bims-pideca Biomed News
on Class IA PI3K signalling in development and cancer
Issue of 2019‒09‒15
six papers selected by
Ralitsa Radostinova Madsen
University College London Cancer Institute

  1. Oncotarget. 2019 Aug 27. 10(50): 5126-5135
      Although oncogenic mutations in the three major Ras isoforms, KRAS, HRAS and NRAS, are present in nearly a third of human cancers, therapeutic targeting of Ras remains a challenge due to its structure and complex regulation. However, an in-depth examination of the protein interactome of oncogenic Ras may provide new insights into key regulators, effectors and other mediators of its tumorigenic functions. Previous proteomic analyses have been limited by experimental tools that fail to capture the dynamic, transient nature of Ras cellular interactions. Therefore, in a recent study, we integrated proximity-dependent biotin labeling (BioID) proteomics with CRISPR screening of identified proteins to identify Ras proximal proteins required for Ras-dependent cancer cell growth. Oncogenic Ras was proximal to proteins involved in unexpected biological processes, such as vesicular trafficking and solute transport. Critically, we identified a direct, bona fide interaction between active Ras and the mTOR Complex 2 (mTORC2) that stimulated mTORC2 kinase activity. The oncogenic Ras-mTORC2 interaction resulted in a downstream pro-proliferative transcriptional program and promoted Ras-dependent tumor growth in vivo. Here we provide additional insight into the Ras isoform-specific protein interactomes, highlighting new opportunities for unique tumor-type therapies. Finally, we discuss the active Ras-mTORC2 interaction in detail, providing a more complete understanding of the direct relationship between Ras and mTORC2. Collectively, our findings support a model wherein Ras integrates an expanded array of pro-oncogenic signals to drive tumorigenic processes, including action on mTORC2 as a direct effector of Ras-driven proliferative signals.
    Keywords:  BioID; CRISPR; Ras; mTORC2; proteomics
  2. J Theor Biol. 2019 Sep 04. pii: S0022-5193(19)30343-1. [Epub ahead of print] 109992
      Signal integration has a crucial role in the cell fate decision and dysregulation of the cellular signaling pathways is a primary characteristic of cancer. As a signal integrator, mTOR shows a complex dynamical behavior which determines the cell fate at different cellular processes levels, including cell cycle progression, cell survival, cell death, metabolic reprogramming, and aging. The dynamics of the complex responses to rapamycin in cancer cells have been attributed to its differential time-dependent inhibitory effects on mTORC1 and mTORC2, the two main complexes of mTOR. Two explanations were previously provided for this phenomenon: 1- Rapamycin does not inhibit mTORC2 directly, whereas it prevents mTORC2 formation by sequestering free mTOR protein (Le Chatelier's principle). 2- Components like Phosphatidic Acid (PA) further stabilize mTORC2 compared with mTORC1. To understand the mechanism by which rapamycin differentially inhibits the mTOR complexes in the cancer cells, we present a mathematical model of rapamycin mode of action based on the first explanation, i.e., Le Chatelier's principle. Translating the interactions among components of mTORC1 and mTORC2 into a mathematical model revealed the dynamics of rapamycin action in different doses and time-intervals of rapamycin treatment. This model shows that rapamycin has stronger effects on mTORC1 compared with mTORC2, simply due to its direct interaction with free mTOR and mTORC1, but not mTORC2, without the need to consider other components that might further stabilize mTORC2. Based on our results, even when mTORC2 is less stable compared with mTORC1, it can be less inhibited by rapamycin.
    Keywords:  Cell Signaling; Mathematical Model; Rapamycin; Systems Biology; Systems Pharmacology; mTOR
  3. Nature. 2019 Sep 11.
      Early human embryonic development involves extensive lineage diversification, cell-fate specification and tissue patterning1. Despite its basic and clinical importance, early human embryonic development remains relatively unexplained owing to interspecies divergence2,3 and limited accessibility to human embryo samples. Here we report that human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in a microfluidic device recapitulate, in a highly controllable and scalable fashion, landmarks of the development of the epiblast and amniotic ectoderm parts of the conceptus, including lumenogenesis of the epiblast and the resultant pro-amniotic cavity, formation of a bipolar embryonic sac, and specification of primordial germ cells and primitive streak cells. We further show that amniotic ectoderm-like cells function as a signalling centre to trigger the onset of gastrulation-like events in hPSCs. Given its controllability and scalability, the microfluidic model provides a powerful experimental system to advance knowledge of human embryology and reproduction. This model could assist in the rational design of differentiation protocols of hPSCs for disease modelling and cell therapy, and in high-throughput drug and toxicity screens to prevent pregnancy failure and birth defects.
  4. Nat Rev Cancer. 2019 Sep 12.
      Methionine uptake and metabolism is involved in a host of cellular functions including methylation reactions, redox maintenance, polyamine synthesis and coupling to folate metabolism, thus coordinating nucleotide and redox status. Each of these functions has been shown in many contexts to be relevant for cancer pathogenesis. Intriguingly, the levels of methionine obtained from the diet can have a large effect on cellular methionine metabolism. This establishes a link between nutrition and tumour cell metabolism that may allow for tumour-specific metabolic vulnerabilities that can be influenced by diet. Recently, a number of studies have begun to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the interaction between nutrition, methionine metabolism and effects on health and cancer.
  5. Biochem J. 2019 Sep 13. pii: BCJ20190594. [Epub ahead of print]
      Control of fatty acid storage and release in adipose tissue is fundamental in energy homeostasis and the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. We here take the whole signalling network into account to identify how insulin and β-adrenergic stimulation in concert controls lipolysis in mature subcutaneous adipocytes obtained from non-diabetic and, in parallel, type 2 diabetic women. We report that, and show how, the anti-lipolytic effect of insulin can be fully explained by protein kinase B (PKB/Akt)-dependent activation of the phosphodiesterase PDE3B. Through the same PKB-dependent pathway β-adrenergic receptor signalling, via cAMP and PI3Kα, is anti-lipolytic and inhibits its own stimulation of lipolysis by 50%. Through this pathway both insulin and β-adrenergic signalling control phosphorylation of FOXO1. The dose-response of lipolysis is bell-shaped, such that insulin is anti-lipolytic at low concentrations, but at higher concentrations of insulin lipolysis was increasingly restored due to inhibition of PDE3B. The control of lipolysis was not altered in adipocytes from diabetic individuals. However, release of fatty acids was increased by 50% in diabetes due to reduced reesterification of lipolytically liberated fatty acids. In conclusion, our results reveal mechanisms of control by insulin and β-adrenergic stimulation - in human adipocytes - that define a network of checks and balances ensuring robust control to secure uninterrupted supply of fatty acids without reaching concentrations that put cellular integrity at risk. Moreover, our results define how selective insulin resistance leave lipolytic control by insulin unaltered in diabetes, while fatty acid release is substantially increased.
    Keywords:  beta-adrenergic signalling; human adipocytes; insulin resistance; insulin signalling; lipolysis; type 2 diabetes
  6. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2019 Sep 09. pii: a036293. [Epub ahead of print]
      PTEN is a major tumor-suppressor protein whose expression and biological activity are frequently diminished in sporadic or inherited cancers. PTEN gene deletion or loss-of-function mutations favor tumor cell growth and are commonly found in clinical practice. In addition, diminished PTEN protein expression is also frequently observed in tumor samples from cancer patients in the absence of PTEN gene alterations. This makes PTEN protein levels a potential biomarker parameter in clinical oncology, which can guide therapeutic decisions. The specific detection of PTEN protein can be achieved by using highly defined anti-PTEN monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), characterized with precision in terms of sensitivity for the detection technique, specificity for PTEN binding, and constraints of epitope recognition. This is especially relevant taking into consideration that PTEN is highly targeted by mutations and posttranslational modifications, and different PTEN protein isoforms exist. The precise characterization of anti-PTEN mAb reactivity is an important step in the validation of these reagents as diagnostic and prognostic tools in clinical oncology, including their routine use in analytical immunohistochemistry (IHC). Here, we review the current status on the use of well-defined anti-PTEN mAbs for PTEN immunodetection in the clinical context and discuss their potential usefulness and limitations for a more precise cancer diagnosis and patient benefit.