Mutational profiling of kinases in human tumours of pancreatic origin identifies candidate cancer genes in ductal and ampulla of vater carcinomas.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Protein kinases are key regulators of cellular processes (such as proliferation, apoptosis and invasion) that are often deregulated in human cancers. Accordingly, kinase genes have been the first to be systematically analyzed in human tumors leading to the discovery that many oncogenes correspond to mutated kinases. In most cases the genetic alterations translate in constitutively active kinase proteins, which are amenable of therapeutic targeting. Tumours of the pancreas are aggressive neoplasms for which no effective therapeutic strategy is currently available. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a DNA-sequence analysis of a selected set of 35 kinase genes in a panel of 52 pancreatic exocrine neoplasms, including 36 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, and 16 ampulla of Vater cancer. Among other changes we found somatic mutations in ATM, EGFR, EPHA3, EPHB2, and KIT, none of which was previously described in cancers. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although the alterations identified require further experimental evaluation, the localization within defined protein domains indicates functional relevance for most of them. Some of the mutated genes, including the tyrosine kinases EPHA3 and EPHB2, are clearly amenable to pharmacological intervention and could represent novel therapeutic targets for these incurable cancers.
Project description:The Eph receptor tyrosine kinase/ephrin ligand system regulates a wide spectrum of physiological processes, while its dysregulation has been implicated in cancer progression. The human EphA3 receptor is widely upregulated in the tumor microenvironment and is highly expressed in some types of cancer cells. Furthermore, EphA3 is among the most highly mutated genes in lung cancer and it is also frequently mutated in other cancers. We report the structure of the ligand-binding domain of the EphA3 receptor in complex with its preferred ligand, ephrin-A5. The structure of the complex reveals a pronounced tilt of the ephrin-A5 ligand compared to its orientation when bound to the EphA2 and EphB2 receptors and similar to its orientation when bound to EphA4. This tilt brings an additional area of ephrin-A5 into contact with regions of EphA3 outside the ephrin-binding pocket thereby enlarging the size of the interface, which is consistent with the high binding affinity of ephrin-A5 for EphA3. This large variation in the tilt of ephrin-A5 bound to different Eph receptors has not been previously observed for other ephrins.
Project description:Eph tyrosine kinase receptors are frequently overexpressed and functional in many cancers, and they are attractive candidates for targeted therapy. Here, we analyzed the expression of Eph receptor A3, one of the most up-regulated factors in glioblastoma cells cultured under tumorsphere-forming conditions, together with EphA2 and EphB2 receptors. EphA3 was overexpressed in up to 60% of glioblastoma tumors tested, but not in normal brain. EphA3 was localized in scattered areas of the tumor, the invasive ring, and niches near tumor vessels. EphA3 co-localized with macrophage/leukocyte markers, suggesting EphA3 expression on tumor-infiltrating cells of bone marrow origin. We took advantage of the fact that ephrinA5 (eA5) is a ligand that binds EphA3, EphA2 and EphB2 receptors, and used it to construct a novel targeted anti-glioblastoma cytotoxin. The eA5-based cytotoxin potently and specifically killed glioblastoma cells with an IC50 of at least 10-11 M. This and similar cytotoxins will simultaneously target different compartments of glioblastoma tumors while mitigating tumor heterogeneity.
Project description:The Eph family of receptor tyrosine kinases has drawn growing attention due to their role in regulating diverse biological phenomena. However, pharmacological interrogation of Eph kinase function has been hampered by a lack of potent and selective Eph kinase inhibitors. Here we report the discovery of compounds 6 and 9 using a rationally designed kinase-directed library which potently inhibit Eph receptor tyrosine kinases, particularly EphB2 with cellular EC(50)s of 40nM. Crystallographic data of EphA3 and EphA7 in complex with the inhibitors show that they bind to the 'DFG-out' inactive kinase conformation and provide valuable information for structure-based design of second generation inhibitors.
Project description:The Eph receptor tyrosine kinases make up an important family of signal transduction molecules that control many cellular processes, including cell adhesion and movement, cell shape, and cell growth. All of these are important aspects of cancer progression, but the relationship between Eph receptors and cancer is complex and not fully understood. Genetic screens of tumor specimens from cancer patients have revealed somatic mutations in many Eph receptors. The most highly mutated Eph receptor is EphA3, but its functional role in cancer is currently not well established. Here we show that many EphA3 mutations identified in lung, colorectal, and hepatocellular cancers, melanoma, and glioblastoma impair kinase activity or ephrin ligand binding and/or decrease the level of receptor cell surface localization. These results suggest that EphA3 has ephrin- and kinase-dependent tumor suppressing activities, which are disrupted by somatic cancer mutations.
Project description:Ephrin receptor tyrosine kinase A3 (EphA3, EC 22.214.171.124) is a member of a unique branch of the kinome in which downstream signaling occurs in both ligand- and receptor-expressing cells. Consequently, the ephrins and ephrin receptor tyrosine kinases often mediate processes involving cell-cell contact, including cellular adhesion or repulsion, developmental remodeling and neuronal mapping. The receptor is also frequently overexpressed in invasive cancers, including breast, small-cell lung and gastrointestinal cancers. However, little is known about direct substrates of EphA3 kinase and no chemical probes are available. Using a library approach, we found a short peptide sequence that is a good substrate for EphA3 and is suitable for co-crystallization studies. Complex structures show multiple contacts between kinase and substrates; in particular, two residues undergo conformational changes and by mutation are found to be important for substrate binding and turnover. In addition, a difference in catalytic efficiency between EPH kinase family members is observed. These results provide insight into the mechanism of substrate binding to these developmentally integral enzymes.
Project description:Activation of a cellular senescence program is a common response to prolonged oncogene activation or tumor suppressor loss, providing a physiological mechanism for tumor suppression in premalignant cells. The link between senescence and tumor suppression supports the hypothesis that a loss-of-function screen measuring bona fide senescence marker activation should identify candidate tumor suppressors. Using a high-content siRNA screening assay for cell morphology and proliferation measures, we identify 12 senescence-regulating kinases and determine their senescence marker signatures, including elevation of senescence-associated ?-galactosidase, DNA damage and p53 or p16 (INK4a) expression. Consistent with our hypothesis, SNP array CGH data supports loss of gene copy number of five senescence-suppressing genes across multiple tumor samples. One such candidate is the EPHA3 receptor tyrosine kinase, a gene commonly mutated in human cancer. We demonstrate that selected intracellular EPHA3 tumor-associated point mutations decrease receptor expression level and/or receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activity. Our study therefore describes a new strategy to mine for novel candidate tumor suppressors and provides compelling evidence that EPHA3 mutations may promote tumorigenesis only when key senescence-inducing pathways have been inactivated.
Project description:Glioblastoma is a highly malignant brain tumor for which no cure is available. To identify new therapeutic targets, we performed a mutation analysis of kinase genes in glioblastoma.Database mining and a literature search identified 76 kinases that have been found to be mutated at least twice in multiple cancer types before. Among those we selected 34 kinase genes for mutation analysis. We also included IDH1, IDH2, PTEN, TP53 and NRAS, genes that are known to be mutated at considerable frequencies in glioblastoma. In total, 174 exons of 39 genes in 113 glioblastoma samples from 109 patients and 16 high-grade glioma (HGG) cell lines were sequenced.Our mutation analysis led to the identification of 148 non-synonymous somatic mutations, of which 25 have not been reported before in glioblastoma. Somatic mutations were found in TP53, PTEN, IDH1, PIK3CA, EGFR, BRAF, EPHA3, NRAS, TGFBR2, FLT3 and RPS6KC1. Mapping the mutated genes into known signaling pathways revealed that the large majority of them plays a central role in the PI3K-AKT pathway.The knowledge that at least 50% of glioblastoma tumors display mutational activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway should offer new opportunities for the rational development of therapeutic approaches for glioblastomas. However, due to the development of resistance mechanisms, kinase inhibition studies targeting the PI3K-AKT pathway for relapsing glioblastoma have mostly failed thus far. Other therapies should be investigated, targeting early events in gliomagenesis that involve both kinases and non-kinases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recent advances in the treatment of cancer have focused on targeting genomic aberrations with selective therapeutic agents. In rare tumors, where large-scale clinical trials are daunting, this targeted genomic approach offers a new perspective and hope for improved treatments. Cancers of the ampulla of Vater are rare tumors that comprise only about 0.2% of gastrointestinal cancers. Consequently, they are often treated as either distal common bile duct or pancreatic cancers. METHODS: We analyzed DNA from a resected cancer of the ampulla of Vater and whole blood DNA from a 63 year-old man who underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy by whole genome sequencing, achieving 37× and 40× coverage, respectively. We determined somatic mutations and structural alterations. RESULTS: We identified relevant aberrations, including deleterious mutations of KRAS and SMAD4 as well as a homozygous focal deletion of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene. These findings suggest that these tumors have a distinct oncogenesis from either common bile duct cancer or pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, this combination of genomic aberrations suggests a therapeutic context for dual mTOR/PI3K inhibition. CONCLUSIONS: Whole genome sequencing can elucidate an oncogenic context and expose potential therapeutic vulnerabilities in rare cancers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cancer recurrence is one of the most concerning clinical problems of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) patients after treatment. However, an identification of predictive factor on Opisthorchis viverrini (OV)-associated CCA recurrence is not well elucidated. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the correlation of twelve targeted protein kinases with CCA recurrence. METHODS:Twelve protein kinases, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, 3, 4 (HER2, HER3, HER4), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR3), vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C), erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular carcinoma receptor type-A3 (EphA3), EphrinA1, phosphor-serine/threonine kinase 1 (p-Akt1), serine/threonine kinase 1 (Akt1), beta-catenin and protein Wnt5a (Wnt5a) were examined using immunohistochemistry. Pre-operative serum tumor markers, CA19-9 and CEA were also investigated. RESULTS:Among twelve protein kinases, EGFR, HER4, and EphA3 were associated with tumor recurrence status, recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). Multivariate cox regression demonstrated that EGFR, HER4, EphA3 or the panel of high expression of these proteins was an independent prognostic factor for tumor recurrence. The combination of high expression of these proteins with a high level of CA19-9 could improve the predictive ability on tumor recurrence. Moreover, the patients were stratified more accurately when analyzed using the combination of high expression of these proteins with primary tumor (T) or lymph node metastasis (N) status. CONCLUSION:EGFR, HER4, EphA3 or the panel of high expression of these proteins is an independent prognostic factor for post-operative CCA recurrence.
Project description:Determining the genetic basis of cancer requires comprehensive analyses of large collections of histopathologically well-classified primary tumours. Here we report the results of a collaborative study to discover somatic mutations in 188 human lung adenocarcinomas. DNA sequencing of 623 genes with known or potential relationships to cancer revealed more than 1,000 somatic mutations across the samples. Our analysis identified 26 genes that are mutated at significantly high frequencies and thus are probably involved in carcinogenesis. The frequently mutated genes include tyrosine kinases, among them the EGFR homologue ERBB4; multiple ephrin receptor genes, notably EPHA3; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor KDR; and NTRK genes. These data provide evidence of somatic mutations in primary lung adenocarcinoma for several tumour suppressor genes involved in other cancers--including NF1, APC, RB1 and ATM--and for sequence changes in PTPRD as well as the frequently deleted gene LRP1B. The observed mutational profiles correlate with clinical features, smoking status and DNA repair defects. These results are reinforced by data integration including single nucleotide polymorphism array and gene expression array. Our findings shed further light on several important signalling pathways involved in lung adenocarcinoma, and suggest new molecular targets for treatment.