Sprouty2, PTEN, and PP2A interact to regulate prostate cancer progression.
ABSTRACT: Concurrent activation of RAS/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways is implicated in prostate cancer progression. The negative regulators of these pathways, including sprouty2 (SPRY2), protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), are commonly inactivated in prostate cancer. The molecular basis of cooperation between these genetic alterations is unknown. Here, we show that SPRY2 deficiency alone triggers activation of AKT and ERK, but this is insufficient to drive tumorigenesis. In addition to AKT and ERK activation, SPRY2 loss also activates a PP2A-dependent tumor suppressor checkpoint. Mechanistically, the PP2A-mediated growth arrest depends on GSK3? and is ultimately mediated by nuclear PTEN. In murine prostate cancer models, Pten haploinsufficiency synergized with Spry2 deficiency to drive tumorigenesis, including metastasis. Together, these results show that loss of Pten cooperates with Spry2 deficiency by bypassing a novel tumor suppressor checkpoint. Furthermore, loss of SPRY2 expression correlates strongly with loss of PTEN and/or PP2A subunits in human prostate cancer. This underlines the cooperation between SPRY2 deficiency and PTEN or PP2A inactivation in promoting tumorigenesis. Overall, we propose SPRY2, PTEN, and PP2A status as an important determinant of prostate cancer progression. Characterization of this trio may facilitate patient stratification for targeted therapies and chemopreventive interventions.
Project description:Expression of Sprouty genes is frequently decreased or absent in human prostate cancer, implicating them as suppressors of tumorigenesis. Here we show they function in prostate tumor suppression in the mouse. Concomitant inactivation of Spry1 and Spry2 in prostate epithelium causes ductal hyperplasia and low-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). However, when Spry1 and Spry2 loss-of-function occurs in the context of heterozygosity for a null allele of the tumor suppressor gene Pten, there is a striking increase in PIN and evidence of neoplastic invasion. Conversely, expression of a Spry2 gain-of-function transgene in Pten null prostatic epithelium suppresses the tumorigenic effects of loss of Pten function. We show that Sprouty gene loss-of-function results in hyperactive RAS/ERK1/2 signaling throughout the prostate epithelium and cooperates with heterozygosity for a Pten null allele to promote hyperactive PI3K/AKT signaling. Furthermore, Spry2 gain-of-function can suppress hyperactivation of AKT caused by the absence of PTEN. Together, these results point to a key genetic interaction between Sprouty genes and Pten in prostate tumorigenesis and provide strong evidence that Sprouty genes can function to modulate signaling via the RAS/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT pathways. The finding that Sprouty genes suppress tumorigenesis caused by Pten loss-of-function suggests that therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring normal feedback mechanisms triggered by receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, including Sprouty gene expression, may provide an effective strategy to delay or prevent high-grade PIN and invasive prostate cancer.
Project description:The proto-oncogene AKT (also known as PKB) is activated in many human cancers, mostly owing to loss of the PTEN tumour suppressor. In such tumours, AKT becomes enriched at cell membranes where it is activated by phosphorylation. Yet many targets inhibited by phosphorylated AKT (for example, the FOXO transcription factors) are nuclear; it has remained unclear how relevant nuclear phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) function is for tumorigenesis. Here we show that the PMLtumour suppressor prevents cancer by inactivating pAKT inside the nucleus. We find in a mouse model that Pml loss markedly accelerates tumour onset, incidence and progression in Pten-heterozygous mutants, and leads to female sterility with features that recapitulate the phenotype of Foxo3a knockout mice. We show that Pml deficiency on its own leads to tumorigenesis in the prostate, a tissue that is exquisitely sensitive to pAkt levels, and demonstrate that Pml specifically recruits the Akt phosphatase PP2a as well as pAkt into Pml nuclear bodies. Notably, we find that Pml-null cells are impaired in PP2a phosphatase activity towards Akt, and thus accumulate nuclear pAkt. As a consequence, the progressive reduction in Pml dose leads to inactivation of Foxo3a-mediated transcription of proapoptotic Bim and the cell cycle inhibitor p27(kip1). Our results demonstrate that Pml orchestrates a nuclear tumour suppressor network for inactivation of nuclear pAkt, and thus highlight the importance of AKT compartmentalization in human cancer pathogenesis and treatment.
Project description:Loss of SPRY2 and activation of receptor tyrosine kinases are common events in prostate cancer (PC). However, the molecular basis of their interaction and clinical impact remains to be fully examined. SPRY2 loss may functionally synergize with aberrant cellular signalling to drive PC and to promote treatment-resistant disease. Here, we report evidence for a positive feedback regulation of the ErbB-PI3K/AKT cascade by SPRY2 loss in in vitro as well as pre-clinical in vivo models and clinical PC. Reduction in SPRY2 expression resulted in hyper-activation of PI3K/AKT signalling to drive proliferation and invasion by enhanced internalization of EGFR/HER2 and their sustained signalling at the early endosome in a PTEN-dependent manner. This involved p38 MAPK activation by PI3K to facilitate clathrin-mediated ErbB receptor endocytosis. Finally, in vitro and in vivo inhibition of PI3K suppressed proliferation and invasion, supporting PI3K/AKT as a target for therapy particularly in patients with PTEN-haploinsufficient-, low SPRY2- and ErbB-expressing tumours. In conclusion, SPRY2 is an important tumour suppressor in PC since its loss drives the PI3K/AKT pathway via functional interaction with the ErbB system.
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:Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) responds to diverse cellular stresses, and regulates oncogenic activities (for example, proliferation, survival and migration) through direct transcriptional regulation or protein-protein interactions. Although aberrant ATF3 expression is frequently found in human cancers, the role of ATF3 in tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that ATF3 suppresses the development of prostate cancer induced by knockout of the tumor suppressor Pten in mouse prostates. Whereas the oncogenic stress elicited by Pten loss induced ATF3 expression in prostate epithelium, we found that ATF3 deficiency increased cell proliferation and promoted cell survival, leading to early onset of mouse prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and the progression of prostate lesions to invasive adenocarcinoma. Importantly, the loss of ATF3 promoted activation of the oncogenic AKT signaling evidenced by high levels of phosphorylated AKT and S6 proteins in ATF3-null prostate lesions. In line with these in vivo results, knockdown of ATF3 expression in human prostate cancer cells by single guided RNA-mediated targeting activated AKT and increased matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression. Our results thus link ATF3 to the AKT signaling, and suggest that ATF3 is a tumor suppressor for the major subset of prostate cancers harboring dysfunctional Pten.
Project description:Sprouty2 (Spry2) and phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) are both well-established regulators of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling, and knockdown of Spry2 or PTEN enhances axon regeneration of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. The major role of Spry2 is the inhibition of the rat sarcoma RAS/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway, whereas PTEN acts mainly as an inhibitor of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. In non-neuronal cells, Spry2 increases the expression and activity of PTEN, and PTEN enhances the amount of Spry2 by the inhibition of the microRNA-21 (miR-21) that downregulates Spry2. Applying dissociated DRG neuron cultures from wild-type (WT) or Spry2 deficient mice, we demonstrate that PTEN protein was reduced after 72 h during rapid axonal outgrowth on the laminin substrate. Furthermore, PTEN protein was decreased in DRG cultures obtained from homozygous Spry2-/- knockout mice. Vice versa, Spry2 protein was reduced by PTEN siRNA in WT and heterozygous Spry2+/- neurons. Knockdown of PTEN in DRG cultures obtained from homozygous Spry2-/- knockout mice promoted axon elongation without increasing axonal branching. Activation of Akt, but not ERK, was stronger in response to PTEN knockdown in homozygous Spry2-/- DRG neurons than in WT neurons. Together, our study confirms the important role of the signaling modulators Spry2 and PTEN in axon growth of adult DRG neurons. Both function as endogenous inhibitors of neuronal growth factor signaling and their simultaneous knockdown promotes axon elongation more efficiently than the single knockdown of each inhibitor. Furthermore, Spry2 and PTEN are reciprocally downregulated in adult DRG neuron cultures. Axon growth is influenced by multiple factors and our results demonstrate that the endogenous inhibitors of axon growth, Spry2 and PTEN, are co-regulated in adult DRG neuron cultures. Together, our data demonstrate that combined approaches may be more useful to improve nerve regeneration than targeting one single inhibitor of axon growth.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRs) are a novel class of small RNA molecules, the dysregulation of which can contribute to cancer. A combinatorial approach was used to identify miRs that promote prostate cancer progression in a unique set of prostate cancer cell lines, which originate from the parental p69 cell line and extend to a highly tumorigenic/metastatic M12 subline. Together, these cell lines are thought to mimic prostate cancer progression in vivo. Previous network analysis and miR arrays suggested that the loss of hsa-miR-125b together with the overexpression of hsa-miR-22 could contribute to prostate tumorigenesis. The dysregulation of these two miRs was confirmed in human prostate tumor samples as compared to adjacent benign glandular epithelium collected through laser capture microdissection from radical prostatectomies. In fact, alterations in hsa-miR-125b expression appeared to be an early event in tumorigenesis. Reverse phase microarray proteomic analysis revealed ErbB2/3 and downstream members of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways as well as PTEN to be protein targets differentially expressed in the M12 tumor cell compared to its parental p69 cell. Relevant luciferase+3'-UTR expression studies confirmed a direct interaction between hsa-miR-125b and ErbB2 and between hsa-miR-22 and PTEN. Restoration of hsa-miR-125b or inhibition of hsa-miR-22 expression via an antagomiR resulted in an alteration of M12 tumor cell behavior in vitro. Thus, the dual action of hsa-miR-125b as a tumor suppressor and hsa-miR-22 as an oncomiR contributed to prostate tumorigenesis by modulations in PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways, key pathways known to influence prostate cancer progression.
Project description:The serine/threonine kinase Akt is frequently activated in human cancers and is considered an attractive therapeutic target. However, the relative contributions of the different Akt isoforms to tumorigenesis, and the effect of their deficiencies on cancer development are not well understood. We had previously shown that Akt1 deficiency is sufficient to markedly reduce the incidence of tumors in Pten(+/-) mice. Particularly, Akt1 deficiency inhibits endometrial carcinoma and prostate neoplasia in Pten(+/-) mice. Here, we analyzed the effect of Akt2 deficiency on the incidence of tumors in Pten(+/-) mice. Relative to Akt1, Akt2 deficiency had little-to-no effect on the incidence of prostate neoplasia, endometrial carcinoma, intestinal polyps and adrenal lesions in Pten(+/-) mice. However, Akt2 deficiency significantly decreased the incidence of thyroid tumors in Pten(+/-), which correlates with the relatively high level of Akt2 expression in the thyroid. Thus, unlike Akt1 deletion, Akt2 deletion is not sufficient to markedly inhibit tumorigenesis in Pten(+/-) mice in most tested tissues. The relatively small effect of Akt2 deletion on the inhibition of tumorigenesis in Pten(+/-) mice could be explained, in part, by an insufficient decrease in total Akt activity, due to the relatively lower Akt2 versus Akt1 expression, and relatively high blood insulin levels in Pten(+/-)Akt2(-/-) mice. The relatively high blood insulin levels in Pten(+/-)Akt2(-/-) mice may elevate the activity of Akt1, and possibly Akt3, thus, limiting the reduction of total Akt activity and preventing this activity from dropping to a threshold level required to inhibit tumorigenesis.
Project description:Sprouty2 (Spry2), a negative feedback regulator of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, is frequently down-regulated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We tested the hypothesis that loss of Spry2 cooperates with unconstrained activation of the c-Met protooncogene to induce hepatocarcinogenesis via in vitro and in vivo approaches. We found coordinated down-regulation of Spry2 protein expression and activation of c-Met as well as its downstream effectors extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT) in a subset of human HCC samples with poor outcome. Mechanistic studies revealed that Spry2 function is disrupted in human HCC via multiple mechanisms at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional level, including promoter hypermethylation, loss of heterozygosity, and proteosomal degradation by neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 4 (NEDD4). In HCC cell lines, Spry2 overexpression inhibits c-Met-induced cell proliferation as well as ERK and AKT activation, whereas loss of Spry2 potentiates c-Met signaling. Most importantly, we show that blocking Spry2 activity via a dominant negative form of Spry2 cooperates with c-Met to promote hepatocarcinogenesis in the mouse liver by sustaining proliferation and angiogenesis. The tumors exhibited high levels of activated ERK and AKT, recapitulating the subgroup of human HCC with a clinically aggressive phenotype.The occurrence of frequent genetic, epigenetic, and biochemical events leading to Spry2 inactivation provides solid evidence that Spry2 functions as a tumor suppressor gene in liver cancer. Coordinated deregulation of Spry2 and c-Met signaling may be a pivotal oncogenic mechanism responsible for unrestrained activation of ERK and AKT pathways in human hepatocarcinogenesis.
Project description:Understanding remains incomplete of the mechanisms underlying initiation and progression of prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men. The transcription factor SOX4 is overexpressed in many human cancers, including prostate cancer, suggesting it may participate in prostate tumorigenesis. In this study, we investigated this possibility by genetically deleting Sox4 in a mouse model of prostate cancer initiated by loss of the tumor suppressor Pten. We found that specific homozygous deletion of Sox4 in the adult prostate epithelium strongly inhibited tumor progression initiated by homozygous loss of Pten. Mechanistically, Sox4 ablation reduced activation of AKT and ?-catenin, leading to an attenuated invasive phenotype. Furthermore, SOX4 expression was induced by Pten loss as a result of the activation of PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling, suggesting a positive feedback loop between SOX4 and PI3K-AKT-mTOR activity. Collectively, our findings establish that SOX4 is a critical component of the PTEN/PI3K/AKT pathway in prostate cancer, with potential implications for combination-targeted therapies against both primary and advanced prostate cancers.