Genetic and environmental factors play important roles in cancer progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. Herein, we used a multiomics data analysis to evaluate the predictive and prognostic roles of genetic and epigenetic modulation of c-MET (hepatocyte growth factor receptor)/epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in colorectal cancer (CRC). First, we found that overexpressions of c-MET/EGFR were associated with the infiltration of tumor immune cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts, and were of prognostic relevance in CRC cohorts. We also observed that genetic alterations of c-MET/EGFR in CRC co-occurred with other gene alterations and were associated with overexpression of messenger (m)RNA of some cancer hallmark proteins. More specifically, DNA-methylation and somatic copy number alterations of c-MET/EGFR were associated with immune infiltration, dysfunctional T-cell phenotypes, and poor prognoses of the cohorts. Moreover, we describe two novel gefitinib-inspired small molecules derivatives of 3-phenyl-2H-benzo[e] [1,3]-oxazine-2,4(3H)-dione, NSC777205 and NSC777207, which exhibited wide-spectrum antiproliferative activities and selective cytotoxic preference for drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant melanoma, renal, central nervous system, colon, and non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. We further provided in silico mechanistic evidence implicating c-MET/EGFR/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibition in anticancer activities of those compounds. Our overall structure-activity relationship study revealed that the addition of an –OCH3 group to salicylic core of NSC777207 was not favorable, as the added moiety led to overall less-favorable drug properties as well as weaker anticancer activities compared to the properties and activities demonstrated by NSC777205 that has no –OCH3 substituent group. Further in vitro and in vivo analyses in tumor-bearing mice are ongoing in our lab to support this claim and to unravel the full therapeutic efficacies of NSC777205 and NSC777207 in CRC.
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