MicroRNA expression signatures of gastrointestinal stromal tumours: associations with imatinib resistance and patient outcome.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) is mainly initialised by receptor tyrosine kinase gene mutations. Although the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate considerably improved the outcome of patients, imatinib resistance still remains a major therapeutic challenge in GIST therapy. Herein we evaluated the clinical impact of microRNAs in imatinib-treated GISTs. METHODS: The expression levels of microRNAs were quantified using microarray and RT-qPCR in GIST specimens from patients treated with neoadjuvant imatinib. The functional roles of miR-125a-5p and PTPN18 were evaluated in GIST cells. PTPN18 expression was quantified by western blotting in GIST samples. RESULTS: We showed that overexpression levels of miR-125a-5p and miR-107 were associated with imatinib resistance in GIST specimens. Functionally, miR-125a-5p expression modulated imatinib sensitivity in GIST882 cells with a homozygous KIT mutation but not in GIST48 cells with double KIT mutations. Overexpression of miR-125a-5p suppressed PTPN18 expression, and silencing of PTPN18 expression increased cell viability in GIST882 cells upon imatinib treatment. PTPN18 protein levels were significantly lower in the imatinib-resistant GISTs and inversely correlated with miR-125a-5p. Furthermore, several microRNAs were significantly associated with metastasis, KIT mutational status and survival. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight a novel functional role of miR-125a-5p on imatinib response through PTPN18 regulation in GIST.
Project description:Most gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) contain KIT or PDGFRA kinase gain-of-function mutations, and therefore respond clinically to imatinib and other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapies. However, clinical progression subsequently results from selection of TKI-resistant clones, typically containing secondary mutations in the KIT kinase domain, which can be heterogeneous between and within GIST metastases in a given patient. TKI-resistant KIT oncoproteins require HSP90 chaperoning and are potently inactivated by HSP90 inhibitors, but clinical applications in GIST patients are constrained by the toxicity resulting from concomitant inactivation of various other HSP90 client proteins, beyond KIT and PDGFRA. To identify novel targets responsible for KIT oncoprotein function, we performed parallel genome-scale short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated gene knockdowns in KIT-mutant GIST-T1 and GIST882. GIST cells were infected with a lentiviral shRNA pooled library targeting 11?194 human genes, and allowed to proliferate for 5-7 weeks, at which point assessment of relative hairpin abundance identified the HSP90 cofactor, CDC37, as one of the top six GIST-specific essential genes. Validations in treatment-naive (GIST-T1, GIST882) vs imatinib-resistant GISTs (GIST48, GIST430) demonstrated that: (1) CDC37 interacts with oncogenic KIT; (2) CDC37 regulates expression and activation of KIT and downstream signaling intermediates in GIST; and (3) unlike direct HSP90 inhibition, CDC37 knockdown accomplishes prolonged KIT inhibition (>20 days) in GIST. These studies highlight CDC37 as a key biologic vulnerability in both imatinib-sensitive and imatinib-resistant GIST. CDC37 targeting is expected to be selective for KIT/PDGFRA and a subset of other HSP90 clients, and thereby represents a promising strategy for inactivating the myriad KIT/PDGFRA oncoproteins in TKI-resistant GIST patients.
Project description:Aberrantly expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in many diseases including cancer. In gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) expression of miR-221 and miR-222 is reduced compared to control tissue and other sarcomas but the functional effects of this downregulation are not fully understood. This study aimed at evaluating the miR-221 and miR-222 expression profiles in different GIST subtypes and the functional role of these miRNAs. Expression of miR-221 and miR-222 was analysed in six KIT exon 9 and three KIT exon 11 mutated and nine wildtype GISTs by qPCR. Viability and apoptosis were examined in three different, KIT positive GIST cell lines (GIST882, GIST-T1 and GIST48) after overexpression of these miRNAs. The modulation of KIT and the PI3K/AKT pathways was determined by Western blot. Wildtype and KIT mutated GISTs revealed reduced miRNA expression compared to adequate control tissue. miRNA expression was lower for wildtype compared to mutated GISTs. Transient transfection of miR-221 and miR-222 reduced viability and induced apoptosis by inhibition of KIT expression and its phosphorylation and activation of caspases 3 and 7 in all three GIST cell lines. p-AKT, AKT and BCL2 expression was reduced after miRNA transfection whereas only slight influence on p-MTOR, MTOR and BCL2L11 (BIM) was detected. Our results demonstrate that miR-221 and miR-222 which are downregulated in wildtype and mutated GISTs, induce apoptosis in vitro by a signalling cascade involving KIT, AKT and BCL2. Therefore, overexpression of these miRNAs seems to functionally counteract oncogenic signalling pathways in GIST.
Project description:The SLUG transcription factor has been linked with the KIT signalling pathway that is important for gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) tumourigenesis. Its clinical significance in GIST is unknown.Influence of SLUG expression on cell proliferation and viability were investigated in GIST48 and GIST882 cell lines. The association between tumour SLUG expression in immunohistochemistry and recurrence-free survival (RFS) was studied in two clinical GIST series, one with 187 patients treated with surgery alone, and another one with 313 patients treated with surgery and adjuvant imatinib.SLUG downregulation inhibited cell proliferation, induced cell death in both cell lines, and sensitised GIST882 cells to lower imatinib concentrations. SLUG was expressed in 125 (25.0%) of the 500 clinical GISTs evaluated, and expression was associated with several factors linked with unfavourable prognosis. SLUG expression was associated with unfavourable RFS both when patients were treated with surgery alone (HR=3.40, 95% CI=1.67-6.89, P=0.001) and when treated with surgery plus adjuvant imatinib (HR=1.83, 95% CI=1.29-2.60, P=0.001).GIST patients with high tumour SLUG expression have unfavourable RFS. SLUG may mediate pro-survival signalling in GISTs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Gain-of-function mutations and overexpression of KIT are characteristic features of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Dysregulation in miRNA expression may lead to KIT overexpression and tumorigenesis. METHODS:miRNA microarray analysis and real-time PCR were used to determine the miRNA expression profiles in a cohort of 69 clinical samples including 50 CD117IHC+/KITmutation GISTs and 19 CD117IHC-/wild-type GISTs. GO enrichment and KEGG pathway analyses were performed to reveal the predicted targets of the dysregulated miRNAs. Of the dysregulated miRNAs whose expression was inversely correlated with that of KIT miRNAs were predicted by bioinformatics analysis and confirmed by luciferase reporter assay. Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) and flow cytometry were used to measure the cell proliferation, cycle arrest and apoptosis. Wound healing and transwell assays were used to evaluate migration and invasion. A xenograft BALB/c nude mouse model was applied to investigate the tumorigenesis in vivo. Western blot and qRT-PCR were used to investigate the protein and mRNA levels of KIT and its downstream effectors including ERK, AKT and STAT3. RESULTS:Of the six miRNAs whose expression was inversely correlated with that of KIT, we found that miR-148b-3p was significantly downregulated in the CD117IHC+/KITmutation GIST cohort. This miRNA was subsequently found to inhibit proliferation, migration and invasion of GIST882 cells. Mechanistically, miR-148b-3p was shown to regulate KIT expression through directly binding to the 3'-UTR of the KIT mRNA. Restoration of miR-148b-3p expression in GIST882 cells led to reduced expression of KIT and the downstream effectors proteins ERK, AKT and STAT3. However, overexpression of KIT reversed the inhibitory effect of miR-148b-3p on cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Furthermore, we found that reduced miR-148b-3p expression correlated with poor overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in GIST patients. CONCLUSION:miR-148b-3p functions as an important regulator of KIT expression and a potential prognostic biomarker for GISTs.
Project description:Although the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib has been shown to be an active agent in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST), complete remissions are almost never seen and most patients finally experience disease progression during their course of treatment. An alternative therapeutic option is to target death receptors such as Fas. We showed that a panel of imatinib-sensitive (GIST882) and imatinib-resistant (GIST48, GIST430 and GIST430K-) cell lines expressed Fas. MegaFasL, a recently developed hexameric form of soluble Fas ligand (FasL), appeared to be an active apoptosis-inducing agent in these cell lines. Moreover, MegaFasL potentiated the apoptotic effects of imatinib. Immunohistochemical evaluations, in 45 primary GISTs, underscored the relevance of the Fas pathway: Fas was expressed in all GISTs and was expressed strongly in 93%, whereas FasL was expressed at moderate and strong levels in 35 and 53% of GISTs, respectively. Fas and FasL expression were positively correlated in these primary GISTs, but there was no association between Fas or FasL expression and primary site, histological subtype, tumour size, mitotic index, risk classification, and KIT mutation status. The abundant immunohistochemical Fas and FasL expression were corroborated by western blot analysis. In conclusion, our data implicate Fas as a potential therapeutic target in GIST.
Project description:Gain-of-function mutations of KIT are pathognomonic in sporadic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Several microRNAs have been shown to be dysregulated in GISTs and impact KIT expression. Little is known though on KIT-independent targets of KIT-regulating mRNAs. We sought to investigate how miR-494 inhibits GIST proliferation and to identify novel target gene. We used microarray-based gene expression analyses to identify pathways and target genes affected by miR-494. The expressional relationship between survivin and miR-494 was determined in 35 GIST tissues. Cell proliferation assay, FACS analysis, colony formation assay, promoter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChiP) were performed to clarify the roles of survivin in GIST progression. Gene expression microarray analysis revealed that miR-494 inhibited GISTs by affecting multiple genes in the cell cycle pathway. Survivin (BIRC5) was a key target of miR-494, and its expression showed an inverse correlation with miR-494 expression in 35 GIST tissues (Pearson's correlation coefficient, r?=?-0.418, p?=?0.012). Downregulation of survivin inhibited proliferation and colony formation, and resulted in cell cycle alteration. Induced survivin overexpression relieved miR-494-mediated inhibition of GIST progression. Targeting PI3K effectively suppressed proliferation of GISTs with downregulation of survivin. Survivin also regulated KIT expression at the transcription level. Immunohistochemical analysis using 113 GISTs revealed that survivin expression was significantly correlated with overall survival of GIST patients (p?=?0.004). Our findings indicated that miR-494 synergistically suppressed GISTs by concomitantly targeting survivin and KIT.
Project description:Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are frequently driven by auto-activated, mutant KIT and have durable response to KIT tyrosine kinase inhibitor. However, acquired resistance is an increasing clinical issue in GIST patients receiving front-line imatinib therapy. Our previous studies showed the colocalization of KIT with DAPI-stained nuclei in GIST cells without knowing the role of nuclear KIT in GIST tumorigenesis. In this article, we first identified the binding of nuclear KIT to the promoter of NFKB inhibitor beta (NFKBIB) by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing and ChIP assays, which was accompanied with enhanced NFKBIB protein expression in GIST cells. Clinically, high NCCN risk GISTs had significantly higher mean expression levels of nuclear phospho-KIT and NFKBIB as compared with those of intermediate or low/very low-risk GISTs. Conversely, downregulation of NFKBIB by siRNA led to RELA nuclear translocation that could bind to the KIT promoter region and subsequently reduced KIT transcription/expression and the viability of GIST cells. These findings were further confirmed by either RELA overexpression or NFKB/RELA inducer, valproic acid, treatment to result in reduced KIT expression and relative cell viability of imatinib-resistant GIST cells. Combining valproic acid with imatinib showed significantly better growth inhibitory effects on imatinib-resistant GIST48 and GIST430 cells in vitro, and in the GIST430 animal xenograft model. Taken together, these results demonstrate the existence of a nuclear KIT-driven NFKBIB-RELA-KIT autoregulatory loop in GIST tumorigenesis, which are potential targets for developing combination therapy to overcome imatinib-resistant of KIT-expressing GISTs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Imatinib has become the standard first line treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) in the advanced phase and adjuvant setting. We carried out an up-to-date meta-analysis to determine the practical role of mutation analysis for imatinib treatment in patients with advanced GIST. METHODS: Eligible studies were limited to imatinib treatment for patients with advanced GIST and reported on mutation analysis. Statistical analyses were conducted to calculate the odds ratio (OR), hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) using fixed-effects and random-effects models. RESULTS: A total of 2834 patients from 3 randomized controlled trials and 12 cohort studies were included. The ORs of response rates in KIT exon 11-mutant GISTs were 3.504 (95% CI 2.549-4.816, p<0.001) and 3.521 (95% CI 1.731-7.165, p=0.001) compared with KIT exon 9-mutant and wild type GISTs, respectively. The HRs of progression-free survival in KIT exon 11-mutant GISTs were 0.365 (95% CI 0.301-0.444, p<0.001) and 0.375 (95% CI 0.270-0.519, p<0.001) compared with KIT exon 9-mutant and wild type GISTs. The HRs of overall survival in KIT exon 11-mutant GISTs were 0.388 (95% CI 0.293-0.515, p<0.001) and 0.400 (95% CI 0.297-0.538, p<0.001) compared with KIT exon 9-mutant and wild type GISTs. No statistical significant differences were found between KIT exon 9-mutant and wild type. The overall response rate in KIT-exon 11-mutant GISTs were 70.5% (65%-75.9%) compared with 57.1% (51%-63.2%) in KIT-positive GISTs. No evidence of publication bias was observed. CONCLUSION: Patients with advanced GIST harboring a KIT exon 11 mutation have the best response rate and long-term survival with imatinib treatment. Mutation analysis would be more helpful than KIT expression analysis to decide appropriate therapy for a specific patient.
Project description:Activating mutation of KIT is well known as a key molecular event for the development of gastrointestinal stromal tumors(GISTs). Dysregulation of microRNAs(miRNA) might elucidate KIT mutation, KIT overexpression and the resulting tumorigenesis in GIST. Herein we identified miRNA expression profiles that associated with KIT mutation and KIT overexpression in GIST by miRNA microarrays and Real-time PCR in GISTs. The potentially target genes of selected miRNAs were analyzed by bioinformatic techniques with GO and KEGG pathway analysis. We showed that 6 miRNAs were differentially expressed in CD117IHC+/KITmutant GISTs compared to CD117IHC-/wild-type GISTs. Of these, 2 miRNAs including miR-483-3p and miR-589 were up-regulated, while the other 4 miRNAs including miR-140-5p, miR-148b-3p, miR-1587 and miR-4507 were down-regulated. GO and KEGG analysis demonstrated that miRNAs with significant change were involved in regulation of target genes related to the development of GIST. Among the candidate miRNAs studied, miR-148b-3p and miR-140-5p may be involved in GIST tumorigenesis via targeting mutant KIT or via intermediate molecules of PDGFRA, PI3K-AKT and MAPK pathway, such as AKT2, MAPK1, MAPK10, STAT5A, SMAD4, SMAD5 and PTEN. Furthermore, the reduced expression of miR-140-5p and miR-148b-3p were inversely correlated with high-risk grade, recurrence and metastasis of GIST. The current findings indicated that miR-148b-3p and miR-140-5p were not only involved in tumorigenesis of GIST, but might also participate in the progression of GIST and could be considered as novel biomarkers for potentially predicting the prognosis of GIST. Overall design: We elected this study to investigate miRNAs expression signatures which respect to KIT mutation and KIT overexpression of GISTs by conducting miRNA expression profiles in 5 CD117IHC+/KITmutant GISTs and 5 CD117IHC-/wild-type GISTs. The selected candidate miRNAs were subsequently validated in a cohort of 59 GIST patients including of 45 CD117IHC+/KITmutant GISTs and 14 CD117IHC-/wild-type GISTs.
Project description:c-Kit/?-PDGFR targeted therapies are effective for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), but, >50% develop drug resistance.RTK expression (c-Kit, c-Met, AXL, HER-1, HER-2, IGF-1R) in pre-/post-imatinib (IM) GIST patient samples (n=16) and 4 GIST cell lines were examined for RTK inhibitor activity. GIST-882 cells were cultured in IM every other day, cells collected (1 week to 6 months) and analyzed by qRT-PCR and Western blotting.Immunohistochemistry pre-/post-IM demonstrated continued expression of c-Kit and HER1, while a subset expressed IGF-1R, c-Met and AXL. In GIST cells (GIST-882, GIST430/654, GIST48) c-Kit, HER1 and c-Met are co-expressed. Acute IM over-express c-Kit while chronic IM, lose c-Kit and HER-1 in GIST882 cells. GIST882 and GIST430/654 cells have an IC50 0.077 and 0.59 µM to IM respectively. GIST48 have an IC50 0.66 µM to IM, 0.91 µM to amuvatinib [AMU] and 0.67 µM to erlotinib (Erl). Synergistic combinations: GIST882, AMU + Erl (CI 0.20); IM + AMU (CI 0.50), GIST430/654, IM + afatinib (CI 0.39); IM + AMU (CI 0.42), GIST48, IM + afatinib (CI 0.03); IM + AMU (CI 0.04); AMU + afatinib (CI 0.36); IM + Erl (CI 0.63).Targeting c-Kit plus HER1 or AXL/c-Met abrogates IM resistance in GIST.