaction induces adaptive PI3K inhibitor resistance by upregulating Aurora A/PlK1/CDK1 signaling in glioblastoma

Xiaolong Li, Emmanuel Martinez-Ledesma, Chen Zhang, Feng Gao, Siyuan Zheng, Jie Ding, Shaofang Wu, Nghi Nguyen, Stephan C. Clifford, Patrick Y. Wen, Keith L. Ligon, W. K. Alfred Yung, Dimpy Koul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


PI3K-targeting therapy represents one of the most sought-after therapies for glioblastoma (GBM). Several small-molecule inhibitors have been evaluated in clinical trials, however, the emergence of resistance limits treatment potential. Here, we generated a patient-derived glioma sphere–forming cell (GSC) xenograft model resistant to the PI3Kspecific inhibitor BKM-120. Integrated RNA sequencing and high-throughput drug screening revealed that the Aurora A kinase (Aurora A)/Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1)/cyclindependent kinase 1 (CDK1) signaling pathway was the main driver of PI3K inhibitor resistance in the resistant xenografts. Aurora kinase was upregulated and pCDK1 was downregulated in resistant tumors from both xenografts and tumor tissues from patients treated with the PI3K inhibitor. Mechanistically, the tyrosine kinase receptor Tie2 physically interacted with FGFR1, promoting STAT3 phosphorylation and binding to the AURKA promoter, which increased Aurora A expression in resistant GSCs. Concurrent inhibition of Aurora A and PI3K signaling overcame PI3K inhibitor–induced resistance. This study offers a proof of concept to target PI3K and the collateral-activated pathway to improve GBM therapy. Significance: These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms of PI3K inhibitor resistance in glioblastoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5088-5101
Number of pages14
JournalCancer Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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