Resolution of novel pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma subtypes by global phosphotyrosine profiling

Emily S. Humphrey, Shih-Ping Su, Adnan M. Nagrial, Falko Hochgrafe, Marina Pajic, Gillian M. Lehrbach, Robert G. Parton, Alpha S. Yap, Lisa G. Horvath, David K. Chang, Andrew V. Biankin, Jianmin Wu, Roger J. Daly

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Comprehensive characterization of signaling in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) promises to enhance our understanding of the molecular aberrations driving this devastating disease, and may identify novel therapeutic targets as well as biomarkers that enable stratification of patients for optimal therapy. Here, we use immunoaffinity-coupled high-resolution mass spectrometry to characterize global tyrosine phosphorylation patterns across two large panels of human PDAC cell lines: the ATCC series (19 cell lines) and TKCC series (17 cell lines). This resulted in the identification and quantification of over 1800 class 1 tyrosine phosphorylation sites and the consistent segregation of both PDAC cell line series into three subtypes with distinct tyrosine phosphorylation profiles. Subtype-selective signaling networks were characterized by identification of subtype-enriched phosphosites together with pathway and network analyses. This revealed that the three subtypes characteristic of the ATCC series were associated with perturbations in signaling networks associated with cell-cell adhesion and epithelial-mesenchyme transition, mRNA metabolism, and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling, respectively. Specifically, the third subtype exhibited enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple RTKs including the EGFR, ERBB3 and MET. Interestingly, a similar RTK-enriched subtype was identified in the TKCC series, and 'classifier' sites for each series identified using Random Forest models were able to predict the subtypes of the alternate series with high accuracy, highlighting the conservation of the three subtypes across the two series. Finally, RTK-enriched cell lines from both series exhibited enhanced sensitivity to the small molecule EGFR inhibitor erlotinib, indicating that their phosphosignature may provide a predictive biomarker for response to this targeted therapy. These studies highlight how resolution of subtype-selective signaling networks can provide a novel taxonomy for particular cancers, and provide insights into PDAC biology that can be exploited for improved patient management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2671-2685
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular & Cellular Proteomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

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