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Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the second most prevalent histologic subtype of invasive breast cancer. Here, we comprehensively profiled 817 breast tumors, including 127 ILC, 490 ductal (IDC), and 88 mixed IDC/ILC. Besides E-cadherin loss, the best known ILC genetic hallmark, we identified mutations targeting PTEN, TBX3, and FOXA1 as ILC enriched features. PTEN loss associated with increased AKT phosphorylation, which was highest in ILC among all breast cancer subtypes. Spatially clustered FOXA1 mutations correlated with increased FOXA1 expression and activity. Conversely, GATA3 mutations and high expression characterized luminal A IDC, suggesting differential modulation of ER activity in ILC and IDC. Proliferation and immune-related signatures determined three ILC transcriptional subtypes associated with survival differences. Mixed IDC/ILC cases were molecularly classified as ILC-like and IDC-like revealing no true hybrid features. This multidimensional molecular atlas sheds new light on the genetic bases of ILC and provides potential clinical options.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Disrupted neuronal protein kinase B (Akt) signaling has been associated with dopamine (DA)-related neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, a devastating mental illness. We hypothesize that proper DA neurotransmission is therefore dependent upon intact neuronal Akt function. Akt is activated by phosphorylation of two key residues: Thr308 and Ser473. Blunted Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 (pAkt-473) has been observed in lymphocytes and postmortem brains of schizophrenia patients, and psychosis-prone normal individuals. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 2 (mTORC2) is a multiprotein complex that is responsible for phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 (pAkt-473). We demonstrate that mice with disrupted mTORC2 signaling in brain exhibit altered striatal DA-dependent behaviors, such as increased basal locomotion, stereotypic counts, and exaggerated response to the psychomotor effects of amphetamine (AMPH). Combining in vivo and ex vivo pharmacological, electrophysiological, and biochemical techniques, we demonstrate that the changes in striatal DA neurotransmission and associated behaviors are caused, at least in part, by elevated D2 DA receptor (D2R) expression and upregulated ERK1/2 activation. Haloperidol, a typical antipsychotic and D2R blocker, reduced AMPH hypersensitivity and elevated pERK1/2 to the levels of control animals. By viral gene delivery, we downregulated mTORC2 solely in the dorsal striatum of adult wild-type mice, demonstrating that striatal mTORC2 regulates AMPH-stimulated behaviors. Our findings implicate mTORC2 signaling as a novel pathway regulating striatal DA tone and D2R signaling.
Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/358843-12$15.00/0.
The serotonergic system regulates a wide range of behavior, including mood and impulsivity, and its dysregulation has been associated with mood disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and addiction. Diabetes is a risk factor for these conditions. Insulin resistance in the brain is specifically associated with susceptibility to psychostimulant abuse. Here, we examined whether phosphorylation of Akt, a key regulator of the insulin signaling pathway, controls serotonin (5-HT) signaling. To explore how impairment in Akt function regulates 5-HT homeostasis, we used a brain-specific rictor knockout (KO) mouse model of impaired neuronal phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473. Cortical 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor binding was significantly elevated in rictor KO mice. Concomitant with this elevated receptor expression, the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-Hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) led to an increased hypothermic response in rictor KO mice. The increased cortical 5-HT1A receptor density was associated with higher 5-HT1A receptor levels on the cortical cell surface. In contrast, rictor KO mice displayed significantly reduced head-twitch response (HTR) to the 5-HT2A/C agonist 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI), with evidence of impaired 5-HT2A/C receptor signaling. In vitro, pharmacological inhibition of Akt significantly increased 5-HT1A receptor expression and attenuated DOI-induced 5-HT2A receptor signaling, thereby lending credence to the observed in vivo cross-talk between neuronal Akt signaling and 5-HT receptor regulation. These data reveal that defective central Akt function alters 5-HT signaling as well as 5-HT-associated behaviors, demonstrating a novel role for Akt in maintaining neuronal 5-HT receptor function.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Using a newly developed near-infrared (NIR) dye that fluoresces at two different wavelengths (dichromic fluorescence, DCF), we discovered a new fluorescent substrate for Akt, also known as protein kinase B, and a method to quantitatively report this enzyme's activity in real time. Upon insulin activation of cellular Akt, the enzyme multi-phosphorylated a single serine residue of a diserine DCF substrate in a time-dependent manner, culminating in monophospho- to triphospho-serine products. The NIR DCF probe was highly selective for the Akt1 isoform, which was demonstrated using Akt1 knockout cells derived from MMTV-ErbB2 transgenic mice. The DCF mechanism provides unparalleled potential to assess the stimulation, sustainability, and reversibility of Akt activation longitudinally. Importantly, NIR fluorescence provides a pathway to translate findings from cells to living organisms, a condition that could eventually facilitate the use of these probes in humans.
VAPB (VAMP- associated protein B) is an ER protein that regulates multiple biological functions. Although aberrant expression of VAPB is associated with breast cancer, its function in tumor cells is poorly understood. In this report, we provide evidence that VAPB regulates breast tumor cell proliferation and AKT activation. VAPB protein expression is elevated in primary and metastatic tumor specimens, and VAPB mRNA expression levels correlated negatively with patient survival in two large breast tumor datasets. Overexpression of VAPB in mammary epithelial cells increased cell growth, whereas VAPB knockdown in tumor cells inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and suppressed tumor growth in orthotopic mammary gland allografts. The growth regulation of mammary tumor cells controlled by VAPB appears to be mediated, at least in part, by modulation of AKT activity. Overexpression of VAPB in MCF10A-HER2 cells enhances phosphorylation of AKT. In contrast, knockdown of VAPB in MMTV-Neu tumor cells inhibited pAKT levels. Pharmacological inhibition of AKT significantly reduced three-dimensional spheroid growth induced by VAPB. Collectively, the genetic, functional and mechanistic analyses suggest a role of VAPB in tumor promotion in human breast cancer.
PURPOSE - We tested the hypothesis that allosteric Akt inhibitor MK-2206 inhibits tumor growth, and that PTEN/PIK3CA mutations confer MK-2206 sensitivity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - MK-2206 effects on cell signaling were assessed in vitro and in vivo. Its antitumor efficacy was assessed in vitro in a panel of cancer cell lines with differing PIK3CA and PTEN status. Its in vivo efficacy was tested as a single agent and in combination with paclitaxel.
RESULTS - MK-2206 inhibited Akt signaling and cell-cycle progression, and increased apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner in breast cancer cell lines. Cell lines with PTEN or PIK3CA mutations were significantly more sensitive to MK-2206; however, several lines with PTEN/PIK3CA mutations were MK-2206 resistant. siRNA knockdown of PTEN in breast cancer cells increased Akt phosphorylation concordant with increased MK-2206 sensitivity. Stable transfection of PIK3CA E545K or H1047R mutant plasmids into normal-like MCF10A breast cells enhanced MK-2206 sensitivity. Cell lines that were less sensitive to MK-2206 had lower ratios of Akt1/Akt2 and had less growth inhibition with Akt siRNA knockdown. In PTEN-mutant ZR75-1 breast cancer xenografts, MK-2206 treatment inhibited Akt signaling, cell proliferation, and tumor growth. In vitro, MK-2206 showed a synergistic interaction with paclitaxel in MK-2206-sensitive cell lines, and this combination had significantly greater antitumor efficacy than either agent alone in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS - MK-2206 has antitumor activity alone and in combination with chemotherapy. This activity may be greater in tumors with PTEN loss or PIK3CA mutation, providing a strategy for patient enrichment in clinical trials.
Troglitazone is a ligand for the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) that decreases growth of human prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanism by which troglitazone reduces prostate cancer cell growth is not fully understood. To understand the signaling pathways involved in troglitazone-induced decreases in prostate cancer growth, we examined the effect of troglitazone on androgen-independent C4-2 human prostate cancer cells. Initial experiments revealed troglitazone inhibited C4-2 cell proliferation by arresting cells in the G(0)/G(1) phase of the cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. Since the proto-oncogene product c-Myc regulates both apoptosis and cell cycle progression, we next examined whether troglitazone altered expression of c-Myc. Troglitazone decreased c-Myc protein levels as well as expression of downstream targets of c-Myc in a dose-dependent manner. In C4-2 cells, troglitazone-induced decreases in c-Myc protein involve proteasome-mediated degradation of c-Myc protein as well as reductions in c-Myc mRNA levels. It appears that troglitazone stimulates degradation of c-Myc by increasing c-Myc phosphorylation, for the level of phosphorylated c-Myc was elevated in prostate cancer cells exposed to troglitazone. While troglitazone dramatically decreased the amount of c-Myc within C4-2 cells, the PPARγ ligands ciglitazone, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone did not reduce c-Myc protein levels. Furthermore the down-regulation of c-Myc by troglitazone was not blocked by the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 and siRNA-mediated decreases in PPARγ protein. Thus, our data suggest that troglitazone reduces c-Myc protein independently of PPARγ.
Treatment decisions for patients with lung cancer have historically been based on tumour histology. Some understanding of the molecular composition of tumours has led to the development of targeted agents, for which initial findings are promising. Clearer understanding of mutations in relevant genes and their effects on cancer cell proliferation and survival, is, therefore, of substantial interest. We review current knowledge about molecular subsets in non-small-cell lung cancer that have been identified as potentially having clinical relevance to targeted therapies. Since mutations in EGFR and KRAS have been extensively reviewed elsewhere, here, we discuss subsets defined by so-called driver mutations in ALK, HER2 (also known as ERBB2), BRAF, PIK3CA, AKT1, MAP2K1, and MET. The adoption of treatment tailored according to the genetic make-up of individual tumours would involve a paradigm shift, but might lead to substantial therapeutic improvements.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - Phase I-II studies indicate that imatinib is active in glioblastoma multiforme. To better understand the molecular and clinical effects of imatinib in glioblastoma multiforme, we conducted a neoadjuvant study of imatinib with pretreatment and posttreatment biopsies.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Patients underwent a computerized tomography-guided biopsy of their brain tumors. If diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, they were immediately treated with 7 days of imatinib 400 mg orally twice daily followed by either definitive surgery or re-biopsy. Pretreatment and posttreatment tissue specimens were tested by immunohistochemistry for Ki67 and microvessel destiny, and posttreatment specimens were analyzed for the presence of intact imatinib in tissue. Furthermore, pretreatment and posttreatment pairs were analyzed by Western blotting for activation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT, and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. Pharmacokinetic studies were also done.
RESULTS - Twenty patients were enrolled. Median survival was 6.2 months. Intact imatinib was detected in the posttreatment tissue specimens using mass spectrometry. There was no evidence of a drug effect on proliferation, as evidenced by a change in Ki67 expression. Biochemical evidence of response, as shown by decreased activation of AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase or increased p27 level, was detected in 4 of 11 patients with evaluable, matched pre- and post-imatinib biopsies. Two patients showed high-level EGFR activation and homozygous EGFR mutations, whereas one patient had high-level platelet-derived growth factor receptor-B activation.
CONCLUSIONS - Intact imatinib was detected in glioblastoma multiforme tissue. However, the histologic and immunoblotting evaluations suggest that glioblastoma multiforme proliferation and survival mechanisms are not substantially reduced by imatinib therapy in most patients.
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta is a central mediator in the progression of glomerulosclerosis, leading to accumulation of aberrant extracellular matrix proteins and inappropriate expression of smooth muscle alpha-actin in the kidney. Previously, we reported that disrupting the cytoskeleton diminished TGF-beta-stimulated type I collagen accumulation in human mesangial cells. As cytoskeletal signaling molecules, including the Rho-family GTPases, have been implicated in fibrogenesis, we sought to determine the respective roles of RhoA and Rac1 in HMC collagen I expression. TGF-beta1 activated both RhoA and Rac1 within 5 min of treatment, and this activation was dependent on the kinase activity of the type I TGF-beta receptor. TGF-beta1-stimulated induction of type I collagen mRNA expression and promoter activity was diminished by inhibiting Rac1 activity and was increased by a constitutively active Rac1 mutant, whereas inhibiting RhoA activity had no such effect. Rac1 activation required phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) activity. Furthermore, the PI3K antagonist, LY294002, reduced TGF-beta1-stimulated COL1A2 promoter activity and Rac1 activation. It also partially blocked active Rac1-stimulated collagen promoter activity, suggesting that PI3K activity contributes to both TGF-beta activation of Rac1 and signal propagation downstream of Rac1. Thus, while both Rac1 and RhoA are rapidly activated in response to TGF-beta1 in human mesangial cells, only Rac1 activation enhances events that contribute to mesangial cell collagen expression, through a positive feedback loop involving PI3K.