*NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | (2018) 9:4655 | DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07078-0 | www.nature.com/naturecommunications *
The emergence of acquired resistance against targeted drugs remains a major clinical challenge in lung adenocarcinoma patients. In a subgroup of these patients we identified an association between selection of EGFR T790M-negative but EGFR G724S-positive subclones and osimertinib resistance. We demonstrate that EGFR G724S limits the activity of third-generation EGFR inhibitors both in vitro and in vivo. Structural analyses and computational modeling indicate that EGFR G724S mutations may induce a conformation of the glycine-rich loop, which is incompatible with the binding of third-generation TKIs. Systematic inhibitor screening and in-depth kinetic profiling validate these findings and show that second-generation EGFR inhibitors retain kinase affinity and overcome EGFR G724S -mediated resistance. In the case of afatinib this profile translates into a robust reduction of colony formation and tumor growth of EGFR G724S-driven cells. Our data provide a mechanistic basis for the osimertinib-induced selection of EGFR G724S-mutant clones and a rationale to treat these patients with clinically approved second-generation EGFR inhibitors. Read more.