Metastasis-associated phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 (PRL-3) has pleiotropic effects in driving cancer progression, yet the signaling mechanisms of PRL-3 are still not fully understood. Here, we provide evidence for PRL-3–induced hyperactivation of EGFR and its downstream signaling cascades in multiple human cancer cell lines. Mechanistically, PRL-3–induced activation of EGFR was attributed primarily to transcriptional downregulation of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), an inhibitory phosphatase for EGFR. Functionally, PRL-3–induced hyperactivation of EGFR correlated with increased cell growth, promigratory characteristics, and tumorigenicity. Moreover, PRL-3 induced cellular addiction to EGFR signaling, as evidenced by the pronounced reversion of these oncogenic attributes upon EGFR-specific inhibition. Of clinical significance, we verified elevated PRL-3 expression as a predictive marker for favorable therapeutic response in a heterogeneous colorectal cancer (CRC) patient cohort treated with the clinically approved anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab. The identification of PRL-3–driven EGFR hyperactivation and consequential addiction to EGFR signaling opens new avenues for inhibiting PRL-3–driven cancer progression. We propose that elevated PRL-3 expression is an important clinical predictive biomarker for favorable anti-EGFR cancer therapy.
Abdul Qader Omer Al-aidaroos, Hiu Fung Yuen, Ke Guo, Shu Dong Zhang, Tae-Hoon Chung, Wee Joo Chng, Qi Zeng
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.