EGFRvIII : An Oncogene with Ambiguous Role

Journal of Oncology
Adrianna RutkowskaPiotr Rieske

Abstract

Epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) seems to constitute the perfect therapeutic target for glioblastoma (GB), as it is specifically present on up to 28-30% of GB cells. In case of other tumor types, expression and possible role of this oncogene still remain controversial. In spite of EGFRvIII mechanism of action being crucial for the design of small active anticancer molecules and immunotherapies, i.e., CAR-T technology, it is yet to be precisely defined. EGFRvIII is known to be resistant to degradation, but it is still unclear whether it heterodimerizes with EGF-activated wild-type EGFR (EGFRWT) or homodimerizes (including covalent homodimerization). Constitutive kinase activity of this mutated receptor is relatively low, and some researchers even claim that a nuclear, but not a membrane function, is crucial for its activity. Based on the analyses of recurrent tumors that are often lacking EGFRvIII expression despite its initial presence in corresponding primary foci, this oncogene is suggested to play a marginal role during later stages of carcinogenesis, while even in primary tumors EGFRvIII expression is detected only in a small percentage of tumor cells, undermining the rationality of EGFRvIII-targeting...Continue Reading

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