Identification of key genes and associated pathways in KIT/PDGFRA wild?type gastrointestinal stromal tumors through bioinformatics analysis.
ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common type of mesenchymal tumor in the gastrointestinal tract. The present study aimed to identify the potential candidate biomarkers that may be involved in the pathogenesis and progression of v?kit Hardy?Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT)/platelet?derived growth factor receptor ? (PDGFRA) wild?type GISTs. A joint bioinformatics analysis was performed to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in wild?type GIST samples compared with KIT/PDGFRA mutant GIST samples. Gene Ontology function and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis of DEGs was conducted using Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery and KEGG Orthology?Based Annotation System (KOBAS) online tools, respectively. Protein?protein interaction (PPI) networks of the DEGs were constructed using Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes online tool and Cytoscape, and divided into sub?networks using the Molecular Complex Detection (MCODE) plug?in. Furthermore, enrichment analysis of DEGs in the modules was analyzed with KOBAS. In total, 546 DEGs were identified, including 238 upregulated genes primarily enriched in 'cell adhesion', 'biological adhesion', 'cell?cell signaling', 'PI3K?Akt signaling pathway' and 'ECM?receptor interaction', while the 308 downregulated genes were predominantly involved in 'inflammatory response', 'sterol metabolic process' and 'fatty acid metabolic process', 'small GTPase mediated signal transduction', 'cAMP signaling pathway' and 'proteoglycans in cancer'. A total of 25 hub genes were obtained and four modules were mined from the PPI network, and sub?networks also revealed these genes were primarily involved in significant pathways, including 'PI3K?Akt signaling pathway', 'proteoglycans in cancer', 'pathways in cancer', 'Rap1 signaling pathway', 'ECM?receptor interaction', 'phospholipase D signaling pathway', 'ras signaling pathway' and 'cGMP?PKG signaling pathway'. These results suggested that several key hub DEGs may serve as potential candidate biomarkers for wild?type GISTs, including phosphatidylinositol?4,5?bisphosphate 3?kinase, catalytic subunit ?, insulin like growth factor 1 receptor, hepatocyte growth factor, thrombospondin 1, Erb?B2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 and matrix metallopeptidase 2. However, further experiments are required to confirm these results.
Project description:Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common human sarcoma, frequently characterized by an oncogenic mutation in the KIT or platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) genes. We performed RNA sequencing of 75 human GIST tumors from 75 patients, comprising the largest cohort of GISTs sequenced to date, in order to discover differences in the immune infiltrates of KIT and PDGFRA-mutant GIST. Through bioinformatics, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry, we found that PDGFRA-mutant GISTs harbored more immune cells with increased cytolytic activity when compared to KIT-mutant GISTs. PDGFRA-mutant GISTs expressed many chemokines, such as CXCL14, at a significantly higher level when compared to KIT-mutant GISTs and exhibited more diverse driver-derived neoepitope:HLA binding, both of which may contribute to PDGFRA-mutant GIST immunogenicity. Through machine learning, we generated gene expression-based immune profiles capable of differentiating KIT and PDGFRA-mutant GISTs, and also identified additional immune features of high PD-1 and PD-L1 expressing tumors across all GIST mutational subtypes, which may provide insight into immunotherapeutic opportunities and limitations in GIST.
Project description:Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) generally harbor activating mutations in KIT or platelet-derived growth facter receptor (PDGFRA). Mutations in these receptor tyrosine kinases lead to dysregulation of downstream signaling pathways that contribute to GIST pathogenesis. GISTs with KIT or PDGFRA mutations also undergo secondary cytogenetic alterations that may indicate the involvement of additional genes important in tumor progression. Approximately 10-15% of adult and 85% of pediatric GISTs do not have mutations in KIT or in PDGFRA. Most mutant adult GISTs display large-scale genomic alterations, but little is known about the mutation-negative tumors. Using genome-wide DNA arrays, we investigated genomic imbalances in a set of 31 GISTs, including 10 KIT/PDGFRA mutation-negative tumors from nine adults and one pediatric case and 21 mutant tumors. Although all 21 mutant GISTs exhibited multiple copy number aberrations, notably losses, eight of the 10 KIT/PDGFRA mutation-negative GISTs exhibited few or no genomic alterations. One KIT/PDGFRA mutation-negative tumor exhibiting numerous genomic changes was found to harbor an alternate activating mutation, in the serine-threonine kinase BRAF. The only other mutation-negative GIST with significant chromosomal imbalances was a recurrent metastatic tumor found to harbor a homozygous deletion in chromosome arm 9p. Similar findings in several KIT-mutant GISTs identified a minimal overlapping region of deletion of approximately 0.28 Mbp in 9p21.3 that includes only the CDKN2A/2B genes, which encode inhibitors of cell-cycle kinases. These results suggest that GISTs without activating kinase mutations, whether pediatric or adult, generally exhibit a much lower level of cytogenetic progression than that observed in mutant GISTs.
Project description:About 10-15 % of adult gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) and 85 % of pediatric GISTs do not have mutations in the KIT or PDGFRA genes and are generally classified as KIT/PDGFRA wild type (WT). Recent studies have shown that this group of KIT/PDGFRA WT GISTs is quite heterogeneous in terms of clinical phenotype, genetic etiology, and molecular pathways. Succinate dehydrogenase subunit (SDH)-deficient GISTs, which include tumors that are part of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes, are the newest group of KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST to be molecularly elucidated. This review aims to describe the different genetic subgroups of KIT/PDGFRA WT GIST, with a special focus on the SDH-deficient GIST.
Project description:In gastrointestinal muscles, v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT) is predominantly expressed by interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-? (PDGFRA) polypeptide is expressed by so-called fibroblast-like cells. KIT and PDGFRA have been reported to be coexpressed in ICC precursors and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), which originate from the ICC lineage. PDGFRA signaling has been proposed to stimulate growth of GISTs that express mutant KIT, but the effects and mechanisms of selective blockade of PDGFRA are unclear. We investigated whether inhibiting PDGFRA could reduce proliferation of GIST cells with mutant KIT via effects on the KIT-dependent transcription factor ETV1.We studied 53 gastric, small intestinal, rectal, or abdominal GISTs collected immediately after surgery or archived as fixed blocks at the Mayo Clinic and University of California, San Diego. In human GIST cells carrying imatinib-sensitive and imatinib-resistant mutations in KIT, PDGFRA was reduced by RNA interference (knockdown) or inhibited with crenolanib besylate (a selective inhibitor of PDGFRA and PDGFRB). Mouse ICC precursors were retrovirally transduced to overexpress wild-type Kit. Cell proliferation was analyzed by methyltetrazolium, 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation, and Ki-67 immunofluorescence assays; we also analyzed growth of xenograft tumors in mice. Gastric ICC and ICC precursors, and their PDGFRA(+) subsets, were analyzed by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry in wild-type, Kit(+/copGFP), Pdgfra(+/eGFP), and NOD/ShiLtJ mice. Immunoblots were used to quantify protein expression and phosphorylation.KIT and PDGFRA were coexpressed in 3%-5% of mouse ICC, 35%-44% of ICC precursors, and most human GIST samples and cell lines. PDGFRA knockdown or inhibition with crenolanib efficiently reduced proliferation of imatinib-sensitive and imatinib-resistant KIT(+)ETV1(+)PDGFRA(+) GIST cells (50% maximal inhibitory concentration = 5-32 nM), but not of cells lacking KIT, ETV1, or PDGFRA (50% maximal inhibitory concentration >230 nM). Crenolanib inhibited phosphorylation of PDGFRA and PDGFRB, but not KIT. However, Kit overexpression sensitized mouse ICC precursors to crenolanib. ETV1 knockdown reduced KIT expression and GIST proliferation. Crenolanib down-regulated ETV1 by inhibiting extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-dependent stabilization of ETV1 protein and also reduced expression of KIT and PDGFRA.In KIT-mutant GIST, inhibition of PDGFRA disrupts a KIT-ERK-ETV1-KIT signaling loop by inhibiting ERK activation. The PDGFRA inhibitor crenolanib might be used to treat patients with imatinib-resistant, KIT-mutant 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:Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) arise from the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) and are the most common mesenchymal neoplasm of the gastrointestinal tract. While the majority of GISTs harbor activating mutations in either the v-kit Hardy-Zuckerman feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KIT) or platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) tyrosine kinases, approximately 10-15% of adult GISTs and 85% of pediatric GISTs lack such mutations. These "wild-type" GISTs have been reported to express high levels of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), and IGF1R-targeted therapy of wild-type GISTs is being evaluated in clinical trials. However, it is not clear that all wild-type GISTs express IGF1R, because studies to date have predominantly focused on a particular subtype of gastric wild-type GIST that is deficient in the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) complex. This study of a series of 136 GISTs, including 72 wild-type specimens, was therefore undertaken to further characterize wild-type GIST subtypes based on the relative expression of transcripts encoding IGF1R. Additional transcripts relevant to GIST biology were also evaluated, including members of the IGF-signaling pathway (IGF1, IGF2, and insulin receptor [INSR]), neural markers (CDH2[CDH: Cadherin], neurofilament, light polypeptide, LHX2 [LHX: LIM homeobox], and KIRREL3 [KIRREL: kin of IRRE like]), KIT, PDGFRA, CD34, and HIF1A. Succinate dehydrogenase complex, subunit B protein expression was also assessed as a measure of SDH complex integrity. In addition to the previously described SDH-deficient, IGF1R(high) wild-type GISTs, other SDH-intact wild-type subpopulations were defined by high relative expression of IGF1R, neural markers, IGF1 and INSR, or low IGF1R coupled with high IGF2. These results underscore the complexity and heterogeneity of wild-type GISTs that will need to be factored into molecularly-targeted therapeutic strategies.
Project description:In total, ~85% of malignant gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) harbour activating mutations in one of the genes KIT or PDGFRA, while 10?15% of all GISTs have no detectable KIT or PDGFRA mutations, but could have alterations in genes of the succinate dehydrogenase complex or in BRAF, PIK3CA or rarely RAS family genes. The clinical benefit of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as imatinib, depends on the GIST genotype, therefore molecular characterization of GIST has a crucial role in overall management of GIST. The aim of the present study was to molecularly characterize a cohort of 70 patients with metastatic GISTs from the Slovenian Cancer Registry (National Cancer Registry) treated between January 2002 and December 2011. Exons 9, 11, 13 and 17 of the KIT gene and exons 12, 14 and 18 of the PDGFRA gene were analysed by direct Sanger sequencing. All KIT/PDGFRA wild?type GISTs were tested for the presence of mutations in hot spot regions of KRAS, NRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA and AKT1 genes. Novel variants were characterized and classified using Cancer Genome Interpreter and according to The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics/Association for Molecular Pathology guidelines. In total, 60 (85.7%) patients had mutations in KIT and 2 (2.9%) in PDGFRA. Whereas, 8 (11.4%) patients with GIST had no mutation in either of the analysed genes. The majority of GIST cases (n=52) had a mutation in KIT exon 11, where 40 different mutations were detected. Eight of the variants were novel: c.1652_1672del, c.1653_1660delinsAA, c.1665_1672delinsCC, c.1668_1686del, c.1676_1720del, c.1715_1756dup, c.1721_1765dup, and c.1722_1766dup. Mutation frequencies of KIT and PDGFRA genes observed in Slovenian patients are comparable with those in other European populations. In the present group of patients analysed, the most frequently mutated region was exon 11 in the KIT gene, responsible for coding juxtamembrane domain of KIT protein. In this region, eight novel mutations were identified and classified as likely pathogenic driver variants. In addition, the present study identified 6 patients with secondary KIT mutation and 1 patient with double mutant GIST, who had two different mutations in PDGFRA exon 14.
Project description:Background:Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal tumors and exhibit a high frequency of oncogenic KIT or PDGFRA mutations. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have been mainly used in the treatment of GISTs bearing KIT/PDGFRA mutations. However, other mutation profiles have been found to affect the sensitivity to and effectiveness of TKIs in the treatment of GISTs. Purpose:The aim of the present study was to describe the mutational status of multiple genes in GIST samples and to provide information for finding potential predictive markers of therapeutic targets in Chinese GIST patients. Patients and methods:MassARRAY spectrometry was used to test 40 Chinese GIST patients for 238 mutations affecting 19 oncogenes. Results:A total of 14 oncogenes with 43 mutations were detected in 38 samples, with a mutation frequency of 95%. Among these mutation samples, 26 GISTs were found for KIT or PDGFRA mutations, while 12 were KIT/PDGFRA wild-type. Approximately half of the GIST samples harbored multiple mutations. The most frequent mutations were found in KIT (62.5%), CDK4 (17.5%), NRAS (15%) and EGFR (12.5%). Other mutations included PIK3CA and AKT1 (10%), BRAF and ABL1 (7.5%), PDGFRA, ERBB2 and HRAS (5%), and AKT2, FLT3 and KRAS (2.5%). New mutated genes (CDK4, AKT2, FLT3, ERBB2, ABL1 and AKT1), a higher BRAF mutation frequency (7.5%) and new BRAF mutation sites (G464E) were found in Chinese GIST patients. Conclusion:This study demonstrated useful mutations in a small fraction of Chinese GIST, but targeted therapeutics on these potential predictive markers need to be investigated in depth especially in Oriental populations.
Project description:Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common sarcoma, often resulting from a KIT or platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) mutation. The lineage transcription factor ETV1 is expressed similarly in GISTs regardless of malignant potential. Although the related transcription factor ETV4 has been associated with metastasis and tumor progression in other cancers, its role in GIST is unknown. In this study, we found that ETV4 levels were high in a subset of human GISTs and correlated with high mitotic rate. Through Gene Set Enrichment Analysis in selected human GISTs, we identified a relationship between ETV4 levels and ?-catenin signaling, especially in advanced GISTs. GIST specimens with high ETV4 levels overexpressed cell cycle regulating genes and had aberrant activation of the canonical Wnt pathway. In human GIST cell lines, ETV4 RNA interference suppressed cell cycle genes and Wnt/?-catenin signaling. ETV4 knockdown also reduced tumor cell proliferation, invasion, and tumor growth in vivo. Conversely, ETV4 overexpression increased cyclin D1 expression and Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Moreover, we determined that ETV4 knockdown destabilized nuclear ?-catenin and increased its degradation via COP1, an E3 ligase involved in both ETV4 and ?-catenin turnover. Aberrant accumulation of ETV4 and nuclear ?-catenin was found in patient derived xenografts created from metastatic GISTs that became resistant to tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Collectively, our findings highlight the significance of ETV4 expression in GIST and identify ETV4 as a biomarker in human GISTs.
Project description:Oncogenic KIT or PDGFRA receptor tyrosine kinase (TK) mutations are compelling therapeutic targets in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), and the KIT/PDGFRA kinase inhibitor, imatinib, is the standard of care for patients with metastatic GIST. However, approximately 10% of KIT-positive GIST metastases lose KIT expression at the time of clinical progression during imatinib therapy. In the present report, we performed TK-activation screens, using phosphotyrosine-TK double immunoaffinity purification and mass spectrometry, in GIST in vitro models lacking KIT expression. These studies demonstrated tyrosine-phosphorylated EGFR, AXL, and EPHA2 in four of six KIT-negative GIST lines (GIST62, GIST522, GIST54, GIST226, GIST48B, and GIST430B), and tyrosine-phosphorylated focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in each of the six KIT-negative lines. AXL expression was strong in KIT-negative or -weak clinical GIST samples that were obtained from progressing metastases during imatinib therapy. AXL knockdown inhibited viability in three KIT-negative GIST cell lines (GIST62, GIST54, and GIST522), but not in an AXL-negative, KIT-positive GIST control cell line (GIST430). AXL inhibition by R428, a specific AXL kinase inhibitor, reduced viability in AXL-activated GIST54. AXL knockdown in GIST62, GIST522, and GIST54 was accompanied by an increase in p21, p27, and p53 expression. By contrast, gefitinib-mediated EGFR inhibition, PF562271-mediated FAK inactivation, and shRNA-mediated knockdowns of EPHA2 and FAK had no effect on viability or colony formation of the KIT-negative GISTs. These findings highlight the potential relevance of AXL/p53 signaling as a therapeutic target in a subset of GISTs that have lost KIT oncoprotein expression.