Targeting EphA2 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma initiation and progression by dual inhibition of JAK1/STAT3 and AKT signaling. Journal Article


Authors: Wang, H; Hou, W; Perera, A; Bettler, C; Beach, JR; Ding, X; Li, J; Denning, MF; Dhanarajan, A; Cotler, SJ; Joyce, C; Yin, J; Ahmed, F; Roberts, LR; Qiu, W
Article Title: Targeting EphA2 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma initiation and progression by dual inhibition of JAK1/STAT3 and AKT signaling.
Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains one of the deadliest malignancies worldwide. One major obstacle to treatment is a lack of effective molecular-targeted therapies. In this study, we find that EphA2 expression and signaling are enriched in human HCC and associated with poor prognosis. Loss of EphA2 suppresses the initiation and growth of HCC both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, CRISPR/CAS9-mediated EphA2 inhibition significantly delays tumor development in a genetically engineered murine model of HCC. Mechanistically, we discover that targeting EphA2 suppresses both AKT and JAK1/STAT3 signaling, two separate oncogenic pathways in HCC. We also identify a small molecule kinase inhibitor of EphA2 that suppresses tumor progression in a murine HCC model. Together, our results suggest EphA2 as a promising therapeutic target for HCC.
Journal Title: Cell reports
ISSN: 2211-1247
Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc  
Date Published: 2021