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  • Pinheiro 2020_bioRxiv preprint

    Rights statement: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-020-05739-2

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Expression and pharmacological inhibition of TrkB and EGFR in glioblastoma

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • K.V. Pinheiro
  • A. Thomaz
  • B.K. Souza
  • V.A. Metcalfe
  • N.H. Freire
  • A.T. Brunetto
  • C.B. de Farias
  • M. Jaeger
  • V. Bambini
  • C.G.S. Smith
  • L. Shaw
  • R. Roesler
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Molecular Biology Reports
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)6817–6828
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/08/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A member of the Trk family of neurotrophin receptors, tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB, encoded by the NTRK2 gene) is an increasingly important target in various cancer types, including glioblastoma (GBM). EGFR is among the most frequently altered oncogenes in GBM, and EGFR inhibition has been tested as an experimental therapy. Functional interactions between EGFR and TrkB have been demonstrated. In the present study, we investigated the role of TrkB and EGFR, and their interactions, in GBM. Analyses of NTRK2 and EGFR gene expression from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets showed an increase in NTRK2 expression in the proneural subtype of GBM, and a strong correlation between NTRK2 and EGFR expression in glioma CpG island methylator phenotype (G-CIMP+) samples. We showed that when TrkB and EGFR inhibitors were combined, the inhibitory effect on A172 human GBM cells was more pronounced than when either inhibitor was given alone. When U87MG GBM cells were xenografted into the flank of nude mice, tumor growth was delayed by treatment with TrkB and EGFR inhibitors, given alone or combined, only at specific time points. Intracranial GBM growth in mice was not significantly affected by drug treatments. Our findings indicate that correlations between NTRK2 and EGFR expression occur in specific GBM subgroups. Also, our results using cultured cells suggest for the first time the potential of combining TrkB and EGFR inhibition for the treatment of GBM.

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The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-020-05739-2