Drugging the catalytically inactive state of RET kinase in RET-rearranged tumors

More about Open Access at the Crick


Oncogenic fusion events have been identified in a broad range of tumors. Among them, rearrangements represent distinct and potentially druggable targets that are recurrently found in lung adenocarcinomas. We provide further evidence that current anti-RET drugs may not be potent enough to induce durable responses in such tumors. We report that potent inhibitors, such as AD80 or ponatinib, that stably bind in the DFG-out conformation of RET may overcome these limitations and selectively kill -rearranged tumors. Using chemical genomics in conjunction with phosphoproteomic analyses in -rearranged cells, we identify the CCDC6-RET mutation and drug-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway reactivation as possible mechanisms by which tumors may escape the activity of RET inhibitors. Our data provide mechanistic insight into the druggability of RET kinase fusions that may be of help for the development of effective therapies targeting such tumors.

Journal details

Volume 9
Issue number 394
Pages eaah6144
Available online
Publication date