bims-pideca Biomed News
on Class IA PI3K signalling in development and cancer
Issue of 2020‒04‒05
ten papers selected by
Ralitsa Radostinova Madsen
University College London Cancer Institute


  1. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Mar 27. pii: clincanres.3324.2019. [Epub ahead of print]
    Gris-Oliver A, Palafox M, Monserrat L, Brasó-Maristany F, Òdena A, Sánchez-Guixé M, Ibrahim YH, Villacampa G, Grueso J, Parés M, Guzman M, Rodriguez O, Bruna A, Hirst CS, Barnicle A, de Bruin EC, Reddy A, Schiavon G, Arribas J, Mills GB, Caldas C, Dienstman R, Prat A, Nuciforo P, Razavi P, Scaltriti M, Turner NC, Saura C, Davies BR, Oliveira M, Serra V.
      PURPOSE: AZD5363/capivasertib is a pan-AKT catalytic inhibitor with promising activity in combination with paclitaxel in triple negative metastatic breast cancer harboring PI3K/AKT-pathway alterations and in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in combination with fulvestrant. Here, we aimed to identify response biomarkers and uncover mechanisms of resistance to AZD5363 and its combination with paclitaxel.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Genetic and proteomic markers were analyzed in HER2-negative patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and patient samples, and correlated to AZD5363 sensitivity as single agent and in combination with paclitaxel.
    RESULTS: Four PDX were derived from patients receiving AZD5363 in the clinic which exhibited concordant treatment response. Mutations in PIK3CA/AKT1 and absence of mTORC1-activating alterations, e.g. in MTOR or TSC1, were associated with sensitivity to AZD5363 monotherapy. Interestingly, excluding PTEN from the composite biomarker increased its accuracy from 64 to 89%. Moreover, resistant PDXs exhibited low baseline pAKT S473 and residual pS6 S235 upon treatment, suggesting that parallel pathways bypass AKT/S6K1 signaling in these models. We identified two mechanisms of acquired resistance to AZD5363: cyclin D1 overexpression and loss of AKT1 p.E17K.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into putative predictive biomarkers of response and acquired resistance to AZD5363 in HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3324
  2. Cancer Drug Resist. 2020 ;3(1):
    Feng WW, Kurokawa M.
      Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women in the United States. In general, patients with breast cancer undergo surgical resection of the tumor and/or receive drug treatment to kill or suppress the growth of cancer cells. In this regard, small molecule kinase inhibitors serve as an important class of drugs used in clinical and research settings. However, the development of resistance to these compounds, in particular HER2 and CDK4/6 inhibitors, often limits durable clinical responses to therapy. Emerging evidence indicates that PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway hyperactivation is one of the most prominent mechanisms of resistance to many small molecule inhibitors as it bypasses upstream growth factor receptor inhibition. Importantly, the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway also plays a pertinent role in regulating various aspects of cancer metabolism. Recent studies from our lab and others have demonstrated that altered lipid metabolism mediates the development of acquired drug resistance to HER2-targeted therapies in breast cancer, raising an interesting link between reprogrammed kinase signaling and lipid metabolism. It appears that, upon development of resistance to HER2 inhibitors, breast cancer cells rewire lipid metabolism to somehow circumvent the inhibition of kinase signaling. Here, we review various mechanisms of resistance observed for kinase inhibitors and discuss lipid metabolism as a potential therapeutic target to overcome acquired drug resistance.
    Keywords:  Drug resistance; HER2; lipid metabolism; small molecule inhibitor; tyrosine kinase
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.20517/cdr.2019.100
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Mar 27. pii: E2320. [Epub ahead of print]21(7):
    Devanathan N, Jones S, Kaur G, Kimble-Hill AC.
      Studies have suggested that type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer and related mortality rates. T2D postmenopausal women have an ~20% increased chance of developing breast cancer, and women with T2D and breast cancer have a 50% increase in mortality compared to breast cancer patients without diabetes. This correlation has been attributed to the general activation of insulin receptor signaling, glucose metabolism, phosphatidylinositol (PI) kinases, and growth pathways. Furthermore, the presence of breast cancer specific PI kinase and/or phosphatase mutations enhance metastatic breast cancer phenotypes. We hypothesized that each of the breast cancer subtypes may have characteristic PI phosphorylation profiles that are changed in T2D conditions. Therefore, we sought to characterize the PI phosphorylation when equilibrated in normal glycemic versus hyperglycemic serum conditions. Our results suggest that hyperglycemia leads to: 1) A reduction in PI3P and PIP3, with increased PI4P that is later converted to PI(3,4)P2 at the cell surface in hormone receptor positive breast cancer; 2) a reduction in PI3P and PI4P with increased PIP3 surface expression in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer; and 3) an increase in di- and tri-phosphorylated PIs due to turnover of PI3P in triple negative breast cancer. This study begins to describe some of the crucial changes in PIs that play a role in T2D related breast cancer incidence and metastasis.
    Keywords:  HER2 positive breast cancer; PI3K/AKT signaling; hormone receptor positive breast cancer; hyperglycemia; triple negative breast cancer
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072320
  4. Vascul Pharmacol. 2020 Mar 27. pii: S1537-1891(19)30394-5. [Epub ahead of print] 106678
    Madonna R, Pieragostino D, Rossi C, Confalone P, Cicalini I, Minnucci I, Zucchelli M, Del Boccio P, De Caterina R.
      BACKGROUND: Hyperglycemia plays a role in promoting insulin resistance in adipocytes, hepatocytes and myocytes. Its effects on insulin signaling in endothelial cells remain, however, incompletely understood.AIM: To investigate the proteomic and metabolomic profiles of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) exposed to insulin, normal glucose (NG), high glucose (HG) or its hyperosmolar control high mannitol (HM), and to examine whether and how HG or HM may promote insulin resistance.
    METHODS AND RESULTS: We exposed HAECs to HG and HM in shorter (3 h) and longer-term experiments (24 h), followed by insulin treatment for 45 min. Label-free proteomics and network analysis showed a downregulation of proteins linked to the PI3K-Akt/mTOR/eNOS signaling pathway in HAECs. Metabolomic profiling showed decreased levels of "odd-chain acylcarnitines" such as C3. At immunoblotting, HG or HM blunted insulin ability to activate the PI3K/AKT/eNOS pathway, which was reverted through a silencing of aquaporin 1 (AQP1) and Tonicity enhancer binding protein (TonEBP), while inducing p-P38 and pERK1/2.
    CONCLUSIONS: HG impairs the PI3K/AKT/eNOS pathway and shifts insulin signaling towards the activation of mitogenic and pro-inflammatory effectors, such as p38 and ERK1/2. These effects may explain the progression of insulin resistance as a result of endothelial glucotoxicity.
    Keywords:  Diabetes; Endothelial cells; Hyperosmotic stress; Insulin resistance; Omics
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vph.2020.106678
  5. J Cell Sci. 2020 Mar 27. pii: jcs.240325. [Epub ahead of print]
    Lian YL, Chen KW, Chou YT, Ke TL, Chen BC, Lin YC, Chen L.
      Myoblast fusion is required for myotube formation during myogenesis, and defects in myoblast differentiation and fusion have been implicated in a number of diseases, including human rhabdomyosarcoma. While the transcriptional regulation of the myogenic program has been studied extensively, the mechanisms controlling myoblast fusion remain largely unknown. This study identified and characterized the dynamics of a distinct class of blebs, termed bubbling blebs, which are smaller than those that participate in migration. The formation of these bubbling blebs occurred during differentiation and decreased alongside a decline in phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) at the plasma membrane before myoblast fusion. In a human rhabdomyosarcoma-derived (RD) cell line that exhibits strong blebbing dynamics and myoblast fusion defects, PIP3 was constitutively abundant on the membrane during myogenesis. Targeting phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) to the plasma membrane reduced PIP3 levels, inhibited bubbling blebs, and rescued myoblast fusion defects in RD cells. These findings highlight the differential distribution and crucial role of PIP3 during myoblast fusion and reveal a novel mechanism underlying myogenesis defects in human rhabdomyosarcoma.
    Keywords:  Bleb; Myoblast fusion; Myogenesis; PTEN; Phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5)-trisphosphate; Rhabdomyosarcoma
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.240325
  6. Nat Rev Genet. 2020 Mar 31.
    Wagner DE, Klein AM.
      A fundamental goal of developmental and stem cell biology is to map the developmental history (ontogeny) of differentiated cell types. Recent advances in high-throughput single-cell sequencing technologies have enabled the construction of comprehensive transcriptional atlases of adult tissues and of developing embryos from measurements of up to millions of individual cells. Parallel advances in sequencing-based lineage-tracing methods now facilitate the mapping of clonal relationships onto these landscapes and enable detailed comparisons between molecular and mitotic histories. Here we review recent progress and challenges, as well as the opportunities that emerge when these two complementary representations of cellular history are synthesized into integrated models of cell differentiation.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41576-020-0223-2
  7. Regen Med. 2020 Mar 30.
    Borges GA, Webber LP, M Marques AE, Guerra EN, Castilho RM, Squarize CH.
      Although the human body can heal, it takes time, and slow healing and chronic wounds often occur. Thus, identifying novel therapies to aid regeneration is needed. Here, we conducted a systematic review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews guidelines and assessed preclinical studies on phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) inhibitors and their effects on tissue repair and regeneration. In conditions associated with neurodegeneration, tissue injury and ischemia, the PTEN-regulated PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is activated. The use of PTEN inhibitors resulted in better tissue response by reducing the healing time and lesion sizes or inducing neuronal regeneration. Notably, all studies included in this systematic review indicated that pharmacological inhibition of PTEN enhanced the repair process of the eye, lung, muscle and nervous system.
    Keywords:  PTEN inhibitors; bisperoxovanadium; evidence-based medicine; eye; lung; muscle; nervous system; signaling pathways; wound healing
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.2217/rme-2019-0065
  8. Gene. 2020 Mar 28. pii: S0378-1119(20)30299-7. [Epub ahead of print] 144630
    Wu Y, Huang D, Zhang H, Weng X, Wang H, Zhou Q, Wu Y, Shen Y, Sun B, Hu Z.
      BACKGROUND: PTEN is a tumour suppressor gene that has been proven to be related to breast cancer incidence and tumour progression. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of PTEN mutations in breast carcinomas in China and the relationships of PTEN mutations with clinicopathological parameters and clinical outcomes.MATERIAL AND METHODS: Trimmomatic, Burrows-Wheeler Aligner (BWA), ANNOVAR, SAMtools, and Sanger sequencing were used to analyse PTEN mutations and identify variants in Chinese breast cancer. The frequency of PTEN mutations and the relationships of PTEN mutations with clinicopathological parameters and clinical outcomes were evaluated in breast carcinomas in China.
    RESULTS: The rate of PTEN germline mutation was 0.23% (n=9) among 3955 unselected primary breast cancer patients. Of these 9 patients, 2 carried pathogenic mutations, and both were identified as having infiltrative carcinoma. One patient had a family history. The other 7 patients carried only PTEN germline variants that were not identified as pathogenic mutations.
    CONCLUSIONS: We studied the frequency of PTEN germline mutations in a sequential cohort of Chinese breast carcinoma patients. Based on these data, we hypothesize that the germline mutation of the PTEN gene is not closely related to the occurrence of breast cancer in the Chinese population. In the clinic, the PTEN germline mutation cannot be used as the basis for the detection of breast cancer.
    Keywords:  Biological Markers; Breast Neoplasms; PTEN
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2020.144630
  9. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Mar 26. pii: E787. [Epub ahead of print]12(4):
    Liu Y, Lu Y, Li A, Celiku O, Han S, Qian M, Yang C.
      Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations are common genetic abnormalities in lower grade gliomas. The neomorphic enzyme activity of IDH mutants leads to tumor formation through epigenetic alteration, dysfunction of dioxygenases, and metabolic reprogramming. However, it remains elusive as to how IDH mutants regulate the pathways associated with oncogenic transformation and aggressiveness. In the present study, by using unbiased transcriptomic profiling, we showed that IDH1 mutations result in substantial changes in the gene sets that govern cellular motility, chemotaxis, and invasion. Mechanistically, rapamycin-insensitive companion of mammalian target of rapamycin (Rictor)/Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) signaling plays an essential role in the motility and proliferation of IDH1-mutated cells by prompting cytoskeleton reorganization, lamellipodia formation, and enhanced endocytosis. Targeting the Rictor/Rac1 pathway suppresses IDH1-mutated cells by limiting endocytosis and cell proliferation. Overall, our findings indicate a novel metabolic reprogramming mechanism of IDH1-mutated cells by exploiting metabolites from the extracellular milieu. Targeting the Rictor/Rac1 pathway could be an alternative therapeutic strategy for IDH1-mutated malignancies.
    Keywords:  IDH1 mutation; Rictor; glioma; lamellipodia; mTOR; rac1
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040787
  10. Cell. 2020 Apr 02. pii: S0092-8674(20)30145-8. [Epub ahead of print]181(1): 151-167
    Zhao Z, Ukidve A, Kim J, Mitragotri S.
      Off-target effects of systemically administered drugs have been a major hurdle in designing therapies with desired efficacy and acceptable toxicity. Developing targeting strategies to enable site-specific drug delivery holds promise in reducing off-target effects, decreasing unwanted toxicities, and thereby enhancing a drug's therapeutic efficacy. Over the past three decades, a large body of literature has focused on understanding the biological barriers that hinder tissue-specific drug delivery and strategies to overcome them. These efforts have led to several targeting strategies that modulate drug delivery in both the preclinical and clinical settings, including small molecule-, nucleic acid-, peptide-, antibody-, and cell-based strategies. Here, we discuss key advances and emerging concepts for tissue-specific drug delivery approaches and their clinical translation.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.001