PREPRINT (not yet peer-reviewed)
Imaging of MAP kinase dynamics reveals endocytic regulation of pulsatile signalling and network re-wiring in response to targeted therapy in EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer

Le Marois A, Bailey S, Hooper S, Kumar S, Sparks H, Alexandrov Y, Caswell D, Fröhlich F, Schlegelmilch K, Valand K, Martin M, Narvaez A, Swanton C, Downward J, Dunsby C, French P, Sahai E, bioRxiv : (2024).


A better understanding of the signalling mechanisms underlying transitions from drug-sensitive to drug-tolerant states is required to overcome therapy failure. We combined single-cell biosensor imaging with functional perturbations to investigate the regulation of oncogenic signalling in EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. We find that despite the constant presence of the mutant oncogene, ERK signalling exhibits pulsatile dynamics, with pulse characteristics determined by the endocytic machinery. Analysis of drug-tolerant persisters (DTPs) revealed that, after an initial phase of complete pathway shut-down, signalling was rewired leading to renewed ERK pulses that drive cell cycle progression. FAK- and SRC-regulated adhesion complexes replace mutant EGFR as the driver of reactivated ERK pulses in DTPs, yet they remain controlled by the membrane trafficking machinery. We show that DTPs rely on additional survival pathways including YAP signalling, and that the phosphatase PTPRS represents a key node in therapy resistant cells, coordinating regulation of ERK, the cytoskeleton, and YAP.