Targeted depletion of PIK3R2 induces regression of lung squamous cell carcinoma
Oncogenic mutations in the PI3K/AKT pathway are present in nearly half of human tumors. Nonetheless, inhibitory compounds of the pathway often induce pathway rebound and tumor resistance. We find that lung squamous cell carcinoma (SQCC), which accounts for similar to 20% of lung cancer, exhibits increased expression of the PI3K subunit PIK3R2, which is at low expression levels in normal tissues. We tested a new approach to interfere with PI3K/AKT pathway activation in lung SQCC. We generated tumor xenografts of SQCC cell lines and examined the consequences of targeting PIK3R2 expression. In tumors with high PIK3R2 expression, and independently of PIK3CA, KRAS, or PTEN mutations, PIK3R2 depletion induced lung SQCC xenograft regression without triggering PI3K/AKT pathway rebound. These results validate the use PIK3R2 interfering tools for the treatment of lung squamous cell carcinoma.