Tumor spectrum, tumor latency and tumor incidence of the Pten-deficient mice.
ABSTRACT: Pten functionally acts as a tumor suppressor gene. Lately, tissue-specific ablation of Pten gene in mice has elucidated the role of Pten in different tumor progression models. However, a temporally controlled Pten loss in all adult tissues to examine susceptibility of various tissues to Pten-deficient tumorigenesis has not been addressed yet. Our goal was to explore the genesis of Pten-deficient malignancies in multiple tissue lineages of the adult mouse.We utilized an inducible Cre/loxP system to delete Pten exon 5 in the systemic organs of ROSA26 (R26)-CreER(T);Pten(fx/fx) mice. On reaching 45 weeks 4OHT-induced Pten loss, we found that the R26-CreER(T);Pten(fx/fx) mice developed a variety of malignancies. Overall tumor mean latency was 17 weeks in the Pten-deficient mice. Interestingly, mutant females developed malignancies more quickly at 10 approximately 11 weeks compared with a tumor latency of 21 weeks for mutant males. Lymphoma incidence (76.9% in females; 40.0% in males) was higher than the other malignancies found in the mutant mice. Mutant males developed prostate (20.0%), intestinal cancer (35.0%) and squamous cell carcinoma (10.0%), whereas the mutant females developed squamous cell carcinoma (15.4%) and endometrial cancer (46.1%) in addition to lymphomas. Furthermore, we tested the pharmacological inhibition of the PTEN downstream effectors using LY294002 on Pten-deficient prostate hyperplasia. Our data revealed that, indeed, the prostate hyperplasia resulting from the induced Pten loss was significantly suppressed by LY294002 (p = 0.007).Through monitoring a variety of Pten-deficient tumor formation, our results revealed that the lymphoid lineages and the epithelium of the prostate, endometrium, intestine and epidermis are highly susceptible to tumorigenesis after the Pten gene is excised. Therefore, this R26-CreER(T); Pten(fx/fx) mouse model may provide an entry point for understanding the role of Pten in the tumorigenesis of different organs and extend the search for potential therapeutic approaches to prevent Pten-deficient malignancies.
Project description:We report a novel mouse model for the generation of sporadic tumors and show the efficiency of this approach by surveying Hedgehog (Hh)-related tumors. Up-regulation of the Hh pathway is achieved by conditionally regulated expression of an activated allele of Smoothened (R26-SmoM2) using either sporadic leakage or global postnatal induction of a ubiquitously expressed inducible Cre transgene (CAGGS-CreER). Following postnatal tamoxifen induction, CAGGS-CreER; R26-SmoM2 mice developed tumors with short latency and high penetrance. All mice exhibited rhabdomyosarcoma and basal cell carcinoma; 40% also developed medulloblastoma. In addition, mice showed a novel pancreatic lesion resembling low-grade mucinous cystic neoplasms in humans. In contrast, widespread activation of SmoM2 in the postnatal prostate epithelium results in no detectable morphologic outcome in 12-month-old mice. Comparison of gene expression profiles among diverse tumors identified several signature genes, including components of platelet-derived growth factor and insulin-like growth factor pathways, which may provide a common mechanistic link to the Hh-related malignancies. This experimental model provides a robust tool for exploring the process of Hh-dependent tumorigenesis and the treatment of such tumors. More generally, this approach provides a genetic platform for identifying tumorigenic potential in putative oncogenes and tumor suppressors and for more effective modeling of sporadic cancers in mice.
Project description:In human somatic tumorigenesis, mutations are thought to arise sporadically in individual cells surrounded by unaffected cells. This contrasts with most current transgenic models where mutations are induced synchronously in entire cell populations. Here we have modeled sporadic oncogene activation using a transgenic mouse in which c-MYC is focally activated in prostate luminal epithelial cells. Focal c-MYC expression resulted in mild pathology, but prostate-specific deletion of a single allele of the Pten tumor suppressor gene cooperated with c-MYC to induce high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN)/cancer lesions. These lesions were in all cases associated with loss of Pten protein expression from the wild type allele. In the prostates of mice with concurrent homozygous deletion of Pten and focal c-MYC activation, double mutant (i.e. c-MYC+;Pten-null) cells were of higher grade and proliferated faster than single mutant (Pten-null) cells within the same glands. Consequently, double mutant cells outcompeted single mutant cells despite the presence of increased rates of apoptosis in the former. The p53 pathway was activated in Pten-deficient prostate cells and tissues, but c-MYC expression shifted the p53 response from senescence to apoptosis by repressing the p53 target gene p21(Cip1). We conclude that c-MYC overexpression and Pten deficiency cooperate to promote prostate tumorigenesis, but a p53-dependent apoptotic response may present a barrier to further progression. Our results highlight the utility of inducing mutations focally to model the competitive interactions between cell populations with distinct genetic alterations during tumorigenesis.
Project description:PTEN activity is often lost in prostate cancer. We show that the tyrosine kinase PTK6 (BRK) is a PTEN substrate. Phosphorylation of PTK6 tyrosine 342 (PY342) promotes activation, while phosphorylation of tyrosine 447 (PY447) regulates auto-inhibition. Introduction of PTEN into a PTEN null prostate cancer cell line leads to dephosphorylation of PY342 but not PY447 and PTK6 inhibition. Conversely, PTEN knockdown promotes PTK6 activation in PTEN positive cells. Using a variety of PTEN mutant constructs, we show that protein phosphatase activity of PTEN targets PTK6, with efficiency similar to PTP1B, a phosphatase that directly dephosphorylates PTK6 Y342. Conditional disruption of Pten in the mouse prostate leads to tumorigenesis and increased phosphorylation of PTK6 Y342, and disruption of Ptk6 impairs tumorigenesis. In human prostate tumor tissue microarrays, loss of PTEN correlates with increased PTK6 PY342 and poor outcome. These data suggest PTK6 activation promotes invasive prostate cancer induced by PTEN loss.
Project description:The role of ER? in prostate cancer is unclear, although loss of ER? is associated with aggressive disease. Given that mice deficient in ER? do not develop prostate cancer, we hypothesized that ER? loss occurs as a consequence of tumorigenesis caused by other oncogenic mechanisms and that its loss is necessary for tumorigenesis. In support of this hypothesis, we found that ER? is targeted for repression in prostate cancer caused by PTEN deletion and that loss of ER? is important for tumor formation. ER? transcription is repressed by BMI-1, which is induced by PTEN deletion and important for prostate tumorigenesis. This finding provides a mechanism for how ER? expression is regulated in prostate cancer. Repression of ER? contributes to tumorigenesis because it enables HIF-1/VEGF signaling that sustains BMI-1 expression. These data reveal a positive feedback loop that is activated in response to PTEN loss and sustains BMI-1.
Project description:Understanding new therapeutic paradigms for both castrate-sensitive and more aggressive castrate-resistant prostate cancer is essential to improve clinical outcomes. As a critically important cellular process, autophagy promotes stress tolerance by recycling intracellular components to sustain metabolism important for tumor survival. To assess the importance of autophagy in prostate cancer, we generated a new autochthonous genetically engineered mouse model (GEMM) with inducible prostate-specific deficiency in the Pten tumor suppressor and autophagy-related-7 (Atg7) genes. Atg7 deficiency produced an autophagy-deficient phenotype and delayed Pten-deficient prostate tumor progression in both castrate-naïve and castrate-resistant cancers. Atg7-deficient tumors display evidence of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, suggesting that autophagy may promote prostate tumorigenesis through management of protein homeostasis. Taken together, these data support the importance of autophagy for both castrate-naïve and castrate-resistant growth in a newly developed GEMM, suggesting a new paradigm and model to study approaches to inhibit autophagy in combination with known and new therapies for advanced prostate cancer.
Project description:The role of Notch signaling in prostate cancer has not been defined definitively. Several large scale tissue microarray studies have revealed that the expression of some Notch signaling components including the Jagged1 ligand are upregulated in advanced human prostate cancer specimens. Jagged1 expressed by tumor cells may activate Notch signaling in both adjacent tumor cells and cells in tumor microenvironment. However, it remains undetermined whether increased Jagged1 expression reflects a cause for or a consequence of tumor progression in vivo. To address this question, we generated a novel R26-LSL-JAG1 mouse model that enables spatiotemporal Jagged1 expression. Prostate specific upregulation of Jagged1 neither interferes with prostate epithelial homeostasis nor significantly accelerates tumor initiation or progression in the prostate-specific Pten deletion mouse model for prostate cancer. However, Jagged1 upregulation results in increased inflammatory foci in tumors and incidence of intracystic adenocarcinoma. In addition, Jagged1 overexpression upregulates Tgf? signaling in prostate stromal cells and promotes progression of a reactive stromal microenvironment in the Pten null prostate cancer model. Collectively, Jagged1 overexpression does not significantly accelerate prostate cancer initiation and progression in the context of loss-of-function of Pten, but alters tumor histopathology and microenvironment. Our study also highlights an understudied role of Notch signaling in regulating prostatic stromal homeostasis.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that codeletion of the tumor suppressor genes Pten and p53 plays a crucial role in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer in vivo. However, the molecular mechanism underlying Pten-/p53-deficiency-driven prostate tumorigenesis remains incompletely understood. Building upon insights gained from our studies with Pten-/p53-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), we report here that hexokinase 2 (HK2) is selectively upregulated by the combined loss of Pten and p53 in prostate cancer cells. Mechanistically, Pten deletion increases HK2 mRNA translation through the activation of the AKT-mTORC1-4EBP1 axis, and p53 loss enhances HK2 mRNA stability through the inhibition of miR143 biogenesis. Genetic studies demonstrate that HK2-mediated aerobic glycolysis, known as the Warburg effect, is required for Pten-/p53-deficiency-driven tumor growth in xenograft mouse models of prostate cancer. Our findings suggest that HK2 might be a therapeutic target for prostate cancer patients carrying Pten and p53 mutations.
Project description:Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer in males, and treatment options are limited for advanced forms of the disease. Loss of the PTEN and TP53 tumor suppressor genes is commonly observed in prostate cancer, whereas their compound loss is often observed in advanced prostate cancer. Here, we show that PARP inhibition triggers a p53-dependent cellular senescence in a PTEN-deficient setting in the prostate. Surprisingly, we also find that PARP-induced cellular senescence is morphed into an apoptotic response upon compound loss of PTEN and p53. We further show that superactivation of the prosurvival PI3K-AKT signaling pathway limits the efficacy of a PARP single-agent treatment, and that PARP and PI3K inhibitors effectively synergize to suppress tumorigenesis in human prostate cancer cell lines and in a Pten/Trp53-deficient mouse model of advanced prostate cancer. Our findings, therefore, identify a combinatorial treatment with PARP and PI3K inhibitors as an effective option for PTEN-deficient prostate cancer.The paucity of therapeutic options in advanced prostate cancer displays an urgent need for the preclinical assessment of novel therapeutic strategies. We identified differential therapeutic vulnerabilities that emerge upon the loss of both PTEN and p53, and observed that combined inhibition of PARP and PI3K provides increased efficacy in hormone-insensitive advanced prostate cancer.
Project description:The expression of NKX3.1, a transcriptional regulator and tumor suppressor gene in prostate cancer, is downregulated during early stages of prostate tumorigenesis. However, little is known of the alterations in gene expression that occur as a result of this event. We combined laser capture microdissection and gene expression profiling to analyse the molecular consequences of Nkx3.1 loss during prostate cancer initiation using Nkx3.1-deficient mice. This analysis identified a cohort of genes (loss-of-Nkx3.1 signature) that are aberrantly overexpressed during loss-of-Nkx3.1-driven tumor initiation. We studied the expression of these genes in independent loss-of-Pten and c-myc overexpression prostate adenocarcinoma mouse models. Nkx3.1 expression is lost in prostate epithelial proliferation in both of these mouse models. However, Nkx3.1 loss is an early event of tumor development in the loss-of-Pten model, whereas it occurs at later stages in c-myc transgenic mice. A number of genes of the loss-of-Nkx3.1 signature, such as clusterin and quiescin Q6, are highly expressed in prostatic hyperplasia and intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) lesions that also lack Nkx3.1 in the Pten-deficient prostate, but not in similar lesions in the c-myc transgenic model. Meta-analysis of multiple prostate cancer gene expression data sets, including those from loss-of-Nkx3.1, loss-of-Pten, c-myc overexpression and constitutively active Akt prostate cancer models, further confirmed that genes associated with the loss-of-Nkx3.1 signature integrate with PTEN-AKT signaling pathways, but do not overlap with molecular changes associated with the c-myc signaling pathway. In human prostate tissue samples, loss of NKX3.1 expression and corresponding clusterin overexpression are co-localized at sites of prostatic inflammatory atrophy, a possible very early stage of human prostate tumorigenesis. Collectively, these results suggest that the molecular consequences of NKX3.1 loss depend on the epithelial proliferative stage at which its expression is lost, and that alterations in the PTEN-AKT-NKX3.1 axis are important for prostate cancer initiation.
Project description:PTEN is frequently mutated in prostate cancer. The tumor suppressor function of PTEN is attributed to its lipid phosphatase activity that counters PI3K action. Here, we report a PTEN-ARID4B-PI3K axis in which PTEN inhibits expression of ARID4B, while ARID4B is a transcriptional activator of the PI3K subunit genes PIK3CA and PIK3R2 that are crucial for activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway. Reciprocal binding of ARID4B and histone H1 to the PIK3CA and PIK3R2 promoters modulates chromatin condensation, suggesting a mechanism by which ARID4B activates these promoters. Functional analyses reveals that ARID4B is required for prostate tumorigenesis when PTEN is deficient. The biological significance is further substantiated by the existence of a PTEN/ARID4B/PIK3CA three-gene signature that improves the predictive power for prostate cancer recurrence in patients. In summary, we identify ARID4B as a master regulator in the PTEN-PI3K pathway, thus providing a potential therapeutic target for prostate cancer carrying PTEN mutations.