Alterations in EGF-dependent proliferative and phosphorylation events in squamous cell carcinoma cell lines by a tyrosine kinase inhibitor

V G Brunton, S Carlin, P Workman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor is overexpressed in squamous cell carcinoma and the EGF receptor has been proposed as a potential target for new therapeutic agents in this tumour type. We have utilized a tyrphostintype inhibitor of the EGF receptor tyrosine kinase domain (RG50864) to study EGF-dependent proliferation and phosphorylation in two human squamous cell carcinoma cell lines. There were selected on the basis that whereas both cell lines have a large number of EGF receptors, one is growth inhibited by EGF (A431) while the proliferation of the other cell line (B2A4) is stimulated by EGF. EGF induced receptor autophosphorylation in each of the two cell lines; however, the level of phosphorylation was greater in the A431 cells than in the B2A4 cells. The pattern of proteins phosphorylated in response to EGF was different in the two squamous cell lines. RG50864 antagonized the EGF-dependent proliferation of B2A4 cells, but was unable to reverse the inhibitory effect of EGF on A431 cell growth. RG50864 partially inhibited EGF receptor autophosphorylation in both cell lines and completely inhibited the EGF-dependent phosphorylation of other cellular proteins, one of which co-migrated with MAP2kinase in both cell lines. Moreover, different dose-response relationships for the inhibition of phosphorylation of various proteins were observed in A431 versus B2A4 cells. As a substrate competitive inhibitor of the EGF receptor tyrosine kinase, the primary mode of action of RG50864 may be to prevent the association and/or phosphorylation of multiple specific substrates of the receptor in a fashion which may be cell line dependent. The precise relationship of these phosphorylation events to tyrphostin sensitivity remains to be established.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-29
Number of pages19
JournalAnti-cancer drug design
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1994


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
  • Catechols
  • Cell Division
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Humans
  • Nitriles
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tyrphostins


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