Ductal activation of oncogenic KRAS alone induces sarcomatoid phenotype.
ABSTRACT: Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) is an uncommon, but aggressive malignant tumor with a high mortality rate. Herein, we reported the detection of somatic KRAS A146T and Q61H mutations in 2 out of 4 (50%) sarcomatoid SDC variants. Transgenic mice carrying the human oncogenic KRAS(G12V), which spatiotemporal activation by tamoxifen (TAM)-inducible Cre recombinase Ela-CreERT in the submandibular gland (SMG) ductal cells, was established and characterized. Visible carcinoma was detected as early as day-15 following oncogenic KRAS(G12V) induction alone, and these tumors proliferate rapidly with a median survival of 28-days accompanied with histological reminiscences to human sarcomatoid SDC variants. Moreover, these tumors were resistant to cetuximab treatment despite augmented EGFR signaling, attesting its malignancy. Our findings suggest that LGL-KRas(G12V);Ela-CreERT transgenic mice could serve as a useful preclinical model for investigating underlying mechanisms and developing potential therapies.
Project description:Obesity is a risk factor for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but it is not clear how obesity contributes to pancreatic carcinogenesis. The oncogenic form of KRAS is expressed during early stages of PDAC development and is detected in almost all of these tumors. However, there is evidence that mutant KRAS requires an additional stimulus to activate its full oncogenic activity and that this stimulus involves the inflammatory response. We investigated whether the inflammation induced by a high-fat diet, and the accompanying up-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), increases Kras activity during pancreatic carcinogenesis in mice.We studied mice with acinar cell-specific expression of KrasG12D (LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice) alone or crossed with COX2 conditional knockout mice (COXKO/LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT). We also studied LSL-Kras/PDX1-Cre mice. All mice were fed isocaloric diets with different amounts of fat, and a COX2 inhibitor was administered to some LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice. Pancreata were collected from mice and analyzed for Kras activity, levels of phosphorylated extracellular-regulated kinase, inflammation, fibrosis, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN), and PDACs.Pancreatic tissues from LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice fed high-fat diets (HFDs) had increased Kras activity, fibrotic stroma, and numbers of PanINs and PDACs than LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice fed control diets; the mice fed the HFDs also had shorter survival times than mice fed control diets. Administration of a COX2 inhibitor to LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice prevented these effects of HFDs. We also observed a significant reduction in survival times of mice fed HFDs. COXKO/LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice fed HFDs had no evidence for increased numbers of PanIN lesions, inflammation, or fibrosis, as opposed to the increases observed in LSL-Kras/Ela-CreERT mice fed HFDs.In mice, an HFD can activate oncogenic Kras via COX2, leading to pancreatic inflammation and fibrosis and development of PanINs and PDAC. This mechanism might be involved in the association between risk for PDAC and HFDs.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Kirsten Rat Sarcoma Viral Oncogene Homolog (KRAS) mutations occur in approximately one-third of colorectal (CRC) tumours and have been associated with poor prognosis and resistance to some therapeutics. In addition to the well-documented pro-tumorigenic role of mutant Ras alleles, there is some evidence suggesting that not all KRAS mutations are equal and the position and type of amino acid substitutions regulate biochemical activity and transforming capacity of KRAS mutations. OBJECTIVES:To investigate the metabolic signatures associated with different KRAS mutations in codons 12, 13, 61 and 146 and to determine what metabolic pathways are affected by different KRAS mutations. METHODS:We applied an NMR-based metabonomics approach to compare the metabolic profiles of the intracellular extracts and the extracellular media from isogenic human SW48 CRC cell lines with different KRAS mutations in codons 12 (G12D, G12A, G12C, G12S, G12R, G12V), 13 (G13D), 61 (Q61H) and 146 (A146T) with their wild-type counterpart. We used false discovery rate (FDR)-corrected analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine metabolites that were statistically significantly different in concentration between the different mutants. RESULTS:CRC cells carrying distinct KRAS mutations exhibited differential metabolic remodelling, including differences in glycolysis, glutamine utilization and in amino acid, nucleotide and hexosamine metabolism. CONCLUSIONS:Metabolic differences among different KRAS mutations might play a role in their different responses to anticancer treatments and hence could be exploited as novel metabolic vulnerabilities to develop more effective therapies against oncogenic KRAS.
Project description:Cetuximab is a standard of care for treating EGFR-expressing metastatic colorectal carcinoma (mCRC) exclusive of those with KRAS mutations at codons 12/13. However, retrospective analysis has recently suggested that KRAS-G13D patients can still benefit, while only a fraction of KRAS wild-type patients can benefit, from the treatment. We set out to test this contradicting issue experimentally in an independent cohort of patient derived xenograft (PDX) diseases. We conducted a mouse clinical trial (MCT) enrolling a random cohort of 27 transcriptome sequenced CRC-PDXs to evaluate cetuximab activity. The treatment responses were analyzed against the KRAS 12/13 mutation alleles, as well as several other well-known oncogenic alleles. If the response is defined by >80% tumor growth inhibition, 8/27 PDXs (~30%) are responders versus 19/27 non-/partial responders (~70%). We found that indeed there are no significantly fewer KRAS-12/13-allele responders (4/8 or 50%) than non-/partial responders (7/19, or 37%). In particular, there are actually no fewer G13D responders (4/8, or 50%) than in non-/partial responders (2/19 or 10.5%) statistically. Furthermore, majority of the non-/partial responders tend to have certain activating oncogenic alleles (one or more of the following common ones: K/N-RAS-G12V/D, -A146T, -Q61H/R, BRAF-V600E, AKT1-L52R and PIK3CA-E545G/K). Our data on an independent cohort support the recent clinical observation, but against the current practiced patient stratification in the cetuximab CRC treatment. Meanwhile, our data seem to suggest that a set of the six-oncogenic alleles may be of better predictive value than the current practiced stratification, justifying a new prospective clinical investigation on an independent cohort for confirmation.
Project description:Somatic activation of the KRAS proto-oncogene is evident in almost all pancreatic cancers, and appears to represent an initiating event. These mutations occur primarily at codon 12 and less frequently at codons 13 and 61. Although some studies have suggested that different KRAS mutations may have variable oncogenic properties, to date there has been no comprehensive functional comparison of multiple KRAS mutations in an in vivo vertebrate tumorigenesis system. We generated a Gal4/UAS-based zebrafish model of pancreatic tumorigenesis in which the pancreatic expression of UAS-regulated oncogenes is driven by a ptf1a:Gal4-VP16 driver line. This system allowed us to rapidly compare the ability of 12 different KRAS mutations (G12A, G12C, G12D, G12F, G12R, G12S, G12V, G13C, G13D, Q61L, Q61R and A146T) to drive pancreatic tumorigenesis in vivo. Among fish injected with one of five KRAS mutations reported in other tumor types but not in human pancreatic cancer, 2/79 (2.5%) developed pancreatic tumors, with both tumors arising in fish injected with A146T. In contrast, among fish injected with one of seven KRAS mutations known to occur in human pancreatic cancer, 22/106 (20.8%) developed pancreatic cancer. All eight tumorigenic KRAS mutations were associated with downstream MAPK/ERK pathway activation in preneoplastic pancreatic epithelium, whereas nontumorigenic mutations were not. These results suggest that the spectrum of KRAS mutations observed in human pancreatic cancer reflects selection based on variable tumorigenic capacities, including the ability to activate MAPK/ERK signaling.
Project description:KRAS mutations occur in one third of human cancers and cluster in several hotspots, with codons 12 and 13 being most commonly affected. It has been suggested that the position and type of amino acid exchange influence the transforming capacity of mutant KRAS proteins. We used MCF10A human mammary epithelial cells to establish isogenic cell lines that express different cancer-associated KRAS mutations (G12C, G12D, G12V, G13C, G13D, A18D, Q61H, K117N) at physiological or elevated levels, and investigated the biochemical and functional consequences of the different variants. The overall effects of low-expressing mutants were moderate compared to overexpressed variants, but allowed delineation of biological functions that were related to specific alleles rather than KRAS expression level. None of the mutations induced morphological changes, migratory abilities, or increased phosphorylation of ERK, PDK1, and AKT. KRAS-G12D, G12V, G13D, and K117N mediated EGF-independent proliferation, whereas anchorage-independent growth was primarily induced by K117N and Q61H. Both codon 13 mutations were associated with increased EGFR expression. Finally, global gene expression analysis of MCF10A-G13D versus MCF10A-G12D revealed distinct transcriptional changes. Together, we describe a useful resource for investigating the function of multiple KRAS mutations and provide insights into the differential effects of these variants in MCF10A cells.
Project description:Persistent hyperactivity of the Hippo effector YAP in activated satellite cells is sufficient to cause embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) in mice. In humans, YAP is abundant and nuclear in the majority of ERMS cases, and high YAP expression is associated with poor survival. However, YAP1 is rarely mutated in human ERMS. Instead, the most common mutations in ERMS are oncogenic RAS mutations. First, to compare YAP1 S127A and KRAS G12V-driven rhabdomyosarcomas, we re-analysed gene expression microarray datasets from mouse rhabdomyosarcomas caused by these genes. This revealed that only 20% of the up or downregulated genes are identical, suggesting substantial differences in gene expression between YAP and KRAS-driven rhabdomyosarcomas. As oncogenic RAS has been linked to YAP in other types of cancer, we also tested whether KRAS G12V alone or in combination with loss of p53 and p16 activates YAP in myoblasts. We found that neither KRAS G12V alone nor KRAS G12V combined with loss of p53 and p16 activated Yap or Yap/Taz-Tead1-4 transcriptional activity in C2C12 myoblasts or U57810 cells. In conclusion, whilst oncogenic KRAS mutation might activate Yap in other cell types, we could find no evidence for this in myoblasts because the expression of KRAS G12V expression did not change Yap/Taz activity in myoblasts and there was a limited overlap in gene expression between KRAS G12V and YAP1 S127A-driven tumours.
Project description:Aberrant activation of RAS oncogenes is a prevalent event in lung adenocarcinoma, with somatic mutation of KRAS occurring in ~30% of tumors. Recently, we identified somatic mutation of the RAS-family GTPase RIT1 in lung adenocarcinoma, but relatively little is known about the biological pathways regulated by RIT1 and how these relate to the oncogenic KRAS network. Here we present (quantitative proteomic and) transcriptomic profiles from KRAS-mutant and RIT1-mutant isogenic lung epithelial cells and globally characterize the signaling networks regulated by each oncogene. Overall design: Whole transcriptome (mRNA) profiles of 18 samples, encompassing five genetic perturbations through lentiviral transduction of wild-type or variant vectors (KRAS WT, KRAS G12V, KRAS Q61H, RIT1 WT, RIT1 M90I), as well as one control plasmid vector (Renilla). Sequenced in triplicate on Illumina NovaSeq.
Project description:In human hematopoietic malignancies, RAS mutations are frequently observed. Yet, little is known about signal transduction pathways that mediate KRAS-induced phenotypes in human CD34(+) stem/progenitor cells. When cultured on bone marrow stroma, we observed that KRAS(G12V)-transduced cord blood (CB) CD34(+) cells displayed a strong proliferative advantage over control cells, which coincided with increased early cobblestone (CAFC) formation and induction of myelomonocytic differentiation. However, the KRAS(G12V)-induced proliferative advantage was transient. By week three no progenitors remained in KRAS(G12V)-transduced cultures and cells were all terminally differentiated into monocytes/macrophages. In line with these results, LTC-IC frequencies were strongly reduced. Both the ERK and p38 MAPK pathways, but not JNK, were activated by KRAS(G12V) and we observed that proliferation and CAFC formation were mediated via ERK, while differentiation was predominantly mediated via p38. Interestingly, we observed that KRAS(G12V)-induced proliferation and CAFC formation, but not differentiation, were largely mediated via secreted factors, since these phenotypes could be recapitulated by treating non-transduced cells with conditioned medium harvested from KRAS(G12V)-transduced cultures. Multiplex cytokine arrays and genome-wide gene expression profiling were performed to gain further insight into the mechanisms by which oncogenic KRAS(G12V) can contribute to the process of leukemic transformation. Thus, angiopoietin-like 6 (ANGPTL6) was identified as an important factor in the KRAS(G12V) secretome that enhanced proliferation of human CB CD34(+) cells.
Project description:Genetic background affects susceptibility to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in the Ela-KRAS(G12D) mouse model. In this model, KRAS oncogene expression is driven by an elastase promoter in acinar cells of the pancreas on an FVB/NTac (FVB) background [FVB-Tg(Ela-KRAS(G12D))] with the transgene carried on the Y chromosome. Through linkage analysis of crosses between the C57BL/6J (B6), BALB/cJ (BALB), and DBA/2J (D2) inbred strains of mice and resistant FVB-Tg(Ela-KRAS(G12D)), we have identified six susceptibility loci that affect mean preinvasive lesion multiplicity. Markers on chromosome 2 segregated with high tumor multiplicity in all three strains; these loci were designated Prsq1-3 (pancreatic ras susceptibility quantitative trait loci 1-3; combined F2 and N2 LOD(W), 6.0, 4.1, and 2.7, respectively). Susceptibility loci on chromosome 4, designated Prsq4 and Prsq5, were identified in crosses between FVB transgenic mice and B6 or BALB mice (combined F2 and N2 LOD(W), 3.6 and 2.9, respectively). A marker on chromosome 12 segregated with tumor multiplicity in a BALB × FVB-Tg(Ela-KRAS(G12D)) cross and was designated Prsq6 (LOD(W), ?2.5). B6-Chr Y(FVB-Tg(Ela-KRASG12D)) and BALB-Chr Y(FVB-Tg(Ela-KRASG12D)) consomics, which carry the KRAS transgene on the FVB Y chromosome on an otherwise inbred B6 or BALB background, developed ?4-fold (B6) and ?10-fold (BALB) more lesions than FVB-Tg(Ela-KRAS(G12D)) mice. By 12 months of age, 10% of BALB-Chr Y(FVB-Tg(Ela-KRASG12D)) mice developed invasive carcinomas. Our findings provide evidence that regions of chromosomes 2, 4, and 12 influence the development and progression of pancreatic neoplasms initiated by an oncogenic allele of KRAS in mice.
Project description:K-Ras is the most frequently mutated protein in human cancers. However, until very recently, its oncogenic mutants were viewed as undruggable. To develop inhibitors that directly target oncogenic K-Ras mutants, we need to understand both their mutant-specific and pan-mutant dynamics and conformations. Recently, we have investigated how the most frequently observed K-Ras mutation in cancer patients, G12D, changes its local dynamics and conformations (Vatansever et al., 2019). Here, we extend our analysis to study and compare the local effects of other frequently observed oncogenic mutations, G12C, G12V, G13D and Q61H. For this purpose, we have performed Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations of each mutant when active (GTP-bound) and inactive (GDP-bound), analyzed their trajectories, and compared how each mutant changes local residue conformations, inter-protein distance distributions, local flexibility and residue pair correlated motions. Our results reveal that in the four active oncogenic mutants we have studied, the ?2 helix moves closer to the C-terminal of the ?3 helix. However, P-loop mutations cause ?3 helix to move away from Loop7, and only G12 mutations change the local conformational state populations of the protein. Furthermore, the motions of coupled residues are mutant-specific: G12 mutations lead to new negative correlations between residue motions, while Q61H destroys them. Overall, our findings on the local conformational states and protein dynamics of oncogenic K-Ras mutants can provide insights for both mutant-selective and pan-mutant targeted inhibition efforts.