Scientific publications

Trametinib sensitizes KRAS-mutant lung adenocarcinoma tumors to PD-1/PD-L1 axis blockade via Id1 downregulation

Apr 17, 2024 | Magazine: Molecular Cancer

Ander Puyalto  1   2   3 , María Rodríguez-Remírez  1   2   3 , Inés López  2   3 , Irati Macaya  2   4 , Elizabeth Guruceaga  5 , María Olmedo  1   2 , Anna Vilalta-Lacarra  1   2 , Connor Welch  2   4 , Sergio Sandiego  6 , Silvestre Vicent  2   3   4 , Karmele Valencia  2   3   4   7 , Alfonso Calvo  2   3   4 , Ruben Pio  2   3   4   7 , Luis E Raez  8 , Christian Rolfo  9 , Daniel Ajona #  10   11   12   13 , Ignacio Gil-Bazo #  14   15   16   17   18

Background: The identification of novel therapeutic strategies to overcome resistance to the MEK inhibitor trametinib in mutant KRAS lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is a challenge. This study analyzes the effects of trametinib on Id1 protein, a key factor involved in the KRAS oncogenic pathway, and investigates the role of Id1 in the acquired resistance to trametinib as well as the synergistic anticancer effect of trametinib combined with immunotherapy in KRAS-mutant LUAD.

Methods: We evaluated the effects of trametinib on KRAS-mutant LUAD by Western blot, RNA-seq and different syngeneic mouse models. Genetic modulation of Id1 expression was performed in KRAS-mutant LUAD cells by lentiviral or retroviral transductions of specific vectors. Cell viability was assessed by cell proliferation and colony formation assays. PD-L1 expression and apoptosis were measured by flow cytometry. The anti-tumor efficacy of the combined treatment with trametinib and PD-1 blockade was investigated in KRAS-mutant LUAD mouse models, and the effects on the tumor immune infiltrate were analyzed by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry.

Results: We found that trametinib activates the proteasome-ubiquitin system to downregulate Id1 in KRAS-mutant LUAD tumors. Moreover, we found that Id1 plays a major role in the acquired resistance to trametinib treatment in KRAS-mutant LUAD cells. Using two preclinical syngeneic KRAS-mutant LUAD mouse models, we found that trametinib synergizes with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade to hamper lung cancer progression and increase survival. This anti-tumor activity depended on trametinib-mediated Id1 reduction and was associated with a less immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and increased PD-L1 expression on tumor cells.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that Id1 expression is involved in the resistance to trametinib and in the synergistic effect of trametinib with anti-PD-1 therapy in KRAS-mutant LUAD tumors. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic approach for immunotherapy-refractory KRAS-mutant lung cancers.

CITATION  Mol Cancer. 2024 Apr 20;23(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s12943-024-01991-3