- SPANDIDOS PUBL LTD
Overexpression of KIT is one of the mechanisms that contributes to imatinib resistance in KIT mutation-driven tumors. Here, the mechanism underlying this overexpression of KIT was investigated using an imatinib-sensitive canine mast cell tumor (MCT) line CoMS, which has an activating mutation in KIT exon 11. A KIT-overexpressing imatinib-resistant subline, rCoMS1, was generated from CoMS cells by their continuous exposure to increasing concentrations of imatinib. Neither a secondary mutation nor upregulated transcription of KIT was detected in rCoMS1 cells. A decrease in KIT ubiquitination, a prolonged KIT life-span, and KIT overexpression were found in rCoMS1 cells. These events were suppressed by withdrawal of imatinib and were re-induced by re-treatment with imatinib. These findings suggest that imatinib elicited overexpression of KIT via suppression of its ubiquitination. These results also indicated that imatinib-induced overexpression of KIT in rCoMS1 cells was not a permanently acquired feature but was a reversible response of the cells. Moreover, the pan deubiquitinating enzyme inhibitor PR619 prevented imatinib induction of KIT overexpression, suggesting that the imatinib-induced decrease in KIT ubiquitination could be mediated by upregulation and/or activation of deubiquitinating enzyme(s). It may be possible that a similar mechanism of KIT overexpression underlies the acquisition of imatinib resistance in some human tumors that are driven by KIT mutation.
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