American Association for Cancer Research
10780432ccr162141-sup-171017_2_supp_3801176_st35rs.pdf (89.41 kB)

Supplementary Figure S4 from Activation of EIF4E by Aurora Kinase A Depicts a Novel Druggable Axis in Everolimus-Resistant Cancer Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-31, 20:03 authored by Ahmed Katsha, Lihong Wang, Janet Arras, Omar M. Omar, Jeffrey Ecsedy, Abbes Belkhiri, Wael El-Rifai

Supp Fig 4


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Vanderbilt Digestive Disease Research Center



Purpose: Aurora kinase A (AURKA) is overexpressed in several cancer types, making it an attractive druggable target in clinical trials. In this study, we investigated the role of AURKA in regulating EIF4E, cap-dependent translation, and resistance to mTOR inhibitor, RAD001 (everolimus).Experimental Design: Tumor xenografts and in vitro cell models of upper gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas (UGC) were used to determine the role of AURKA in the activation of EIF4E and cap-dependent translation. Overexpression, knockdown, and pharmacologic inhibition of AURKA were used in vitro and in vivo.Results: Using in vitro cell models, we found that high protein levels of AURKA mediate phosphorylation of EIF4E and upregulation of c-MYC. Notably, we detected overexpression of endogenous AURKA in everolimus-resistant UGC cell models. AURKA mediated phosphorylation of EIF4E, activation of cap-dependent translation, and an increase in c-MYC protein levels. Targeting AURKA using genetic knockdown or a small-molecule inhibitor, alisertib, reversed these molecular events, leading to a decrease in cancer cell survival in acquired and intrinsic resistant cell models. Mechanistic studies demonstrated that AURKA binds to and inactivates protein phosphatase 2A, a negative regulator of EIF4E, leading to phosphorylation and activation of EIF4E in an AKT-, ERK1/2-, and mTOR-independent manner. Data from tumor xenograft mouse models confirmed that everolimus-resistant cancer cells are sensitive to alisertib.Conclusions: Our results indicate that AURKA plays an important role in the activation of EIF4E and cap-dependent translation. Targeting the AURKA–EIF4E–c-MYC axis using alisertib is a novel therapeutic strategy that can be applicable for everolimus-resistant tumors and/or subgroups of cancers that show overexpression of AURKA and activation of EIF4E and c-MYC. Clin Cancer Res; 23(14); 3756–68. ©2017 AACR.

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