bims-pideca Biomed News
on Class IA PI3K signalling in development and cancer
Issue of 2020‒11‒29
thirteen papers selected by
Ralitsa Radostinova Madsen
University College London Cancer Institute

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 23. pii: 202017152. [Epub ahead of print]
      Ferroptosis, a form of regulated necrosis driven by iron-dependent peroxidation of phospholipids, is regulated by cellular metabolism, redox homeostasis, and various signaling pathways related to cancer. In this study, we found that activating mutation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) or loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) function, highly frequent events in human cancer, confers ferroptosis resistance in cancer cells, and that inhibition of the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling axis sensitizes cancer cells to ferroptosis induction. Mechanistically, this resistance requires sustained activation of mTORC1 and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR)C1-dependent induction of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1), a central transcription factor regulating lipid metabolism. Furthermore, stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), a transcriptional target of SREBP1, mediates the ferroptosis-suppressing activity of SREBP1 by producing monounsaturated fatty acids. Genetic or pharmacologic ablation of SREBP1 or SCD1 sensitized ferroptosis in cancer cells with PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway mutation. Conversely, ectopic expression of SREPB1 or SCD1 restored ferroptosis resistance in these cells, even when mTORC1 was inhibited. In xenograft mouse models for PI3K-mutated breast cancer and PTEN-defective prostate cancer, the combination of mTORC1 inhibition with ferroptosis induction resulted in near-complete tumor regression. In conclusion, hyperactive mutation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling protects cancer cells from oxidative stress and ferroptotic death through SREBP1/SCD1-mediated lipogenesis, and combination of mTORC1 inhibition with ferroptosis induction shows therapeutic promise in preclinical models.
    Keywords:  SREBP1; cancer; ferroptosis; lipogenesis; mTOR
  2. Breast Cancer (Dove Med Press). 2020 ;12 251-258
      Hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HR+/HER2 negative) breast cancer accounts for over 70% of all breast cancers. There has been much advancement in the treatment of HR+/HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC), in particular the development of more tailored and targeted therapies. Recently, greater understanding of the role of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in breast cancer has led to the development of PI3K inhibitors, which have proven to be effective in the treatment of HR+/HER2 negative MBC. In this review, we will discuss the role of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in breast cancer and therapies that have been developed to inhibit PI3K. We will discuss in detail the development of PI3K inhibitor alpelisib, indications for use in HR+/HER2 negative MBC, safety and tolerability and the future direction of this therapy in the treatment of breast cancer.
    Keywords:  PI3K; PIK3CA; alpelisib
  3. AACE Clin Case Rep. 2020 Nov-Dec;6(6):6(6): e349-e351
      Objective: Alpelisib-induced diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a rare, but life-threatening, adverse event. There have been only 2 reported cases in the literature. We describe such a case, with emphasis on the importance of screening and achieving adequate glycemic control prior to and after initiation of therapy.Methods: A 49-year-old woman, known to have advanced breast cancer, presented with a 3-day history of nausea, vomiting, and diffuse abdominal pain. She had started alpelisib at 300 mg/day 2 months prior to presentation, after failing other options. She was diagnosed with DKA using her clinical and laboratory features, leading to treatment with hydration and intravenous insulin therapy.
    Results: Laboratory data showed high anion gap metabolic acidosis, hyperglycemia, and ketonemia with negative GAD-65 antibodies, leading to the diagnosis of alpelisib-associated DKA. Alpelisib was held, and she was treated with intravenous insulin and hydration. When DKA and hyperglycemia resolved, alpelisib was resumed at a lower dose (200 mg/day) and her blood glucose was managed using a regimen combining insulin and metformin.
    Conclusion: Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase signaling is important for the metabolic actions of insulin, and alpelisib has been associated with severe hyperglycemia. Metformin is the first-line treatment, however when DKA is the presenting syndrome, insulin needs to be considered. Blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c should be checked prior to treatment initiation and monitored closely after drug initiation. DKA, albeit rare, must be considered in an acutely ill, alpelisib-treated patients presenting with metabolic acidosis, and if drug discontinuation is not an option, insulin treatment may be required to control glycemia.
  4. Front Physiol. 2020 ;11 587040
      It has long been known that heart rate is regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Recently, we demonstrated that the pacemaker current, I f , is regulated by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling independently of the autonomic nervous system. Inhibition of PI3K in sinus node (SN) myocytes shifts the activation of I f by almost 16 mV in the negative direction. I f in the SN is predominantly mediated by two members of the HCN gene family, HCN4 and HCN1. Purkinje fibers also possess I f and are an important secondary pacemaker in the heart. In contrast to the SN, they express HCN2 and HCN4, while ventricular myocytes, which do not normally pace, express HCN2 alone. In the current work, we investigated PI3K regulation of HCN2 expressed in HEK293 cells. Treatment with the PI3K inhibitor PI-103 caused a negative shift in the activation voltage and a dramatic reduction in the magnitude of the HCN2 current. Similar changes were also seen in cells treated with an inhibitor of the protein kinase Akt, a downstream effector of PI3K. The effects of PI-103 were reversed by perfusion of cells with phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (the second messenger produced by PI3K) or active Akt protein. We identified serine 861 in mouse HCN2 as a putative Akt phosphorylation site. Mutation of S861 to alanine mimicked the effects of Akt inhibition on voltage dependence and current magnitude. In addition, the Akt inhibitor had no effect on the mutant channel. These results suggest that Akt phosphorylation of mHCN2 S861 accounts for virtually all of the observed actions of PI3K signaling on the HCN2 current. Unexpectedly, Akt inhibition had no effect on I f in SN myocytes. This result raises the possibility that diverse PI3K signaling pathways differentially regulate HCN-induced currents in different tissues, depending on the isoforms expressed.
    Keywords:  Akt; HCN2; PI3K; pacemaker current; sinus node
  5. Cell Rep. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S2211-1247(20)31416-9. [Epub ahead of print]33(8): 108427
      The activation of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) leads to the activation of mTORC2 in cell migration and metabolism. However, the mechanism that links GPCRs to mTORC2 remains unknown. Here, using Dictyostelium cells, we show that GPCR-mediated chemotactic stimulation induces hetero-oligomerization of phosphorylated GDP-bound Rho GTPase and GTP-bound Ras GTPase in directed cell migration. The Rho-Ras hetero-oligomers directly and specifically stimulate mTORC2 activity toward AKT in cells and after biochemical reconstitution using purified proteins in vitro. The Rho-Ras hetero-oligomers do not activate ERK/MAPK, another kinase that functions downstream of GPCRs and Ras. Human KRas4B functionally replace Dictyostelium Ras in mTORC2 activation. In contrast to GDP-Rho, GTP-Rho antagonizes mTORC2-AKT signaling by inhibiting the oligomerization of GDP-Rho with GTP-Ras. These data reveal that GPCR-stimulated hetero-oligomerization of Rho and Ras provides a critical regulatory step that controls mTORC2-AKT signaling.
    Keywords:  AKT; Dictyostelium; G protein-coupled receptors; KRas; Rho; cell migration; mTORC2; small GTPases
  6. Cell. 2020 Nov 20. pii: S0092-8674(20)31451-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      We report a comprehensive proteogenomics analysis, including whole-genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and proteomics and phosphoproteomics profiling, of 218 tumors across 7 histological types of childhood brain cancer: low-grade glioma (n = 93), ependymoma (32), high-grade glioma (25), medulloblastoma (22), ganglioglioma (18), craniopharyngioma (16), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (12). Proteomics data identify common biological themes that span histological boundaries, suggesting that treatments used for one histological type may be applied effectively to other tumors sharing similar proteomics features. Immune landscape characterization reveals diverse tumor microenvironments across and within diagnoses. Proteomics data further reveal functional effects of somatic mutations and copy number variations (CNVs) not evident in transcriptomics data. Kinase-substrate association and co-expression network analysis identify important biological mechanisms of tumorigenesis. This is the first large-scale proteogenomics analysis across traditional histological boundaries to uncover foundational pediatric brain tumor biology and inform rational treatment selection.
    Keywords:  BRAF alteration; CPTAC; CTNNB1 mutation; kinase activity score; kinase substrate regulation; pediatric brain tumor; post-translational modification; proteomic cluster; recurrent versus primary tumors; tumor microenvironment
  7. Dev Cell. 2020 Nov 18. pii: S1534-5807(20)30875-3. [Epub ahead of print]
      To date, the effects of specific modification types and sites on protein lifetime have not been systematically illustrated. Here, we describe a proteomic method, DeltaSILAC, to quantitatively assess the impact of site-specific phosphorylation on the turnover of thousands of proteins in live cells. Based on the accurate and reproducible mass spectrometry-based method, a pulse labeling approach using stable isotope-labeled amino acids in cells (pSILAC), phosphoproteomics, and a unique peptide-level matching strategy, our DeltaSILAC profiling revealed a global, unexpected delaying effect of many phosphosites on protein turnover. We further found that phosphorylated sites accelerating protein turnover are functionally selected for cell fitness, enriched in Cyclin-dependent kinase substrates, and evolutionarily conserved, whereas the glutamic acids surrounding phosphosites significantly delay protein turnover. Our method represents a generalizable approach and provides a rich resource for prioritizing the effects of phosphorylation sites on protein lifetime in the context of cell signaling and disease biology.
    Keywords:  DeltaSILAC; data-independent acquisition; mass spectrometry; phosphomodiform; phosphorylation; protein lifetime; protein turnover; proteomics; pulse SILAC
  8. Biochem J. 2020 Nov 27. 477(22): 4327-4342
      Our knowledge on the expression, regulation and roles of the different phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) in platelet signaling and functions has greatly expanded these last twenty years. Much progress has been made in understanding the roles and regulations of class I PI3Ks which produce the lipid second messenger phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5 trisphosphate (PtdIns(3,4,5)P3). Selective pharmacological inhibitors and genetic approaches have allowed researchers to generate an impressive amount of data on the role of class I PI3Kα, β, δ and γ in platelet activation and in thrombosis. Furthermore, platelets do also express two class II PI3Ks (PI3KC2α and PI3KC2β), thought to generate PtdIns(3,4)P2 and PtdIns3P, and the sole class III PI3K (Vps34), known to synthesize PtdIns3P. Recent studies have started to reveal the importance of PI3KC2α and Vps34 in megakaryocytes and platelets, opening new perspective in our comprehension of platelet biology and thrombosis. In this review, we will summarize previous and recent advances on platelet PI3Ks isoforms. The implication of these kinases and their lipid products in fundamental platelet biological processes and thrombosis will be discussed. Finally, the relevance of developing potential antithrombotic strategies by targeting PI3Ks will be examined.
    Keywords:  antithrombotic drugs; haemostasis; lipids; phosphoinositide 3-kinases; platelet functions; thrombosis
  9. Cell Syst. 2020 Nov 18. pii: S2405-4712(20)30333-1. [Epub ahead of print]11(5): 449-460.e2
      The need to test anticancer drugs in multiple indications has been addressed by basket trials, which are Phase I or II clinical trials involving multiple tumor subtypes and a single master protocol. Basket trials typically involve few patients per type, making it challenging to rigorously compare responses across types. We describe the use of permutation testing to test for differences among subgroups using empirical null distributions and the Benjamini-Hochberg procedure to control for false discovery. We apply the approach retrospectively to tumor-volume changes and progression-free survival in published basket trials for neratinib, larotrectinib, pembrolizumab, and imatinib and uncover examples of therapeutic benefit missed by conventional binomial testing. For example, we identify an overlooked opportunity for use of neratinib in lung cancers carrying ERBB2 Exon 20 mutations. Permutation testing can be used to design basket trials but is more conservatively introduced alongside established approaches to enrollment such as Simon's two-stage design.
    Keywords:  basket clinical trial; breast cancer; imatinib; larotrectinib; lung cancer; master protocol trial; neratinib; pembrolizumab; permutation test; targeted therapy
  10. J Sport Health Sci. 2020 Nov 24. pii: S2095-2546(20)30160-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Heart failure represents the endpoint of a variety of cardiovascular diseases. It is a growing health burden and a leading cause of death worldwide. To date, limited treatment options exist for the treatment of heart failure, but exercise has been well established as one of the few safe and effective interventions, leading to improved outcomes in patients. However, a lack of patient adherence remains a significant barrier in the implementation of exercise-based therapy for the treatment of heart failure. The insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)- phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway has been recognized as perhaps the most critical pathway for mediating exercised-induced heart growth and protection. Here, we discuss how modulating activity of the IGF1-PI3K pathway may be a valuable approach for the development of therapies that mimic the protective effects of exercise on the heart. We outline some of the promising approaches being investigated that utilize PI3K based therapy for the treatment of heart failure. We discuss the implications for cardiac pathology and cardiotoxicity that arise in a setting of reduced PI3K activity. Finally, we discuss the use of animal models of cardiac health and disease, and genetic mice with increased or decreased cardiac PI3K activity for the discovery of novel drug targets and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease.
    Keywords:  Cardiac protection; Cardiotoxicity; Exercise; Heart failure; IGFI, PI3K, Therapies
  11. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 27. 11(1): 6043
      Robustness is a prominent feature of most biological systems. Most previous related studies have been focused on homogeneous molecular networks. Here we propose a comprehensive framework for understanding how the interactions between genes, proteins and metabolites contribute to the determinants of robustness in a heterogeneous biological network. We integrate heterogeneous sources of data to construct a multilayer interaction network composed of a gene regulatory layer, a protein-protein interaction layer, and a metabolic layer. We design a simulated perturbation process to characterize the contribution of each gene to the overall system's robustness, and find that influential genes are enriched in essential and cancer genes. We show that the proposed mechanism predicts a higher vulnerability of the metabolic layer to perturbations applied to genes associated with metabolic diseases. Furthermore, we find that the real network is comparably or more robust than expected in multiple random realizations. Finally, we analytically derive the expected robustness of multilayer biological networks starting from the degree distributions within and between layers. These results provide insights into the non-trivial dynamics occurring in the cell after a genetic perturbation is applied, confirming the importance of including the coupling between different layers of interaction in models of complex biological systems.
  12. Diabetes. 2020 Nov 25. pii: db200440. [Epub ahead of print]
      Elevation of glucagon levels and increase in α-cell mass are associated with states of hyperglycemia in diabetes. Our previous studies have highlighted the role of nutrient signaling via mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) regulation that controls glucagon secretion and α-cell mass. The current studies investigated the effects of activation of nutrient signaling by conditional deletion of the mTORC1 inhibitor, TSC2, in α-cells (αTSC2KO). We showed that activation of mTORC1 signaling is sufficient to induce chronic hyperglucagonemia as a result of α-cell proliferation, cell size and mass expansion. Hyperglucagonemia in αTSC2KO was associated with an increase in glucagon content and enhanced glucagon secretion. This model allowed us to identify the effects of chronic hyperglucagonemia on glucose homeostasis by inducing insulin secretion and resistance to glucagon in the liver. Liver glucagon resistance in αTSC2KO mice were characterized by reduced expression of the glucagon receptor (GCGR), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and genes involved in amino acid metabolism and urea production. Glucagon resistance in αTSC2KO mice was associated with improved glucose levels in Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced β-cell destruction and HFD-induced glucose intolerance. These studies demonstrate that chronic hyperglucagonemia can improve glucose homeostasis by inducing glucagon resistance in the liver.
  13. Cancer Cell. 2020 Nov 17. pii: S1535-6108(20)30594-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Gene alterations play a prominent role in driving cancer initiation and progression. However, the genetic events that occur in normal cells prior to tumorigenesis are still unknown. Recent studies have started to map somatic mutations in normal human tissues, and here we discuss their implications for our understanding of tumorigenesis.