G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
G00001624
Gene symbol
PIK3CA (HGNC)
Species
Homo sapiens
Description
phosphoinositide-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha polypeptide
Orthologue
G00000375 (Mus musculus)

Databases (7)

Gene
ENSG00000121879 (Ensembl human gene)
5290 (Entrez Gene)
379 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
PIK3CA (GeneCards)
Literature
171834 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
HGNC:8975 (HGNC)
Protein Sequence
P42336 (UniProt)

Synonyms (1)

  • PI3K

Diseases (45)

Disease Nervous effect Mutations Found Literature Mutations Type Genetic association?
D00000321: Cancer N Y (15016963) Unknown (?) Y
D00000042: Breast cancer N Y (15254419) Unknown (?) Y
D00000067: Oligodendroglioma (anaplastic) Y Y (15289301) Unknown (?) Y
D00000068: Astrocytoma (anaplastic) Y Y (15289301) Unknown (?) Y
D00000073: Glioblastoma multiforme Y Y (15289301) Unknown (?) Y
D00000074: Medulloblastoma N Y (15289301) Unknown (?) Y
D00000071: Ependymoma Y Y (15289301) Unknown (?) N
D00000069: Astrocytoma (low grade) Y Y (15289301) Unknown (?) N
D00000021: Colon cancer N Y (15467468) Unknown (?) Y
D00000042: Breast cancer N Y (15467468) Unknown (?) Y
D00000070: Brain tumours (various) Y Y (15467468) Unknown (?) Y
D00000028: Lung cancer N Y (15467468) Unknown (?) Y
D00000049: Ovarian cancer N Y (15520168) Unknown (?) Y
D00000042: Breast cancer N Y (15520168) Unknown (?) Y
D00000105: Breast carcinoma N Y (15608678) Unknown (?) Y
D00000027: Hepatocellular carcinoma N Y (15608678) Unknown (?) Y
D00000050: Ovarian carcinoma N Y (15712344) Microinsertion (MI) ?
D00000017: Gastric adenocarcinoma N Y (15784156) Unknown (?) Y
D00000105: Breast carcinoma N Y (15805248) Unknown (?) Y
D00000047: Epithelial ovarian carcinoma N Y (15837735) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000107: Invasive breast carcinoma N Y (15837735) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000072: Glioblastoma Y Y (15924252) No mutation found (N) N
D00000073: Glioblastoma multiforme Y Y (15924253) Unknown (?) Y
D00000081: Thyroid cancer N Y (15928251) Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ?
D00000019: Gastric carcinoma N Y (15994075) Unknown (?) Y
D00000023: Colorectal carcinoma N Y (15994075) Unknown (?) Y
D00000014: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma N Y (16114017) Unknown (?) ?
D00000072: Glioblastoma Y Y (16150119) Unknown (?) Y
D00000042: Breast cancer N Y (16168105) Unknown (?) Y
D00000049: Ovarian cancer N Y (16203798) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000079: Anaplastic thyroid cancer N Y (16288007) Unknown (?) Y
D00000045: Endometrial carcinoma N Y (16322209) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000026: Hepatoblastular carcinoma N Y (16331247) No mutation found (N) N
D00000105: Breast carcinoma N Y (16353168) Unknown (?) Y
D00000015: Oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma N Y (16380997) Unknown (?) Y
D00000002: Adenocarcinoma N Y (16380997) Unknown (?) Y
D00000243: Barrett's oesophagus N Y (16380997) Unknown (?) N
D00000115: Meningioma N Y (16463202) Unknown (?) ?
D00000036: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma N Y (16533766) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000033: Cutaneous melanoma N Y (16567976) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000093: Acute myeloid leukaemia N Y (16573740) No mutation found (N) N
D00000042: Breast cancer N Y (16582596) Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Y
D00000075: Oligodendroglial tumour Y Y (16599949) Unknown (?) ?
D00000055: Ovarian serous carcinoma N Y (16721043) Unknown (?) ?
D00000056: Serous borderline tumour N Y (16721043) Unknown (?) ?
D00000044: Endometrial cancer N Y (16764926) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000044: Endometrial cancer N Y (16764926) Polymorphism (P) Y
D00000011: Osteosarcoma N Y (16764926) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000011: Osteosarcoma N Y (16764926) Polymorphism (P) Y
D00000093: Acute myeloid leukaemia N Y (16764926) Microinsertion (MI) N
D00000093: Acute myeloid leukaemia N Y (16764926) Polymorphism (P) N
D00000031: Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm N Y (16778113) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000030: Intraductal papillary mucinous carcinoma N Y (16778113) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000066: Neuroblastoma Y Y (16822308) Microinsertion (MI) ?
D00000061: Superficial papillary bladder tumour N Y (16885334) Unknown (?) Y
D00000028: Lung cancer N Y (16930767) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000045: Endometrial carcinoma N Y (16949921) Unknown (?) Y
D00000073: Glioblastoma multiforme Y Y (17050665) Unknown (?) Y
D00000016: Oral squamous cell carcinoma N Y (17052259) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000046: Uterine endometrioid carcinoma N Y (17062663) Unknown (?) Y
D00000274: Complex atypical hyperplasia N Y (17062663) Unknown (?) N
D00000105: Breast carcinoma N Y (17202311) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000014: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma N Y (17222361) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000072: Glioblastoma Y Y (17235514) Microinsertion (MI) Y
D00000081: Thyroid cancer N Y (17317825) Duplication (Du) Y

References

  • PIK3CA alterations in primary (de novo) and secondary glioblastomas.

    Kita D, Yonekawa Y, Weller M and Ohgaki H

    International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372, Lyon Cedex 08, France.

    We assessed alterations in the EGFR/PTEN/PI3K pathway in 107 primary (de novo) glioblastomas and 32 secondary glioblastomas that progressed from low-grade or anaplastic astrocytomas. SSCP followed by DNA sequencing in exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene revealed missense mutations in 5/107 (5%) primary and 1/32 (3%) secondary glioblastomas. Quantitative real-time PCR showed PIK3CA amplification (>3 copy numbers) in 14/107 (13%) primary and 3/32 (9%) secondary glioblastomas. Only one glioblastoma showed both PIK3CA mutation and amplification. Taken together with previously published data on EGFR amplification and PTEN mutations, at least one alteration in the EGFR, PTEN, or PIK3CA genes was detected in 63% of primary glioblastomas, which was significantly more frequent than in secondary glioblastomas (31%; P < 0.001). Furthermore, this signaling pathway was altered by either PTEN mutations or PIK3CA amplification in 10 of 12 (83%) malignant glioma cell lines analyzed. These results suggest that the EGFR/PTEN/PI3K pathway is frequently altered in glioblastomas and is a promising target for therapy, in particular for primary glioblastomas.

    Acta neuropathologica 2007;113;3;295-302

  • Genetic alterations and their relationship in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway in thyroid cancer.

    Hou P, Liu D, Shan Y, Hu S, Studeman K, Condouris S, Wang Y, Trink A, El-Naggar AK, Tallini G, Vasko V and Xing M

    Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.

    Purpose: To investigate the overall occurrence and relationship of genetic alterations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in thyroid tumors and explore the scope of this pathway as a therapeutic target for thyroid cancer.

    We examined collectively the major genetic alterations and their relationship in this pathway, including PIK3CA copy number gain and mutation, Ras mutation, and PTEN mutation, in a large series of primary thyroid tumors.

    Results: Occurrence of any of these genetic alterations was found in 25 of 81 (31%) benign thyroid adenoma (BTA), 47 of 86 (55%) follicular thyroid cancer (FTC), 21 of 86 (24%) papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), and 29 of 50 (58%) anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), with FTC and ATC most frequently harboring these genetic alterations. PIK3CA copy gain was associated with increased PIK3CA protein expression. A mutual exclusivity among these genetic alterations was seen in BTA, FTC, and PTC, suggesting an independent role of each of them through the PI3K/Akt pathway in the tumorigenesis of the differentiated thyroid tumors. However, coexistence of these genetic alterations was increasingly seen with progression from differentiated tumor to undifferentiated ATC. Their coexistence with BRAF mutation was also frequent in PTC and ATC.

    Conclusions: The data provide strong genetic implication that aberrant activation of PI3K/Akt pathway plays an extensive role in thyroid tumorigenesis, particularly in FTC and ATC, and promotes progression of BTA to FTC and to ATC as the genetic alterations of this pathway accumulate. Progression of PTC to ATC may be facilitated by coexistence of PI3K/Akt pathway-related genetic alterations and BRAF mutation. The PI3K/Akt pathway may thus be a major therapeutic target in thyroid cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R0-1 CA113507-01

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2007;13;4;1161-70

  • Clinicopathologic analysis of breast cancers with PIK3CA mutations in Japanese women.

    Maruyama N, Miyoshi Y, Taguchi T, Tamaki Y, Monden M and Noguchi S

    Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

    Purpose: Somatic mutations of PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, have recently been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of human breast cancers. In this study, the frequency of PIK3CA mutations and their relationship with clinicopathologic and biological variables were investigated in Japanese breast cancers.

    Mutational analysis of PIK3CA was done in 188 primary breast cancers of Japanese women. Relationship of these mutations with various clinicopathologic variables [histologic type, tumor size, histologic grade, lymph node status, estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and progesterone receptor status, and prognosis], biological variables [phospho-AKT (pAKT) and HER2 expression determined by immunohistochemistry], and p53 mutation status was studied.

    Results: Missense mutations of PIK3CA were found in 44 of 158 invasive ductal carcinomas, 4 of 10 invasive lobular carcinomas, 1 of 4 mucinous carcinomas, 2 of 2 squamous carcinomas, and 2 of 2 apocrine carcinomas, but no mutation was found in 12 noninvasive ductal carcinomas. PIK3CA-mutated tumors were found to be more likely to be ER-alpha positive (P < 0.05) and pAKT positive (P < 0.05). There was no significant association between PIK3CA mutations and p53 mutation status. PIK3CA mutations were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with a favorable prognosis, and multivariate analysis showed that PIK3CA mutation status was a significant (P < 0.05) prognostic factor independent of the other conventional prognostic factors.

    Conclusions: The frequency of PIK3CA mutations in Japanese breast cancers is similar to that of Caucasian breast cancers. Association of PIK3CA mutations with positive pAKT and positive ER-alpha suggests that PIK3CA mutations might exert their effects through activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/ER-alpha pathway. PIK3CA mutations seem to have a potential to be used as an indicator of favorable prognosis.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2007;13;2 Pt 1;408-14

  • Rare mutations of the PIK3CA gene in malignancies of the hematopoietic system as well as endometrium, ovary, prostate and osteosarcomas, and discovery of a PIK3CA pseudogene.

    Müller CI, Miller CW, Hofmann WK, Gross ME, Walsh CS, Kawamata N, Luong QT and Koeffler HP

    Division of Hematology/Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA. mullerci@cshs.org

    Lipid kinase PIK3CA mutations have been described in several cancers. They clustered in two 'hot spots' located in helical (exon 9) and kinase (exon 20) domains associated with increased kinase activity strongly suggesting oncogenic potential. Mutational analysis of previously unexamined tumors showed an amino acid change from threonine to alanine (T1025A) in exon 20 in one of 28 endometrial cancer samples and 6 endometrial cell lines. Additionally, a silent polymorphism (T1025T) was found in two of 20 MDS samples, one of 43 NHL samples, two of 40 osteosarcoma samples and Ishikawa. The polymorphism was established by identifying two of 92 normal samples with the same change. No PIK3CA mutations were found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) as well as in osteosarcomas, prostate and ovarian cancer samples. Additionally, a previously unidentified PIK3CA pseudogene spanning exons 9-13 on chromosome 22 was discovered.

    Leukemia research 2007;31;1;27-32

  • [Screening for mutations in the hotspot mutation regions of PIK3CA gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma].

    Liu P, Li DJ, Qin HD, Zhang RH, Chen LZ and Zeng YX

    State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510060, P. R. China.

    Recent studies showed high frequency of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic alpha polypeptide (PIK3CA) mutations in various human cancers; notably, these mutations frequently locate in the hotspot mutation regions of PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 with functional significance in tumorigenesis, invasion, and anti-apoptosis. This study was to screen for mutations in the hotspot mutation regions of PIK3CA in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and explore the correlation of PIK3CA mutations to tumorigenesis of NPC.

    Methods: PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 in 46 specimens of sporadic primary NPC tissues were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-clone sequencing; those in 46 samples of matched NPC peripheral blood and 3 NPC cell lines CNE1, CNE2, and SUNE1 were directly sequenced.

    Results: Among the 46 specimens of NPC, 2 (4.3%) had point mutation in PIK3CA exon 9 [T1563G (521Asn-->Lys) and A1646G (549Asp-->Gly)], 18 had multiple mutations in PIK3CA exon 9 (A1634C-G1658C-del 1659T), which might be the homologous sequence of Cat Eye Syndrome region on 22q11.2; none had mutation in PIK3CA exon 20. Moreover, no mutation was detected in PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 in the 46 matched NPC peripheral blood samples and CNE1, CNE2, and SUNE1 cells.

    Conclusions: PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 rarely mutate in NPC. Clone sequencing is more sensitive than direct sequencing in screening for somatic mutation. A1634C-G1658C-del 1659T mutations in PIK3CA exon 9, detected by clone sequencing, are supposed to be the homologous sequence of Cat Eye Syndrome region on 22q11.2 instead of mutations in PIK3CA.

    Ai zheng = Aizheng = Chinese journal of cancer 2007;26;1;15-20

  • PIK3CA mutation is an oncogenic aberration at advanced stages of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

    Kozaki K, Imoto I, Pimkhaokham A, Hasegawa S, Tsuda H, Omura K and Inazawa J

    Department of Genome Medicine, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) are a group of heterodimeric lipid kinases that regulate many cellular processes. Gene amplification and somatic mutations mainly within the helical (exon 9) and kinase (exon 20) domains of PIK3CA, which encode the 110-kDa catalytic subunit of PI3K and are mapped to 3q26, have been reported in various human cancers. Herein, 14 human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and 108 primary OSCC tumors were investigated for activating mutations at exons 9 and 20 as well as amplifications in PIK3CA. PIK3CA missense mutations in exons 9 and 20 were identified in 21.4% (3/14) of OSCC cell lines and 7.4% (8/108) of OSCC tumors by genomic DNA sequencing. An increase in the copy number of PIK3CA, although small, was detected in 57.1% (8/14) of OSCC lines and 16.7% (18/108) of OSCC tumors using quantitative real-time PCR. A significant correlation between somatic mutations of PIK3CA and disease stage was observed: the frequency of mutations was higher in stage IV (16.1%, 5/31) than in a subset of early stages (stages I-III) (3.9%, 3/77; P = 0.042, Fisher's extract test). In contrast, the amplification of PIK3CA was observed at a similar frequency among all stages. AKT was highly phosphorylated in OSCC cell lines with PIK3CA mutations compared to those without mutations, despite the amplification. The results suggest that somatic mutations of the PIK3CA gene are likely to occur late in the development of OSCC, and play a crucial role through the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway in cancer progression.

    Cancer science 2006;97;12;1351-8

  • PIK3CA gene mutations in endometrial carcinoma: correlation with PTEN and K-RAS alterations.

    Velasco A, Bussaglia E, Pallares J, Dolcet X, Llobet D, Encinas M, Llecha N, Palacios J, Prat J and Matias-Guiu X

    Department of Pathology and Molecular Genetics, Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.

    Alterations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway are common in endometrial carcinoma. Inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN leads to a constitutively active PI3K pathway, which plays a role in the early steps of endometrial tumorigenesis. Other alterations in the PI3K/AKT pathway are mutations in the PIK3CA gene, which encode the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K. PIK3CA mutations cluster to the helical (exon 9) and the kinase (exon 20) domains of the gene. In endometrial carcinomas, PIK3CA mutations have been found to coexist frequently with PTEN mutations, but it is not clear whether they occur in cells with monoallelic or biallelic inactivation of PTEN. In the present study we have evaluated PIK3CA mutational status in a series of 33 endometrial carcinomas, previously screened for microsatellite instability and mutations in PTEN, K-RAS, and CTNNB-1. The tumors were also evaluated for loss of heterozygosity on 10q23 and hypermethylation of the promoter region of PTEN/psiPTEN to assess the monoallelic or biallelic inactivation status of PTEN. PIK3CA mutations were detected in 8 (24%) of the 33 cases. Seven mutations were located in exon 20 and 1 in exon 9. PTEN alterations were found in 19 cases (57%). Biallelic inactivation of PTEN was demonstrated in 11 tumors, whereas 8 tumors exhibited alteration in only 1 of the 2 alleles. PIK3CA mutations coexisted with monoallelic alterations of PTEN in 4 cases (2 mutations and 2 allelic imbalances), with biallelic PTEN inactivation in 1 case (mutation and promoter methylation), and 3 tumors showed PIK3CA mutations in association with wild-type PTEN. PIK3CA mutations did not correlate with microsatellite instability or mutations in CTNNB-1. However, PIK3CA and K-RAS mutations (8 cases) were mutually exclusive alterations. In summary, the results confirm that PIK3CA mutations are frequent in endometrial carcinoma and support the hypothesis that PIK3CA mutations may have an additive effect to PTEN monoallelic inactivation in endometrial carcinoma.

    Human pathology 2006;37;11;1465-72

  • PIK3CA mutation status in Japanese lung cancer patients.

    Kawano O, Sasaki H, Endo K, Suzuki E, Haneda H, Yukiue H, Kobayashi Y, Yano M and Fujii Y

    Department of Surgery II, Nagoya City University Medical School, Nagoya, Japan.

    Somatic mutations of the PIK3CA (phosphatidylinostitol 3-kinase catalytic subunit) gene have been found in human cancer patients. Previous reports suggested that about 4% of lung cancers harbored PIK3CA gene mutations. However, the clinico-pathological background for PIK3CA gene mutations has not yet been investigated in lung cancer. We have genotyped the PIK3CA gene in Japanese lung cancer patients. The study included 235 lung cancer cases surgically removed in Nagoya City University Hospital. The two PIK3CA mutation hot spots (exon 9 and exon 20) were analyzed by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay. The data were confirmed by direct sequencing. In exon 9, somatic mutation was found in eight patients (3.4%). The mutation included three E542K (G1624A), three E545K (G1633A), one E542Q (G1624C), and one Q546K (C1636A). However, in exon 20, there was no mutation in our lung cancer patients. PIK3CA mutations were not correlated with gender (women versus men, p=0.4162), age (< or =60 versus >60, p=0.8027), or smoking status of the lung cancers (never versus smoker, p=0.5666). PIK3CA mutation incidence was significantly lower in adenocarcinoma (2/135, 1.5%) than in squamous cell carcinoma (5/77, 6.5%, p=0.0495). Among eight patients with a PIK3CA mutation, three patients also harbored an EGFR somatic mutation. PIK3CA gene mutations were rare in lung cancer; rarer in adenocarcinoma. Further functional analyses of the PIK3CA mutations are warranted to study if they could be the target of therapy for the lung cancer.

    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2006;54;2;209-15

  • PIK3CA and PTEN mutations in uterine endometrioid carcinoma and complex atypical hyperplasia.

    Hayes MP, Wang H, Espinal-Witter R, Douglas W, Solomon GJ, Baker SJ and Ellenson LH

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

    Purpose: The tumor suppressor PTEN gene and the PIK3CA oncogene are frequently mutated in uterine endometrioid carcinoma (UEC). PTEN mutations are also common in complex atypical hyperplasia (CAH), the precursor lesion of UEC. The status of PIK3CA has not yet been explored in CAH. In this study, we evaluated both CAH and UEC for PTEN and PIK3CA mutations.

    Neoplastic tissue was microdissected, and DNA was extracted from 29 cases of CAH. DNA was available from 44 UEC cases previously characterized for PTEN mutations. Direct DNA sequencing of exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene was done on all 73 cases. In addition, CAH cases were analyzed for PTEN mutations. Statistical analyses were done using the Fisher's exact test.

    Results: Two (7%) of 29 CAH and 17 (39%) of 44 UEC cases contained a PIK3CA mutation (P = 0.003). Fourteen (48%) of 29 CAH cases had a PTEN mutation, but none contained both a PTEN and PIK3CA mutation. Twenty-five (57%) of 44 UEC cases had a PTEN mutation, and 12 (48%) of these 25 cases also contained a PIK3CA mutation. Coexistent PIK3CA and PTEN mutations were significantly correlated with UEC compared with CAH (P = 0.002), but the association in UEC did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.21).

    Conclusions: PIK3CA is the most commonly mutated oncogene in UEC; however, mutations are uncommon in CAH. Thus, mutations in PIK3CA, unlike PTEN mutations, are associated with invasion. These findings suggest that mutations in PIK3CA may serve as a marker of invasion with potential clinical use. Furthermore, PIK3CA and PTEN mutations may play distinct roles in endometrial tumorigenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA095427

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;20 Pt 1;5932-5

  • PIK3CA gene mutations in pediatric and adult glioblastoma multiforme.

    Gallia GL, Rand V, Siu IM, Eberhart CG, James CD, Marie SK, Oba-Shinjo SM, Carlotti CG, Caballero OL, Simpson AJ, Brock MV, Massion PP, Carson BS and Riggins GJ

    Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1550 Orleans Street, CRB II, Room 257, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) are a family of enzymes that relay important cellular growth control signals. Recently, a large-scale mutational analysis of eight PI3K and eight PI3K-like genes revealed somatic mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of class IA PI3K, in several types of cancer, including glioblastoma multiforme. In that report, 4 of 15 (27%) glioblastomas contained potentially oncogenic PIK3CA mutations. Subsequent studies, however, showed a significantly lower mutation rate ranging from 0% to 7%. Given this disparity and to address the relation of patient age to mutation frequency, we examined 10 exons of PIK3CA in 73 glioblastoma samples by PCR amplification followed by direct DNA sequencing. Overall, PIK3CA mutations were found in 11 (15%) samples, including several novel mutations. PIK3CA mutations were distributed in all sample types, with 18%, 9%, and 13% of primary tumors, xenografts, and cell lines containing mutations, respectively. Of the primary tumors, PIK3CA mutations were identified in 21% and 17% of pediatric and adult samples, respectively. No evidence of PIK3CA gene amplification was detected by quantitative real-time PCR in any of the samples. This study confirms that PIK3CA mutations occur in a significant number of human glioblastomas, further indicating that therapeutic targeting of this pathway in glioblastomas is of value. Moreover, this is the first study showing PIK3CA mutations in pediatric glioblastomas, thus providing a molecular target in this important pediatric malignancy.

    Molecular cancer research : MCR 2006;4;10;709-14

  • PIK3CA mutations are an early genetic alteration associated with FGFR3 mutations in superficial papillary bladder tumors.

    López-Knowles E, Hernández S, Malats N, Kogevinas M, Lloreta J, Carrato A, Tardón A, Serra C and Real FX

    Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Carrer del Dr. Aiguader 80, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.

    Bladder tumors constitute a very heterogeneous disease. Superficial tumors are characterized by a high prevalence of FGFR3 mutations and chromosome 9 alterations. High-grade and muscle-invasive tumors are characterized by Tp53 mutations and aneuploidy. We have analyzed the sequence of exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA in a panel of bladder tumors covering the whole spectrum of the disease. DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor sections was amplified by PCR and products were sequenced. In an unselected panel of tumors representative of the disease, the PIK3CA mutation prevalence was 13% (11 of 87). Mutations occurred mainly at the previously identified hotspots (codons 542, 545, 1007, and 1047). The distribution according to stage was as follows: papillary urothelial neoplasms of uncertain malignant potential (PUNLMP; 11 of 43, 25.6%), T(a) (9 of 57, 16%), T(1) (2 of 10, 20%), and muscle-invasive tumors (0 of 20, 0%; P = 0.019). Mutations were associated with low-grade tumors: grade 1 (6 of 27, 22.2%), grade 2 (3 of 23, 13%), and grade 3 (2 of 37, 5.4%; P = 0.047). Overall, PIK3CA mutations were strongly associated with FGFR3 mutations: 18 of 69 (26%) FGFR3(mut) tumors were PIK3CA(mut), versus 4 of 58 (6.9%) FGFR3(wt) tumors (P = 0.005). Our findings indicate that PIK3CA mutations are a common event that can occur early in bladder carcinogenesis and support the notion that papillary and muscle-invasive tumors arise through different molecular pathways. PIK3CA may constitute a novel diagnostic and prognostic tool, as well as a therapeutic target, in bladder cancer.

    Cancer research 2006;66;15;7401-4

  • Mutations in PIK3CA are infrequent in neuroblastoma.

    Dam V, Morgan BT, Mazanek P and Hogarty MD

    Division of Oncology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA, USA. vincent.dam@jefferson.edu

    Background: Neuroblastoma is a frequently lethal pediatric cancer in which MYCN genomic amplification is highly correlated with aggressive disease. Deregulated MYC genes require co-operative lesions to foster tumourigenesis and both direct and indirect evidence support activated Ras signaling for this purpose in many cancers. Yet Ras genes and Braf, while often activated in cancer cells, are infrequent targets for activation in neuroblastoma. Recently, the Ras effector PIK3CA was shown to be activated in diverse human cancers. We therefore assessed PIK3CA for mutation in human neuroblastomas, as well as in neuroblastomas arising in transgenic mice with MYCN overexpressed in neural-crest tissues. In this murine model we additionally surveyed for Ras family and Braf mutations as these have not been previously reported.

    Methods: Sixty-nine human neuroblastomas (42 primary tumors and 27 cell lines) were sequenced for PIK3CA activating mutations within the C2, helical and kinase domain "hot spots" where 80% of mutations cluster. Constitutional DNA was sequenced in cases with confirmed alterations to assess for germline or somatic acquisition. Additionally, Ras family members (Hras1, Kras2 and Nras) and the downstream effectors Pik3ca and Braf, were sequenced from twenty-five neuroblastomas arising in neuroblastoma-prone transgenic mice.

    Results: We identified mutations in the PIK3CA gene in 2 of 69 human neuroblastomas (2.9%). Neither mutation (R524M and E982D) has been studied to date for effects on lipid kinase activity. Though both occurred in tumors with MYCN amplification the overall rate of PIK3CA mutations in MYCN amplified and single-copy tumors did not differ appreciably (2 of 31 versus 0 of 38, respectively). Further, no activating mutations were identified in a survey of Ras signal transduction genes (including Hras1, Kras2, Nras, Pik3ca, or Braf genes) in twenty-five neuroblastic tumors arising in the MYCN-initiated transgenic mouse model.

    Conclusion: These data suggest that activating mutations in the Ras/Raf-MAPK/PI3K signaling cascades occur infrequently in neuroblastoma. Further, despite compelling evidence for MYC and RAS cooperation in vitro and in vivo to promote tumourigenesis, activation of RAS signal transduction does not constitute a preferred secondary pathway in neuroblastomas with MYCN deregulation in either human tumors or murine models.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA97323, P01 CA097323

    BMC cancer 2006;6;177

  • Absence of hot spot mutations of the PIK3CA gene in acute myeloid leukaemia.

    Hummerdal P, Andersson P, Willander K, Linderholm M, Söderkvist P and Jönsson JI

    European journal of haematology 2006;77;1;86-7

  • Sequence mutations and amplification of PIK3CA and AKT2 genes in purified ovarian serous neoplasms.

    Nakayama K, Nakayama N, Kurman RJ, Cope L, Pohl G, Samuels Y, Velculescu VE, Wang TL and Shih IeM

    Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.

    Sequence mutations and gene amplifications lead to activation of the PIK3CA-AKT2 signaling pathway and have been reported in several types of neoplasms including ovarian cancer. Analysis of such genetic alterations, however, is usually complicated by contamination of normal cell DNA, artifacts associated with formalin-fixed tissues and the sensitivity of the techniques employed. In this study, we analyzed the sequence mutations in PIK3CA and AKT2 genes using purified tumor cells that were isolated from high-grade ovarian serous carcinomas and serous borderline tumors (SBTs) and assessed gene amplification using a dual-color FISH on tissue microarrays. Somatic sequence mutations in the kinase domain of AKT2 were not detected in any of the 65 ovarian tumors analyzed. Mutations of PIK3CA were rare, occurring only in one (2.3%) of 44 high-grade serous carcinomas and in only one (4.8%) of 21 SBTs. Dual-color FISH demonstrated that PIK3CA and AKT2 were not amplified in SBTs but amplified in 13.3% and 18.2% high-grade carcinomas, respectively. High-level amplification (>3 fold) was more frequently observed in AKT2 than in PIK3CA. Unlike mutations in ERBB2, KRAS and BRAF which are mutually exclusive in SBTs, coamplification of PIK3CA and AKT2 was present in five high-grade carcinomas including the OVCAR3 cells. Amplification in either of the genes occurred in 27% high-grade serous carcinomas. In conclusion, the methods we employed provide unambiguous evidence that somatic sequence mutations of PIK3CA and ATK2 are rare in ovarian serous tumors but amplification of both genes may play an important role in the development of high-grade ovarian serous carcinoma.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA103937, R01 CA103937-03

    Cancer biology & therapy 2006;5;7;779-85

  • PIK3CA mutations in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm/carcinoma of the pancreas.

    Schönleben F, Qiu W, Ciau NT, Ho DJ, Li X, Allendorf JD, Remotti HE and Su GH

    Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA. gs2157@columbia.edu

    Purpose: Recent studies have reported high frequencies of somatic mutations in the phosphoinositide-3-kinase catalytic-alpha (PIK3CA) gene in various human solid tumors. More than 75% of those somatic mutations are clustered in the helical (exon 9) and kinase domains (exon 20). The three hot-spot mutations, E542K, E545K, and H1047R, have been proven to elevate the lipid kinase activity of PIK3CA and activate the Akt signaling pathway. The mutational status of PIK3CA in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm/carcinoma (IPMN/IPMC) has not been evaluated previously.

    To evaluate a possible role for PIK3CA in the tumorigenesis of IPMN and IPMC, exons 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 18, and 20 were analyzed in 36 IPMN/IPMC and two mucinous cystadenoma specimens by direct genomic DNA sequencing.

    Results: We identified four missense mutations in the nine screened exons of PIK3CA from 36 IPMN/IPMC specimens (11%). One of the four mutations, H1047R, has been previously reported as a hot-spot mutation. The remaining three mutations, T324I, W551G, and S1015F, were novel and somatic.

    Conclusion: This is the first report of PIK3CA mutation in pancreatic cancer. Our data provide evidence that the oncogenic properties of PIK3CA contribute to the tumorigenesis of IPMN/IPMC.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA95434, K01 CA095434, R01 CA109525

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;12;3851-5

  • Mutation analysis of PIK3CA and PIK3CB in esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus.

    Phillips WA, Russell SE, Ciavarella ML, Choong DY, Montgomery KG, Smith K, Pearson RB, Thomas RJ and Campbell IG

    Surgical Oncology Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Department of Surgery (St. Vincent's Hospital), University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia. wayne.phillips@petermac.org

    Mutation of PIK3CA, the gene coding for the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), has been reported in a limited range of human tumors. We now report that PIK3CA is also mutated in esophageal tumors. Single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) were used to screen all 20 exons of PIK3CA in 101 samples from 95 individuals with esophageal cancer and/or Barrett's esophagus. Somatic mutation of PIK3CA was detected in 4 of 35 (11.8%) of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 3 of 50 (6%) adenocarcinomas. No mutations were detected in any of 17 samples of Barrett's esophagus. For PIK3CB, we screened exons 11 and 22, which code for the regions corresponding to the exon 9 and 20 mutational 'hotspots' of PIK3CA. No somatic changes were detected in PIK3CB This study extends previous observations in other tumor types by demonstrating the presence of somatic PIK3CA mutations in both SCC and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, thus implicating the PI3K pathway in the initiation and/or progression of esophageal cancers.

    International journal of cancer 2006;118;10;2644-6

  • Absence of PIK3CA hotspot mutations in hepatocellular carcinoma in Japanese patients.

    Tanaka Y, Kanai F, Tada M, Asaoka Y, Guleng B, Jazag A, Ohta M, Ikenoue T, Tateishi K, Obi S, Kawabe T, Yokosuka O and Omata M

    Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.

    A recent study revealed that the p110alpha (PIK3CA), catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), is somatically mutated in many types of cancer. For example, PIK3CA is mutated in an estimated 35.6% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases. To measure the frequency of PIK3CA hotspot mutations in Japanese HCC patients, exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene were sequenced in 47 clinical HCC samples. Contrary to expectations, no hotspot mutations were found any of the HCC samples. In addition, we found abnormally migrating waves near the end of exon 9 in the PCR chromatograms from 13 of the 47 samples. PCR amplification and subsequent cloning and sequencing revealed that these chromatograms contained two distinct sequences, the wild-type p110alpha sequence and a different sequence found on human chromosome 22q11.2, the Cat Eye Syndrome region, which contains a putative pseudogene of PIK3CA. These abnormally migrating waves were also found in noncancerous liver tissue, indicating that this was not a result of HCC-associated mutations. Therefore, it is likely that the percentage of hotspot mutations in the PIK3CA gene of Japanese HCC patients is lower than was previously reported.

    Oncogene 2006;25;20;2950-2

  • Mutational hotspot in exon 20 of PIK3CA in breast cancer among Singapore Chinese.

    Liang X, Lau QC, Salto-Tellez M, Putti TC, Loh M and Sukumar S

    Oncology Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

    The recent identification of somatic mutations in the catalytic region of PIK3 (PIK3CA) in breast cancer and demonstration of their oncogenic function has implicated PIK3CA in mammary carcinogenesis. To investigate possible ethnic differences in patterns of PIK3CA mutations in Singaporean Chinese breast cancer and to characterize these in a panel of cell lines, we sequenced exons 9 and 20 in 80 primary tumors, 19 breast cancer cell lines and 7 normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). Searching for novel hotspots of mutation, we sequenced additional exons (1, 2, 6, 7, 14 and 18) in 20 primary tumors and 6 breast cancer cell lines. We detected 33 point mutations in 31 of 80 (39%) breast cancers, and 11 mutations in 10 of 19 (53%) breast cancer cell lines. No mutations were detected in normal breast tissue adjacent to the tumor, or in the 6 normal HMECs. The exon 20 A3140G (H1047R) substitution was identified most frequently (22/31, 71%) and showed a significant association with patient age (p = 0.043) and stage of the disease (p = 0.025), but not with ER/PR status or histological grade of the tumor. The incidence of point mutations in PIK3CA, the A3140G substitution in particular, in Singapore breast cancers are among the most frequent reported to date for any gene in breast cancer. The results suggest that mutation of PIK3CA might contribute to development of early stage breast cancer and could provide a potent target for early diagnosis and therapy.

    Cancer biology & therapy 2006;5;5;544-8

  • Mutations of PIK3CA are rare in cutaneous melanoma.

    Omholt K, Kröckel D, Ringborg U and Hansson J

    Department of Oncology-Pathology, Cancer Centre Karolinska, Karolinska University Hospital Solna and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

    Recent studies have shown that the PIK3CA gene, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases, is mutated in human cancers. To determine whether PIK3CA is altered in cutaneous melanoma, we screened a series of 101 melanoma metastases. We identified PIK3CA missense mutations in three metastases (3%). Interestingly, these mutations were observed only in tumours that were negative for NRAS mutations. Using immunohistochemistry, we also analysed our metastases for the expression of phosphorylated Akt. These analyses revealed a moderate to strong phosphorylated Akt expression in 78% (21 of 27) of metastases with NRAS mutations and in 73% (54 of 74) of metastases without NRAS mutations. Interestingly, the three metastases with mutations in PIK3CA all exhibited a strong expression of phosphorylated Akt. Taken together, our results show that PIK3CA is mutated in a minority of melanomas and suggest that mutations in this gene may represent an alternative mechanism of Akt activation in cutaneous melanoma.

    Melanoma research 2006;16;2;197-200

  • PIK3CA mutations in oligodendroglial tumours.

    Hartmann C, Devermann L, Gehlhaar C, Holtkamp N and von Deimling A

    Neuropathology and applied neurobiology 2006;32;2;209-12

  • PIK3CA mutations in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

    Qiu W, Schönleben F, Li X, Ho DJ, Close LG, Manolidis S, Bennett BP and Su GH

    Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.

    Purpose: Recent studies have reported high frequencies of somatic mutations in the phosphoinositide-3-kinase catalytic alpha (PIK3CA) gene in several human solid tumors. Although gene amplifications of PIK3CA have been reported in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), small mutation of the gene has not been evaluated in HNSCC previously. In this study, we examined the mutation frequency of PIK3CA in HNSCC.

    More than 75% of the somatic mutations of PIK3CA are clustered in the helical (exon 9) and kinase domains (exon 20). To investigate the possible role of PIK3CA in HNSCC tumorigenesis, exons 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 20 of the gene were analyzed by direct genomic DNA sequencing in 38 HNSCC specimens.

    Results: We identified four missense mutations in the seven exons of PIK3CA from 38 HNSCC specimens (11%). Three of the four mutations (i.e., H1047R, E542K, and E545K) have been previously reported as hotspot mutations. The remaining novel mutation, Y343C, is identified at exon 4 nucleotide 1028 A --> G. Three of the four mutations were shown to be somatic, whereas the fourth mutation (H1047R) was identified in a cell line. Interestingly, three of the four mutations identified were in pharyngeal cancer samples.

    Conclusions: These data provide evidence that oncogenic properties of PIK3CA contribute to the carcinogenesis of human head and neck cancers, especially in pharyngeal cancer. A specific kinase inhibitor to PIK3CA may potentially be an effective therapeutic reagent against HNSCC or pharyngeal cancer in particular.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA95434, K01 CA095434, R01 CA109525

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;5;1441-6

  • Rare mutation of PIK3CA in meningiomas.

    Pang JC, Chung NY, Chan NH, Poon WS, Thomas T and Ng HK

    Acta neuropathologica 2006;111;3;284-5

  • PIK3CA mutations in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

    Or YY, Hui AB, To KF, Lam CN and Lo KW

    International journal of cancer 2006;118;4;1065-7

  • PIK3CA mutation and histological type in breast carcinoma: high frequency of mutations in lobular carcinoma.

    Buttitta F, Felicioni L, Barassi F, Martella C, Paolizzi D, Fresu G, Salvatore S, Cuccurullo F, Mezzetti A, Campani D and Marchetti A

    Clinical Research Center, Center of Excellence on Aging, University-Foundation, Chieti, Italy.

    Mutations in the PIK3CA gene have recently been reported in different human neoplasms, including breast cancer. This paper reports the results of a systematic analysis of PIK3CA mutations in different histological types of breast carcinoma. One hundred and eighty invasive breast carcinomas, comprising 74 ductal, 56 lobular, 22 mucinous, 20 medullary, and eight papillary, were selected on the basis of their histological type in a consecutive series of 780 breast cancers. Exons 1-20 of the PIK3CA gene were subjected to SSCP analysis followed by direct sequencing. PIK3CA mutations were observed in 46 (26%) of the 180 tumours examined: 23 (50%) mutations were located in exon 9, and 23 (50%) in exon 20. Mutations were frequent in lobular (46%), less frequent in ductal (22%), and uncommon in medullary (10%), mucinous (5%), and papillary tumours (12%) (p = 0.0002). Mutations in exon 9 were more frequent in lobular carcinomas (30% of cases) than in the other histological types (less than 5% of cases) (p = 0.00014). No significant differences were observed in the distribution of mutations in exon 20. There was no significant correlation between PIK3CA mutations and other clinicopathological and biological variables, including age, tumour size, lymph node metastases, oestrogen receptor (ER) status, progesterone receptor (PgR) status, p53 gene mutations, and p53 protein expression. The findings indicate that in invasive breast carcinomas, PIK3CA alterations are mainly present in lobular and ductal tumours, whereas the other histological types, known to be associated with a favourable prognosis, show a very low incidence of PIK3CA mutations.

    The Journal of pathology 2006;208;3;350-5

  • High frequency of coexistent mutations of PIK3CA and PTEN genes in endometrial carcinoma.

    Oda K, Stokoe D, Taketani Y and McCormick F

    Cancer Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) pathway is activated in many human cancers. In addition to inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene, mutations or amplifications of the catalytic subunit alpha of PI3K (PIK3CA) have been reported. However, the coexistence of mutations in these two genes seems exceedingly rare. As PTEN mutations occur at high frequency in endometrial carcinoma, we screened 66 primary endometrial carcinomas for mutations in the helical and catalytic domains of PIK3CA. We identified a total of 24 (36%) mutations in this gene and coexistence of PIK3CA/PTEN mutations at high frequency (26%). PIK3CA mutations were more common in tumors with PTEN mutations (17 of 37, 46%) compared with those without PTEN mutations (7 of 29, 24%). Array comparative genomic hybridization detected 3q24-qter amplification, which covers the PIK3CA gene (3q26.3), in one of nine tumors. Knocking down PTEN expression in the HEC-1B cell line, which possesses both K-Ras and PIK3CA mutations, further enhances phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473), indicating that double mutation of PIK3CA and PTEN has an additive effect on PI3K activation. Our data suggest that the PI3K pathway is extensively activated in endometrial carcinomas, and that combination of PIK3CA/PTEN alterations might play an important role in development of these tumors.

    Cancer research 2005;65;23;10669-73

  • Mutation of the PIK3CA gene in anaplastic thyroid cancer.

    García-Rostán G, Costa AM, Pereira-Castro I, Salvatore G, Hernandez R, Hermsem MJ, Herrero A, Fusco A, Cameselle-Teijeiro J and Santoro M

    Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of Porto University, Porto, Portugal. grostan@ipatimup.pt

    The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently activated in thyroid carcinomas through the constitutive activation of stimulatory molecules (e.g., Ras) and/or the loss of expression and/or function of the inhibitory PTEN protein that results in Akt activation. Recently, it has been reported that somatic mutations within the PI3K catalytic subunit, PIK3CA, are common (25-40%) among colorectal, gastric, breast, ovarian cancers, and high-grade brain tumors. Moreover, PIK3CA mutations have a tendency to cluster within the helical (exon 9) and the kinase (exon 20) domains. In this study, 13 thyroid cancer cell lines, 80 well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas of follicular (WDFC) and papillary (WDPC) type, and 70 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC) were investigated, by PCR-direct sequencing, for activating PIK3CA mutations at exons 9 and 20. Nonsynonymous somatic mutations were found in 16 ATC (23%), two WDFC (8%), and one WDPC (2%). In 18 of the 20 ATC cases showing coexisting differentiated carcinoma, mutations, when present, were restricted to the ATC component and located primarily within the kinase domain. Three cell lines of papillary and follicular lineage (K1, K2, and K5) were also found mutated. In addition, activation of Akt was observed in most of the ATC harboring PIK3CA mutations. These findings indicate that mutant PIK3CA is likely to function as an oncogene among ATC and less frequently well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas. The data also argue for a role of PIK3CA targeting in the treatment of ATC patients.

    Cancer research 2005;65;22;10199-207

  • PIK3CA mutations in ovarian cancer.

    Campbell IG, Russell SE and Phillips WA

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2005;11;19 Pt 1;7042; author reply 7042-3

  • Genetic alteration and expression of the phosphoinositol-3-kinase/Akt pathway genes PIK3CA and PIKE in human glioblastomas.

    Knobbe CB, Trampe-Kieslich A and Reifenberger G

    Department of Neuropathology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

    Glioblastomas frequently carry genetic alterations resulting in an aberrant activation of the phosphoinositol-3-kinase (Pi3k)/protein kinase B (Akt) signalling pathway, including most notably phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) mutation, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) amplification and rearrangement, as well as carboxyl-terminal modulator protein (CTMP) hypermethylation [Knobbe et al., (2004) Hypermethylation and transcriptional downregulation of the carboxyl-terminal modulator protein gene in glioblastomas. J Natl Cancer Institute, 96, 483-486]. Here, we investigated two further Pi3k/Akt pathway genes, namely PIK3CA (3q26.3) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase enhancer (PIKE) (CENTG1, 12q14), for genetic alteration and aberrant expression in a series of 97 primary glioblastomas. Single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of PIK3CA revealed somatic mutations in five tumours (5%). Twelve glioblastomas (12%) showed amplification of PIKE with invariable co-amplification of the adjacent CDK4 gene. All tumours with PIKE amplification as well as the vast majority of glioblastomas without amplification demonstrated increased expression of PIKE-A but not PIKE-S/L transcripts as compared with non-neoplastic brain tissue. Taken together, our data support an important role of PIK3CA and PIKE gene aberrations in the molecular pathogenesis of primary glioblastomas.

    Neuropathology and applied neurobiology 2005;31;5;486-90

  • Uncommon mutation, but common amplifications, of the PIK3CA gene in thyroid tumors.

    Wu G, Mambo E, Guo Z, Hu S, Huang X, Gollin SM, Trink B, Ladenson PW, Sidransky D and Xing M

    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 East Monument Street, Suite 333, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.

    Context: As in many other human cancers, overactivation of the phosphotidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway occurs frequently in thyroid cancer, but the mechanism is not completely clear.

    Objective: Because activating mutations and genomic amplification of the PIK3CA gene, which encodes the p110a catalytic subunit of PI3K, are common in many cancers, we sought to investigate this phenomenon in thyroid tumors.

    Design: To search for PIK3CA mutations, we isolated genomic DNA from primary thyroid tumors of various types and performed direct sequencing of the exons of PIK3CA gene that carry the most common mutations in other cancers. We used real-time quantitative PCR to investigate genomic amplification of the PIK3CA gene.

    Results: We found no PIK3CA gene mutations in 37 benign thyroid adenomas, 52 papillary thyroid cancers, 25 follicular thyroid cancers, 13 anaplastic thyroid cancers, 13 medullary thyroid cancers, and seven thyroid tumor cell lines. We found a C3075T single-nucleotide polymorphism in exon 20 of this gene in two cases. With a copy number of 4 or more defined as amplification, we found PIK3CA gene amplification in four of 34 (12%) benign thyroid adenomas, three of 59 (5%) papillary thyroid cancer, five of 21 (24%) follicular thyroid cancer, none of 14 (0%) medullary thyroid cancer, and five of seven (71%) thyroid tumor cell lines. The PIK3CA gene amplification and consequent Akt activation were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and Western blotting studies using cell lines, respectively.

    Conclusion: These data suggest that mutation of the PIK3CA gene is not common, but its amplification is relatively common and may be a novel mechanism in activating the PI3K/Akt pathway in some thyroid tumors.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: U01-CA-98-028; NIDCR NIH HHS: R01-DE13561-01

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2005;90;8;4688-93

  • The prevalence of PIK3CA mutations in gastric and colon cancer.

    Velho S, Oliveira C, Ferreira A, Ferreira AC, Suriano G, Schwartz S, Duval A, Carneiro F, Machado JC, Hamelin R and Seruca R

    Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Portugal.

    A wide variety of tumours show PIK3CA mutations leading to increased phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) activity. We have determined the frequency of PIK3CA mutations in exons 9 and 20 that has previously been reported as mutational hotspot regions in distinct tumour models. One hundred and fifty gastrointestinal carcinomas (47 gastric and 103 colorectal) that were characterised for MSI status (76 MSI and 74 MSS) by PCR-SSCP sequencing were evaluated. We also analysed the association between PIK3CA mutations and KRAS or BRAF mutations. PIK3CA mutations in exons 9 and 20 were present in 13.6% and 10.6% of colorectal and gastric carcinomas, respectively. No differences in frequency and type of PIK3CA mutations were found between MSI and MSS colorectal carcinomas. All gastric carcinomas with PIK3CA mutations were MSI. The number of cases harbouring concomitant PIK3CA and KRAS or BRAF mutations was higher in colorectal than in gastric carcinomas (P = 0.016). In colorectal carcinoma, PIK3CA mutations occur preferentially together with activating KRAS-BRAF mutations (MSI and MSS) while in gastric carcinomas PIK3CA mutations tend to occur as isolated events (MSI).

    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) 2005;41;11;1649-54

  • Mutations of the PIK3CA gene are rare in human glioblastoma.

    Mueller W, Mizoguchi M, Silen E, D'Amore K, Nutt CL and Louis DN

    Acta neuropathologica 2005;109;6;654-5

  • PIK3CA mutations in glioblastoma multiforme.

    Hartmann C, Bartels G, Gehlhaar C, Holtkamp N and von Deimling A

    Department of Neuropathology, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany. ch.hartmann@charite.de

    Glioblastoma multiforme WHO grade IV is the most common and malignant variant of astrocytic tumors. Loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 10 and mutations in the tumor suppressor gene PTEN on 10q are molecular hallmarks of glioblastomas. Recently, mutations were identified in PIK3CA, encoding a protein that antagonizes the function of PTEN protein in the PI3K/Akt pathway. To address the question whether an exclusive mutation pattern can be observed in PIK3CA and PTEN, we determined the frequency of mutations in both genes. All coding exons were examined by single strand confirmation polymorphism and direct sequencing. Additionally, we analyzed chromosome 10 for loss of heterozygosity and evaluated the mutational status of TP53. In 70 glioblastomas, 5 (7%) PIK3CA mutations and 10 (14%) PTEN mutations were found. All mutations in PIK3CA located to exons 1, 9 and 20, thereby supporting the concept of mutational hot spot regions. In all but one glioblastoma, mutations were seen either in PIK3CA or in PTEN. In conclusion, the frequency of PIK3CA mutations in glioblastomas appears to be much lower than initially reported.

    Acta neuropathologica 2005;109;6;639-42

  • Frequent mutation of the PIK3CA gene in ovarian and breast cancers.

    Levine DA, Bogomolniy F, Yee CJ, Lash A, Barakat RR, Borgen PI and Boyd J

    Gynecology and Breast Research Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.

    Purpose: Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway, resulting in increased cell proliferation, survival, and motility, is believed to play an oncogenic role in many cancer types. The PIK3CA gene encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K, and is amplified in some ovarian cancers, whereas the AKT2 gene is amplified in some ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers. Recently, in a mutational screen of eight PI3K genes and eight PI3K-like genes, PIK3CA was found to be the only gene affected by somatic mutations, which were observed frequently in gastrointestinal and brain cancers. Here, we test whether PIK3CA is subject to mutation in ovarian and breast cancers.

    Exons 9 and 20, encoding the highly conserved helical and kinase domains of PIK3CA, were subjected to sequence analysis in 198 advanced stage epithelial ovarian carcinomas and 72 invasive breast carcinomas (48 of ductal histology and 24 of lobular histology).

    Results: Somatic missense mutations were observed in 24 of 198 (12%) ovarian carcinomas, and in 13 of 72 (18%) breast carcinomas.

    Conclusions: These data indicate that mutations of PIK3CA play an oncogenic role in substantial fractions of ovarian and breast carcinomas, and in consideration of mutation of other components of the PI3K-AKT pathway in both tumor types, confirm the major oncogenic role of this pathway in ovarian and breast carcinomas.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2005;11;8;2875-8

  • PIK3CA mutations correlate with hormone receptors, node metastasis, and ERBB2, and are mutually exclusive with PTEN loss in human breast carcinoma.

    Saal LH, Holm K, Maurer M, Memeo L, Su T, Wang X, Yu JS, Malmström PO, Mansukhani M, Enoksson J, Hibshoosh H, Borg A and Parsons R

    Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies, Institute for Cancer Genetics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

    Deregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway either through loss of PTEN or mutation of the catalytic subunit alpha of PI3K (PIK3CA) occurs frequently in human cancer. We identified PIK3CA mutations in 26% of 342 human breast tumor samples and cell lines at about equal frequency in tumor stages I to IV. To investigate the relationship between PTEN and PIK3CA, we generated a cohort of tumors that had lost PTEN expression and compared it with a matched control set that had retained PTEN. A highly significant association between PIK3CA mutations and retention of PTEN protein expression was observed. In addition, PIK3CA mutations were associated with expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR), lymph node metastasis, and ERBB2 overexpression. The fact that PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss are nearly mutually exclusive implies that deregulated phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP(3)) is critical for tumorigenesis in a significant fraction of breast cancers and that loss of PIP(3) homeostasis by abrogation of either PIK3CA or PTEN relieves selective pressure for targeting of the other gene. The correlation of PIK3CA mutation to ER/PR-positive tumors and PTEN loss to ER/PR-negative tumors argues for disparate branches of tumor evolution. Furthermore, the association between ERBB2 overexpression and PIK3CA mutation implies that more than one input activating the PI3K/AKT pathway may be required to overcome intact PTEN. Thus, mutation of PIK3CA is frequent, occurs early in carcinoma development, and has prognostic and therapeutic implications.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA082783, CA097403, R01 CA082783, R01 CA082783-05, R01 CA082783-06; NIGMS NIH HHS: 5T32 GM07367-29

    Cancer research 2005;65;7;2554-9

  • Mutations of PIK3CA in gastric adenocarcinoma.

    Li VS, Wong CW, Chan TL, Chan AS, Zhao W, Chu KM, So S, Chen X, Yuen ST and Leung SY

    Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. vswli@hkucc.hku.hk

    Background: Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) through mutational inactivation of PTEN tumour suppressor gene is common in diverse cancer types, but rarely reported in gastric cancer. Recently, mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K, have been identified in various human cancers, including 3 of 12 gastric cancers. Eighty percent of these reported mutations clustered within 2 regions involving the helical and kinase domains. In vitro study on one of the "hot-spot" mutants has demonstrated it as an activating mutation.

    Methods: Based on these data, we initiated PIK3CA mutation screening in 94 human gastric cancers by direct sequencing of the gene regions in which 80% of all the known PIK3CA mutations were found. We also examined PIK3CA expression level by extracting data from the previous large-scale gene expression profiling study. Using Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM), we further searched for genes that show correlating expression with PIK3CA.

    Results: We have identified PIK3CA mutations in 4 cases (4.3%), all involving the previously reported hotspots. Among these 4 cases, 3 tumours demonstrated microsatellite instability and 2 tumours harboured concurrent KRAS mutation. Data extracted from microarray studies showed an increased expression of PIK3CA in gastric cancers when compared with the non-neoplastic gastric mucosae (p < 0.001). SAM further identified 2910 genes whose expression levels were positively associated with that of PIK3CA.

    Conclusion: Our data suggested that activation of the PI3K signalling pathway in gastric cancer may be achieved through up-regulation or mutation of PIK3CA, in which the latter may be a consequence of mismatch repair deficiency.

    BMC cancer 2005;5;29

  • PIK3CA mutations in advanced ovarian carcinomas.

    Wang Y, Helland A, Holm R, Kristensen GB and Børresen-Dale AL

    Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, N-0310, Oslo, Norway.

    PIK3CA belongs to the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) family, which play an important role in proliferation, adherence, transformation and cell survival through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Somatic activating mutations of this gene have recently been detected in several types of cancers. In the present study, 109 advanced ovarian carcinomas were analyzed for PIK3CA mutations in exon 9 and exon 20 by direct sequencing. Activating missense mutations were observed in 4 of the 109 tumors in addition to one variant leading no change of the PIK3CA protein. Two of the cases with mutations were mucinous and clear cell tumors, suggesting that PIK3CA mutations are more common in these rare histological types.

    Human mutation 2005;25;3;322

  • PIK3CA gene is frequently mutated in breast carcinomas and hepatocellular carcinomas.

    Lee JW, Soung YH, Kim SY, Lee HW, Park WS, Nam SW, Kim SH, Lee JY, Yoo NJ and Lee SH

    Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Socho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea.

    A recent report revealed that phosphoinositide-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha (PIK3CA) gene is somatically mutated in several types of human cancer, suggesting the mutated PIK3CA gene as an oncogene in human cancers. However, because the previous report focused the mutational search primarily on colon cancers, the data on PIK3CA mutations in other types of human cancers have been largely unknown. Here, we performed mutational analysis of the PIK3CA gene by polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism assay in 668 cases of common human cancers, including hepatocellular carcinomas, acute leukemias, gastric carcinomas, breast carcinomas, and non-small-cell lung cancers. We detected PIK3CA somatic mutations in 26 of 73 hepatocellular carcinomas (35.6%), 25 of 93 breast carcinomas (26.9%), 12 of 185 gastric carcinomas (6.5%), one of 88 acute leukemias (1.1%), and three of 229 non-small-cell lung cancers (1.3%). Some of the PIK3CA mutations were detected in the early lesions of breast cancer carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and gastric carcinomas, suggesting that PIK3CA mutation may occur independent of stage of the tumors. The high incidence and wide distribution of PIK3CA gene mutation in the common human cancers suggest that alterations of lipid kinase pathway by PIK3CA mutations contribute to the development of human cancers.

    Oncogene 2005;24;8;1477-80

  • Somatic mutation and gain of copy number of PIK3CA in human breast cancer.

    Wu G, Xing M, Mambo E, Huang X, Liu J, Guo Z, Chatterjee A, Goldenberg D, Gollin SM, Sukumar S, Trink B and Sidransky D

    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Head and Neck Cancer Research Division, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. gwu10@jhmi.edu

    Introduction: Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are a group of lipid kinases that regulate signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, adhesion, survival, and motility. Even though PIK3CA amplification and somatic mutation have been reported previously in various kinds of human cancers, the genetic change in PIK3CA in human breast cancer has not been clearly identified.

    Methods: Fifteen breast cancer cell lines and 92 primary breast tumors (33 with matched normal tissue) were used to check somatic mutation and gene copy number of PIK3CA. For the somatic mutation study, we specifically checked exons 1, 9, and 20, which have been reported to be hot spots in colon cancer. For the analysis of the gene copy number, we used quantitative real-time PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization. We also treated several breast cancer cells with the PIK3CA inhibitor LY294002 and compared the apoptosis status in cells with and without PIK3CA mutation.

    Results: We identified a 20.6% (19 of 92) and 33.3% (5 of 15) PIK3CA somatic mutation frequency in primary breast tumors and cell lines, respectively. We also found that 8.7% (8 of 92) of the tumors harbored a gain of PIK3CA gene copy number. Only four cases in this study contained both an increase in the gene copy number and a somatic mutation. In addition, mutation of PIK3CA correlated with the status of Akt phosphorylation in some breast cancer cells and inhibition of PIK3CA-induced increased apoptosis in breast cancer cells with PIK3CA mutation.

    Conclusion: Somatic mutation rather than a gain of gene copy number of PIK3CA is the frequent genetic alteration that contributes to human breast cancer progression. The frequent and clustered mutations within PIK3CA make it an attractive molecular marker for early detection and a promising therapeutic target in breast cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 58184-01, P50 CA058184; NIDCR NIH HHS: R01 DE012588, R01-DE 012588-0

    Breast cancer research : BCR 2005;7;5;R609-16

  • Mutation of the PIK3CA gene in ovarian and breast cancer.

    Campbell IG, Russell SE, Choong DY, Montgomery KG, Ciavarella ML, Hooi CS, Cristiano BE, Pearson RB and Phillips WA

    VBCRC Cancer Genetics Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ian.campbell@petermac.org

    Phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinases are lipid kinases with important roles in neoplasia. Recently, a very high frequency of somatic mutations in PIK3CA has been reported among a large series of colorectal cancers. However, the relevance of PIK3CA mutation in other cancer types remains unclear because of the limited number of tumors investigated. We have screened a total of 284 primary human tumors for mutations in all coding exons of PIK3CA using a combination of single stranded conformational polymorphism and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Among 70 primary breast cancers, 40% (28 of 70) harbored mutations in PIK3CA, making it the most common mutation described to date in this cancer type. Mutations were not associated with histologic subtype, estrogen receptor status, grade or presence of tumor in lymph nodes. Among the primary epithelial ovarian cancers only 11 of 167 (6.6%) contain somatic mutations, but there was a clear histologic subtype bias in their distribution. Only 2 of 88 (2.3%) of serous carcinomas had PIK3CA mutations compared with 8 of 40 (20.0%) endometrioid and clear cell cancers, which was highly significant (P = 0.001). In contrast, PIK3CA gene amplification (>7-fold) was common among all histologic subtypes (24.5%) and was inversely associated with the presence of mutations. Overall, PIK3CA mutation or gene amplification was detected in 30.5% of all ovarian cancers and 45% of the endometrioid and clear cell subtypes. Our study is the first direct evidence that PIK3CA is an oncogene in ovarian cancer and greatly extends recent findings in breast cancer.

    Cancer research 2004;64;21;7678-81

  • Oncogenic mutations of PIK3CA in human cancers.

    Samuels Y and Velculescu VE

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are important regulators of signaling pathways. To determine whether PI3Ks are genetically altered in human cancers, we recently analyzed the sequences of the PI3K gene family and discovered that one member, the PIK3CA gene encoding the p110alpha catalytic subunit, was frequently mutated in cancers of the colon, breast, brain and lung. The majority of mutations clustered near two positions within the PI3K helical or catalytic domains and at least one hotspot mutation appeared to increase kinase activity. PIK3CA represents one of the most highly mutated oncogenes identified in human cancers and may be a useful diagnostic and therapeutic target.

    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2004;3;10;1221-4

  • Mutations of PIK3CA in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, high-grade astrocytomas, and medulloblastomas.

    Broderick DK, Di C, Parrett TJ, Samuels YR, Cummins JM, McLendon RE, Fults DW, Velculescu VE, Bigner DD and Yan H

    Brain Tumor Center, Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase pathway is activated in multiple advanced cancers, including glioblastomas, through inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene. Recently, mutations in PIK3CA, a member of the family of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase catalytic subunits, were identified in a significant fraction (25-30%) of colorectal cancers, gastric cancers, and glioblastomas and in a smaller fraction of breast and lung cancers. These mutations were found to cluster into two major "hot spots" located in the helical and catalytic domains. To determine whether PIK3CA is genetically altered in brain tumors, we performed a large-scale mutational analysis of the helical and catalytic domains. A total of 13 mutations of PIK3CA within these specific domains were identified in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, anaplastic astrocytomas, glioblastoma multiforme, and medulloblastomas, whereas no mutations were identified in ependymomas or low-grade astrocytomas. These observations implicate PIK3CA as an oncogene in a wider spectrum of adult and pediatric brain tumors and suggest that PIK3CA may be a useful diagnostic marker or a therapeutic target in these cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 2P30 CA 14236, 5P20 CA 096890-02, R37 CA 11898-34; NINDS NIH HHS: NS 20023-21

    Cancer research 2004;64;15;5048-50

  • The PIK3CA gene is mutated with high frequency in human breast cancers.

    Bachman KE, Argani P, Samuels Y, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Konishi H, Karakas B, Blair BG, Lin C, Peters BA, Velculescu VE and Park BH

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Oncology, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA. kbachman1@yahoo.com

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are known regulators of cellular growth and proliferation. It has recently been reported that somatic mutations within the PI3K subunit p110alpha (PIK3CA) are present in human colorectal and other cancers. Here we show that thirteen of fifty-three breast cancers (25%) contain somatic mutations in PIK3CA, with the majority of mutations located in the kinase domain. These results demonstrate that PIK3CA is the most mutated oncogene in breast cancer and support a role for PIK3CA in epithelial carcinogenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA62924, P50 CA88843

    Cancer biology & therapy 2004;3;8;772-5

  • High frequency of mutations of the PIK3CA gene in human cancers.

    Samuels Y, Wang Z, Bardelli A, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Yan H, Gazdar A, Powell SM, Riggins GJ, Willson JK, Markowitz S, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B and Velculescu VE

    Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 43460, CA 57345, CA 62924, CA 67900, CA 88128

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2004;304;5670;554

Literature (308)

Pubmed - human_disease

  • PIK3CA alterations in primary (de novo) and secondary glioblastomas.

    Kita D, Yonekawa Y, Weller M and Ohgaki H

    International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372, Lyon Cedex 08, France.

    We assessed alterations in the EGFR/PTEN/PI3K pathway in 107 primary (de novo) glioblastomas and 32 secondary glioblastomas that progressed from low-grade or anaplastic astrocytomas. SSCP followed by DNA sequencing in exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene revealed missense mutations in 5/107 (5%) primary and 1/32 (3%) secondary glioblastomas. Quantitative real-time PCR showed PIK3CA amplification (>3 copy numbers) in 14/107 (13%) primary and 3/32 (9%) secondary glioblastomas. Only one glioblastoma showed both PIK3CA mutation and amplification. Taken together with previously published data on EGFR amplification and PTEN mutations, at least one alteration in the EGFR, PTEN, or PIK3CA genes was detected in 63% of primary glioblastomas, which was significantly more frequent than in secondary glioblastomas (31%; P < 0.001). Furthermore, this signaling pathway was altered by either PTEN mutations or PIK3CA amplification in 10 of 12 (83%) malignant glioma cell lines analyzed. These results suggest that the EGFR/PTEN/PI3K pathway is frequently altered in glioblastomas and is a promising target for therapy, in particular for primary glioblastomas.

    Acta neuropathologica 2007;113;3;295-302

  • Genetic alterations and their relationship in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway in thyroid cancer.

    Hou P, Liu D, Shan Y, Hu S, Studeman K, Condouris S, Wang Y, Trink A, El-Naggar AK, Tallini G, Vasko V and Xing M

    Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.

    Purpose: To investigate the overall occurrence and relationship of genetic alterations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in thyroid tumors and explore the scope of this pathway as a therapeutic target for thyroid cancer.

    We examined collectively the major genetic alterations and their relationship in this pathway, including PIK3CA copy number gain and mutation, Ras mutation, and PTEN mutation, in a large series of primary thyroid tumors.

    Results: Occurrence of any of these genetic alterations was found in 25 of 81 (31%) benign thyroid adenoma (BTA), 47 of 86 (55%) follicular thyroid cancer (FTC), 21 of 86 (24%) papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), and 29 of 50 (58%) anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), with FTC and ATC most frequently harboring these genetic alterations. PIK3CA copy gain was associated with increased PIK3CA protein expression. A mutual exclusivity among these genetic alterations was seen in BTA, FTC, and PTC, suggesting an independent role of each of them through the PI3K/Akt pathway in the tumorigenesis of the differentiated thyroid tumors. However, coexistence of these genetic alterations was increasingly seen with progression from differentiated tumor to undifferentiated ATC. Their coexistence with BRAF mutation was also frequent in PTC and ATC.

    Conclusions: The data provide strong genetic implication that aberrant activation of PI3K/Akt pathway plays an extensive role in thyroid tumorigenesis, particularly in FTC and ATC, and promotes progression of BTA to FTC and to ATC as the genetic alterations of this pathway accumulate. Progression of PTC to ATC may be facilitated by coexistence of PI3K/Akt pathway-related genetic alterations and BRAF mutation. The PI3K/Akt pathway may thus be a major therapeutic target in thyroid cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R0-1 CA113507-01

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2007;13;4;1161-70

  • [Screening for mutations in the hotspot mutation regions of PIK3CA gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma].

    Liu P, Li DJ, Qin HD, Zhang RH, Chen LZ and Zeng YX

    State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510060, P. R. China.

    Recent studies showed high frequency of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic alpha polypeptide (PIK3CA) mutations in various human cancers; notably, these mutations frequently locate in the hotspot mutation regions of PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 with functional significance in tumorigenesis, invasion, and anti-apoptosis. This study was to screen for mutations in the hotspot mutation regions of PIK3CA in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and explore the correlation of PIK3CA mutations to tumorigenesis of NPC.

    Methods: PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 in 46 specimens of sporadic primary NPC tissues were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-clone sequencing; those in 46 samples of matched NPC peripheral blood and 3 NPC cell lines CNE1, CNE2, and SUNE1 were directly sequenced.

    Results: Among the 46 specimens of NPC, 2 (4.3%) had point mutation in PIK3CA exon 9 [T1563G (521Asn-->Lys) and A1646G (549Asp-->Gly)], 18 had multiple mutations in PIK3CA exon 9 (A1634C-G1658C-del 1659T), which might be the homologous sequence of Cat Eye Syndrome region on 22q11.2; none had mutation in PIK3CA exon 20. Moreover, no mutation was detected in PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 in the 46 matched NPC peripheral blood samples and CNE1, CNE2, and SUNE1 cells.

    Conclusions: PIK3CA exon 9 and exon 20 rarely mutate in NPC. Clone sequencing is more sensitive than direct sequencing in screening for somatic mutation. A1634C-G1658C-del 1659T mutations in PIK3CA exon 9, detected by clone sequencing, are supposed to be the homologous sequence of Cat Eye Syndrome region on 22q11.2 instead of mutations in PIK3CA.

    Ai zheng = Aizheng = Chinese journal of cancer 2007;26;1;15-20

  • Absence of hot spot mutations of the PIK3CA gene in acute myeloid leukaemia.

    Hummerdal P, Andersson P, Willander K, Linderholm M, Söderkvist P and Jönsson JI

    European journal of haematology 2006;77;1;86-7

  • Sequence mutations and amplification of PIK3CA and AKT2 genes in purified ovarian serous neoplasms.

    Nakayama K, Nakayama N, Kurman RJ, Cope L, Pohl G, Samuels Y, Velculescu VE, Wang TL and Shih IeM

    Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.

    Sequence mutations and gene amplifications lead to activation of the PIK3CA-AKT2 signaling pathway and have been reported in several types of neoplasms including ovarian cancer. Analysis of such genetic alterations, however, is usually complicated by contamination of normal cell DNA, artifacts associated with formalin-fixed tissues and the sensitivity of the techniques employed. In this study, we analyzed the sequence mutations in PIK3CA and AKT2 genes using purified tumor cells that were isolated from high-grade ovarian serous carcinomas and serous borderline tumors (SBTs) and assessed gene amplification using a dual-color FISH on tissue microarrays. Somatic sequence mutations in the kinase domain of AKT2 were not detected in any of the 65 ovarian tumors analyzed. Mutations of PIK3CA were rare, occurring only in one (2.3%) of 44 high-grade serous carcinomas and in only one (4.8%) of 21 SBTs. Dual-color FISH demonstrated that PIK3CA and AKT2 were not amplified in SBTs but amplified in 13.3% and 18.2% high-grade carcinomas, respectively. High-level amplification (>3 fold) was more frequently observed in AKT2 than in PIK3CA. Unlike mutations in ERBB2, KRAS and BRAF which are mutually exclusive in SBTs, coamplification of PIK3CA and AKT2 was present in five high-grade carcinomas including the OVCAR3 cells. Amplification in either of the genes occurred in 27% high-grade serous carcinomas. In conclusion, the methods we employed provide unambiguous evidence that somatic sequence mutations of PIK3CA and ATK2 are rare in ovarian serous tumors but amplification of both genes may play an important role in the development of high-grade ovarian serous carcinoma.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA103937, R01 CA103937-03

    Cancer biology & therapy 2006;5;7;779-85

  • Absence of PIK3CA hotspot mutations in hepatocellular carcinoma in Japanese patients.

    Tanaka Y, Kanai F, Tada M, Asaoka Y, Guleng B, Jazag A, Ohta M, Ikenoue T, Tateishi K, Obi S, Kawabe T, Yokosuka O and Omata M

    Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.

    A recent study revealed that the p110alpha (PIK3CA), catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), is somatically mutated in many types of cancer. For example, PIK3CA is mutated in an estimated 35.6% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases. To measure the frequency of PIK3CA hotspot mutations in Japanese HCC patients, exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene were sequenced in 47 clinical HCC samples. Contrary to expectations, no hotspot mutations were found any of the HCC samples. In addition, we found abnormally migrating waves near the end of exon 9 in the PCR chromatograms from 13 of the 47 samples. PCR amplification and subsequent cloning and sequencing revealed that these chromatograms contained two distinct sequences, the wild-type p110alpha sequence and a different sequence found on human chromosome 22q11.2, the Cat Eye Syndrome region, which contains a putative pseudogene of PIK3CA. These abnormally migrating waves were also found in noncancerous liver tissue, indicating that this was not a result of HCC-associated mutations. Therefore, it is likely that the percentage of hotspot mutations in the PIK3CA gene of Japanese HCC patients is lower than was previously reported.

    Oncogene 2006;25;20;2950-2

  • Mutations of PIK3CA are rare in cutaneous melanoma.

    Omholt K, Kröckel D, Ringborg U and Hansson J

    Department of Oncology-Pathology, Cancer Centre Karolinska, Karolinska University Hospital Solna and Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

    Recent studies have shown that the PIK3CA gene, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases, is mutated in human cancers. To determine whether PIK3CA is altered in cutaneous melanoma, we screened a series of 101 melanoma metastases. We identified PIK3CA missense mutations in three metastases (3%). Interestingly, these mutations were observed only in tumours that were negative for NRAS mutations. Using immunohistochemistry, we also analysed our metastases for the expression of phosphorylated Akt. These analyses revealed a moderate to strong phosphorylated Akt expression in 78% (21 of 27) of metastases with NRAS mutations and in 73% (54 of 74) of metastases without NRAS mutations. Interestingly, the three metastases with mutations in PIK3CA all exhibited a strong expression of phosphorylated Akt. Taken together, our results show that PIK3CA is mutated in a minority of melanomas and suggest that mutations in this gene may represent an alternative mechanism of Akt activation in cutaneous melanoma.

    Melanoma research 2006;16;2;197-200

  • PIK3CA mutations in oligodendroglial tumours.

    Hartmann C, Devermann L, Gehlhaar C, Holtkamp N and von Deimling A

    Neuropathology and applied neurobiology 2006;32;2;209-12

  • Rare mutation of PIK3CA in meningiomas.

    Pang JC, Chung NY, Chan NH, Poon WS, Thomas T and Ng HK

    Acta neuropathologica 2006;111;3;284-5

  • Mutations of the PIK3CA gene are rare in human glioblastoma.

    Mueller W, Mizoguchi M, Silen E, D'Amore K, Nutt CL and Louis DN

    Acta neuropathologica 2005;109;6;654-5

  • PIK3CA gene is frequently mutated in breast carcinomas and hepatocellular carcinomas.

    Lee JW, Soung YH, Kim SY, Lee HW, Park WS, Nam SW, Kim SH, Lee JY, Yoo NJ and Lee SH

    Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-dong, Socho-gu, Seoul 137-701, Korea.

    A recent report revealed that phosphoinositide-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha (PIK3CA) gene is somatically mutated in several types of human cancer, suggesting the mutated PIK3CA gene as an oncogene in human cancers. However, because the previous report focused the mutational search primarily on colon cancers, the data on PIK3CA mutations in other types of human cancers have been largely unknown. Here, we performed mutational analysis of the PIK3CA gene by polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism assay in 668 cases of common human cancers, including hepatocellular carcinomas, acute leukemias, gastric carcinomas, breast carcinomas, and non-small-cell lung cancers. We detected PIK3CA somatic mutations in 26 of 73 hepatocellular carcinomas (35.6%), 25 of 93 breast carcinomas (26.9%), 12 of 185 gastric carcinomas (6.5%), one of 88 acute leukemias (1.1%), and three of 229 non-small-cell lung cancers (1.3%). Some of the PIK3CA mutations were detected in the early lesions of breast cancer carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and gastric carcinomas, suggesting that PIK3CA mutation may occur independent of stage of the tumors. The high incidence and wide distribution of PIK3CA gene mutation in the common human cancers suggest that alterations of lipid kinase pathway by PIK3CA mutations contribute to the development of human cancers.

    Oncogene 2005;24;8;1477-80

Pubmed - other

  • Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and AKT1 mutations occur early in breast carcinoma.

    Dunlap J, Le C, Shukla A, Patterson J, Presnell A, Heinrich MC, Corless CL and Troxell ML

    Department of Pathology, Oregon Health & Science University, L471, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR, 97239, USA.

    Mutationally activated protein kinases are appealing therapeutic targets in breast carcinoma. Mutations in phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3KCA) have been described in 8-40% of invasive breast carcinomas, and AKT1 mutations have been characterized in 1-8% of breast carcinomas. However, there is little data on these mutations in breast precursor lesions. To further delineate the molecular evolution of breast tumorigenesis, samples of invasive breast carcinoma with an accompanying in situ component were macro dissected from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue and screened for mutations in PIK3CA exons 7, 9, 20, and AKT1 exon 2. Laser capture micro dissection (LCM) was performed on mutation-positive carcinomas to directly compare the genotypes of separated invasive and in situ tumor cells. Among 81 cases of invasive carcinoma, there were eight mutations in PIK3CA exon 20 (7 H1047R, 1 H1047L) and four mutations in exon 9 (2 E545K, 1 E542K, 1 E545G), totaling 12/81 (14.8%). In 11 cases examined, paired LCM in situ tumor showed the identical PIK3CA mutation in invasive and in situ carcinoma. Likewise, 3 of 78 (3.8%) invasive carcinomas showed an AKT1 E17K mutation, and this mutation was identified in matching in situ carcinoma in both informative cases. Mutational status did not correlate with clinical parameters including hormone receptor status, grade, and lymph node status. The complete concordance of PIK3CA and AKT1 mutations in matched samples of invasive and in situ tumor indicates that these mutations occur early in breast cancer development and has implications with regard to therapeutics targeted to the PI3 kinase pathway.

    Breast cancer research and treatment 2010;120;2;409-18

  • PI3K pathway activation in breast cancer is associated with the basal-like phenotype and cancer-specific mortality.

    López-Knowles E, O'Toole SA, McNeil CM, Millar EK, Qiu MR, Crea P, Daly RJ, Musgrove EA and Sutherland RL

    Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

    Breast cancer is a common malignancy with current biological therapies tailored to steroid hormone (ER, PR) and HER2 receptor status. Understanding the biological basis of resistance to current targeted therapies and the identification of new potential therapeutic targets is an ongoing challenge. The PI3K pathway is altered in a high proportion of breast cancers and may contribute to therapeutic resistance. We undertook an integrative study of mutational, copy number and expression analyses of key regulators of the PI3K pathway in a cohort of 292 invasive breast cancer patients with known treatment outcomes. The alterations identified in this cohort included PIK3CA mutations (12/168, i.e. 7%), PIK3CA copy number gain (28/209, i.e. 14%), PTEN loss (73/258, i.e. 28%) and AKT activation (62/258, i.e. 24%). Overall at least 1 parameter was altered in 72% (139/193) of primary breast cancers. PI3K pathway activation was significantly associated with ER negative (p = 0.0008) and PR negative (p = 0.006) status, high tumor grade (p = 0.032) and a "basal-like" phenotype (p = 0.01), where 92% (25/27) of tumors had an altered pathway. In univariate analysis, PI3K pathway aberrations were associated with death from breast cancer; however, this relationship was not maintained in multivariate analysis. No association was identified between an activated pathway and outcome in tamoxifen- or chemotherapy-treated patients. We concluded that >70% of breast cancers have an alteration in at least 1 component of the PI3K pathway and this might be exploited to therapeutic advantage especially in "basal-like" cancers.

    International journal of cancer 2010;126;5;1121-31

  • Isoform-specific phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors exert distinct effects in solid tumors.

    Edgar KA, Wallin JJ, Berry M, Lee LB, Prior WW, Sampath D, Friedman LS and Belvin M

    Cancer Signaling and Translational Oncology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.

    Therapeutic inhibitors are being developed against the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, the deregulation of which drives tumor growth and survival in many cancers. There are eight PI3Ks in mammals divided into three classes. Class IA PI3Ks (p110alpha, p110beta, and p110delta) are critical for cell growth and survival, with the p110alpha isoform implicated as the most important in carcinomas. In this study, we examined the effects of small-molecule inhibitors of class IA PI3Ks to explore the contributions of different isoforms in cancer cells. Similar responses were seen in cancer cells with wild-type or activated mutant PI3K genes treated with p110alpha/delta or p110alpha/beta/delta inhibitors in cell viability assays. In contrast, PTEN-negative cell lines tended to be less responsive (4-fold overall) to an inhibitor of p110alpha/delta versus p110alpha/beta/delta. Combining a p110alpha/delta inhibitor with a p110beta inhibitor resulted in comparable potency to the p110alpha/beta/delta inhibitor. The disparity in efficacy was confirmed in vivo. Pharmacodynamic biomarker analysis revealed that an inhibitor with insufficient potency against the p110beta isoform was less effective at inhibiting the PI3K pathway in PTEN-negative tumor xenografts. Our results imply that patients with PTEN-negative tumors may preferentially benefit from treatment with a class I PI3K inhibitor that is capable of inhibiting the p110beta isoform.

    Cancer research 2010;70;3;1164-72

  • PIK3CA mutations mostly begin to develop in ductal carcinoma of the breast.

    Li H, Zhu R, Wang L, Zhu T, Li Q, Chen Q, Wang H and Zhu H

    Department of Pathology, Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.

    Somatic mutations of PIK3CA are found in 20% to 40% of invasive breast cancers. To investigate the frequency of PIK3CA mutations in the intraductal proliferative lesions of the breast, which are precursor lesions for invasive carcinoma, we analyzed 125 intraductal proliferative lesions and 108 invasive breast cancer tissues for PIK3CA mutations in this study. Target cells were precisely isolated using a laser capture microdissection (LCM) system. Genomic DNA was extracted with QIAmp DNA Micro Kit. PCR amplification was done for exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA, where 90% of mutations clustered, and the products were directly sequenced. Forty-six missense mutations were identified in total, of which, 14 and 32 mutations clustered in exon 9 and exon 20, respectively. The most common mutations were E542K (6 cases) and E545K (8 cases) in exon 9, and H1047R (29 cases) in exon 20. A novel mutation, G3292T, was also found. Mutations were found less frequently in the ductal intraepithelial neoplasia 1B (DIN1B) and lower grade ductal proliferative lesions (3 of 68; 4.41%) than in ductal carcinoma in situ (14 of 57; 24.56%, P=0.001, Chi-square test) or invasive carcinoma (29 of 108; 26.85%, P=0.000, Chi-square test). However, there was no significant difference in the frequency of PIK3CA mutations between carcinoma in situ and invasive carcinoma (P=0.750, Chi-square test). PIK3CA mutations mostly began to develop at the stage from the DIN1B to the carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is a late event of breast oncogenesis. PIK3CA-mutated tumors were more frequently found in ER-a positive, PR positive, and PTEN positive tumors (P=0.012, P=0.004 and P=0.004, respectively, Chi-square test). The frequency of PIK3CA gene mutation in ER+/PR+ (32/98, 32.65%) tumors was not significantly different from that in ER+/PR- (9/39, 23.08%), tested by the Chi-square test (P=0.269). There was no significant association between PIK3CA mutations and HER2 expression status (P=0.294, Chi-square test).

    Experimental and molecular pathology 2010;88;1;150-5

  • Rare mutations in the PIK3CA gene contribute to aggressive endometrial cancer.

    Konstantinova D, Kaneva R, Dimitrov R, Savov A, Ivanov S, Dyankova T, Kremensky I and Mitev V

    1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Medical University-Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria. darivko@gmail.com

    The molecular basis of endometrial cancer (EC), a common gynecologic malignancy, often includes mutational activation of the PIK3CA and KRAS genes. We aimed to determine the distribution of mutations in the two genes depending on patient clinocopathological characteristics. We sequenced exon 1 of the KRAS gene and exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene in 108 consecutive EC tumor samples. PIK3CA mutations were present in 24 of the 108 (22.2%) cases and KRAS mutations in 18 of the 108 (16.7%) cases. PIK3CA mutations occurred more frequently in KRAS-mutated samples (7/18, 38.9%; p = 0.06) than in KRAS wild type (17/90, 18.9%) and showed a very high frequency in metastatic tumors (4/9, 44.4%; p = 0.1) and in samples displaying serous differentiation-serous and mixed endometrioid/serous tumors (6/12, 50.0%; p = 0.021)-where KRAS mutations were rare (11.1% and 16.7%, respectively) and did not exist independently of a PIK3CA mutation. Non-hotspot (i.e., non-E542K, -E545K, and -H1047R) mutations in the PIK3CA gene showed higher frequency in metastatic cases (3/9, 33.3%; p = 0.05). Tumors displaying serous differentiation showed a particular pattern-they harbored exclusively mutations in PIK3CA exon 20 (5/12, 41.7%; p = 0.005) and most of these were non-hotspot (4/12, 33.3%; p = 0.02). In all other comparisons exons 9 and 20 mutation distribution did not differ. These results suggest the need for further exploration of the significance of PIK3CA mutations in respect to aggressive EC.

    DNA and cell biology 2010;29;2;65-70

  • Small-molecule inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling inhibit Wnt/beta-catenin pathway cross-talk and suppress medulloblastoma growth.

    Baryawno N, Sveinbjörnsson B, Eksborg S, Chen CS, Kogner P and Johnsen JI

    Childhood Cancer Research Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. ninib.baryawno@ki.se

    Activation of the beta-catenin and receptor kinase pathways occurs often in medulloblastoma, the most common pediatric malignant brain tumor. In this study, we show that molecular cross-talk between the beta-catenin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathways is crucial to sustain medulloblastoma pathophysiology. Constitutive activation of phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1), Akt, and phosphorylation of [corrected] glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta) was detected by immunohistochemistry in all primary medulloblastomas examined (n = 41). Small-molecule inhibitors targeting the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway affected beta-catenin signaling by activation [corrected] of GSK-3beta, [corrected] resulting in cytoplasmic retention of beta-catenin and reduced expression of its target genes cyclin D1 and c-Myc. The PDK1 inhibitor OSU03012 induced mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis of medulloblastoma cells and enhanced the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutic drugs in a synergistic or additive manner. In vivo, OSU03012 inhibited the growth of established medulloblastoma xenograft tumors in a dose-dependent manner and augmented the antitumor effects of mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor CCI-779. These findings demonstrate the importance of cross-talk between the PI3K/Akt and beta-catenin pathways in medulloblastoma and rationalize the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway as a therapeutic target in treatment of this disease.

    Cancer research 2010;70;1;266-76

  • AKT1 pleckstrin homology domain E17K activating mutation in endometrial carcinoma.

    Cohen Y, Shalmon B, Korach J, Barshack I, Fridman E and Rechavi G

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel. ycohen1@gmail.com

    Objectives: The PI3K/AKT pathway is frequently activated in endometrial carcinoma (EC) mainly due to mutations in the PIK3CA and PTEN genes. These events are common and believed to be the key to endometrial carcinogenesis. Recently, a somatic activating mutation in the AKT1 gene (E17K) was identified in several cancer types. In this study we explored the frequency of this AKT1 mutation in endometrial carcinoma.

    Methods: Tumor DNA, extracted from 73 EC was analyzed for AKT1 E17K mutation (G49A) using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). In addition, the tumors were screened for coexisting common mutations in PTEN, PIK3CA and KRAS.

    Results: The AKT1 E17K mutation was detected in 4% of EC. One of the AKT1-mutated tumors showed coexisting PTEN loss-of-function mutation.

    Conclusion: We identified the AKT1 E17K mutation in 4% of endometrial carcinomas. The presence of double AKT1/ PTEN mutants is in accord with the hypothesis that in EC more than one hit is required to completely activate the PI3K pathway. Furthermore, AKT1 mutations were limited to high grade, advanced stage tumors suggesting that this mutation confers a more aggressive tumor behavior.

    Gynecologic oncology 2010;116;1;88-91

  • High prevalence of PIK3CA/AKT pathway mutations in papillary neoplasms of the breast.

    Troxell ML, Levine J, Beadling C, Warrick A, Dunlap J, Presnell A, Patterson J, Shukla A, Olson NR, Heinrich MC and Corless CL

    Department of Pathology, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA. troxellm@ohsu.edu

    Papillary lesions of the breast have an uncertain relationship to the histogenesis of breast carcinoma, and are thus diagnostically and managerially challenging. Molecular genetic studies have provided evidence that ductal carcinoma in situ and even atypical ductal hyperplasia are precursors of invasive carcinoma. However, papillary lesions have been seldom studied. We screened papillary breast neoplasms for activating point mutations in PIK3CA, AKT1, and RAS protein-family members, which are common in invasive ductal carcinomas. DNA extracts were prepared from sections of 89 papillary lesions, including 61 benign papillomas (28 without significant hyperplasia; 33 with moderate to florid hyperplasia), 11 papillomas with atypical ductal hyperplasia, 7 papillomas with carcinoma in situ, and 10 papillary carcinomas. Extracts were screened for PIK3CA and AKT1 mutations using mass spectrometry; cases that were negative were further screened for mutations in AKT2, BRAF, CDK, EGFR, ERBB2, KRAS, NRAS, and HRAS. Mutations were confirmed by sequencing or HPLC assay. A total of 55 of 89 papillary neoplasms harbored mutations (62%), predominantly in AKT1 (E17K, 27 cases) and PIK3CA (exon 20 >exon 9, 27 cases). Papillomas had more mutations in AKT1 (54%) than in PIK3CA (21%), whereas papillomas with hyperplasia had more PIK3CA (42%) than AKT1 (15%) mutations, as did papillomas with atypical ductal hyperplasia (PIK3CA 45%, AKT1 27%, and NRAS 9%). Among seven papillomas with carcinoma in situ, three had AKT1 mutations. The 10 papillary carcinomas showed an overall lower frequency of mutations, including 1 with an AKT1 mutation (in a tumor arising from a papilloma), 1 with an NRAS gene mutation (Q61H), and 2 with PIK3CA mutations (1 overlapping with the NRAS Q61H). These findings indicate that approximately two-thirds of papillomas are driven by mutations in the PI3CA/AKT pathway. Some papillary carcinomas may arise from these lesions, but others may have different molecular origins.

    Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2010;23;1;27-37

  • Phosphatidyl-inositol-3-kinase alpha catalytic subunit mutation and response to neoadjuvant endocrine therapy for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

    Ellis MJ, Lin L, Crowder R, Tao Y, Hoog J, Snider J, Davies S, DeSchryver K, Evans DB, Steinseifer J, Bandaru R, Liu W, Gardner H, Semiglazov V, Watson M, Hunt K, Olson J and Baselga J

    Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63119, USA. mellis@dom.wustl.edu

    Mutations in the alpha catalytic subunit of phosphoinositol-3-kinase (PIK3CA) occur in approximately 30% of ER positive breast cancers. We therefore sought to determine the impact of PIK3CA mutation on response to neoadjuvant endocrine therapy. Exons 9 (helical domain) and 20 (kinase domain-KD) mutations in PIK3CA were determined samples from four neoadjuvant endocrine therapy trials.Interactions with clinical, pathological, and biomarker response parameters were examined. A weak negative interaction between PIK3CA mutation status and clinical response to neoadjuvant endocrine treatment was detected(N = 235 P < or = 0.05), but not with treatment-induced changes in Ki67-based proliferation index (N = 418). Despite these findings, PIK3CA KD mutation was a favorable prognostic factor for relapse-free survival (RFS log-rank P = 0.02) in the P024 trial (N = 153). The favorable prognostic effect was maintained in a multivariable analysis(N = 125) that included the preoperative endocrine prognostic index, an approach to predicting RFS based on post neoadjuvant endocrine therapy pathological stage, ER, and Ki67 levels (HR for no PIK3CA KD mutation, 14, CI 1.9-105 P = 0.01). PIK3CA mutation status did not strongly interact with neoadjuvant endocrine therapy responsiveness in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Nonetheless, as with other recent studies, a favorable interaction between PIK3CA KD mutation and prognosis was detected. The mechanism for the favorable prognostic impact of PIK3CA mutation status therefore remains unexplained.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 3P50 CA68438-07S2, NCI U10 CA076001, P50 CA068438, R01 CA095614, R01 CA095614-06, U10 CA076001

    Breast cancer research and treatment 2010;119;2;379-90

  • Non-redundant roles of phosphoinositide 3-kinase isoforms alpha and beta in glycoprotein VI-induced platelet signaling and thrombus formation.

    Gilio K, Munnix IC, Mangin P, Cosemans JM, Feijge MA, van der Meijden PE, Olieslagers S, Chrzanowska-Wodnicka MB, Lillian R, Schoenwaelder S, Koyasu S, Sage SO, Jackson SP and Heemskerk JW

    Department of Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, University of Maastricht, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.

    Platelets are activated by adhesion to vascular collagen via the immunoglobulin receptor, glycoprotein VI (GPVI). This causes potent signaling toward activation of phospholipase Cgamma2, which bears similarity to the signaling pathway evoked by T- and B-cell receptors. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) plays an important role in collagen-induced platelet activation, because this activity modulates the autocrine effects of secreted ADP. Here, we identified the PI3K isoforms directly downstream of GPVI in human and mouse platelets and determined their role in GPVI-dependent thrombus formation. The targeting of platelet PI3Kalpha or -beta strongly and selectively suppressed GPVI-induced Ca(2+) mobilization and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate production, thus demonstrating enhancement of phospholipase Cgamma2 by PI3Kalpha/beta. That PI3Kalpha and -beta have a non-redundant function in GPVI-induced platelet activation and thrombus formation was concluded from measurements of: (i) serine phosphorylation of Akt, (ii) dense granule secretion, (iii) intracellular Ca(2+) increases and surface expression of phosphatidylserine under flow, and (iv) thrombus formation, under conditions where PI3Kalpha/beta was blocked or p85alpha was deficient. In contrast, GPVI-induced platelet activation was insensitive to inhibition or deficiency of PI3Kdelta or -gamma. Furthermore, PI3Kalpha/beta, but not PI3Kgamma, contributed to GPVI-induced Rap1b activation and, surprisingly, also to Rap1b-independent platelet activation via GPVI. Together, these findings demonstrate that both PI3Kalpha and -beta isoforms are required for full GPVI-dependent platelet Ca(2+) signaling and thrombus formation, partly independently of Rap1b. This provides a new mechanistic explanation for the anti-thrombotic effect of PI3K inhibition and makes PI3Kalpha an interesting new target for anti-platelet therapy.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2009;284;49;33750-62

  • Differential enhancement of breast cancer cell motility and metastasis by helical and kinase domain mutations of class IA phosphoinositide 3-kinase.

    Pang H, Flinn R, Patsialou A, Wyckoff J, Roussos ET, Wu H, Pozzuto M, Goswami S, Condeelis JS, Bresnick AR, Segall JE and Backer JM

    Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.

    Class IA (p85/p110) phosphoinositide 3-kinases play a major role in regulating cell growth, survival, and motility. Activating mutations in the p110alpha isoform of the class IA catalytic subunit (PIK3CA) are commonly found in human cancers. These mutations lead to increased proliferation and transformation in cultured cells, but their effects on cell motility and tumor metastasis have not been evaluated. We used lentiviral-mediated gene transfer and knockdown to produce stable MDA-MB-231 cells in which the endogenous human p110alpha is replaced with either wild-type bovine p110alpha or the two most common activating p110alpha mutants, the helical domain mutant E545K and the kinase domain mutant H1047R. The phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway was hyperactivated in cells expressing physiologic levels of helical or kinase domain mutants. Cells expressing either mutant showed increased motility in vitro, but only cells expressing the helical domain mutant showed increased directionality in a chemotaxis assay. In severe combined immunodeficient mice, xenograft tumors expressing either mutant showed increased rates of tumor growth compared with tumors expressing wild-type p110alpha. However, tumors expressing the p110alpha helical domain mutant showed a marked increase in both tumor cell intravasation into the blood and tumor cell extravasation into the lung after tail vein injection compared with tumors expressing wild-type p110alpha or the kinase domain mutant. Our observations suggest that, when compared with kinase domain mutations in a genetically identical background, expression of helical domain mutants of p110alpha produce a more severe metastatic phenotype.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA113395, P01 CA 100324, P01 CA100324, P01 CA100324-060008, P30 CA013330, R01 CA113395, R01 CA113395-04; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM55692, R01 GM055692, R01 GM055692-12

    Cancer research 2009;69;23;8868-76

  • PIK3CA in breast carcinoma: a mutational analysis of sporadic and hereditary cases.

    Michelucci A, Di Cristofano C, Lami A, Collecchi P, Caligo A, Decarli N, Leopizzi M, Aretini P, Bertacca G, Porta RP, Ricci S, Della Rocca C, Stanta G, Bevilacqua G and Cavazzana A

    Division of Surgical, Molecular and Ultrastructural Pathology, Department of Oncology, University of Pisa, University Hospital of Pisa, Italy.

    The PI3K-Akt cascade is a key signaling pathway involved in cell proliferation, survival, and growth. Activating PIK3CA mutations have been reported in breast carcinoma (BC). The aim of this study was to characterize the PIK3CA mutations at exons 9 and 20 in a series of 176 sporadic and 22 hereditary BCs and to correlate the results with clinicopathologic parameters and survival. In sporadic BC, 68 missense mutations were detected. PIK3CA mutations were significantly associated with ER+ in HER2-negative cases. A higher frequency of PIK3CA mutations was present in lobular carcinoma compared with ductal carcinoma (50% vs. 35%). There was no association between the survival and PIK3CA mutational status. In hereditary BC, PIK3CA mutations were found only in the BRCA2 group. The PIK3CA mutation seems to characterize the luminal-type BC, in both sporadic and BRCA2 mutated forms, and is absent in the basal-type BC, in both the sporadic and BRCA1 mutated forms.

    Diagnostic molecular pathology : the American journal of surgical pathology, part B 2009;18;4;200-5

  • Lapatinib monotherapy in patients with relapsed, advanced, or metastatic breast cancer: efficacy, safety, and biomarker results from Japanese patients phase II studies.

    Toi M, Iwata H, Fujiwara Y, Ito Y, Nakamura S, Tokuda Y, Taguchi T, Rai Y, Aogi K, Arai T, Watanabe J, Wakamatsu T, Katsura K, Ellis CE, Gagnon RC, Allen KE, Sasaki Y and Takashima S

    Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 54 Kawaracho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan. toi@kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp

    Background: HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) relapsing after trastuzumab-based therapy may require continued HER2 receptor inhibition to control the disease and preserve the patients' quality-of-life. Efficacy and safety of lapatinib monotherapy was evaluated in Japanese breast cancer patients after trastuzumab-based therapies.

    Methods: In studies, EGF100642 and EGF104911 evaluated the efficacy and safety of oral lapatinib given 1500 mg once daily in patients with advanced or MBC. All patients progressed on anthracyclines and taxanes; HER2-positive patients had also progressed on trastuzumab.

    Results: For HER2-positive tumours (n=100), objective response rate was 19.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 11.8-28.1) and clinical benefit rate (CBR) was 25.0% (95% CI: 16.9-34.7). One out of 22 HER2-negative tumour was documented as complete response (n=22). The median time-to-progression (TTP) in the HER2-positive and HER2-negative groups was 13.0 and 8.0 weeks (P=0.007); median overall survival was 58.3 and 40.0 weeks, respectively. The most frequent adverse event was diarrhoea. TTP and CBR were significantly associated with HER2 expression. Patients with tumours harbouring an H1047R PIK3CA mutation or low expression of PTEN derived clinical benefit from lapatinib.

    Conclusion: Lapatinib monotherapy had shown anti-tumour activity in Japanese patients with HER2-positive MBC that relapsed after trastuzumab-based therapy, including those with brain metastases. Patients benefiting from lapatinib may have biomarker profiles differing from that reported for trastuzumab.

    British journal of cancer 2009;101;10;1676-82

  • PIK3CA mutations predict local recurrences in rectal cancer patients.

    He Y, Van't Veer LJ, Mikolajewska-Hanclich I, van Velthuysen ML, Zeestraten EC, Nagtegaal ID, van de Velde CJ and Marijnen CA

    Departments of Experimental Therapy, Pathology, and Radiotherapy, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

    Purpose: Identifying rectal cancer patients at risk for local recurrence would allow for refinement in the selection of patients who would benefit from preoperative radiotherapy. PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations are commonly found in colon cancers, but their prevalence has not been clearly assessed in rectal cancer. In this study, we aim to determine the mutation frequencies of PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF and to investigate whether a mutation may be used as a prognostic parameter in rectal cancer patients.

    We evaluated DNA mutations in PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF in 240 stage I to III rectal tumors obtained from nonirradiated patients from the Dutch Total Mesorectal Excision trial.

    Results: PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations were identified in 19 (7.9%), 81 (33.9%), and 5 (2.1%) rectal cancers. Patients with PIK3CA mutations developed more local recurrences (5-year risks, 27.8% versus 9.4%; P = 0.006) and tended to develop these recurrences more rapidly after surgery (median local recurrence-free interval since surgery: 7.9 versus 19.6 months; P = 0.07) than patients without PIK3CA mutations. In multivariate analysis, PIK3CA mutations remained as an independent predictor for the development of local recurrences (hazard ratio, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-9.2; P = 0.017), next to tumor-node-metastasis stage.

    Conclusion: PIK3CA mutations can be used as a biomarker in identifying rectal cancer patients with an increased risk for local recurrences. Currently, our findings suggest that prospective evaluation of PIK3CA mutation status could reduce overtreatment by preoperative radiotherapy for the low-risk patients who might otherwise only experience the side effects.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;22;6956-62

  • Aurora-A down-regulates IkappaBalpha via Akt activation and interacts with insulin-like growth factor-1 induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway for cancer cell survival.

    Yao JE, Yan M, Guan Z, Pan CB, Xia LP, Li CX, Wang LH, Long ZJ, Zhao Y, Li MW, Zheng FM, Xu J, Lin DJ and Liu Q

    State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, 651 Dongfeng Road East, Guangzhou, PR China.

    Background: The mitotic Aurora-A kinase exerts crucial functions in maintaining mitotic fidelity. As a bona fide oncoprotein, Aurora-A aberrant overexpression leads to oncogenic transformation. Yet, the mechanisms by which Aurora-A enhances cancer cell survival remain to be elucidated.

    Results: Here, we found that Aurora-A overexpression was closely correlated with clinic stage and lymph node metastasis in tongue carcinoma. Aurora-A inhibitory VX-680 suppressed proliferation, induced apoptosis and markedly reduced migration in cancer cells. We further showed that insulin-like growth factor-1, a PI3K physiological activator, reversed VX-680-decreased cell survival and motility. Conversely, wortmannin, a PI3K inhibitor, combined with VX-680 showed a synergistic effect on inducing apoptosis and suppressing migration. In addition, Aurora-A inhibition suppressed Akt activation, and VX-680-induced apoptosis was attenuated by Myr-Akt overexpression, revealing a cross-talk between Aurora-A and PI3K pathway interacting at Akt activation. Significantly, we showed that suppression of Aurora-A decreased phosphorylated Akt and was associated with increased IkappaBalpha expression. By contrast, Aurora-A overexpression upregulated Akt activity and downregulated IkappaBalpha, these changes were accompanied by nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-kappaB and increased expression of its target gene Bcl-xL. Lastly, Aurora-A overexpression induced IkappaBalpha reduction was abrogated by suppression of Akt either chemically or genetically.

    Conclusion: Taken together, our data established that Aurora-A, via activating Akt, stimulated nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathway to promote cancer cell survival, and promised a novel combined chemotherapy targeting both Aurora-A and PI3K in cancer treatment.

    Molecular cancer 2009;8;95

  • A prospective cohort study shows unique epigenetic, genetic, and prognostic features of synchronous colorectal cancers.

    Nosho K, Kure S, Irahara N, Shima K, Baba Y, Spiegelman D, Meyerhardt JA, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS and Ogino S

    Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    Synchronous colorectal neoplasias (2 or more primary carcinomas identified in the same patient) are caused by common genetic and environmental factors and can be used to study the field effect. Synchronous colon cancers have not been compared with control solitary cancers in a prospective study.

    Methods: We analyzed data collected from 47 patients with synchronous colorectal cancers and 2021 solitary colorectal cancers (controls) in 2 prospective cohort studies. Tumors samples were analyzed for methylation in LINE-1 and 16 CpG islands (CACNA1G, CDKN2A [p16], CRABP1, IGF2, MLH1, NEUROG1, RUNX3, SOCS1, CHFR, HIC1, IGFBP3, MGMT, MINT1, MINT31, p14 [ARF], and WRN); microsatellite instability (MSI); the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP); 18q loss of heterozygosity; KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutations; and expression of beta-catenin, p53, p21, p27, cyclin D1, fatty acid synthase, and cyclooxygenase-2.

    Results: Compared with patients with solitary colorectal cancer, synchronous colorectal cancer patients had reduced overall survival time (log-rank, P = .0048; hazard ratio [HR], 1.71; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-2.50; P = .0053; multivariate HR, 1.47; 95% CI: 1.00-2.17; P = .049). Compared with solitary tumors, synchronous tumors more frequently contained BRAF mutations (P = .0041), CIMP-high (P = .013), and MSI-high (P = .037). Methylation levels of LINE-1 (Spearman r = 0.82; P = .0072) and CpG island methylation (P < .0001) correlated between synchronous cancer pairs from the same individuals.

    Conclusions: Synchronous colorectal cancers had more frequent mutations in BRAF, were more frequently CIMP- and MSI-high, and had a worse prognosis than solitary colorectal cancers. Similar epigenomic and epigenetic events were frequently observed within a synchronous cancer pair, suggesting the presence of a field defect.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K07 CA122826, K07 CA122826-01A1, K07 CA122826-02, K07 CA122826-03, P01 CA055075, P01 CA055075-15, P01 CA087969, P01 CA087969-10, P01 CA55075, P01 CA87969, P50 CA127003, P50 CA127003-03; NIAID NIH HHS: R01 AI112339

    Gastroenterology 2009;137;5;1609-20.e1-3

  • PI3K/Akt pathway mutations in retinoblastoma.

    Cohen Y, Merhavi-Shoham E, Avraham-Lubin BC, Savetsky M, Frenkel S, Pe'er J and Goldenberg-Cohen N

    Department of Gynecology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.

    Purpose: Many malignancies are known to be associated with abnormal activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway. Recently, a somatic mutation in the AKT1 gene (E17K) was identified in a small proportion of human tumors. This mutation activated AKT1 by means of abnormal membrane recruitment and stimulated downstream signaling. This study was designed to analyze AKT1 mutations in retinoblastoma and gain insights into the role PI3K-AKT pathway plays in the development of this tumor.

    Methods: Twenty-four samples of retinoblastoma from children were analyzed for mutations in the AKT1, PTEN and K-RAS genes, using a chip-based matrix-assisted laser desorption-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometer. Mutations in the PIK3CA gene were analyzed in 16 retinoblastoma samples using direct sequencing.

    Results: These results show that the mutation E17K/AKT1 was not detected in the 24 samples of retinoblastoma analyzed. K-RAS mutations were identified in two samples. There were no mutations in any of the other genes analyzed by a mass array system. On direct sequencing of 16 samples for the PIK3CA gene, one sample showed gain of function mutation in exon 9. In another sample, a genetic polymorphism of unknown significance (rs17849079) was detected in exon 20.

    Conclusions: Although the PI3K-AKT pathway is known to be dysregulated in retinoblastoma, the low frequency of oncogenic mutations in the AKT1, PIK3CA, and PTEN genes, suggests a different activating mechanism.

    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 2009;50;11;5054-6

  • PIK3CA amplification is predictive of poor prognosis in Tunisian patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

    Fendri A, Khabir A, Mnejja W, Sellami-Boudawara T, Daoud J, Frikha M, Ghorbel A, Gargouri A and Mokdad-Gargouri R

    Laboratory of Cancer Genetic and Production of Recombinant Proteins, Route Sidi, Mansour Sfax, Sfax, Tunisia.

    PI3Ks (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases) are lipid kinases that regulate signalling pathways involved in cell proliferation, motility, and adhesion. Somatic mutations and amplification of the PIK3CA gene have been reported in various types of human cancers. However, little is known about the frequency and prognosis role of PIK3CA activation in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This study was conducted with the aim to screen for PIK3CA mutations in the two hot spot regions (exons 9 and 20) and to investigate for the PIK3CA gene amplification combined with the expression analysis of the phosphorylated Akt (pAkt). We showed that among 88 specimens, none had mutation in the helical domain (exon 9) and only one (1.13%) had mutation in the kinase domain (exon 20). On the other hand, PIK3CA gene amplification was found in 21.6% of cases and was strongly associated with distant metastasis (P = 0.002), lymph node involvement (P = 0.032), and advanced tumor stage (P < 0.001). Moreover, patients with PIK3CA copy number gain have a significant reduced overall survival time (P log rank = 0.02). We concluded that PIK3CA gene amplification is frequent in NPC and occurs in the advanced stage of NPC. Moreover, our finding emphasizes the association of PIK3CA gene amplification with worse prognosis in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

    Cancer science 2009;100;11;2034-9

  • Suppression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase prevents cardiac aging in mice.

    Inuzuka Y, Okuda J, Kawashima T, Kato T, Niizuma S, Tamaki Y, Iwanaga Y, Yoshida Y, Kosugi R, Watanabe-Maeda K, Machida Y, Tsuji S, Aburatani H, Izumi T, Kita T and Shioi T

    Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.

    Background: Heart failure is a typical age-associated disease. Although age-related changes of heart are likely to predispose aged people to heart failure, little is known about the molecular mechanism of cardiac aging.

    We analyzed age-associated changes in murine heart and the manner in which suppression of the p110alpha isoform of phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity modified cardiac aging. Cardiac function declined in old mice associated with the expression of senescence markers. Accumulation of ubiquitinated protein and lipofuscin, as well as comprehensive gene expression profiling, indicated that dysregulation of protein quality control was a characteristic of cardiac aging. Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase preserved cardiac function and attenuated expression of the senescence markers associated with enhanced autophagy. Suppression of target of rapamycin, a downstream effector of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, also prevented lipofuscin accumulation in the heart.

    Conclusions: Suppression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase prevented many age-associated changes in the heart and preserved cardiac function of aged mice.

    Circulation 2009;120;17;1695-703

  • Oncogene mutations, copy number gains and mutant allele specific imbalance (MASI) frequently occur together in tumor cells.

    Soh J, Okumura N, Lockwood WW, Yamamoto H, Shigematsu H, Zhang W, Chari R, Shames DS, Tang X, MacAulay C, Varella-Garcia M, Vooder T, Wistuba II, Lam S, Brekken R, Toyooka S, Minna JD, Lam WL and Gazdar AF

    Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States of America.

    Background: Activating mutations in one allele of an oncogene (heterozygous mutations) are widely believed to be sufficient for tumorigenesis. However, mutant allele specific imbalance (MASI) has been observed in tumors and cell lines harboring mutations of oncogenes.

    We determined 1) mutational status, 2) copy number gains (CNGs) and 3) relative ratio between mutant and wild type alleles of KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA and EGFR genes by direct sequencing and quantitative PCR assay in over 400 human tumors, cell lines, and xenografts of lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Examination of a public database indicated that homozygous mutations of five oncogenes were frequent (20%) in 833 cell lines of 12 tumor types. Our data indicated two major forms of MASI: 1) MASI with CNG, either complete or partial; and 2) MASI without CNG (uniparental disomy; UPD), due to complete loss of wild type allele. MASI was a frequent event in mutant EGFR (75%) and was due mainly to CNGs, while MASI, also frequent in mutant KRAS (58%), was mainly due to UPD. Mutant: wild type allelic ratios at the genomic level were precisely maintained after transcription. KRAS mutations or CNGs were significantly associated with increased ras GTPase activity, as measured by ELISA, and the two molecular changes were synergistic. Of 237 lung adenocarcinoma tumors, the small number with both KRAS mutation and CNG were associated with shortened survival.

    Conclusions: MASI is frequently present in mutant EGFR and KRAS tumor cells, and is associated with increased mutant allele transcription and gene activity. The frequent finding of mutations, CNGs and MASI occurring together in tumor cells indicates that these three genetic alterations, acting together, may have a greater role in the development or maintenance of the malignant phenotype than any individual alteration.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P50 CA070907, P50CA70907, U01 CA084971, U01CA084971

    PloS one 2009;4;10;e7464

  • Oncogenic mutation of PIK3CA in small cell lung carcinoma: a potential therapeutic target pathway for chemotherapy-resistant lung cancer.

    Shibata T, Kokubu A, Tsuta K and Hirohashi S

    Cancer Genomics Project, National Cancer Center Research Institute, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan. tashibat@ncc.go.jp

    Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide. This study focused on small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which has a poor clinical prognosis, and attempted to elucidate potential therapeutic molecular targets. A target-specific mutational search revealed mutation of the PIK3CA gene in three of 13 SCLC cell lines and two of 15 primary SCLCs. By introducing these mutant PIK3CA cDNAs, we established artificial "PIK3CA-addicted" cells and found that Tricribine, a small-molecule inhibitor of AKT signaling that is located downstream from PIK3CA, significantly inhibited the growth and colony formation activity of these cells. Using cancer cell lines, we further showed that PIK3CA-mutated SCLC cells are more sensitive to Tricribine than PIK3CA wild-type cells. Additionally, we found that a cisplatin-resistant subclone of PIK3CA-mutant SCLC cells was equally sensitive to Tricribine. This study for the first time uncovered PIK3CA alterations in SCLC, and our findings suggest that anti-AKT molecular therapy could be effective for a subgroup of SCLC, which shows activation of specific genes, such as PIK3CA mutation, and that genetic stratification of SCLC according to the activation status of individual therapeutic target pathways could be clinically beneficial, especially for chemotherapy-resistant/relapsing tumors.

    Cancer letters 2009;283;2;203-11

  • A frequent kinase domain mutation that changes the interaction between PI3Kalpha and the membrane.

    Mandelker D, Gabelli SB, Schmidt-Kittler O, Zhu J, Cheong I, Huang CH, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B and Amzel LM

    The Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    Mutations in oncogenes often promote tumorigenesis by changing the conformation of the encoded proteins, thereby altering enzymatic activity. The PIK3CA oncogene, which encodes p110alpha, the catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase alpha (PI3Kalpha), is one of the two most frequently mutated oncogenes in human cancers. We report the structure of the most common mutant of p110alpha in complex with two interacting domains of its regulatory partner (p85alpha), both free and bound to an inhibitor (wortmannin). The N-terminal SH2 (nSH2) domain of p85alpha is shown to form a scaffold for the entire enzyme complex, strategically positioned to communicate extrinsic signals from phosphopeptides to three distinct regions of p110alpha. Moreover, we found that Arg-1047 points toward the cell membrane, perpendicular to the orientation of His-1047 in the WT enzyme. Surprisingly, two loops of the kinase domain that contact the cell membrane shift conformation in the oncogenic mutant. Biochemical assays revealed that the enzymatic activity of the p110alpha His1047Arg mutant is differentially regulated by lipid membrane composition. These structural and biochemical data suggest a previously undescribed mechanism for mutational activation of a kinase that involves perturbation of its interaction with the cellular membrane.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NCI NIH HHS: CA43460, R37 CA043460; NIDDK NIH HHS: P30 DK079637; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM07184, GM07309, T32 GM007184, T32 GM007309

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2009;106;40;16996-7001

  • Spectrum of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway gene alterations in bladder cancer.

    Platt FM, Hurst CD, Taylor CF, Gregory WM, Harnden P and Knowles MA

    Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, United Kingdom.

    Purpose: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway can be activated by alterations affecting several pathway components. For rational application of targeted therapies, detailed understanding of tumor biology and approaches to predict efficacy in individual tumors are required. Our aim was to assess the frequency and distribution of pathway alterations in bladder cancer.

    We examined the pathway components (PIK3CA, PTEN, TSC1, RHEB, and LKB1) and putative upstream regulators (FGFR3 and RAS genes) for mutation, allelic loss, copy number alteration, and expression in bladder tumors and cell lines.

    Results: No mutations were found in RHEB and only a single mutation in LKB1. PIK3CA mutations were detected in 25% of tumors and 26% of cell lines with a significant excess of helical domain mutations (E542K and E545K). There was over-representation but not amplification of the gene. Loss of heterozygosity of the PTEN region and homozygous deletion were found in 12% and 1.4% of tumors, and reduced expression in 49%. Forty-six percent of cell lines showed alterations that implicated PTEN. Sixteen percent of tumors and 11% of cell lines showed TSC1 mutation, and 9q loss of heterozygosity was common (57%). Pathway alterations were independently distributed, suggesting that the mutation of two pathway members may have additive or synergistic effects through noncanonical functions.

    Conclusions: PI3K pathway alterations are common in bladder cancer. The lack of redundancy of alterations suggests that single-agent PI3K-targeted therapy may not be successful in these cancers. This study provides a well-characterized series of cell lines for use in preclinical studies of targeted agents.

    Funded by: Cancer Research UK: C6228/A5433, C6228/A5437

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;19;6008-17

  • Vitamin D receptor expression is associated with PIK3CA and KRAS mutations in colorectal cancer.

    Kure S, Nosho K, Baba Y, Irahara N, Shima K, Ng K, Meyerhardt JA, Giovannucci EL, Fuchs CS and Ogino S

    Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    Vitamin D is associated with decreased risks of various cancers, including colon cancer. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is a transcription factor, which plays an important role in cellular differentiation and inhibition of proliferation. A link between VDR and the RAS-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway has been suggested. However, the prognostic role of VDR expression or its relationship with PIK3CA or KRAS mutation remains uncertain. Among 619 colorectal cancers in two prospective cohort studies, 233 (38%) tumors showed VDR overexpression by immunohistochemistry. We analyzed for PIK3CA and KRAS mutations and LINE-1 methylation by Pyrosequencing, microsatellite instability (MSI), and DNA methylation (epigenetic changes) in eight CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP)-specific promoters [CACNA1G, CDKN2A (p16), CRABP1, IGF2, MLH1, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1] by MethyLight (real-time PCR). VDR overexpression was significantly associated with KRAS mutation (odds ratio, 1.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-2.16) and PIK3CA mutation (odds ratio, 2.17; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-3.47), both of which persisted in multivariate logistic regression analysis. VDR was not independently associated with body mass index, family history of colorectal cancer, tumor location (colon versus rectum), stage, tumor grade, signet ring cells, CIMP, MSI, LINE-1 hypomethylation, BRAF, p53, p21, beta-catenin, or cyclooxygenase-2. VDR expression was not significantly related with patient survival, prognosis, or clinical outcome. In conclusion, VDR overexpression in colorectal cancer is independently associated with PIK3CA and KRAS mutations. Our data support potential interactions between the VDR, RAS-MAPK and PI3K-AKT pathways, and possible influence by KRAS or PIK3CA mutation on therapy or chemoprevention targeting VDR.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K07 CA122826, K07 CA122826-01A1, K07 CA122826-02, K07 CA122826-03, P01 CA055075, P01 CA055075-17, P01 CA087969, P01 CA087969-10, P01 CA55075, P01 CA87969, P50 CA127003, P50 CA127003-02

    Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2009;18;10;2765-72

  • Prognostic significance and molecular associations of 18q loss of heterozygosity: a cohort study of microsatellite stable colorectal cancers.

    Ogino S, Nosho K, Irahara N, Shima K, Baba Y, Kirkner GJ, Meyerhardt JA and Fuchs CS

    Center for Molecular Oncologic Pathology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney St, Room JF-215C, Boston, MA 02115 USA. shuji_ogino@dfci.harvard.edu

    Purpose: Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at chromosome 18q frequently occurs late during colon cancer development and is inversely associated with microsatellite instability (MSI). 18q LOH has been reported to predict shorter survival in patients with colorectal cancer, whereas MSI-high status has been associated with superior prognosis. However, it is unclear whether 18q LOH in colorectal cancer has any prognostic implication independent of MSI status and other potential predictors of clinical outcome.

    Among 555 non-MSI-high colorectal cancers (stage I to IV) in two independent prospective cohort studies, we examined 18q LOH in relation to other molecular events and patient survival. Cox proportional hazard models computed hazard ratio of death, adjusted for clinical and tumoral characteristics, including KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, beta-catenin, p53, CpG island methylator phenotype, LINE-1 methylation, and John Cunningham (JC) virus T antigen.

    Results: In multivariate logistic regression, 18q LOH was independently associated with JC virus T antigen (odds ratio [OR] = 1.93; P = .0077), body mass index > or = 30 kg/m(2) (obesity; OR = 2.01; P = .014), high tumor grade (OR = 0.40; P = .018), KRAS mutation (OR = 0.66; P = .40), and LINE-1 hypomethylation (for a 30% decrease; OR = 1.92; P = .045). Five-year colorectal cancer-specific survival was 75% among patients with 18q LOH-positive tumors and 74% among those with 18q LOH-negative tumors (log-rank P = .80). Five-year overall survival was 70% among patients with 18q LOH-positive tumors and 68% among those with 18q LOH-negative tumors (log-rank P = .54). Multivariate analysis did not show prognostic significance of 18q LOH.

    Conclusion: In our large prospective study of patients with non-MSI-high colorectal cancer, 18q LOH or allelic imbalance was not associated with patient survival.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K07 CA097992, K07 CA122826, K07 CA97992, P01 CA055075, P01 CA087969, P01 CA55075, P01 CA87969, P50 CA127003

    Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2009;27;27;4591-8

  • Identification of novel gene amplifications in breast cancer and coexistence of gene amplification with an activating mutation of PIK3CA.

    Kadota M, Sato M, Duncan B, Ooshima A, Yang HH, Diaz-Meyer N, Gere S, Kageyama S, Fukuoka J, Nagata T, Tsukada K, Dunn BK, Wakefield LM and Lee MP

    Laboratory of Population Genetics, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

    To identify genetic events that characterize cancer progression, we conducted a comprehensive genetic evaluation of 161 primary breast tumors. Similar to the "mountain-and-hill" view of mutations, gene amplification also shows high- and low-frequency alterations in breast cancers. The frequently amplified genes include the well-known oncogenes ERBB2, FGFR1, MYC, CCND1, and PIK3CA, whereas other known oncogenes that are amplified, although less frequently, include CCND2, EGFR, FGFR2, and NOTCH3. More importantly, by honing in on minimally amplified regions containing three or fewer genes, we identified six new amplified genes: POLD3, IRAK4, IRX2, TBL1XR1, ASPH, and BRD4. We found that both the IRX2 and TBL1XR1 proteins showed higher expression in the malignant cell lines MCF10CA1h and MCF10CA1a than in their precursor, MCF10A, a normal immortalized mammary epithelial cell line. To study oncogenic roles of TBL1XR1, we performed knockdown experiments using a short hairpin RNA approach and found that depletion of TBL1XR1 in MCF10CA1h cells resulted in reduction of cell migration and invasion as well as suppression of tumorigenesis in mouse xenografts. Intriguingly, our mutation analysis showed the presence of activation mutations in the PIK3CA gene in a subset of tumors that also had DNA copy number increases in the PIK3CA locus, suggesting an additive effect of coexisting activating amino acid substitution and dosage increase from amplification. Our gene amplification and somatic mutation analysis of breast primary tumors provides a coherent picture of genetic events, both corroborating and novel, offering insight into the genetic underpinnings of breast cancer progression.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS: Z01 CP010154-08, Z01 CP010155-08

    Cancer research 2009;69;18;7357-65

  • Reduced phosphoinositide 3-kinase (p110alpha) activation increases the susceptibility to atrial fibrillation.

    Pretorius L, Du XJ, Woodcock EA, Kiriazis H, Lin RC, Marasco S, Medcalf RL, Ming Z, Head GA, Tan JW, Cemerlang N, Sadoshima J, Shioi T, Izumo S, Lukoshkova EV, Dart AM, Jennings GL and McMullen JR

    Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, St. Kilda Rd. Central, Melbourne, Victoria 8008, Australia.

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia presenting at cardiology departments. A limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of AF has hindered treatment strategies. The purpose of this study was to assess whether reduced activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K, p110alpha) makes the compromised heart susceptible to AF. Risk factors for AF, including aging, obesity, and diabetes, have been associated with insulin resistance that leads to depressed/defective PI3K signaling. However, to date, there has been no link between PI3K(p110alpha) and AF. To address this question, we crossed a cardiac-specific transgenic mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with a cardiac-specific transgenic mouse expressing a dominant negative mutant of PI3K (dnPI3K; reduces PI3K activity). Adult ( approximately 4.5 months) double-transgenic (dnPI3K-DCM), single-transgenic (DCM-Tg, dnPI3K-Tg), and nontransgenic mice were subjected to morphological, functional/ECG, microarray, and biochemical analyses. dnPI3K-DCM mice developed AF and had depressed cardiac function as well as greater atrial enlargement and fibrosis than DCM-Tg mice. AF was not detected in other groups. Aged DCM-Tg mice ( approximately 15 months) with a similar phenotype to dnPI3K-DCM mice (4.5 months) did not develop AF, suggesting loss of PI3K activity directly contributed to the AF phenotype. Furthermore, increasing PI3K activity reduced atrial fibrosis and improved cardiac conduction in DCM-Tg mice. Finally, in atrial appendages from patients with AF, PI3K activation was lower compared with tissue from patients in sinus rhythm. These results suggest a link between PI3K(p110alpha) and AF.

    The American journal of pathology 2009;175;3;998-1009

  • Nicotine stimulates PPARbeta/delta expression in human lung carcinoma cells through activation of PI3K/mTOR and suppression of AP-2alpha.

    Sun X, Ritzenthaler JD, Zhong X, Zheng Y, Roman J and Han S

    Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.

    We previously showed that nicotine stimulates non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell proliferation through nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-mediated signals. Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor beta/delta (PPARbeta/delta) has also been shown to induce NSCLC cell growth. Here, we explore the potential link between nicotine and PPARbeta/delta and report that nicotine increases the expression of PPARbeta/delta protein; this effect was blocked by an alpha7 nAChR antagonist (alpha-bungarotoxin), by alpha7 nAChR short interfering RNA, and by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K; wortmannin and LY294002) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR; rapamycin). In contrast, this effect was enhanced by PUN282987, an alpha7 nAChR agonist. Silencing of PPARbeta/delta attenuated the stimulatory effect of nicotine on cell growth, which was overcome by transfection of an exogenous PPARbeta/delta expression vector. Of note, nicotine induced complex formation between alpha7 nAChR and PPARbeta/delta protein and increased PPARbeta/delta gene promoter activity through inhibition of AP-2alpha as shown by reduced AP-2alpha binding using electrophoretic gel mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. In addition, silencing of Sp1 attenuated the effect of nicotine on PPARbeta/delta. Collectively, our results show that nicotine increases PPARbeta/delta gene expression through alpha7 nAChR-mediated activation of PI3K/mTOR signals that inhibit AP-2alpha protein expression and DNA binding activity to the PPARbeta/delta gene promoter. Sp1 seems to modulate this process. This study unveils a novel mechanism by which nicotine promotes human lung carcinoma cell growth.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NCI NIH HHS: CA116812, CA123104, K22 CA123104, K22 CA123104-01A2, R01 CA116812, R01 CA116812-01A2

    Cancer research 2009;69;16;6445-53

  • PIK3CA mutation associates with improved outcome in breast cancer.

    Kalinsky K, Jacks LM, Heguy A, Patil S, Drobnjak M, Bhanot UK, Hedvat CV, Traina TA, Solit D, Gerald W and Moynahan ME

    Breast Cancer Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.

    Purpose: In breast cancer, somatic mutations in the PIK3CA gene are common. The prognostic implication of these activating mutations remains uncertain as moderately sized studies have yielded variable outcomes. Our aim was to determine the prognostic implications of PIK3CA mutations in breast cancer.

    Archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary breast tumors, from 590 patients selected for known vital status with a median follow-up of 12.8 years and a tumor >1 cm, were genotyped for PIK3CA mutations. Mutation rates and associations between mutation site and clinicopathologic characteristics were assessed. Progression-free survival, overall survival, and breast cancer-specific survival were examined using Kaplan-Meier or competing risk methodology.

    Results: PIK3CA mutation is identified in 32.5% of breast cancers. PIK3CA mutation significantly associates with older age at diagnosis, hormone receptor positivity, HER2 negativity, lower tumor grade and stage, and lymph node negativity. Patients with PIK3CA mutated tumors have significant improvement in overall survival (P = 0.03) and breast cancer-specific survival (P = 0.004). Analysis for PIK3CA mutation site-specific associations reveals that the H1047R kinase domain mutation highly associates with node negativity (P = 0.007), whereas helical domain hotspot mutations associate with older age at diagnosis (P = 0.004).

    Conclusion: This study defines the positive prognostic significance of PIK3CA mutations. This work is clinically relevant, as it will significantly affect the design of clinical trials planned for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-targeted therapy. Future work may define a population of older age breast cancer patients in whom therapy can be minimized.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;16;5049-59

  • Prognostic and predictive value of common mutations for treatment response and survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

    Souglakos J, Philips J, Wang R, Marwah S, Silver M, Tzardi M, Silver J, Ogino S, Hooshmand S, Kwak E, Freed E, Meyerhardt JA, Saridaki Z, Georgoulias V, Finkelstein D, Fuchs CS, Kulke MH and Shivdasani RA

    Department of Medical Oncology, University Hospital of Heraklion, Voutes and Stavrakia, Heraklion, Crete, Greece. georgsec@med.uoc.gr

    Background: We address the prognostic and predictive value of KRAS, PIK3CA and BRAF mutations for clinical outcomes in response to active agents in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

    Methods: We determined KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA mutations in tumours from 168 patients treated for mCRC at two institutions. All patients received 5-FU-based first-line chemotherapy and treatment outcome was analysed retrospectively.

    Results: KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA mutations were present in 62 (37%), 13 (8%) and 26 (15%) cases, respectively. Multivariate analysis uncovered BRAF mutation as an independent prognostic factor for decreased survival (hazard ratio (HR) 4.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1-7.6). In addition, patients with BRAF-mutant tumours had significantly lower progression-free survival (PFS: HR 4.0, 95% CI 2.2-7.4) than those whose tumors that carried wild-type BRAF. Among 92 patients treated using chemotherapy and cetuximab as salvage therapy, KRAS mutation was associated with lack of response (P=0.002) and shorter PFS (P=0.09). BRAF (P=0.0005) and PIK3CA (P=0.01) mutations also predicted reduced PFS in response to cetuximab salvage therapy.

    Conclusions: These results underscore the potential of mutational profiling to identify CRCs with different natural histories or treatment responses. The adverse significance of BRAF mutation should inform patient selection and stratification in clinical trials.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P50 CA127003, P50CA127003

    British journal of cancer 2009;101;3;465-72

  • Molecular analysis of PIK3CA, BRAF, and RAS oncogenes in periampullary and ampullary adenomas and carcinomas.

    Schönleben F, Qiu W, Allendorf JD, Chabot JA, Remotti HE and Su GH

    Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

    Background: Mutations of KRAS are known to occur in periampullary and ampullary adenomas and carcinomas. However, nothing is known about NRAS, HRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutations in these tumors. While oncogenic BRAF contributes to the tumorigenesis of both pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms/carcinomas (IPMN/IPMC), PIK3CA mutations were only detected in IPMN/IPMC. This study aimed to elucidate possible roles of BRAF and PIK3CA in the development of ampullary and periampullary adenomas and carcinomas.

    Methods: Mutations of BRAF, NRAS, HRAS, KRAS, and PIK3CA were evaluated in seven adenomas, seven adenomas with carcinoma in situ, and 21 adenocarcinomas of the periampullary duodenal region and the ampulla of Vater. Exons 1 of KRAS; 2 and 3 of NRAS and HRAS; 5, 11, and 15 of BRAF; and 9 and 20 of PIK3CA were examined by direct genomic sequencing.

    Results: In total, we identified ten (28.6%) KRAS mutations in exon 1 (nine in codon 12 and one in codon 13), two missense mutations of BRAF (6%), one within exon 11 (G469A), and one V600E hot spot mutation in exon 15 of BRAF. BRAF mutations were present in two of five periampullary tumors. All mutations appear to be somatic since the same alterations were not detected in the corresponding normal tissues.

    Conclusion: Our data provide evidence that oncogenic properties of KRAS and BRAF but not NRAS, HRAS, and PIK3CA contribute to the tumorigenesis of periampullary and ampullary tumors; BRAF mutations occur more frequently in periampullary than ampullary neoplasms.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA109525, R01 CA109525-05, R01CA109525, R21 CA127701, R21 CA127701-01A2, R21CA127701

    Journal of gastrointestinal surgery : official journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2009;13;8;1510-6

  • Mutational analysis of TP53, PTEN, PIK3CA and CTNNB1/beta-catenin genes in human herpesvirus 8-associated primary effusion lymphoma.

    Boulanger E, Marchio A, Hong SS and Pineau P

    Department of Clinical Immunology, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France. emmaboul@ioc.fiocruz.br

    Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)-associated primary effusion lymphoma is a rare non-Hodgkin's lymphoma often associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Mutations in TP53, PTEN, PIK3CA, CTNNB1/beta-catenin genes and deletion of CDKN2A-ARF (p14(ARF)-p16(NK4a I) ) locus were investigated in sixteen primary primary effusion lymphoma tumors and seven primary effusion lymphoma cell lines using PCR and sequencing. TP53 mutations were detected in one primary primary effusion lymphoma tumor (6.2%) and two primary effusion lymphoma cell lines (28.6%). BC-3 and BCP-1 cell lines showed PTEN gene mutations, associated with a loss of PTEN protein expression in both cases. No mutations were detected in PIK3CA and CTNNB1/beta-catenin hotspot sequences. Only BC-3 contained a homozygous deletion of CDKN2A-ARF locus. Although detected at a higher frequency in primary effusion lymphoma cell lines than in primary primary effusion lymphoma tumors, TP53 and/or PTEN mutations, as well as deletion of CDKN2A-ARF locus are uncommon in primary effusion lymphoma, and are found to correlate with the EBV-negative status of primary effusion lymphoma tumors.

    Haematologica 2009;94;8;1170-4

  • PIK3CA alterations in Middle Eastern ovarian cancers.

    Abubaker J, Bavi P, Al-Haqawi W, Jehan Z, Munkarah A, Uddin S and Al-Kuraya KS

    Department of Human Cancer Genomic Research, Research Center, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. jabubakr@kfshrc.edu.sa

    Background: PI3K/AKTsignaling pathway plays an important role in cell growth, proliferation, and tumorgenesis of various malignancies. This signaling pathway has been shown to be frequently altered in several human cancers including ovarian cancers. However the role of this oncogenic signaling pathway has not been explored in the Middle Eastern epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Therefore, we investigated PI3K/AKT genetic alterations such as PIK3CA amplification, PIK3CA mutation, PTEN protein loss and their relationships with various clinicopathological characteristics in 156 EOCs.

    Results: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique and DNA sequencing were used to analyze PIK3CA amplification and mutation respectively. Expression of PIK3CA protein expression (p110 alpha), PTEN, p-AKT and Ki-67 was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. PIK3CA amplification was seen in 54 of 152 (35.5%) EOC cases analyzed; PIK3CA gene mutations in 6/153 EOC (3.9%); KRAS mutations in 3/154 EOC (1.9%), BRAF mutations in 3/156 EOC (1.9%), p53 mutation in 50/154 EOC (32.5%), and loss of PTEN protein expression in 33/144 EOC (22.9%). p110 alpha overexpression was associated with increased phosphorylation of AKT-Ser 473 and with the proliferation marker Ki-67.

    Conclusion: Our data showed mutual exclusivity between the molecular event of PIK3CA amplification and mutations in PIK3CA, KRAS, BRAF genes, which suggests that each of these alterations may individually be sufficient to drive ovarian tumor pathogenesis independently. High prevalence of genetic alterations in PI3K/AKT pathway in a Middle Eastern ovarian carcinoma provides genetic evidence supporting the notion that dysregulated PI3K/AKT pathways play an important role in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancers.

    Molecular cancer 2009;8;51

  • Activation of phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase/AKT signaling is essential in hepatoblastoma survival.

    Hartmann W, Küchler J, Koch A, Friedrichs N, Waha A, Endl E, Czerwitzki J, Metzger D, Steiner S, Wurst P, Leuschner I, von Schweinitz D, Buettner R and Pietsch T

    Department of Pathology and Neuropathology, University of Bonn Medical Center, Sigmund-Freud-St. 25, Bonn D-53105, Germany. wolfgang.hartmann@uni-bonn.de

    Purpose: Hepatoblastoma represents the most frequent malignant liver tumor in childhood. The phosphatidylinositol-3'-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway is crucial in downstream signaling of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases of pathogenic importance in hepatoblastoma. Increased PI3K/AKT signaling pathway activity and activating mutations of PIK3CA, encoding a PI3K catalytic subunit, have been reported in different childhood tumors. The current study was done to analyze the role of PI3K/AKT signaling in hepatoblastoma.

    Immunohistochemical stainings of (Ser473)-phosphorylated (p)-AKT protein, its targets p-(Ser9)-GSK-3beta and p-(Ser2448)-mTOR, as well as the cell cycle regulators Cyclin D1, p27(KIP1), and p21(CIP1) were done and the PIK3CA gene was screened for mutations. In vitro, two hepatoblastoma cell lines treated with the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 were analyzed for AKT and GSK-3beta phosphorylation, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. Additionally, simultaneous treatments of hepatoblastoma with LY294002 and cytotoxic drugs were carried out.

    Results: Most tumors strongly expressed p-AKT, p-GSK-3beta, and p-mTOR; subgroups showed significant Cyclin D1, p27(KIP1), and p21(CIP1) expression. One hepatoblastoma carried an E545A mutation in the PIK3CA gene. In vitro, PI3K inhibition diminished hepatoblastoma cell growth being accompanied by reduced AKT and GSK-3beta phosphorylation. Flow cytometry and 4', 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole stainings showed that PI3K pathway inhibition leads to a substantial increase in apoptosis and a decrease in cellular proliferation linked to reduced Cyclin D1 and increased p27(KIP1) levels. Simultaneous treatment of hepatoblastoma cell lines with LY294002 and cytotoxic drugs resulted in positive interactions.

    Conclusions: Our findings imply that PI3K signaling plays an essential role in growth control of hepatoblastoma and might be successfully targeted in multimodal therapeutic strategies.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;14;4538-45

  • AKT-independent signaling downstream of oncogenic PIK3CA mutations in human cancer.

    Vasudevan KM, Barbie DA, Davies MA, Rabinovsky R, McNear CJ, Kim JJ, Hennessy BT, Tseng H, Pochanard P, Kim SY, Dunn IF, Schinzel AC, Sandy P, Hoersch S, Sheng Q, Gupta PB, Boehm JS, Reiling JH, Silver S, Lu Y, Stemke-Hale K, Dutta B, Joy C, Sahin AA, Gonzalez-Angulo AM, Lluch A, Rameh LE, Jacks T, Root DE, Lander ES, Mills GB, Hahn WC, Sellers WR and Garraway LA

    Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Dysregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway occurs frequently in human cancer. PTEN tumor suppressor or PIK3CA oncogene mutations both direct PI3K-dependent tumorigenesis largely through activation of the AKT/PKB kinase. However, here we show through phosphoprotein profiling and functional genomic studies that many PIK3CA mutant cancer cell lines and human breast tumors exhibit only minimal AKT activation and a diminished reliance on AKT for anchorage-independent growth. Instead, these cells retain robust PDK1 activation and membrane localization and exhibit dependency on the PDK1 substrate SGK3. SGK3 undergoes PI3K- and PDK1-dependent activation in PIK3CA mutant cancer cells. Thus, PI3K may promote cancer through both AKT-dependent and AKT-independent mechanisms. Knowledge of differential PI3K/PDK1 signaling could inform rational therapeutics in cancers harboring PIK3CA mutations.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P01 CA050661, P01CA050661, P30 CA014051, P30 CA016672, P30CA14051, P50 CA093459, P50 CA098258, P50CA093459, P50CA112967, R01 CA085912, R01 CA085912-09, R01CA085912, R33 CA128625, R33CA128625, T32 CA009172, T32CA09172-33, U54 CA112967; NIH HHS: DP2 OD002750, DP2 OD002750-01

    Cancer cell 2009;16;1;21-32

  • Mutational profile of advanced primary and metastatic radioactive iodine-refractory thyroid cancers reveals distinct pathogenetic roles for BRAF, PIK3CA, and AKT1.

    Ricarte-Filho JC, Ryder M, Chitale DA, Rivera M, Heguy A, Ladanyi M, Janakiraman M, Solit D, Knauf JA, Tuttle RM, Ghossein RA and Fagin JA

    Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.

    Patients with poorly differentiated thyroid cancers (PDTC), anaplastic thyroid cancers (ATC), and radioactive iodine-refractory (RAIR) differentiated thyroid cancers have a high mortality, particularly if positive on [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET). To obtain comprehensive genetic information on advanced thyroid cancers, we designed an assay panel for mass spectrometry genotyping encompassing the most significant oncogenes in this disease: 111 mutations in RET, BRAF, NRAS, HRAS, KRAS, PIK3CA, AKT1, and other related genes were surveyed in 31 cell lines, 52 primary tumors (34 PDTC and 18 ATC), and 55 RAIR, FDG-PET-positive recurrences and metastases (nodal and distant) from 42 patients. RAS mutations were more prevalent than BRAF (44 versus 12%; P = 0.002) in primary PDTC, whereas BRAF was more common than RAS (39 versus 13%; P = 0.04) in PET-positive metastatic PDTC. BRAF mutations were highly prevalent in ATC (44%) and in metastatic tumors from RAIR PTC patients (95%). Among patients with multiple metastases, 9 of 10 showed between-sample concordance for BRAF or RAS mutations. By contrast, 5 of 6 patients were discordant for mutations of PIK3CA or AKT1. AKT1_G49A was found in 9 specimens, exclusively in metastases. This is the first documentation of AKT1 mutation in thyroid cancer. Thus, RAIR, FDG-PET-positive metastases are enriched for BRAF mutations. If BRAF is mutated in the primary, it is likely that the metastases will harbor the defect. By contrast, absence of PIK3CA/AKT1 mutations in one specimen may not reflect the status at other sites because these mutations arise during progression, an important consideration for therapies directed at phosphoinositide 3-kinase effectors.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA50706, P30 CA008748, R01 CA050706, R01 CA050706-20, R01 CA072597

    Cancer research 2009;69;11;4885-93

  • Molecular alterations of EGFR and PIK3CA in uterine serous carcinoma.

    Hayes MP, Douglas W and Ellenson LH

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY, USA. monica.prasad@mssm.edu

    Objectives: Uterine serous carcinoma (USC) is an aggressive endometrial cancer associated with poor prognosis despite comprehensive surgical staging and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Biologic targets have yet to be fully explored in this disease and research on such targets could lead to clinical trials utilizing a new class of therapeutics. This study sought to evaluate primary USC tumors for molecular alterations in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the recently characterized oncogene PIK3CA, which encodes the catalytic p110-alpha subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and thus activates the AKT-mTOR oncogenic pathway.

    Methods: Paraffin-embedded archival tissue of 45 primary USC tumors was utilized in this study. Immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR was performed and cases given a score of 0 to 12 calculated as the product of staining intensity (0 to 3+) and the percentage of positively stained cells (0-4), with 1=1-25%, 2=26-50%, 3=51-75%, and 4=76-100%. For mutational analysis, neoplastic tissue was microdissected and DNA was extracted with phenol-chloroform. Exons 18 through 21 of EGFR and exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA, the most commonly mutated exons of these genes, were amplified and directly sequenced.

    Results: When EGFR was evaluated, moderate or strong EGFR membranous staining was observed in 25/45 (56%) USC cases. Thus, a mutational analysis was performed on 35 cases, including all cases with moderate and strong EGFR staining. No mutations were identified in EGFR. In contrast, PIK3CA mutations were confirmed in 5/34 (15%) of USC cases. Four cases were mutated in exon 20 and one case was mutated in exon 9.

    Conclusions: Since optimal treatment of uterine serous carcinoma remains unknown, novel therapeutic approaches need to be actively pursued. In the current study of primary USC tumors, oncogenic mutations of the PIK3CA gene were seen in 15% of USC cases. This represents the first report of this gene mutation in USC. In addition, EGFR stained positively in the majority of cases, suggesting a possible target protein. These findings warrant further investigation and suggest a potential role for therapeutic agents targeting the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway, such as rapamycin, as well as possible targets of EGFR in the treatment of uterine serous carcinoma.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA095427, R01 CA095427-05

    Gynecologic oncology 2009;113;3;370-3

  • Epithelial sodium channel regulated by differential composition of a signaling complex.

    Soundararajan R, Melters D, Shih IC, Wang J and Pearce D

    Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

    Hormonal control of transepithelial sodium (Na(+)) transport utilizes phosphatidylinositide 3'-kinase (PI3K) and Raf-MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK)-ERK-dependent signaling pathways, which impact numerous cell functions. How signals transmitted by these pathways are sorted and appropriately transmitted to alter Na(+) transport without altering other physiologic processes is not well understood. Here, we report the identification of a signaling complex that selectively modulates the cell surface expression of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC), an ion channel that is essential for fluid and electrolyte balance in mammals. Raf-1 and the ubiquitin ligase, Nedd4-2, are constitutively-expressed inhibitory components of this ENaC regulatory complex, which interact with, and decrease the expression of, cell surface ENaC. The activities of Nedd4-2 and Raf-1 are inhibited cooperatively by the PI3K-dependent kinase serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase 1 (SGK1), and the Raf-1-interacting protein glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ1), which are aldosterone-stimulated components of the complex. Together, SGK1 and GILZ1 synergistically stimulate ENaC cell surface expression. Interestingly, GILZ1 and SGK1 do not have synergistic, and in fact have opposite, effects on an unrelated activity, FKHRL1-driven gene transcription. Together, these data suggest that GILZ1 and SGK1 provide a physical and functional link between the PI3K- and Raf-1-dependent signaling modules and represent a unique mechanism for specifically controlling Na(+) transport without inappropriately activating other cell functions.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: K01 DK078679, K01-DK078679, R01 DK056695, R01-DK56695

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2009;106;19;7804-9

  • Phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase as a therapeutic target in melanoma.

    Aziz SA, Davies M, Pick E, Zito C, Jilaveanu L, Camp RL, Rimm DL, Kluger Y and Kluger HM

    Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

    Purpose: Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K) are critical for malignant cellular processes including growth, proliferation, and survival, and are targets of drugs in clinical development. We assessed expression of PI3K in melanomas and nevi, and studied associations between PI3K pathway members and in vitro response to a PI3K inhibitor, LY294002.

    Using Automated Quantitative Analysis, we quantified expression of p85 and p110alpha subunits in 540 nevi and 523 melanomas. We determined the IC(50) for LY294002 for 11 melanoma cell lines and, using reverse phase protein arrays, assessed the association between levels of PI3K pathway members and sensitivity to LY294002.

    Results: p85 and p110alpha tend to be coexpressed (P < 0.0001); expression was higher in melanomas than nevi (P < 0.0001) for both subunits, and higher in metastatic than primary melanomas for p85 (P < 0.0001). Although phospho-Akt (pAkt) levels decreased in all cell lines treated with LY294002, sensitivity was variable. We found no association by t tests between baseline p85, p110alpha, and pAkt levels and sensitivity to LY294002, whereas pS6 Ser(235) and Ser(240) were lower in the more resistant cell lines (P = 0.01 and P = 0.004, respectively).

    Conclusions: Expression of p85 and p110alpha subunits is up-regulated in melanoma, indicating that PI3K is a good drug target. Pretreatment pS6 levels correlated with sensitivity to the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002, whereas PI3K and pAkt did not, suggesting that full activation of the PI3K pathway is needed for sensitivity to PI3K inhibition. pS6 should be evaluated as a predictor of response in melanoma patients treated with PI3K inhibitors, as these drugs enter clinical trials.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 1 P50 CA121974-01, CA115756-01, P50 CA121974, R0-1-CA114277, R01 CA114277, R01 CA115756

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;9;3029-36

  • PIK3CA mutations are not a major determinant of resistance to the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer.

    Prenen H, De Schutter J, Jacobs B, De Roock W, Biesmans B, Claes B, Lambrechts D, Van Cutsem E and Tejpar S

    Department of Digestive Oncology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium.

    Purpose: It has been reported that activating KRAS mutations negatively affect response to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies in metastatic colorectal cancer. The mutation status of signaling molecules downstream of the EGFR target is thus crucial to predict clinical benefit to EGFR-targeted therapies. Other mechanisms of resistance to EGFR inhibitors could involve activating mutations of the other main EGFR effector pathway, i.e., the PI3K/PTEN/AKT pathway.

    We analyzed the PIK3CA and KRAS mutation status in a large group (n = 200) of chemorefractory metastatic colorectal cancers treated with cetuximab (Erbitux) in monotherapy or in combination with irinotecan, and correlated the mutation status with outcome.

    Results: Twenty-three (12%) of the 200 samples carried 1 of the PIK3CA mutations included in our assay. We found no correlation between the presence of a PIK3CA mutation and impaired response to cetuximab.

    Conclusions: Our findings do not provide any evidence for a strong role of PIK3CA mutations as a single marker in determining response to cetuximab in chemorefractory metastatic colorectal cancer.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;9;3184-8

  • PIK3CA mutations in human solid tumors: role in sensitivity to various therapeutic approaches.

    Ligresti G, Militello L, Steelman LS, Cavallaro A, Basile F, Nicoletti F, Stivala F, McCubrey JA and Libra M

    Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are a group of lipid kinases that regulate signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, adhesion, survival and motility. The PI3K pathway is considered to play an important role in tumorigenesis. Activating mutations of the p110alpha subunit of PI3K (PIK3CA) have been identified in a broad spectrum of tumors. Analyses of PIK3CA mutations reveals that they increase the PI3K signal, stimulate downstream Akt signaling, promote growth factor-independent growth and increase cell invasion and metastasis. In this review, we analyze the contribution of the PIK3CA mutations in cancer, and their possible implications for diagnosis and therapy.

    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2009;8;9;1352-8

  • PIK3CA somatic mutations in breast cancer: Mechanistic insights from Langevin dynamics simulations.

    Mankoo PK, Sukumar S and Karchin R

    Department of Biomedical Engineering and Institute for Computational Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.

    Somatic mutations in PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, catalytic subunit, alpha isoform) are reported in breast and other human cancers to concentrate at hotspots within its kinase and helical domains. Most of these mutations cause kinase gain of function in vitro and are associated with oncogenicity in vivo. However, little is known about the mechanisms driving tumor development. We have performed computational structural studies on a homology model of wildtype PIK3CA plus recurrent H1047R, H1047L, and P539R mutations, located in the kinase and helical domains, respectively. The time evolution of the structures show that H1047R/L mutants exhibit a larger area of the catalytic cleft between the kinase N- and C-lobes compared with the wildtype that could facilitate the entrance of substrates. This larger area might yield enhanced substrate-to-product turnover associated with oncogenicity. In addition, the H1047R/L mutants display increased kinase activation loop mobility, compared with the wildtype. The P539R mutant forms more hydrogen bonds and salt-bridge interactions than the wildtype, properties that are associated with enhanced thermostability. Mutant-specific differences in the catalytic cleft and activation loop behavior suggest that structure-based mutant-specific inhibitors can be designed for PIK3CA-positive breast cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P50 CA088843, P50 CA088843-01, P50CA88843

    Proteins 2009;75;2;499-508

  • Frequent activating mutations of PIK3CA in ovarian clear cell carcinoma.

    Kuo KT, Mao TL, Jones S, Veras E, Ayhan A, Wang TL, Glas R, Slamon D, Velculescu VE, Kuman RJ and Shih IeM

    Departments of Pathology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (CCC) is one of the most malignant types of ovarian carcinomas, particularly at advanced stages. Unlike the more common type of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous carcinoma, ovarian CCC is often resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy, and therefore an effective treatment for this tumor type at advanced stages is urgently needed. In this study, we analyzed 97 ovarian CCCs for sequence mutations in KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, TP53, PTEN, and CTNNB1 as these mutations frequently occur in other major types of ovarian carcinomas. The samples included 18 CCCs for which affinity-purified tumor cells from fresh specimens were available, 69 microdissected tumors from paraffin tissues, and 10 tumor cell lines. Sequence mutations of PIK3CA, TP53, KRAS, PTEN, CTNNB1, and BRAF occurred in 33%, 15%, 7%, 5%, 3%, and 1% of CCC cases, respectively. Sequence analysis of PIK3CA in 28 affinity-purified CCCs and CCC cell lines showed a mutation frequency of 46%. Samples with PIK3CA mutations showed intense phosphorylated AKT immunoreactivity. These findings demonstrate that ovarian CCCs have a high frequency of activating PIK3CA mutations. We therefore suggest that the use of PIK3CA-targeting drugs may offer a more effective therapeutic approach compared with current chemotherapeutic agents for patients with advanced-stage and recurrent CCC.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA103937, R01 CA103937-05, R01 CA116184, R01 CA121113, R01 CA129080, R01 CA129080-02, R01-CA116184, R01-CA121113

    The American journal of pathology 2009;174;5;1597-601

  • Genetic alterations in the PI3K pathway in prostate cancer.

    Sun X, Huang J, Homma T, Kita D, Klocker H, Schafer G, Boyle P and Ohgaki H

    International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

    Alterations in the PIK3CA and PTEN genes were assessed in 40 prostate tumors (radical prostatectomy samples). Genetic analyses in glands of the highest Gleason pattern within each tumor revealed PIK3CA amplification in 13%, PIK3CA mutations in 3%, PTEN homozygous deletion in 13% and PTEN hemizygous deletion in 8% of the cases analyzed. Supporting the view that PTEN and PIK3CA act in the same PI3K signaling pathway, genetic alterations in the PIK3CA and PTEN genes were mutually exclusive, except in one tumor. Overall, 13 of the 40 (33%) prostate tumors had alterations in the PI3K pathway. For cases with genetic alterations, other tumor areas with lower Gleason patterns as well as non-tumorous prostate glands were also analyzed. Of nine tumors with Gleason score 7, five cases contained the same genetic alterations in tumor areas of Gleason patterns 3 and 4, whereas in another four cases, genetic alterations were detected only in tumor areas of Gleason 4 but not Gleason 3 patterns. There were no alterations in non-tumorous glands. These results suggest that genetic alterations in the PI3K pathway are common in prostate cancer, and occur mainly through PIK3CA amplification and PTEN hemizygous or homozygous deletion. Glands of Gleason pattern 3 are genetically heterogeneous, some containing the same genetic alterations observed in glands of Gleason pattern 4.

    Anticancer research 2009;29;5;1739-43

  • Infrequent occurrence of PIK3CA mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    Marincevic M, Tobin G and Rosenquist R

    Leukemia & lymphoma 2009;50;5;829-30

  • Functional differences between two classes of oncogenic mutation in the PIK3CA gene.

    Chaussade C, Cho K, Mawson C, Rewcastle GW and Shepherd PR

    Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

    PIK3CA codes for the p110alpha isoform of class-IA PI 3-kinase and oncogenic mutations in the helical domain and kinase domain are common in several cancers. We studied the biochemical properties of a common helical domain mutant (E545K) and a common kinase domain mutant (H1047R). Both retain the ability to autophosphorylate Ser608 of p85alpha and are also inhibited by a range of PI 3-kinase inhibitors (Wortmannin, LY294002, PI-103 and PIK-75) to a similar extent as WT p110alpha. Both mutants display an increased V(max) but while a PDGF derived diphosphotyrosylpeptide caused an increase in V(max) for WT p85alpha/p110alpha it did not for the E545K variant and actually decreased V(max) for the H1047R variant. Further, the E545K mutant was activated by H-Ras whereas the H1047R mutant was not. Together these results suggest helical domain mutants are in a state mimicking activation by growth factors whereas kinase domain mutants mimic the state activated by H-Ras.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2009;381;4;577-81

  • Genetic mutations associated with cigarette smoking in pancreatic cancer.

    Blackford A, Parmigiani G, Kensler TW, Wolfgang C, Jones S, Zhang X, Parsons DW, Lin JC, Leary RJ, Eshleman JR, Goggins M, Jaffee EM, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Maitra A, Klein A, Cameron JL, Olino K, Schulick R, Winter J, Vogelstein B, Velculescu VE, Kinzler KW and Hruban RH

    Department of Oncology, The Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.

    Cigarette smoking doubles the risk of pancreatic cancer, and smoking accounts for 20% to 25% of pancreatic cancers. The recent sequencing of the pancreatic cancer genome provides an unprecedented opportunity to identify mutational patterns associated with smoking. We previously sequenced >750 million bp DNA from 23,219 transcripts in 24 adenocarcinomas of the pancreas (discovery screen). In this previous study, the 39 genes that were mutated more than once in the discovery screen were sequenced in an additional 90 adenocarcinomas of the pancreas (validation screen). Here, we compared the somatic mutations in the cancers obtained from individuals who ever smoked cigarettes (n = 64) to the somatic mutations in the cancers obtained from individuals who never smoked cigarettes (n = 50). When adjusted for age and gender, analyses of the discovery screen revealed significantly more nonsynonymous mutations in the carcinomas obtained from ever smokers (mean, 53.1 mutations per tumor; SD, 27.9) than in the carcinomas obtained from never smokers (mean, 38.5; SD, 11.1; P = 0.04). The difference between smokers and nonsmokers was not driven by mutations in known driver genes in pancreatic cancer (KRAS, TP53, CDKN2A/p16, and SMAD4), but instead was predominantly observed in genes mutated at lower frequency. No differences were observed in mutations in carcinomas from the head versus tail of the gland. Pancreatic carcinomas from cigarette smokers harbor more mutations than do carcinomas from never smokers. The types and patterns of these mutations provide insight into the mechanisms by which cigarette smoking causes pancreatic cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA62924, P50 CA062924, P50 CA062924-08S30011, P50 CA062924-090011, P50 CA062924-160011, R01 CA039416, R37 CA043460

    Cancer research 2009;69;8;3681-8

  • Androgen receptor levels and association with PIK3CA mutations and prognosis in breast cancer.

    Gonzalez-Angulo AM, Stemke-Hale K, Palla SL, Carey M, Agarwal R, Meric-Berstam F, Traina TA, Hudis C, Hortobagyi GN, Gerald WL, Mills GB and Hennessy BT

    Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. agonzalez@mdanderson.org

    Purpose: To examine the androgen receptor (AR) levels in breast cancer and to assess the impact of AR expression on patient outcomes.

    Reverse-phase protein arrays were used to measure AR levels and a mass spectroscopy-based approach was used to detect PIK3CA mutations. Means and SDs were generated for AR levels. Linear regression models were used to determine if AR levels differed by tumor subtype and PIK3CA mutation status. Two-sample t tests were used to identify pair-wise differences. Survival probabilities were estimated with the use of the Kaplan-Meier product and log-rank test.

    Results: The median age was 59 years (23-89 years). Significant differences in AR levels existed among different breast tumor subtypes (highest in estrogen receptor-positive and/or progesterone receptor-positive tumors) as well as by PIK3CA mutation status (P < 0.0001 for both). AR levels were significantly higher in breast tumors with kinase domain PIK3CA mutations versus tumors that are wild type or with PIK3CA helical mutations (P = 0.017 and P < 0.0001, respectively). In 347 patients, dichotomized AR level by the median was a significant prognostic factor of recurrence-free survival (P = 0.0002) and overall survival (P = 0.004). High AR levels were associated with a significantly improved recurrence-free survival in 207 patients with early-stage estrogen/progesterone receptor-positive tumors after adjuvant hormonal therapy. A trend (P = 0.07) was found toward higher AR expression in PIK3CA mutant versus PIK3CA wild-type triple-negative breast tumors.

    Conclusions: AR levels may represent a prognostic marker in breast cancers and may provide a valuable tool for selecting treatment. There was an association of PIK3CA mutation (kinase domain) with increased AR levels.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 1K23CA121994-01, 1R21CA120248-01

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2009;15;7;2472-8

  • Concomitant PI3K-AKT and p53 alterations in endometrial carcinomas are associated with poor prognosis.

    Catasus L, Gallardo A, Cuatrecasas M and Prat J

    Department of Pathology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

    The status of p53 and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-AKT (PI3K-AKT) signaling pathway was investigated in 132 endometrial carcinomas, including endometrioid endometrial carcinomas, non-endometrioid endometrial carcinomas, and mixed endometrioid adenocarcinomas-non-endometrioid adenocarcinomas. Results were compared with the clinicopathologic parameters associated with prognosis, patients' follow-up, and other genetic alterations found frequently in these tumors. Molecular genetic differences between low-grade and high-grade endometrioid adenocarcinomas were encountered; ie, PIK3CA mutations were detected in 26 and 34% of cases, respectively. We found p53 alterations in only 17% of high-grade endometrioid adenocarcinomas. In contrast, non-endometrioid adenocarcinomas had a higher frequency of p53 alterations (54%), PIK3CA mRNA overexpression (45%), and exon 20 PIK3CA mutations (21%). In the mixed endometrioid adenocarcinomas-non-endometrioid adenocarcinomas, the most frequent alterations were p53 (50%) and PIK3CA (44%) mutations, followed by PTEN mutations (38%). In some cases, p53 and PIK3CA alterations coexisted, but they rarely coexisted with the PTEN mutations. Our findings suggest that the PIK3CA mutations are frequent events in endometrial carcinomas of any histological type. However, location of the PIK3CA mutations, either in exon 9 or exon 20, varies significantly according to the histologic grade and type of carcinoma. Carcinomas with exon 20 PIK3CA mutations or PIK3CA mRNA overexpression were often high-grade carcinomas associated with myometrial invasion; in contrast, tumors that carried exon 9 mutations were more likely to be low-grade carcinomas. The Kaplan-Meier analysis suggested that p53 alterations (strong immunoexpression or mutations) conferred a worse prognosis (P=0.000). Although alterations in the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway alone did not influence overall survival, patients with deregulated PI3K-AKT pathway (PIK3CA and/or PTEN alterations) and p53 alterations had shorter survival (P=0.000) than patients with only p53 alterations. Such a relationship was lost when we considered exon 9 PIK3CA mutations. Our results contribute to further characterize the molecular genetic model for endometrial carcinogenesis.

    Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2009;22;4;522-9

  • Dependence on PI3K/Akt signaling for malignant rhabdoid tumor cell survival.

    Foster K, Wang Y, Zhou D and Wright C

    Pathology and Laboratory, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA.

    Purpose: Malignant rhabdoid tumors (MRT), although rare, are one of the most aggressive pediatric malignancies. Loss of INI1, a tumor suppressor gene and member of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, is a recurrent genetic characteristic of these tumors and an important diagnostic marker. We have previously demonstrated a novel interaction between the serine/threonine kinase Akt and INI1, as well as other SWI/SNF subunits. This, coupled with experiments in the literature suggesting that the PI3K/Akt pathway is dysregulated in MRT cells, caused us to investigate the activation and importance of this pathway in this tumor type.

    Methods: In this study, we used MTT assays to evaluate the sensitivity of MRT cell lines to PI3K inhibition. Western blot analysis and Raf pulldown assays were used to examine potential mechanisms of PI3K/Akt dysregulation.

    Results: Inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway caused a significant reduction in the survival of the four MRT cell lines tested, and three cell lines demonstrated constitutively active Akt. Two of these constitutively active Akt cell lines abundantly expressed IGF-1R and an inhibitor of IGF-1R, NVP-AEW541, reduced Akt phosphorylation in one of them. The third constitutively active Akt cell line appeared to express a mutant IGF-1R.

    Conclusions: Our data suggests that the PI3K/Akt pathway is a crucial means of maintaining the survival and growth of MRT cells. The cells therefore employ various mechanisms to stimulate this pathway, and growth factor receptor dysregulation appears to be a common method. Drugs that inhibit the PI3K pathway or interfere with IGF autocrine loops may be of great value in treating MRT, which is largely resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic approaches.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA086860, CA122023, R01 CA086860, R01 CA086860-07, R01 CA122023, R01 CA122023-02

    Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology 2009;63;5;783-91

  • Integrated genomic profiling of endometrial carcinoma associates aggressive tumors with indicators of PI3 kinase activation.

    Salvesen HB, Carter SL, Mannelqvist M, Dutt A, Getz G, Stefansson IM, Raeder MB, Sos ML, Engelsen IB, Trovik J, Wik E, Greulich H, Bø TH, Jonassen I, Thomas RK, Zander T, Garraway LA, Oyan AM, Sellers WR, Kalland KH, Meyerson M, Akslen LA and Beroukhim R

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Haukeland University Hospital, 5021 Bergen, Norway.

    Although 75% of endometrial cancers are treated at an early stage, 15% to 20% of these recur. We performed an integrated analysis of genome-wide expression and copy-number data for primary endometrial carcinomas with extensive clinical and histopathological data to detect features predictive of recurrent disease. Unsupervised analysis of the expression data distinguished 2 major clusters with strikingly different phenotypes, including significant differences in disease-free survival. To identify possible mechanisms for these differences, we performed a global genomic survey of amplifications, deletions, and loss of heterozygosity, which identified 11 significantly amplified and 13 significantly deleted regions. Amplifications of 3q26.32 harboring the oncogene PIK3CA were associated with poor prognosis and segregated with the aggressive transcriptional cluster. Moreover, samples with PIK3CA amplification carried signatures associated with in vitro activation of PI3 kinase (PI3K), a signature that was shared by aggressive tumors without PIK3CA amplification. Tumors with loss of PTEN expression or PIK3CA overexpression that did not have PIK3CA amplification also shared the PI3K activation signature, high protein expression of the PI3K pathway member STMN1, and an aggressive phenotype in test and validation datasets. However, mutations of PTEN or PIK3CA were not associated with the same expression profile or aggressive phenotype. STMN1 expression had independent prognostic value. The results affirm the utility of systematic characterization of the cancer genome in clinically annotated specimens and suggest the particular importance of the PI3K pathway in patients who have aggressive endometrial cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K08 CA122833, K08CA122833

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2009;106;12;4834-9

  • Tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms in candidate oncogenes and susceptibility to ovarian cancer.

    Quaye L, Song H, Ramus SJ, Gentry-Maharaj A, Høgdall E, DiCioccio RA, McGuire V, Wu AH, Van Den Berg DJ, Pike MC, Wozniak E, Doherty JA, Rossing MA, Ness RB, Moysich KB, Høgdall C, Blaakaer J, Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, Easton DF, Ponder BA, Jacobs IJ, Menon U, Whittemore AS, Krüger-Kjaer S, Pearce CL, Pharoah PD and Gayther SA

    Gynaecological Oncology Department, UCL EGA Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, UK.

    Low-moderate risk alleles that are relatively common in the population may explain a significant proportion of the excess familial risk of ovarian cancer (OC) not attributed to highly penetrant genes. In this study, we evaluated the risks of OC associated with common germline variants in five oncogenes (BRAF, ERBB2, KRAS, NMI and PIK3CA) known to be involved in OC development. Thirty-four tagging SNPs in these genes were genotyped in approximately 1800 invasive OC cases and 3000 controls from population-based studies in Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States. We found no evidence of disease association for SNPs in BRAF, KRAS, ERBB2 and PIK3CA when OC was considered as a single disease phenotype; but after stratification by histological subtype, we found borderline evidence of association for SNPs in KRAS and BRAF with mucinous OC and in ERBB2 and PIK3CA with endometrioid OC. For NMI, we identified a SNP (rs11683487) that was associated with a decreased risk of OC (unadjusted P(dominant)=0.004). We then genotyped rs11683487 in another 1097 cases and 1792 controls from an additional three case-control studies from the United States. The combined odds ratio was 0.89 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.80-0.99) and remained statistically significant (P(dominant)=0.032). We also identified two haplotypes in ERBB2 associated with an increased OC risk (P(global)=0.034) and a haplotype in BRAF that had a protective effect (P(global)=0.005). In conclusion, these data provide borderline evidence of association for common allelic variation in the NMI with risk of epithelial OC.

    Funded by: Cancer Research UK: 10118, 10119, 10124, 11021, 11022, C8804/A7058; Medical Research Council: G0801875; NCI NIH HHS: CA16056, CA17054, CA61132, CA63464, CA71766, K07 CA080668, K07-CA80668, N01 PC067010, P01 CA017054, P30 CA014089, P30 CA016056, R01 CA063464, R01 CA087538, R01 CA095023, R01 CA87538, R01CA095023, R03 CA113148, R03-CA113148, U01 CA063464

    British journal of cancer 2009;100;6;993-1001

  • PIK3CA mutation is associated with poor prognosis among patients with curatively resected colon cancer.

    Ogino S, Nosho K, Kirkner GJ, Shima K, Irahara N, Kure S, Chan AT, Engelman JA, Kraft P, Cantley LC, Giovannucci EL and Fuchs CS

    Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney St, Room JF-215C, Boston, MA 02115 USA. shuji_ogino@dfci.harvard.edu

    Purpose: PIK3CA mutation and subsequent activation of the AKT pathway play an important role in colorectal carcinogenesis. However, little is known about the prognostic role of PIK3CA mutation in colon cancer.

    Using 450 resectable colon cancers (stage I to III) in two independent prospective cohorts, we detected PIK3CA mutation in 82 tumors (18%) by pyrosequencing. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) of colon cancer-specific and overall mortalities, adjusted for patient characteristics and tumoral molecular features, including the CpG island methylation phenotype, microsatellite instability (MSI), LINE-1 hypomethylation, and p53, CIMP, KRAS and BRAF mutation.

    Results: Compared with patients with PIK3CA wild-type tumors, those with PIK3CA-mutated tumors experienced an increase in colon cancer-specific mortality according to univariate analysis (HR = 1.64; 95% CI, 0.95 to 2.86), which persisted after adjusting for other known or potential risk factors for cancer recurrence (including MSI; multivariate HR = 2.23; 95% CI, 1.21 to 4.11). The effect of PIK3CA mutation on cancer survival seemed to differ according to KRAS mutational status. Among patients with KRAS wild-type tumors, the presence of PIK3CA mutation was associated with a significant increase in colon cancer-specific mortality (HR = 3.80; 95% CI, 1.56 to 9.27). In contrast, PIK3CA mutation conferred no significant effect on mortality among patients with KRAS-mutated tumors (HR = 1.25; 95% CI, 0.52 to 2.96).

    Conclusion: Among patients who undergo a curative resection of colon cancer, PIK3CA mutation is associated with shorter cancer-specific survival. The adverse effect of PIK3CA mutation may be potentially limited to patients with KRAS wild-type tumors.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K07 CA122826, K08 CA120060, K08 CA120060-04, P01 CA055075, P01 CA055075-14, P01 CA087969, P01 CA087969-09, P01 CA55075, P01 CA87969, P50 CA127003, P50 CA127003-02, R01 CA137178; NIGMS NIH HHS: R01 GM041890

    Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2009;27;9;1477-84

  • PIK3CA mutations in colorectal cancer are associated with clinical resistance to EGFR-targeted monoclonal antibodies.

    Sartore-Bianchi A, Martini M, Molinari F, Veronese S, Nichelatti M, Artale S, Di Nicolantonio F, Saletti P, De Dosso S, Mazzucchelli L, Frattini M, Siena S and Bardelli A

    The Falck Division of Medical Oncology, Ospedale Niguarda Ca' Granda, Milan, Italy.

    The monoclonal antibodies (moAb) panitumumab and cetuximab target the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and have proven valuable for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). EGFR-mediated signaling involves two main intracellular cascades: on one side KRAS activates BRAF, which in turn triggers the mitogen-activated protein kinases. On the other, membrane localization of the lipid kinase PIK3CA counteracts PTEN and promotes AKT1 phosphorylation, thereby activating a parallel intracellular axis. Constitutive activation of KRAS bypasses the corresponding signaling cascade and, accordingly, patients with mCRC bearing KRAS mutations are clinically resistant to therapy with panitumumab or cetuximab. We hypothesized that mutations activating PIK3CA could also preclude responsiveness to EGFR-targeted moAbs through a similar mechanism. Here, we present the mutational analysis of PIK3CA and KRAS and evaluation of the PTEN protein status in a cohort of 110 patients with mCRC treated with anti-EGFR moAbs. We observed 15 (13.6%) PIK3CA and 32 (29.0%) KRAS mutations. PIK3CA mutations were significantly associated with clinical resistance to panitumumab or cetuximab; none of the mutated patients achieved objective response (P = 0.038). When only KRAS wild-type tumors were analyzed, the statistical correlation was stronger (P = 0.016). Patients with PIK3CA mutations displayed a worse clinical outcome also in terms of progression-free survival (P = 0.035). Our data indicate that PIK3CA mutations can independently hamper the therapeutic response to panitumumab or cetuximab in mCRC. When the molecular status of the PIK3CA/PTEN and KRAS pathways are concomitantly ascertained, up to 70% of mCRC patients unlikely to respond to EGFR moAbs can be identified.

    Cancer research 2009;69;5;1851-7

  • FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations are involved in the molecular pathogenesis of solar lentigo.

    Hafner C, Stoehr R, van Oers JM, Zwarthoff EC, Hofstaedter F, Landthaler M, Hartmann A and Vogt T

    Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, 93042 Regensburg, Germany. christian.hafner@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

    Background: Solar lentigines (SL) are frequent benign skin lesions appearing on sun-exposed areas especially in elderly people and therefore represent a hallmark of (photo)aged skin. It has been proposed that SL may subsequently evolve into adenoid seborrhoeic keratosis (SK). However, little is known about the genetic basis of SL. In human SK, FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations have recently been identified.

    Objectives: To analyse SL for potential FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations.

    Methods: We screened 30 SL for FGFR3 mutations using a SNaPshot multiplex assay. For PIK3CA mutations we used direct sequencing of exon 9 and a SNaPshot assay for the H1047R hotspot mutation (exon 20). Because psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) lentigines show the V600E BRAF hotspot mutation, we additionally investigated this mutation in SL by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction.

    Results: FGFR3 mutations were detected in five of 30 (17%) SL and PIK3CA mutations in two of 28 (7%) SL. None of 28 SL available for BRAF analysis revealed the V600E mutation.

    Conclusions: Our results suggest that FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations are involved in the pathogenesis of SL. The occurrence of these mutations in both SL and SK suggests a common genetic basis. Our findings furthermore substantiate previous speculations that UV exposure may be a causative factor for FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations in human skin.

    The British journal of dermatology 2009;160;3;546-51

  • Frequent mutations and amplifications of the PIK3CA gene in pituitary tumors.

    Lin Y, Jiang X, Shen Y, Li M, Ma H, Xing M and Lu Y

    Department of Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, People's Republic of China.

    Genetic alterations in the PIK3CA gene of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway have been found in many human tumors, but they have not been explored in pituitary tumors. We undertook the present study to explore mutations and amplifications of the PIK3CA gene in pituitary tumors. DNA sequencing and real-time quantitative PCR were used to examine mutations and amplifications respectively, on genomic DNA samples isolated from 353 cases of pituitary tumors, and immunohistostaining was used to assess PIK3CA expression. About 8 out of 91 (9%) invasive pituitary tumors versus 0 out of 262 (0%) noninvasive tumors were found to harbor somatic mutations in exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene (P<0.001), and the mutation was associated with increased disease recurrence. Genomic PIK3CA amplifications (defined as >/=4 copies) were observed in both invasive and noninvasive tumors, with a prevalence of around 20-40% in various types of pituitary tumors. PIK3CA protein overexpression was observed in cases with high PIK3CA copy number. RAS mutations were also examined and found in 6 out of the 91 (7%) invasive tumors. PIK3CA amplifications were mutually exclusive with PIK3CA or RAS mutations (P<0.001). This study demonstrated for the first time relatively common PIK3CA mutations and amplifications as well as RAS mutations and their tendency of mutual exclusivity in pituitary tumors. The data provide strong genetic evidence supporting a role of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in the tumorigenesis of pituitary tumors, particularly the invasive types.

    Endocrine-related cancer 2009;16;1;301-10

  • Knockin of mutant PIK3CA activates multiple oncogenic pathways.

    Gustin JP, Karakas B, Weiss MB, Abukhdeir AM, Lauring J, Garay JP, Cosgrove D, Tamaki A, Konishi H, Konishi Y, Mohseni M, Wang G, Rosen DM, Denmeade SR, Higgins MJ, Vitolo MI, Bachman KE and Park BH

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase subunit PIK3CA is frequently mutated in human cancers. Here we used gene targeting to "knock in" PIK3CA mutations into human breast epithelial cells to identify new therapeutic targets associated with oncogenic PIK3CA. Mutant PIK3CA knockin cells were capable of epidermal growth factor and mTOR-independent cell proliferation that was associated with AKT, ERK, and GSK3beta phosphorylation. Paradoxically, the GSK3beta inhibitors lithium chloride and SB216763 selectively decreased the proliferation of human breast and colorectal cancer cell lines with oncogenic PIK3CA mutations and led to a decrease in the GSK3beta target gene CYCLIN D1. Oral treatment with lithium preferentially inhibited the growth of nude mouse xenografts of HCT-116 colon cancer cells with mutant PIK3CA compared with isogenic HCT-116 knockout cells containing only wild-type PIK3CA. Our findings suggest GSK3beta is an important effector of mutant PIK3CA, and that lithium, an FDA-approved therapy for bipolar disorders, has selective antineoplastic properties against cancers that harbor these mutations.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA109274, CA88843, P50 CA088843, R01 CA109274, R55 CA109274, T32 CA009071, T32 CA09071-27; NIDDK NIH HHS: T32 DK067872, T32DK067872; NIGMS NIH HHS: T32 GM007814

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2009;106;8;2835-40

  • Genetic variations in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT/mTOR pathway are associated with clinical outcomes in esophageal cancer patients treated with chemoradiotherapy.

    Hildebrandt MA, Yang H, Hung MC, Izzo JG, Huang M, Lin J, Ajani JA and Wu X

    Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

    Purpose: The phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT), and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway has been implicated in resistance to several chemotherapeutic agents. In this retrospective study, we determined whether common genetic variations in this pathway are associated with clinical outcomes in esophageal cancer patients with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma who have undergone chemoradiotherapy and surgery.

    Sixteen tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT1, AKT2, and FRAP1 (encoding mTOR) were genotyped in these patients and analyzed for associations with response to therapy, survival, and recurrence.

    Results: We observed an increased recurrence risk with genetic variations in AKT1 and AKT2 (hazard ratio [HR], 2.21; 95% CI, 1.06 to 4.60; and HR, 3.30; 95% CI, 1.64 to 6.66, respectively). This effect was magnified with an increasing number of AKT adverse genotypes. In contrast, a predictable protective effect by PTEN genetic variants on recurrence was evident. Survival tree analysis identified higher-order interactions that resulted in variation in recurrence-free survival from 12 to 42 months, depending on the combination of SNPs. Genetic variations in AKT1, AKT2, and FRAP1 were associated with survival. Patients homozygous for either of the FRAP1 SNPs assayed had a more than three-fold increased risk of death. Two genes--AKT2 and FRAP1--were associated with a poor treatment response, while a better response was associated with heterozygosity for AKT1:rs3803304 (odds ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.25 to 0.99).

    Conclusion: These results suggest that common genetic variations in this pathway modulate clinical outcomes in patients who undergo chemoradiotherapy. With further validation, these results may be used to build a model of individualized therapy for the selection of the optimal chemotherapeutic regimen.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA111922, R01 CA111922-02, R25 CA057730, R25 CA57730

    Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2009;27;6;857-71

  • Mutational status of EGFR, BRAF, PI3KCA and JAK2 genes in endocrine tumors.

    Ameur N, Lacroix L, Motte N, Baudin E, Caillou B, Ducreux M, Elias D, Chanson P, Schlumberger M and Bidart JM

    International journal of cancer 2009;124;3;751-3

  • Mutation of PIK3CA: possible risk factor for cervical carcinogenesis in older women.

    Cui B, Zheng B, Zhang X, Stendahl U, Andersson S and Wallin KL

    Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. baoxiacui@hotmail.com

    PIK3CA encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI 3-kinase, which regulates signaling pathways important for neoplasia, cell proliferation and apoptosis. Somatic mutations in this gene have been detected in several solid human tumors. We investigated these mutations in cervical carcinoma and its precursors, and their association with HPV infection and patient clinical data. The mutations were analyzed using post-PCR direct genomic DNA sequencing. Samples included 9 cervical cancer cell lines, 184 invasive cervical carcinomas, and 30 cervical neoplasias. Missense mutations of PIK3CA were identified in 15/184 (8.15%) invasive cervical carcinomas. One novel mutation G1638C (Q546H) was found. Three mutations were identified in the cervical cancer lines. No mutations were found in the precursors. The difference in mutation frequency between invasive and pre-invasive lesions was not significant (p=0.1372). In relation to age and HPV, the mutation rate was significantly higher in patients>or=60 years (p=0.001), while the rate of HPV infection was higher in patients<or=60 years (p=0.025). No significant correlation with other clinicopathological data was found. The results suggest that PIK3CA mutations are a late event and uncommon in the progression of malignant tumors, but it appears that they facilitate carcinogenesis in older women.

    International journal of oncology 2009;34;2;409-16

  • Physiogenomic comparison of edema and BMI in patients receiving rosiglitazone or pioglitazone.

    Ruaño G, Bernene J, Windemuth A, Bower B, Wencker D, Seip RL, Kocherla M, Holford TR, Petit WA and Hanks S

    Genomas, Inc., 67 Jefferson St, Hartford, CT, United States. g.ruano@genomas.net

    Background: The thiazolidinediones (TZDs) improve tissue sensitivity to insulin in patients with type II diabetes, resulting in reduced levels of fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin. However, TZDs unpredictably demonstrate adverse effects of increased body weight, fluid retention, and edema. The balance of efficacy and safety of TZD varies widely from patient to patient. Genetic variability may reveal pathophysiological pathways underlying weight gain associated with TZD therapy and due to adiposity and/or edema.

    Methods: We analyzed 384 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 222 cardiovascular and metabolic genes in 87 outpatients with type 2 diabetes receiving thiazolidinedione therapy. Physiogenomic analysis was used to discover associations with body mass index (BMI) and edema.

    Results: The 5 most significant gene associations found between BMI and SNPs were ADORA1, adenosine A1 receptor (rs903361, p<0.0003), PKM2, pyruvate kinase-muscle (rs2856929, p<0.002); ADIPOR2, adiponectin receptor 2 (rs7975375, p<0.007); UCP2, uncoupling protein 2 (rs660339, p<0.008); and APOH, apolipoprotein H (rs8178847, p<0.010). For edema, the 5 most significant gene associations were NPY, neuropeptide Y (rs1468271, p<0.006); GYS1, glycogen synthase 1-muscle (rs2287754, p<0.013); CCL2, chemokine C-C motif ligand 2 (rs3760396, p<0.015); OLR1, oxidized LDL receptor 1 (rs2742115, p<0.015); and GHRH, growth hormone releasing hormone (rs6032470, p<0.023). After accounting for multiple comparisons, ADORA1 was significantly associated with BMI at a false discovery rate (FDR) of <10%.

    Conclusion: Physiogenomic associations were discovered suggesting mechanistic links between adenosine signaling and BMI, and between vascular permeability and drug-induced edema.

    Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry 2009;400;1-2;48-55

  • Selective downregulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase alpha in leukocytes during pregnancy.

    Rohrbach A, Rubio I, Bulgay-Moerschel M, Koenig C, Poehlmann TG, Markert UR and Gruen M

    Center for Molecular Biomedicine, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Jena, Germany.

    Problem: During pregnancy, it is crucially important that the mother's immune system tolerates the developing embryo. Although a number of mechanisms of immunological tolerance have been described, little is known about intracellular signaling events, causing a decrease in the mother's leukocyte activity.

    We investigated the expression and activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) in maternal blood cells of healthy volunteers by Reverse Transcription PCR and Western blotting.

    Results: Our data reveal a selective downregulation of the p110alpha catalytic isoform. This correlated with a slight decrease in PI3K activity as judged by the levels of phosphorylated Akt. CONCLUSION As PI3K are involved in signal transduction of various leukocyte receptors, this downregulation may comprise a means of holding immune functions at bay.

    American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989) 2009;61;2;130-5

  • PI3KCA/PTEN deregulation contributes to impaired responses to cetuximab in metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

    Perrone F, Lampis A, Orsenigo M, Di Bartolomeo M, Gevorgyan A, Losa M, Frattini M, Riva C, Andreola S, Bajetta E, Bertario L, Leo E, Pierotti MA and Pilotti S

    Experimental Molecular Pathology, Department of Pathology, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy.

    Background: It has been reported that KRAS mutations (and to a lesser extent KRAS mutations with the BRAF V600E mutation) negatively affect response to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mAbs in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients, while the biological impact of the EGFR pathway represented by PI3K/PTEN/AKT on anti-EGFR treatment is still not clear.

    We analysed formalin-fixed samples from a cohort of 32 mCRC patients treated with cetuximab by means of EGFR immunohistochemistry, EGFR and PTEN FISH analysis, and KRAS, BRAF, PI3KCA, and PTEN genomic sequencing.

    Results: Ten (31%) of 32 patients showed a partial response to cetuximab and 22 (69%) did not [nonresponder (NR)]. EGFR immunophenotype and FISH-based gene status did not predict an anti-EGFR mAb response, whereas KRAS mutations (24%) and PI3K pathway activation, by means of PI3KCA mutations (13%) or PTEN mutation (10%)/loss (13%), were significantly restricted to, respectively, 41% and 37% of NRs.

    Conclusion: These findings suggested that KRAS mutations and PI3KCA/PTEN deregulation significantly correlate with resistance to cetuximab. In line with this, patients carrying KRAS mutations or with activated PI3K profiles can benefit from targeted treatments only by switching off molecules belonging to the downstream signalling of activated EGFR, such as mammalian target of rapamycin.

    Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology 2009;20;1;84-90

  • PIK3CA amplification associates with resistance to chemotherapy in ovarian cancer patients.

    Kolasa IK, Rembiszewska A, Felisiak A, Ziolkowska-Seta I, Murawska M, Moes J, Timorek A, Dansonka-Mieszkowska A and Kupryjanczyk J

    Department of Molecular Pathology, The Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland.

    PI3K/AKT signalling pathway controls important cellular processes such as the cell proliferation and apoptosis. PIK3CA gene encoding a catalytic subunit of the PI3K is mutated and/or amplified in various neoplasms, including ovarian cancer. We aimed to evaluate PIK3CA alterations and their clinical importance in ovarian cancer patients. Molecular analysis was performed on 117 ovarian carcinomas with the use of qPCR, SSCP and sequencing. In a group of 98 patients with complete clinical data, 62 patients were treated with standard taxane-platinum regimens and 36 patients with platinum-cyclophosphamide regimens. A multivariate analysis was performed by the Cox's and logistic regression models. PIK3CA mutations occurred in 5/117 (4.3%) carcinomas, exclusively in the endometrioid and clear cell types (p = 0.0002); they were also associated with low FIGO stage (p = 0.0003), low tumor grade (p = 0.045) and early patient's age at diagnosis (p = 0.0005). The PIK3CA amplification (predominantly a low-level) was found in 28/117 (24%) ovarian carcinomas. It was more frequent in TP53 mutant tumors (p = 0.012) and tended to associate with high pAKT expression (p = 0.061). The PIK3CA amplification strongly diminished odds of complete remission (OR = 0.25, p = 0.033) and platinum sensitive response (PS, OR = 0.12, p = 0.004) in the taxane-platinum treated patients. The odds of PS were also much lower in all patients with the PIK3CA amplification evaluated together, regardless of the treatment applied (OR = 0.18, p = 0.001). Our results suggest that PIK3CA amplification may be a marker predicting ovarian cancer response to chemotherapy.

    Cancer biology & therapy 2009;8;1;21-6

  • Expression of activated PIK3CA in ovarian surface epithelium results in hyperplasia but not tumor formation.

    Liang S, Yang N, Pan Y, Deng S, Lin X, Yang X, Katsaros D, Roby KF, Hamilton TC, Connolly DC, Coukos G and Zhang L

    Center for Research on the Early Detection and Cure of Ovarian Cancer, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

    Background: The Phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase is a key regulator in various cancer-associated signal transduction pathways. Genetic alterations of its catalytic subunit alpha, PIK3CA, have been identified in ovarian cancer. Our in vivo data suggests that PIK3CA activation is one of the early genetic events in ovarian cancer. However, its role in malignant transformation of ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) is largely unclear.

    Using the Müllerian inhibiting substance type II receptor (MISIIR) promoter, we generated transgenic mice that expressed activated PIK3CA in the Müllerian epithelium. Overexpression of PIK3CA in OSE induced remarkable hyperplasia, but was not able to malignantly transform OSE in vivo. The consistent result was also observed in primary cultured OSEs. Although enforced expression of PIK3CA could not induce OSE anchorage-independent growth, it significantly increased anchorage-independent growth of OSE transformed by mutant K-ras.

    While PIK3CA activation may not be able to initiate OSE transformation, we conclude that activation of PIK3CA may be an important molecular event contributing to the maintenance of OSE transformation initiated by oncogenes such as K-ras.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P50 CA083638, P50-CA83638, R01 CA142776

    PloS one 2009;4;1;e4295

  • PIK3CA mutation occurs in nasopharyngeal carcinoma but does not significantly influence the disease-specific survival.

    Chou CC, Chou MJ and Tzen CY

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, 135, Nanhsiao Street, Changhua 500, Taiwan.

    This study was aimed to test whether PIK3CA, BRAF and RAS are mutated in nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) and, if so, to further determine whether such mutations affect patients' survival. For this purpose, a total of 73 NPCs were subjected to mutational analyses for PIK3CA (exons 4, 7, 9, and 20), BRAF (codon 600), and RAS (codons 12, 13 and 61). Clinicopathological characteristics were correlated to the mutation data. Survival rates were compared with the log-rank test. The result showed that the mutation rate of PIK3CA in NPC (n = 73) was 9.6%, whereas both BRAF (n = 65) and RAS (n = 45) were wild type in every specimen with adequate DNA for analysis. PIK3CA mutation was slightly influenced by sex (P = 0.0418, Fisher's exact test), but had no significant relationship to other clinicopathological characteristics. Disease-specific survival was not significantly affected by PIK3CA mutations (P = 0.8825, log-rank test), albeit it was slightly better in younger patients (< or = 35 vs. >35 years of age) (P = 0.0477). These findings show that mutated PI3K may be involved in the NPC tumorigenesis but does not affect patient's prognosis, suggesting that PI3K is a potential target in NPC for targeted therapeutics using specific kinase inhibitors.

    Medical oncology (Northwood, London, England) 2009;26;3;322-6

  • RNA interference-mediated silencing of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit attenuates growth of human ovarian cancer cells in vitroand in vivo.

    Zhang X, Deng HX, Zhao X, Su D, Chen XC, Chen LJ, Wei YQ, Zhong Q, Li ZY, He X and Yi T

    Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, West China Second Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of China.

    Objective: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway plays a critical role in ovarian cancer cell survival and proliferation. The aim of this study was to determine whether the suppression of the PI3K catalytic subunit p110alphainhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

    Methods: The short hairpin RNA (shRNA) was used to knock down the expression of p110alpha in SKOV3 human ovarian cancer cells. The effects of shRNA on cell viability and apoptosis in vitro were assessed using the MTT assay and flow-cytometric analysis. Furthermore, the growth inhibition capacity of shRNA on ovarian carcinoma xenografts was tested in nude mice. Tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis were measured by proliferating cell nuclear antigen, TUNEL and CD31 immunohistochemistry, respectively.

    Results: Using sequence-specific shRNA, we have silenced the expression of p110alpha in SKOV3 cells. shRNA-mediated knockdown of p110alpha correlated in vitro with decreased cell viability and increased apoptosis. Furthermore, inhibition of p110alpha significantly delayed the growth of ovarian carcinoma xenografts, and ultimately resulted in decreased cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis as well as a reduction in microvessel density.

    Conclusions: Our findings suggest that shRNA-directed targeting of p110alpharaises the potential of its application in human ovarian cancer therapy.

    Oncology 2009;77;1;22-32

  • ADP-ribosylation factor 1 controls the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway to regulate epidermal growth factor-dependent growth and migration of breast cancer cells.

    Boulay PL, Cotton M, Melançon P and Claing A

    Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montréal, Montréal, Quebec H3C 3J7, Canada.

    Activation of intracellular signaling pathways by growth factors is one of the major causes of cancer development and progression. Recent studies have demonstrated that monomeric G proteins of the Ras family are key regulators of cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Using an invasive breast cancer cell lines, we demonstrate that the ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (ARF1), a small GTPase classically associated with the Golgi, is an important regulator of the biological effects induced by epidermal growth factor. Here, we show that this ARF isoform is activated following epidermal growth factor stimulation and that, in MDA-MB-231 cells, ARF1 is found in dynamic plasma membrane ruffles. Inhibition of endogenous ARF1 expression results in the inhibition of breast cancer cell migration and proliferation. The underlying mechanism involves the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway. Our data demonstrate that depletion of ARF1 markedly impairs the recruitment of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit (p110alpha) to the plasma membrane, and the association of the regulatory subunit (p85alpha) to the activated receptor. These results uncover a novel molecular mechanism by which ARF1 regulates breast cancer cell growth and invasion during cancer progression.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2008;283;52;36425-34

  • Reduced expression of SRC family kinases decreases PI3K activity in NBS1-/- lymphoblasts.

    Sagan D, Eckardt-Schupp F and Eichholtz-Wirth H

    Institute of Radiation Biology, Helmholtz Centre Munich, Neuherberg, Germany. daniel.sagan@helmholtz-muenchen.de

    SRC family kinases (SFKs) are involved in the activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). In addition, the activity of this lipid kinase can be regulated by the DNA repair protein NBS1. Here, we describe a disturbed expression of some members of the non-receptor tyrosine kinase family in lymphoblastoid cell lines generated from cells of Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) patients. Especially, only minor amounts of the kinases LCK and HCK are expressed in the NBS1(-/-) cell lines as compared to the consanguineous NBS1(+/-) cells. We demonstrate that SFK activity is important for a proper activation of PI3K in these cells and that it is reduced in NBS1(-/-) cells. We provide evidence that the observed reduced PI3K activity in NBS lymphoblasts is caused by an impaired expression of the SFKs LCK and/or HCK. Thus, our data establish a new function for the NBS1 protein as a regulator of PI3K activity via SFK members.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2008;377;1;181-6

  • Effective use of PI3K and MEK inhibitors to treat mutant Kras G12D and PIK3CA H1047R murine lung cancers.

    Engelman JA, Chen L, Tan X, Crosby K, Guimaraes AR, Upadhyay R, Maira M, McNamara K, Perera SA, Song Y, Chirieac LR, Kaur R, Lightbown A, Simendinger J, Li T, Padera RF, García-Echeverría C, Weissleder R, Mahmood U, Cantley LC and Wong KK

    Somatic mutations that activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) have been identified in the p110-alpha catalytic subunit (encoded by PIK3CA). They are most frequently observed in two hotspots: the helical domain (E545K and E542K) and the kinase domain (H1047R). Although the p110-alpha mutants are transforming in vitro, their oncogenic potential has not been assessed in genetically engineered mouse models. Furthermore, clinical trials with PI3K inhibitors have recently been initiated, and it is unknown if their efficacy will be restricted to specific, genetically defined malignancies. In this study, we engineered a mouse model of lung adenocarcinomas initiated and maintained by expression of p110-alpha H1047R. Treatment of these tumors with NVP-BEZ235, a dual pan-PI3K and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor in clinical development, led to marked tumor regression as shown by positron emission tomography-computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and microscopic examination. In contrast, mouse lung cancers driven by mutant Kras did not substantially respond to single-agent NVP-BEZ235. However, when NVP-BEZ235 was combined with a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor, ARRY-142886, there was marked synergy in shrinking these Kras-mutant cancers. These in vivo studies suggest that inhibitors of the PI3K-mTOR pathway may be active in cancers with PIK3CA mutations and, when combined with MEK inhibitors, may effectively treat KRAS mutated lung cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K08 CA120060, K08 CA120060-01, K08 CA120060-03, P01 CA089021, P01 CA089021-07, P01 CA117969, P01 CA117969-040002, P50 CA090578, P50 CA090578-060009, P50 CA090578-060010, P50 CA127003, R01 CA122794, R01 CA122794-03, R01 CA137008, R01 CA137008-01, U24 CA092782, U24-CA092782; NIA NIH HHS: K08 AG024004, R01 AG2400401; NIGMS NIH HHS: R01 GM036624, R01 GM036624-22, R01 GM041890, R01 GM056203, R01 GM056203-12, R01 GM41890, R37 GM041890, R37 GM041890-20

    Nature medicine 2008;14;12;1351-6

  • Multiple genetic variants along candidate pathways influence plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.

    Lu Y, Dollé ME, Imholz S, van 't Slot R, Verschuren WM, Wijmenga C, Feskens EJ and Boer JM

    Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands. kevin.lu@wur.nl

    The known genetic variants determining plasma HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels explain only part of its variation. Three hundred eighty-four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across 251 genes based on pathways potentially relevant to HDL-C metabolism were selected and genotyped in 3,575 subjects from the Doetinchem cohort, which was examined thrice over 11 years. Three hundred fifty-three SNPs in 239 genes passed the quality-control criteria. Seven SNPs [rs1800777 and rs5882 in cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP); rs3208305, rs328, and rs268 in LPL; rs1800588 in LIPC; rs2229741 in NRIP1] were associated with plasma HDL-C levels with false discovery rate (FDR) adjusted q values (FDR_q) < 0.05. Five other SNPs (rs17585739 in SC4MOL, rs11066322 in PTPN11, rs4961 in ADD1, rs6060717 near SCAND1, and rs3213451 in MBTPS2 in women) were associated with plasma HDL-C levels with FDR_q between 0.05 and 0.2. Two less well replicated associations (rs3135506 in APOA5 and rs1800961 in HNF4A) known from the literature were also observed, but their significance disappeared after adjustment for multiple testing (P = 0.008, FDR_q = 0.221 for rs3135506; P = 0.018, FDR_q = 0.338 for rs1800961, respectively). In addition to replication of previous results for candidate genes (CETP, LPL, LIPC, HNF4A, and APOA5), we found interesting new candidate SNPs (rs2229741 in NRIP1, rs3213451 in MBTPS2, rs17585739 in SC4MOL, rs11066322 in PTPN11, rs4961 in ADD1, and rs6060717 near SCAND1) for plasma HDL-C levels that should be evaluated further.

    Journal of lipid research 2008;49;12;2582-9

  • PIK3CA gene mutations in breast carcinoma in Malaysian patients.

    Ching-Shian Leong V, Jabal MF, Leong PP, Abdullah MA, Gul YA and Seow HF

    Institute of Bioscience, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

    Somatic mutations of phosphoinositide-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha; PIK3CA gene have been reported in several types of human cancers. The majority of the PIK3CA mutations map to the three "hot spots" - E542 K and E545 K in the helical (exon 9) and H1047R in the kinase (exon 20) domains of the p110alpha. These hot spot mutations lead to a gain of function in PI3 K signaling. We aimed to determine the frequency of PIK3CA mutations in the three most common Malaysian cancers. In this study, we assessed the genetic alterations in the PIK3CA gene in a series of 20 breast carcinomas, 24 colorectal carcinomas, 27 nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPC), and 5 NPC cell lines. We performed mutation analysis of the PIK3CA gene by genomic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and followed by DNA direct sequencing in exons 9 and 20. No mutations were detected in any of the 24 colorectal and 27 NPC samples, but one hot spot mutation located at exon 20 was found in a NPC cell line, SUNE1. Interestingly, PIK3CA somatic mutations were present in 6/20 (30%) breast carcinomas. Two of the six mutations, H1047R, have been reported previously as a hot spot mutation. Only one out of three hot spot mutations were identified in breast tumor samples. The remaining four mutations were novel. Our data showed that a higher incidence rate of PIK3CA mutations was present in Malaysian breast cancers as compared to colorectal and nasopharyngeal tumor tissues. Our findings also indicate that PIK3CA mutations play a pivotal role in activation of the PI3 K signaling pathway in breast cancer, and specific inhibitors of PIK3CA could be useful for breast cancer treatment in Malaysia.

    Cancer genetics and cytogenetics 2008;187;2;74-9

  • PIK3CA mutations and BRCA1 expression in breast cancer: potential biomarkers for chemoresistance.

    Santarpia M, Altavilla G, Margeli M, Cirauqui B, Mesiti M, Cavallari V, Ramirez JL, Sanchez-Ronco M, Santarpia L, Taron M and Rosell R

    Human Pathology Department, Medical Oncology Unit, University of Messina, Italy.

    Mutations in PIK3CA and alterations of BRCA1 expression are common in breast cancer and have been correlated with altered sensitivity to taxanes in human cancer cell lines and with outcome of patients. We assessed mutations in the three hotspots of PIK3CA (E542K, E545K and H1047R) and intratumoral BRCA1 mRNA expression by quantitative RT-PCR in 61 breast cancer patients. Mutations of PIK3CA were found in 17 (27.9%) and did not correlate with BRCA1 transcript levels. Correlation with clinical and pathological features identified a significant association of mutations with older patients (P = 0.03). Higher BRCA1 mRNA expression was significantly correlated with advanced disease (P = 0.01) and ERBB2 overexpression (P = 0.02). These findings may help to identify a subgroup of patients who will likely benefit from chemotherapy regimens containing microtubule-disrupting agents.

    Cancer investigation 2008;26;10;1044-51

  • Polymorphism in the IL18 gene and epithelial ovarian cancer in non-Hispanic white women.

    Palmieri RT, Wilson MA, Iversen ES, Clyde MA, Calingaert B, Moorman PG, Poole C, Anderson AR, Anderson S, Anton-Culver H, Beesley J, Hogdall E, Brewster W, Carney ME, Chen X, Chenevix-Trench G, Chang-Claude J, Cunningham JM, Dicioccio RA, Doherty JA, Easton DF, Edlund CK, Gayther SA, Gentry-Maharaj A, Goode EL, Goodman MT, Kjaer SK, Hogdall CK, Hopkins MP, Jenison EL, Blaakaer J, Lurie G, McGuire V, Menon U, Moysich KB, Ness RB, Pearce CL, Pharoah PD, Pike MC, Ramus SJ, Rossing MA, Song H, Terada KY, Vandenberg D, Vierkant RA, Wang-Gohrke S, Webb PM, Whittemore AS, Wu AH, Ziogas A, Berchuck A, Schildkraut JM, Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium, Australian Cancer Study (Ovarian Cancer Group) and Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group

    Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

    Over 22,000 cases of ovarian cancer were diagnosed in 2007 in the United States, but only a fraction of them can be attributed to mutations in highly penetrant genes such as BRCA1. To determine whether low-penetrance genetic variants contribute to ovarian cancer risk, we genotyped 1,536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in several candidate gene pathways in 848 epithelial ovarian cancer cases and 798 controls in the North Carolina Ovarian Cancer Study (NCO) using a customized Illumina array. The inflammation gene interleukin-18 (IL18) showed the strongest evidence for association with epithelial ovarian cancer in a gene-by-gene analysis (P = 0.002) with a <25% chance of being a false-positive finding (q value = 0.240). Using a multivariate model search algorithm over 11 IL18 tagging SNPs, we found that the association was best modeled by rs1834481. Further, this SNP uniquely tagged a significantly associated IL18 haplotype and there was an increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer per rs1834481 allele (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.45). In a replication stage, 12 independent studies from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) genotyped rs1834481 in an additional 5,877 cases and 7,791 controls. The fixed effects estimate per rs1834481 allele was null (odds ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.94-1.05) when data from the 12 OCAC studies were combined. The effect estimate remained unchanged with the addition of the initial North Carolina Ovarian Cancer Study data. This analysis shows the importance of consortia, like the OCAC, in either confirming or refuting the validity of putative findings in studies with smaller sample sizes. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2008;17(12):3567-72).

    Funded by: Cancer Research UK: 10118, A10119; Department of Health; NCI NIH HHS: 1-R01-CA122443, 1-R01-CA76016, CA-58860, CA14089, CA16056, CA17054, CA61132, CA63464, CA71766, K07 CA092044, N01 CN025403, N01 PC067010, N01-CN-25403, N01-CN-67001, P01 CA017054, P30 CA014089, P30 CA016056, R01 CA058598, R01 CA058860, R01 CA063464, R01 CA076016, R01 CA076016-06A1, R01 CA076016-07, R01 CA076016-08, R01 CA076016-09, R01 CA076016-10, R01 CA095023, R01 CA112523, R01 CA122443, R01-CA-58598, R01CA095023, R01CA112523, R03 CA113148, R03-CA113148, T32 CA009330, T32 CA009330-26, U01 CA058860, U01 CA063464; PHS HHS: 01 GB 9401, 050E8709

    Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2008;17;12;3567-72

  • Targeting the PI3K p110alpha isoform inhibits medulloblastoma proliferation, chemoresistance, and migration.

    Guerreiro AS, Fattet S, Fischer B, Shalaby T, Jackson SP, Schoenwaelder SM, Grotzer MA, Delattre O and Arcaro A

    Department of Oncology, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

    Purpose: The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway is frequently activated in human cancer and plays a crucial role in medulloblastoma biology. We were interested in gaining further insight into the potential of targeting PI3K/Akt signaling as a novel antiproliferative approach in medulloblastoma.

    The expression pattern and functions of class I(A) PI3K isoforms were investigated in medulloblastoma tumour samples and cell lines. Effects on cell survival and downstream signaling were analyzed following down-regulation of p110alpha, p110beta, or p110delta by means of RNA interference or inhibition with isoform-specific PI3K inhibitors.

    Results: Overexpression of the catalytic p110alpha isoform was detected in a panel of primary medulloblastoma samples and cell lines compared with normal brain tissue. Down-regulation of p110alpha expression by RNA interference impaired the growth of medulloblastoma cells, induced apoptosis, and led to decreased migratory capacity of the cells. This effect was selective, because RNA interference targeting of p110beta or p110delta did not result in a comparable impairment of DAOY cell survival. Isoform-specific p110alpha inhibitors also impaired medulloblastoma cell proliferation and sensitized the cells to chemotherapy. Medulloblastoma cells treated with p110alpha inhibitors further displayed reduced activation of Akt and the ribosomal protein S6 kinase in response to stimulation with hepatocyte growth factor and insulin-like growth factor-I.

    Conclusions: Together, our data reveal a novel function of p110alpha in medulloblastoma growth and survival.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2008;14;21;6761-9

  • Comprehensive analysis of oncogenic effects of PIK3CA mutations in human mammary epithelial cells.

    Zhang H, Liu G, Dziubinski M, Yang Z, Ethier SP and Wu G

    Breast Cancer Program, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

    More than 20 different PIK3CA gene mutations were identified in breast cancer with different frequencies. Whether these breast cancer associated mutations have similar biological effects is largely unknown. In this study, we established a novel cell model using the lentivirus system to express 10 different PIK3CA genes (wild type and mutant) based on the human mammary epithelial cell MCF10A. We found that nine different PIK3CA mutants harbor different abilities to promote cell proliferation and EGF independent growth. In addition, most PIK3CA mutants (except for the wild type PIK3CA, the Q60K and the K111N mutants) had the ability to change the morphogenesis of the MCF10A cell in 3D Matrigel assay. Moreover, different PIK3CA mutants have different abilities to promote colony formation and cell invasion. We further observed that most of the PIK3CA mutants could activate p-AKT and p-p70-S6K in the absence of EGF stimulation. Finally, LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, can effectively inhibit cell growth in cell lines with different PIK3CAs. Taken together, our results support the notion that different PIK3CA mutations differentially contribute to breast cancer transformation, and exploration of the therapeutic application of these mutations will benefit breast cancer patients with the PIK3CA mutations.

    Breast cancer research and treatment 2008;112;2;217-27

  • Mutual exclusiveness between PIK3CA and KRAS mutations in endometrial carcinoma.

    Kang S, Seo SS, Chang HJ, Yoo CW, Park SY and Dong SM

    Research Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Gyeonggi, Korea.

    In endometrial carcinomas (ECs), previous report suggested that PIK3CA mutations do not coexist with KRAS mutations, but the significant mutual exclusiveness has not been demonstrated. In this study, we examined the mutation frequency of PIK3CA in EC and its mutual exclusiveness with KRAS mutation. We performed mutational analysis of PIK3CA through a polymerase chain reaction single-strand conformation polymorphism assay in 44 cases of endometrial cancer and analyzed the correlation with loss of PTEN, KRAS mutation, and RASSF1A hypermethylation. Somatic mutations of PIK3CA were detected in 14 of 44 (31.8%) of endometrial cancers. In exon 9, seven PIK3CA mutations were located, while seven mutations were located in exon 20. The most common mutation was E545A (35.7%), followed by H1047R (28.6%). Concomitant loss of PTEN expression and PIK3CA mutation was found in four cases of endometrial cancer. KRAS mutations were mutually exclusive with PIK3CA mutations, and those mutations were inversely correlated with statistical significance (P = 0.039). Also, we found that mutations in ERBB2 were mutually exclusive with PIK3CA mutations. RASSF1A and hMLH1 methylation were not correlated with the presence of PIK3CA mutations. PIK3CA was frequently mutated in endometrial cancers. KRAS and PIK3CA mutations are inversely correlated, suggesting that genetic alterations of KRAS and PIK3CA may play equivalent roles in endometrial carcinogenesis.

    International journal of gynecological cancer : official journal of the International Gynecological Cancer Society 2008;18;6;1339-43

  • PIK3CA cooperates with other phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase pathway mutations to effect oncogenic transformation.

    Oda K, Okada J, Timmerman L, Rodriguez-Viciana P, Stokoe D, Shoji K, Taketani Y, Kuramoto H, Knight ZA, Shokat KM and McCormick F

    Cancer Research Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA. katsutoshi-tky@umin.ac.jp

    Mutations in genes functioning in different pathways frequently occur together in the same cancer, whereas mutations in the same pathway tend to be mutually exclusive. However, the majority of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers that possess mutations in PIK3CA, the catalytic subunit p110alpha of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K), also possess mutations or alterations in genes upstream of PI3K such as Ras, ERBB2/ERBB3, or PTEN. PIK3CA mutations occur almost exclusively in invasive tumors, whereas upstream mutations occur as frequently in early-stage and late-stage tumors, suggesting that PIK3CA mutation is a late-stage event that may augment earlier activation of the PI3K pathway. Consistent with this, we find that levels of p-AKT (Ser(473)) induced by mutant Ras or knockdown of PTEN were dramatically increased by addition of mutant PIK3CA. Soft agar assays revealed that anchorage-independent growth induced by mutant Ras was greatly increased in the presence of mutant PIK3CA. In breast, colon, and endometrial cancers in which the PI3K pathway is activated by a combination of mutant PIK3CA and alterations in Ras, ERBB2/3, or PTEN, signaling to downstream elements such as Akt was mediated exclusively by the p110alpha isoform, rather than a combination of different PI3K isoforms. Our data therefore suggest that in tumors with co-occurring mutations in multiple components of the PI3K pathway, selective inhibition of the alpha isoform of p110 is an attractive therapeutic strategy, especially for late-stage tumors.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute

    Cancer research 2008;68;19;8127-36

  • TGFbeta modulates PTEN expression independently of SMAD signaling for growth proliferation in colon cancer cells.

    Chow JY, Cabral JA, Chang J and Carethers JM

    Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0063, USA.

    Signaling pathways enabling transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta)'s conversion from a tumor suppressor to a tumor promoter are not well characterized. TGFbeta utilizes intracellular SMADs to mediate growth suppression; however, TGFbeta-induced proliferative pathways may become more apparent when SMAD signaling is abrogated. Here, we determined regulation of the tumor suppressor PTEN by TGFbeta utilizing SMAD4-null colon cancer cells. TGFbeta downregulated PTEN mRNA and simultaneously induced growth proliferation. TGFbeta also induced both SMAD2 and SMAD3 nuclear translocation, but only triggered SMAD2-specific transcriptional activity in the absence of SMAD4. Interference of SMAD2 with DN-SMAD2 enhanced TGFbeta-induced cell proliferation, but downregulation of PTEN expression by TGFbeta was unaffected. TGFbeta increased PI3K tyrosine phosphorylation, and inhibition of PI3K pharmacologically or by DN-p85 transfection reversed both TGFbeta-induced PTEN suppression and TGFbeta-induced cell proliferation. Thus, TGFbeta activates PI3K to downregulate PTEN for enhancement of cell proliferation that is independent of SMAD proteins.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: DK067287, DK073090, DK080506, K01 DK073090, K01 DK073090-01A1, R01 DK067287, R01 DK067287-02, R24 DK080506, R24 DK080506-01

    Cancer biology & therapy 2008;7;10;1694-9

  • Class I PI3K in oncogenic cellular transformation.

    Zhao L and Vogt PK

    Division of Oncovirology, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. leyna@scripps.edu

    Class I phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) is a dimeric enzyme, consisting of a catalytic and a regulatory subunit. The catalytic subunit occurs in four isoforms designated as p110 alpha, p110 beta, p110 gamma and p110 delta. These isoforms combine with several regulatory subunits; for p110 alpha, beta and delta, the standard regulatory subunit is p85, for p110 gamma, it is p101. PI3Ks play important roles in human cancer. PIK3CA, the gene encoding p110 alpha, is mutated frequently in common cancers, including carcinoma of the breast, prostate, colon and endometrium. Eighty percent of these mutations are represented by one of the three amino-acid substitutions in the helical or kinase domains of the enzyme. The mutant p110 alpha shows a gain of function in enzymatic and signaling activity and is oncogenic in cell culture and in animal model systems. Structural and genetic data suggest that the mutations affect regulatory inter- and intramolecular interactions and support the conclusion that there are at least two molecular mechanisms for the gain of function in p110 alpha. One of these mechanisms operates largely independently of binding to p85, the other abolishes the requirement for an interaction with Ras. The non-alpha isoforms of p110 do not show cancer-specific mutations. However, they are often differentially expressed in cancer and, in contrast to p110 alpha, wild-type non-alpha isoforms of p110 are oncogenic when overexpressed in cell culture. The isoforms of p110 have become promising drug targets. Isoform-selective inhibitors have been identified. Inhibitors that target exclusively the cancer-specific mutants of p110 alpha constitute an important goal and challenge for current drug development.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: F32 CA130304, F32 CA130304-01, F32CA130304, P01 CA078045, P01 CA078045-06A1, P01 CA078045-07, P01 CA078045-08, P01 CA078045-09, P01 CA078045-10, R01 CA078230, R01 CA078230-06A1, R01 CA078230-07, R01 CA078230-08, R01 CA078230-09, R01 CA078230-10, R01 CA115521, R01 CA115521-01, R01 CA115521-02, R01 CA115521-03, R01 CA115521-04

    Oncogene 2008;27;41;5486-96

  • The effects of common genetic variants in oncogenes on ovarian cancer survival.

    Quaye L, Gayther SA, Ramus SJ, Di Cioccio RA, McGuire V, Hogdall E, Hogdall C, Blaakr J, Easton DF, Ponder BA, Jacobs I, Kjaer SK, Whittemore AS, Pearce CL, Pharoah PD and Song H

    Gynaecological Cancer Research Laboratory, UCL EGA Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

    Purpose: The 5-year survival rate for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer is <35%. It has been suggested that common, germline genetic variation may influence survival after cancer diagnoses, which might enable the prediction of response to treatment and survival in the clinical setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations between common germline genetic variants in the oncogenes BRAF, ERBB2, KRAS, NMI, and PIK3CA, and survival after a diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer.

    We evaluated the association between 34 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms and survival in 1,480 cases of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer cases from three different studies. Cox regression analysis, stratified by study, was used to estimate per rare allele hazard ratios (HR).

    Results: The minor allele rs6944385 in BRAF was significantly associated with poor survival [HR, 1.19; 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), 1.02-1.39; P = 0.024]. The association remained after adjusting for prognostic factors (adjusted HR, 1.20; 95 CI, 1.03-1.40; P = 0.018). A haplotype of BRAF was also associated with poor survival (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.02-1.51; P = 0.029) and was more significant after adjustment (HR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.15-1.81; P = 0.001). We also found evidence of an association between a KRAS haplotype and poor survival in serous subtype (HR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.21-2.38; P = 0.002), but this was no longer significant after adjustment. Finally, when analyses were restricted to the serous histologic subtype, the rare allele rs10842513 in KRAS, was associated with poor survival (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.10-1.78; P = 0.007).

    Conclusion: Common genetic variants in the BRAF and KRAS oncogenes may be important in the prediction of survival in patients with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.

    Funded by: Cancer Research UK: C8804/A7058; Medical Research Council; NCI NIH HHS: CA16506, CA71766

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2008;14;18;5833-9

  • BRAF, KRAS and PIK3CA mutations in colorectal serrated polyps and cancer: primary or secondary genetic events in colorectal carcinogenesis?

    Velho S, Moutinho C, Cirnes L, Albuquerque C, Hamelin R, Schmitt F, Carneiro F, Oliveira C and Seruca R

    Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology, University of Porto, Portugal. svelho@ipatimup.pt

    Background: BRAF, KRAS and PIK3CA mutations are frequently found in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). In contrast to KRAS and PIK3CA mutations, BRAF mutations are associated with tumours harbouring CpG Island methylation phenotype (CIMP), MLH1 methylation and microsatellite instability (MSI). We aimed at determine the frequency of KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA mutations in the process of colorectal tumourigenesis using a series of colorectal polyps and carcinomas. In the series of polyps CIMP, MLH1 methylation and MSI were also studied.

    Methods: Mutation analyses were performed by PCR/sequencing. Bisulfite treated DNA was used to study CIMP and MLH1 methylation. MSI was detected by pentaplex PCR and Genescan analysis of quasimonomorphic mononucleotide repeats. Chi Square test and Fisher's Exact test were used to perform association studies.

    Results: KRAS, PIK3CA or BRAF occur in 71% of polyps and were mutually exclusive. KRAS mutations occur in 35% of polyps. PIK3CA was found in one of the polyps. V600E BRAF mutations occur in 29% of cases, all of them classified as serrated adenoma. CIMP phenotype occurred in 25% of the polyps and all were mutated for BRAF. MLH1 methylation was not detected and all the polyps were microsatellite stable. The comparison between the frequency of oncogenic mutations in polyps and CRC (MSI and MSS) lead us to demonstrate that KRAS and PIK3CA are likely to precede both types of CRC. BRAF mutations are likely to precede MSI carcinomas since the frequency found in serrated polyps is similar to what is found in MSI CRC (P = 0.9112), but statistically different from what is found in microsatellite stable (MSS) tumours (P = 0.0191).

    Conclusion: Our results show that BRAF, KRAS and PIK3CA mutations occur prior to malignant transformation demonstrating that these oncogenic alterations are primary genetic events in colorectal carcinogenesis. Further, we show that BRAF mutations occur in association with CIMP phenotype in colorectal serrated polyps and verified that colorectal serrated polyps and MSI CRC show a similar frequency of BRAF mutations. These results support that BRAF mutations harbour a mild oncogenic effect in comparison to KRAS and suggest that BRAF mutant colorectal cells need to accumulate extra epigenetic alterations in order to acquire full transformation and evolve to MSI CRC.

    BMC cancer 2008;8;255

  • PIK3CA mutations and copy number gains in human lung cancers.

    Yamamoto H, Shigematsu H, Nomura M, Lockwood WW, Sato M, Okumura N, Soh J, Suzuki M, Wistuba II, Fong KM, Lee H, Toyooka S, Date H, Lam WL, Minna JD and Gazdar AF

    Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 6000 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-8593, USA.

    We investigated the frequency and function of mutations and increased copy number of the PIK3CA gene in lung cancers. PIK3CA mutations are one of the most common gene changes present in human cancers. We analyzed the mutational status of exons 9 and 20 and gene copy number of PIK3CA using 86 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, 43 small cell lung cancer (SCLC) cell lines, 3 extrapulmonary small cell cancer (ExPuSC) cell lines, and 691 resected NSCLC tumors and studied the relationship between PIK3CA alterations and mutational status of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway genes (EGFR, KRAS, HER2, and BRAF). We also determined PIK3CA expression and activity and correlated the findings with effects on cell growth. We identified mutations in 4.7% of NSCLC cell lines and 1.6% of tumors of all major histologic types. Mutations in cell lines of small cell origin were limited to two ExPuSC cell lines. PIK3CA copy number gains were more frequent in squamous cell carcinoma (33.1%) than in adenocarcinoma (6.2%) or SCLC lines (4.7%). Mutational status of PIK3CA was not mutually exclusive to EGFR or KRAS. PIK3CA alterations were associated with increased phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity and phosphorylated Akt expression. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of PIK3CA inhibited colony formation of cell lines with PIK3CA mutations or gains but was not effective in PIK3CA wild-type cells. PIK3CA mutations or gains are present in a subset of lung cancers and are of functional importance.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P50 CA070907, P50 CA070907-09, P50 CA070907-10, P50CA70907

    Cancer research 2008;68;17;6913-21

  • Mutations of the PIK3CA gene in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

    Baohua Y, Xiaoyan Z, Tiecheng Z, Tao Q and Daren S

    Department of Pathology, Cancer Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, People's Republic of China.

    The PI3K/AKT pathway might be involved in the development of some certain diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) by as-yet unclear mechanisms. PIK3CA mutations in exons 9 and 20 were investigated in 76 primary human DLBCLs, 3 DLBCL cell lines (LY1, LY8, and LY10), and 9 related samples using polymerase chain reaction-based sequence analysis to assess the possible relevance of PIK3CA mutations in DLBCL to the PI3K/AKT pathway activation. AKT phosphorylation (pAKT) of 3 DLBCL cell lines and 76 primary DLBCL samples was also detected by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. All 3 cell lines showed high levels of pAKT, and 72.4% (55/76) of the DLBCLs expressed pAKT at various levels, indicating the activation of AKT. However, no mutation was found in exons 9 or 20 in PIK3CA in any of the 3 cell lines. Only 1 out of 76 primary DLBCLs (1.32%) harbored an exon 9 mutation, and no exon 20 mutation was detected. The case with mutations contained 3 mutation points. One was c.1634A>C resulting in E545A, which was in a previously reported hotspot. The other 2 were novel c.1658G>C and c.1659delT frameshift mutations. We conclude that the PI3K/AKT pathway is activated in DLBCL and that PIK3CA is rarely mutated in DLBCL, indicating there could be some other PI3K-pathway activation mechanisms operative in DLBCL.

    Diagnostic molecular pathology : the American journal of surgical pathology, part B 2008;17;3;159-65

  • Discovery of drug-resistant and drug-sensitizing mutations in the oncogenic PI3K isoform p110 alpha.

    Zunder ER, Knight ZA, Houseman BT, Apsel B and Shokat KM

    Graduate Group in Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.

    p110 alpha (PIK3CA) is the most frequently mutated kinase in human cancer, and numerous drugs targeting this kinase are currently in preclinical development or early-stage clinical trials. Clinical resistance to protein kinase inhibitors frequently results from point mutations that block drug binding; similar mutations in p110 alpha are likely, but currently none have been reported. Using a S. cerevisiae screen against a structurally diverse panel of PI3K inhibitors, we have identified a potential hotspot for resistance mutations (I800), a drug-sensitizing mutation (L814C), and a surprising lack of resistance mutations at the "gatekeeper" residue. Our analysis further reveals that clinical resistance to these drugs may be attenuated by using multitargeted inhibitors that simultaneously inhibit additional PI3K pathway members.

    Funded by: Howard Hughes Medical Institute; NIBIB NIH HHS: R01 EB001987, R01 EB001987-14

    Cancer cell 2008;14;2;180-92

  • An integrative genomic and proteomic analysis of PIK3CA, PTEN, and AKT mutations in breast cancer.

    Stemke-Hale K, Gonzalez-Angulo AM, Lluch A, Neve RM, Kuo WL, Davies M, Carey M, Hu Z, Guan Y, Sahin A, Symmans WF, Pusztai L, Nolden LK, Horlings H, Berns K, Hung MC, van de Vijver MJ, Valero V, Gray JW, Bernards R, Mills GB and Hennessy BT

    Department of Systems Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway aberrations are common in cancer. By applying mass spectroscopy-based sequencing and reverse-phase protein arrays to 547 human breast cancers and 41 cell lines, we determined the subtype specificity and signaling effects of PIK3CA, AKT, and PTEN mutations and the effects of PIK3CA mutations on responsiveness to PI3K inhibition in vitro and on outcome after adjuvant tamoxifen. PIK3CA mutations were more common in hormone receptor-positive (34.5%) and HER2-positive (22.7%) than in basal-like tumors (8.3%). AKT1 (1.4%) and PTEN (2.3%) mutations were restricted to hormone receptor-positive cancers. Unlike AKT1 mutations that were absent from cell lines, PIK3CA (39%) and PTEN (20%) mutations were more common in cell lines than tumors, suggesting a selection for these but not AKT1 mutations during adaptation to culture. PIK3CA mutations did not have a significant effect on outcome after adjuvant tamoxifen therapy in 157 hormone receptor-positive breast cancer patients. PIK3CA mutations, in comparison with PTEN loss and AKT1 mutations, were associated with significantly less and inconsistent activation of AKT and of downstream PI3K/AKT signaling in tumors and cell lines. PTEN loss and PIK3CA mutation were frequently concordant, suggesting different contributions to pathophysiology. PTEN loss rendered cells significantly more sensitive to growth inhibition by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 than did PIK3CA mutations. Thus, PI3K pathway aberrations likely play a distinct role in the pathogenesis of different breast cancer subtypes. The specific aberration present may have implications for the selection of PI3K-targeted therapies in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 1K23CA121994-01, 1R21CA120248-01, K23 CA121994, K23 CA121994-01, P01 CA099031, P01 CA099031-05, P01CA099031, P30 CA016672, P30 CA016672-32, P30CA16672, P50 CA 58207, P50 CA058207, P50 CA058207-13, P50 CA083639, P50 CA083639-010004, P50 CA098258, P50CA083639, R01 CA109311, R21 CA120248, R21 CA120248-01, U54 CA 112970, U54 CA112970, U54 CA112970-04

    Cancer research 2008;68;15;6084-91

  • Exon 20 PIK3CA mutations decreases survival in aggressive (HER-2 positive) breast carcinomas.

    Lerma E, Catasus L, Gallardo A, Peiro G, Alonso C, Aranda I, Barnadas A and Prat J

    Department of Pathology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. elerma@santpau.es

    PIK3CA mutations at 9 and 20 exons were studied in a series of 56 selected aggressive breast carcinomas (BC): 27 with Her-2 over-expression and negativity for estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR), and 29 "triple negative" BC (negative for ER, PR and Her-2). Also, immunohistochemical studies of p53, ki-67, Her-1 (EGFR), pIGF-1R, PTEN, p110alpha, and pAkt were performed. Six mutations in exon 20 PIK3CA were identified among the 27 Her-2 positive BC, whereas only one exon 9 PIK3CA mutation was detected in a triple negative tumor (p = 0.035). Furthermore, PIK3CA mutations were associated with p110alpha over-expression (p = 0.001). Overall survival was shorter in cases with PIK3CA mutations (p = 0.015 in all series; and p = 0.041 for Her-2+ tumors), although multivariate analyses did not show statistical differences. No statistical significance was related with disease-free survival. Exon 20 PIK3CA mutations are relatively frequent in Her-2+ tumors and shorten survival, whereas neither exons 9 and 20 mutations seem related with "triple negative" breast carcinomas.

    Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology 2008;453;2;133-9

  • Mutations in the catalytic subunit of class IA PI3K confer leukemogenic potential to hematopoietic cells.

    Horn S, Bergholz U, Jücker M, McCubrey JA, Trümper L, Stocking C and Bäsecke J

    Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

    Constitutive activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway is observed in up to 70% of acute myelogenous leukemia. To investigate the relevance of an intrinsic PI3K-AKT pathway activation in hematopoietic malignancies, we analysed the effect of point mutations in the catalytic (p110alpha) and regulatory (p85alpha) subunit of class IA PI3K. We demonstrated that mutations in the helical (E542K, E545A) and kinase domain (H1047R) of p110alpha constitutively activate the PI3K-AKT pathway and lead to factor-independent growth of early hematopoietic cells. Proliferation and survival of the cells were inhibited in a time- and dose-dependent manner using either PI3K or AKT inhibitors. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) was demonstrated to be important for mitogenic, but not antiapoptotic signaling of mutant p110alpha. In a syngenic mouse model, hematopoietic cells expressing mutated p110alpha induced a leukemia-like disease characterized by anemia, neoplastic infiltration of hematopoietic organs and 90% mortality within 5 weeks, whereas activated mutants of the receptor tyrosine kinase c-KIT led to 100% mortality within 10 days. Our data show that point mutations in the p110alpha subunit of class IA PI3K confer factor independence to hematopoietic cells in vitro and leukemogenic potential in vivo, but have lower transforming activity than a deregulated class III receptor tyrosine kinase.

    Oncogene 2008;27;29;4096-106

  • Somatic FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations are present in familial seborrhoeic keratoses.

    Hafner C, Vogt T, Landthaler M and Müsebeck J

    Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, 93042 Regensburg, Germany. christian.hafner@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

    Background: Seborrhoeic keratosis (SK) represents one of the most common benign skin tumours. Familial occurrence of multiple SKs has been reported, but the genetic basis of these SKs has not been investigated so far. We present a German family with at least seven affected members in two generations and occurrence of high numbers of SKs at an unusually young age, suggesting a hereditary background.

    Objectives: Because FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations have been reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic SK, we analysed five SKs of an affected family member for hotspot mutations of these genes.

    Methods: A SNaPshot multiplex assay was used for analysis of 11 previously described FGFR3 hotspot mutations. In addition, exon 9 of PIK3CA was directly sequenced and the H1047R hotspot mutation in exon 20 was analysed by a SNaPshot assay.

    Results: FGFR3 mutations were present in three of five SKs. One SK with a FGFR3 mutation additionally showed a hotspot PIK3CA mutation. None of these mutations was present in the germline.

    Conclusions: The results show that this case of familial SK reveals the same mutational spectrum as sporadic SK. Because FGFR3 and PIK3CA germline mutations can be excluded as an underlying genetic basis, alternative mechanisms have to contribute to familial SK such as inherited susceptibility factors predisposing to the acquisition of somatic FGFR3 and PIK3CA mutations in skin, or increased exposure of the family members to yet unknown environmental risk factors causing these mutations.

    The British journal of dermatology 2008;159;1;214-7

  • Clinicopathological analysis of colorectal cancers with PIK3CA mutations in Middle Eastern population.

    Abubaker J, Bavi P, Al-Harbi S, Ibrahim M, Siraj AK, Al-Sanea N, Abduljabbar A, Ashari LH, Alhomoud S, Al-Dayel F, Uddin S and Al-Kuraya KS

    Department of Human Cancer Genomic Research, King Fahad National Center for Children's Cancer and Research, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway results in an increase in cell proliferation and survival. Somatic mutations within the PI3K catalytic subunit, PIK3CA are common cause of increasing PI3K activity and are believed to be oncogenic in many cancer types. Few reports addressed the association between PIK3CA mutations and tumor progression specifically in microsatellite instable (MSI) colorectal cancer (CRC). In the present study, we have evaluated PIK3CA mutational status in a series of 410 Middle Eastern CRC and 13 colon cell lines to study the prevalence of PIK3CA mutations in MSI cases, PTEN expression in CRC and possibility of therapeutic targeting of this set of patients. PIK3CA mutations were found in four of the cell lines tested and 51 colorectal carcinomas (12.2%). Three of these four mutated cell lines were MSI. PTEN was inactivated in 66.1% of the CRC. Furthermore, we observed a strong association between PIK3CA mutations and MSI status (P=0.0046) while PTEN loss was more frequent in microsatellite stable (MSS) CRC (P=0.043). A high prevalence of genetic alterations in PI3K/AKT pathway in Saudi cohort of CRC, predominance of PIK3CA mutations in the MSI subgroup and their possible involvement in development/progression of this subset of CRC are some of the significant findings of our study.

    Oncogene 2008;27;25;3539-45

  • Interleukin-18 stimulates fibronectin expression in primary human cardiac fibroblasts via PI3K-Akt-dependent NF-kappaB activation.

    Reddy VS, Harskamp RE, van Ginkel MW, Calhoon J, Baisden CE, Kim IS, Valente AJ and Chandrasekar B

    Department of Surgery, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

    Fibronectin (FN), a key component of the extracellular matrix, is upregulated in cardiac tissue during myocardial hypertrophy and failure. Here we show that interleukin (IL)-18, a proinflammatory and pro-hypertrophic cytokine, stimulates FN expression in adult human cardiac fibroblasts (HCF), an effect blocked by either the IL-18BP:Fc chimera or IL-18 neutralizing antibodies. IL-18 stimulated FN promoter-reporter activity in HCF, a response attenuated by mutation of an NF-kappaB binding site in the FN promoter. Overexpression of p65 stimulated FN transcription. IL-18 stimulated in vitro (p65, p50) and in vivo NF-kappaB DNA binding activities, and induced kappaB-dependent reporter gene activity. These effects were inhibited by adenoviral transduction of dominant negative (dn) p65 (Ad.dnp65) and dnIKK2 (Ad.dnIKK2). Investigation of signaling intermediates revealed that IL-18 stimulated PI3 kinase activity (blocked by wortmannin, LY294002, or Ad.dnPI3Kp85), and Akt phosphorylation and kinase activity (blocked by SH-5 or Ad.dnAkt). Furthermore, targeting MyD88, IRAK1, TRAF6, PI3K, Akt, and NF-kappaB by RNA interference or dn expression vectors blunted IL-18 mediated FN transcription and mRNA expression. Conversely, FN stimulated IL-18 expression. These data provide the first evidence that IL-18 and FN stimulate each other's expression in HCF, and suggest a role for IL-18, FN and their crosstalk in myocardial hypertrophy and remodeling, disease states characterized by enhanced FN expression and fibrosis.

    Journal of cellular physiology 2008;215;3;697-707

  • PIK3CA mutation in colorectal cancer: relationship with genetic and epigenetic alterations.

    Nosho K, Kawasaki T, Ohnishi M, Suemoto Y, Kirkner GJ, Zepf D, Yan L, Longtine JA, Fuchs CS and Ogino S

    Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Somatic PIK3CA mutations are often present in colorectal cancer. Mutant PIK3CA activates AKT signaling, which up-regulates fatty acid synthase (FASN). Microsatellite instability (MSI) and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) are important molecular classifiers in colorectal cancer. However, the relationship between PIK3CA mutation, MSI and CIMP remains uncertain. Using Pyrosequencing technology, we detected PIK3CA mutations in 91 (15%) of 590 population-based colorectal cancers. To determine CIMP status, we quantified DNA methylation in eight CIMP-specific promoters [CACNA1G, CDKN2A (p16), CRABP1, IGF2, MLH1, NEUROG1, RUNX3, and SOCS1] by real-time polymerase chain reaction (MethyLight). PIK3CA mutation was significantly associated with mucinous tumors [P = .0002; odds ratio (OR) = 2.44], KRAS mutation (P < .0001; OR = 2.68), CIMP-high (P = .03; OR = 2.08), phospho-ribosomal protein S6 expression (P = .002; OR = 2.19), and FASN expression (P = .02; OR = 1.85) and inversely with p53 expression (P = .01; OR = 0.54) and beta-catenin (CTNNB1) alteration (P = .004; OR = 0.43). In addition, PIK3CA G-to-A mutations were associated with MGMT loss (P = .001; OR = 3.24) but not with MGMT promoter methylation. In conclusion, PIK3CA mutation is significantly associated with other key molecular events in colorectal cancer, and MGMT loss likely contributes to the development of PIK3CA G>A mutation. In addition, Pyrosequencing is useful in detecting PIK3CA mutation in archival paraffin tumor tissue. PIK3CA mutational data further emphasize heterogeneity of colorectal cancer at the molecular level.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K07 CA122826, P01 CA055075, P01 CA087969, P01 CA55075, P01 CA87969, P50 CA127003

    Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 2008;10;6;534-41

  • Angiogenesis selectively requires the p110alpha isoform of PI3K to control endothelial cell migration.

    Graupera M, Guillermet-Guibert J, Foukas LC, Phng LK, Cain RJ, Salpekar A, Pearce W, Meek S, Millan J, Cutillas PR, Smith AJ, Ridley AJ, Ruhrberg C, Gerhardt H and Vanhaesebroeck B

    Centre for Cell Signalling, Institute of Cancer, Queen Mary, University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) signal downstream of multiple cell-surface receptor types. Class IA PI3K isoforms couple to tyrosine kinases and consist of a p110 catalytic subunit (p110alpha, p110beta or p110delta), constitutively bound to one of five distinct p85 regulatory subunits. PI3Ks have been implicated in angiogenesis, but little is known about potential selectivity among the PI3K isoforms and their mechanism of action in endothelial cells during angiogenesis in vivo. Here we show that only p110alpha activity is essential for vascular development. Ubiquitous or endothelial cell-specific inactivation of p110alpha led to embryonic lethality at mid-gestation because of severe defects in angiogenic sprouting and vascular remodelling. p110alpha exerts this critical endothelial cell-autonomous function by regulating endothelial cell migration through the small GTPase RhoA. p110alpha activity is particularly high in endothelial cells and preferentially induced by tyrosine kinase ligands (such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A). In contrast, p110beta in endothelial cells signals downstream of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) ligands such as SDF-1alpha, whereas p110delta is expressed at low level and contributes only minimally to PI3K activity in endothelial cells. These results provide the first in vivo evidence for p110-isoform selectivity in endothelial PI3K signalling during angiogenesis.

    Funded by: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: BB/C505659/1, BB/C505659/2; Cancer Research UK; Medical Research Council: G0601093, G0601093(79633), G0700711

    Nature 2008;453;7195;662-6

  • Mutations in the RAS-MAPK, PI(3)K (phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase) signaling network correlate with poor survival in a population-based series of colon cancers.

    Barault L, Veyrie N, Jooste V, Lecorre D, Chapusot C, Ferraz JM, Lièvre A, Cortet M, Bouvier AM, Rat P, Roignot P, Faivre J, Laurent-Puig P and Piard F

    INSERM, U866, Dijon, F-21079, France.

    The RAS-MAPK, PI (3)K signaling pathways form a network that play a central role in tumorigenesis. The BRAF, KRAS and PI3KCA genes code 3 partners of this network and have been found to be activated by mutation in colorectal cancer; these mutations lead to unrestricted cell growth. We evaluated the clinicopathological features and the prognosis of patients with activated-network colon cancers in a population-based study. A total of 586 colon adenocarcinomas were evaluated using sequencing for mutations of KRAS and PI3KCA, and allelic discrimination for mutation of BRAF. Clinicopathological characteristics were correlated to the risk of bearing a mutation of the network using logistic regression. Three-year survival rates were compared with the Log rank test. A multivariate survival analysis using the Cox model was performed. After adjustment for age and microsatellite instability, activation of the network by mutation of at least 1 of the 3 genes was significantly associated with female sex (p = 0.02) and proximal location (p < 0.001). Lower levels of 3-year survival were associated with activation of the network by mutation of at least 1 of the 3 genes (59.4 and 69.4%, respectively; p = 0.009). These results remained significant in a multivariate analysis adjusted for sex, age, location, stage and microsatellite instability (HR = 1.48; CI CI(95%) = [1.07-2.04]). Our study is the first report to underline the potential role of RAS-MAPK, PI (3)K network mutations on survival in colon cancers. Because of the role of this signaling network on anticancer agents, the evaluation of its mutations could have clinical implications.

    International journal of cancer 2008;122;10;2255-9

  • Insights into the oncogenic effects of PIK3CA mutations from the structure of p110alpha/p85alpha.

    Huang CH, Mandelker D, Gabelli SB and Amzel LM

    Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    Phosphatidylinositide-3-kinases (PI3K) initiate a number of signaling pathways by recruiting other kinases, such as Akt, to the plasma membrane. One of the isoforms, PI3Kalpha, is an oncogene frequently mutated in several cancer types. These mutations increase PI3K kinase activity, leading to increased cell survival, cell motility, cell metabolism, and cell cycle progression. The structure of the complex between the catalytic subunit of PI3Kalpha, p110alpha, and a portion of its regulatory subunit, p85alpha reveals that the majority of the oncogenic mutations occur at the interfaces between p110 domains and between p110 and p85 domains. At these positions, mutations disrupt interactions resulting in changes in the kinase domain that may increase enzymatic activity. The structure also suggests that interaction with the membrane is mediated by one of the p85 domains (iSH2). These findings may provide novel structural loci for the design of new anti-cancer drugs.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 43460, R37 CA043460, R37 CA043460-17, R37 CA043460-18; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM 07184, GM066895, GM07309, R01 GM066895, R01 GM066895-04, T32 GM007184, T32 GM007309

    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2008;7;9;1151-6

  • Association of K-ras mutational status and clinical outcomes in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer receiving panitumumab alone.

    Freeman DJ, Juan T, Reiner M, Hecht JR, Meropol NJ, Berlin J, Mitchell E, Sarosi I, Radinsky R and Amado RG

    Department of Oncology Research, Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA. dfreeman@amgen.com

    Background: Identifying predictive biomarkers is important to optimally treat patients. This analysis evaluated the association of K-ras, BRAF, and PIK3CA gene mutations with tumor resistance to panitumumab alone.

    From 3 phase II panitumumab metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) studies, 62 of 533 patient samples were available. Mutations were identified from genomic DNA by sequencing.

    Results: Of the 62 samples, 24 (38.7%) harbored a K-ras mutation, and 38 (61.3%) were wild type. In the wild-type K-ras group, 11% of patients had a partial response (PR), 53% had stable disease (SD), and 37% had progressive disease (PD). In the mutant K-ras group, 21% of patients had SD, and 79% of patients had PD; there were no responses. The absence of a K-ras mutation was associated with response to panitumumab (PR vs. SD vs. PD; P = .0028). The hazard ratio for wild-type versus mutant K-ras was 0.4 (95% CI, 0.2-0.7) for progression-free survival and 0.5 (95% CI, 0.3-0.9) for overall survival. Four patients had a V600E BRAF mutation, and 2 patients had a PIK3CA mutation.

    Conclusion: These data suggest that patients with mCRC with activating K-ras mutations are less likely to respond to panitumumab alone. The small sample size limits us from defining a predictive role of PIK3CA and BRAF mutations for panitumumab treatment.

    Clinical colorectal cancer 2008;7;3;184-90

  • PIK3CA, HRAS and KRAS gene mutations in human penile cancer.

    Andersson P, Kolaric A, Windahl T, Kirrander P, Söderkvist P and Karlsson MG

    Division of Cell Biology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. patan@ibk.liu.se <e-mail:patan@ibk.liu.se&gt;

    Purpose: The knowledge of somatic mutations that arise in penile cancer is limited. We examined the dysregulation of components in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Ras pathways.

    Using single stranded conformational analysis and direct sequencing we performed mutational analysis of the PIK3CA, PTEN, HRAS, KRAS, NRAS and BRAF genes in 28 penile tumors.

    Results: We identified somatic missense mutations in 11 of the 28 penile cancer samples (39%). In the PIK3CA gene 8 mutations (29%) were identified that were E542K or E545K. In the HRAS gene a G12S and a Q61L mutation were found (7%). The KRAS gene contained 1 mutation (3%), that is a G12S change. PIK3CA mutations were found in all grades and stages, whereas HRAS and KRAS mutations were found in larger and more advanced tumors. The mutations were mutually exclusive, suggesting that dysregulation of either pathway is sufficient for the development and progression of penile carcinoma.

    Conclusions: The high frequency of mutations in the PIK3CA, HRAS and KRAS genes leads us to believe that dysregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or Ras pathway is significant for the development and progression of penile carcinoma.

    The Journal of urology 2008;179;5;2030-4

  • PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutations in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm/carcinoma (IPMN/C) of the pancreas.

    Schönleben F, Qiu W, Remotti HE, Hohenberger W and Su GH

    Department of General Surgery, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany. frank.schoenleben@gmx.de

    Recent studies have reported high frequencies of somatic mutations in the phosphoinositide-3-kinase catalytic-alpha (PIK3CA) gene in various human tumors. Three hot-spot mutations in the exons 9 and 20 have been proven to activate the Akt signalling pathway. The Raf/MEK/ERK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) signal transduction is an important mediator of a number of cellular fates including growth, proliferation, and survival. The BRAF gene is activated by oncogenic RAS, leading to cooperative effects in cells responding to growth factor signals. Here we evaluate the mutational status of PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm/carcinoma (IPMN/IPMNC) of the pancreas.

    Exons 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 18, and 20 of PIK3CA, exons 1 of KRAS, and exons 5, 11, and 15 of BRAF were analyzed in 36 IPMN/IPMC and two mucinous cystadenoma specimens by direct genomic DNA sequencing.

    Results: We identified four somatic missense mutations of PIK3CA within the 36 IPMN/IPMC specimens (11%). One of the four mutations, H1047R, has been previously reported to be a hot-spot mutation. Furthermore, we found 17 (47%) KRAS mutations in exon 1 and one missense mutation (2.7%) in exon 15 of BRAF.

    Conclusion: This data is the first report of PIK3CA mutation in pancreatic cancer and it appears to be the first oncogene to be mutated in IPMN/IPMC but not in conventional ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Our data provide evidence that PIK3CA and BRAF contribute to the tumorigenesis of IPMN/IPMC, but at a lower frequency than KRAS.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K01 CA095434, K01 CA095434-05, R01 CA109525, R01 CA109525-03, R01 CA109525-04

    Langenbeck's archives of surgery 2008;393;3;289-96

  • Rare PIK3CA hotspot mutations in carcinomas of the biliary tract.

    Riener MO, Bawohl M, Clavien PA and Jochum W

    Department of Pathology, Institute of Surgical Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.

    Somatic mutations of the PIK3CA gene, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), are frequent in various cancer types. The majority of mutations cluster at hotspots within exons 9 and 20, which encode the helical and kinase domains of p110alpha. PIK3CA mutations in bile duct and gallbladder carcinomas have not been reported yet. In this study, we analysed 118 carcinomas of the biliary tract and the liver (45 intra- and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (CCA), 23 gallbladder carcinomas, 50 hepatocellular carcinomas) for PIK3CA hotspot mutations using polymerase chain reaction and direct DNA sequencing. PIK3CA missense mutations were found in one of 11 intrahepatic CCA (E545K, 9%), one of 23 gallbladder carcinomas (E542K, 4%), and one of 50 hepatocellular carcinomas (H1047R, 2%). All three mutations represent hotspot mutations, which also occur in other cancer types. PI3K pathway activation in hepato-biliary carcinomas was analyzed using immunohistochemistry for the downstream targets eIF4-E and phosphorylated 4E-BP1 on tissue microarrays. eIF4-E expression was found in 3/13 intrahepatic CCA (23%), 9/38 extrahepatic CCA (24%), 12/34 gallbladder carcinomas (35%), and 9/61 hepatocellular carcinomas (15%). 4E-BP1 phosphorylation was observed in 1/13 intrahepatic CCA (8%), 8/38 extrahepatic CCA (21%), 15/34 gallbladder carcinomas (44%), and 16/61 hepatocellular carcinomas (26%). These results indicate that somatic PIK3CA mutations contribute to the frequent activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway in carcinomas of the biliary tract and liver.

    Genes, chromosomes & cancer 2008;47;5;363-7

  • Early phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway activation limits poliovirus-induced JNK-mediated cell death.

    Autret A, Martin-Latil S, Brisac C, Mousson L, Colbère-Garapin F and Blondel B

    Biologie des Virus Entériques, Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris cedex 15, France.

    Poliovirus (PV)-induced apoptosis seems to play a major role in tissue injury in the central nervous system (CNS). We have previously shown that this process involves PV-induced Bax-dependent mitochondrial dysfunction mediated by early JNK activation in IMR5 neuroblastoma cells. We showed here that PV simultaneously activates the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt survival signaling pathway in these cells, limiting the extent of JNK activation and thereby cell death. JNK inhibition is associated with PI3K-dependent negative regulation of the apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1, which acts upstream from JNK in PV-infected IMR5 cells. In poliomyelitis, this survival pathway may limit the spread of PV-induced damage in the CNS.

    Journal of virology 2008;82;7;3796-802

  • Phosphoinositide 3-kinases p110alpha and p110beta regulate cell cycle entry, exhibiting distinct activation kinetics in G1 phase.

    Marqués M, Kumar A, Cortés I, Gonzalez-García A, Hernández C, Moreno-Ortiz MC and Carrera AC

    Department of Immunology and Oncology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología/CSIC, Darwin 3, Cantoblanco, Madrid E-28049, Spain.

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) is an early signaling molecule that regulates cell growth and cell cycle entry. PI3K is activated immediately after growth factor receptor stimulation (at the G(0)/G(1) transition) and again in late G(1). The two ubiquitous PI3K isoforms (p110alpha and p110beta) are essential during embryonic development and are thought to control cell division. Nonetheless, it is presently unknown at which point each is activated during the cell cycle and whether or not they both control S-phase entry. We found that p110alpha was activated first in G(0)/G(1), followed by a minor p110beta activity peak. In late G(1), p110alpha activation preceded that of p110beta, which showed the maximum activity at this time. p110beta activation required Ras activity, whereas p110alpha was first activated by tyrosine kinases and then further induced by active Ras. Interference with p110alpha and -beta activity diminished the activation of downstream effectors with different kinetics, with a selective action of p110alpha in blocking early G(1) events. We show that inhibition of either p110alpha or p110beta reduced cell cycle entry. These results reveal that PI3Kalpha and -beta present distinct activation requirements and kinetics in G(1) phase, with a selective action of PI3Kalpha at the G(0)/G(1) phase transition. Nevertheless, PI3Kalpha and -beta both regulate S-phase entry.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2008;28;8;2803-14

  • PIK3CA exon 20 mutation is independently associated with a poor prognosis in breast cancer patients.

    Lai YL, Mau BL, Cheng WH, Chen HM, Chiu HH and Tzen CY

    Hospice Palliative Care Center, Mackay Memorial Hospital, 45 Minsheng Road, Danshui, Taipei, 251, Taiwan.

    Background: Prognostic factors that could select breast cancer patients with poor survival, and influence clinical trials of targeted therapy, are needed. However, the reported observations regarding the impact of PI3KCA mutation on breast cancers are controversial.

    Methods: We analyzed exons 4, 7, 9, and 20 of PI3KCA on a series of 158 patients. Clinicopathological characteristics were correlated with the mutation data.

    Results: Among 152 patients who were available for follow-up (median follow-up time, 6.57 years), 26% had PIK3CA mutations, more than half of which occurred in exon 20. The five-year survival rate of patients with exon 20 mutations (46%) was significantly lower than that of patients without (75%) (p = 0.0054). Multivariate analysis showed that PIK3CA exon 20 mutations and nodal involvement were independent risk factors for overall survival. The relative risk of death in patients with PIK3CA exon 20 mutations was 2.881 (95% CI, 1.406-5.900; p = 0.0038).

    Conclusions: PIK3CA mutations are common in invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast. Our result suggests that PIK3CA exon 20 mutation is an independent risk factor for poor prognosis in breast cancer patients, indicating that differences in patient numbers with PIK3CA exon 20 mutations in study and control arms should be avoided in clinical trials of PI3K inhibitors.

    Annals of surgical oncology 2008;15;4;1064-9

  • PIK3CA mutation status in Japanese esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    Mori R, Ishiguro H, Kimura M, Mitsui A, Sasaki H, Tomoda K, Mori Y, Ogawa R, Katada T, Kawano O, Harada K, Fujii Y and Kuwabara Y

    Department of Surgery II, Nagoya City University Medical School, Nagoya, Japan.

    Background: A somatic mutation of the PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit) gene has been found in human cancer patients. However, this mutation has not yet been extensively studied in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas.

    We analyzed a mutation of the PIK3CA gene in 88 Japanese cases of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas that had all undergone surgery at the Department of Surgery II, Nagoya City University Medical School, between 1996 and 2003. The TE and KYSE series of cell lines are human esophageal cancer cell lines. Two PIK3CA mutation hot spots (exon 9 and exon 20) were analyzed by a real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay and the data were confirmed by direct sequencing. We performed a cell proliferation assay to determine the effects of a PI3K inhibitor LY294002.

    Result: In exon 9, a somatic mutation was found in two patients (2.2%) and in two cell lines. The mutations included three E545K (G1633A) mutations and one E545Q (G1633C) mutation. However, in exon 20, no mutation was observed in our esophageal cancer patients. PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) inhibited the growth of an esophageal cancer cell line with a PIK3CA mutation (E545K) in vitro.

    Conclusions: We found LY294002 to reduce the proliferation of the esophageal cancer cell line in vitro. Importantly, a cell line with a PIK3CA gene mutation was more susceptible to a PI3K inhibition than those without any such mutation. Further functional analyses of the PIK3CA mutations are warranted to determine whether or not they may be potentially useful targets of therapy for esophageal cancer.

    The Journal of surgical research 2008;145;2;320-6

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent membrane recruitment of Rac-1 and p47phox is critical for alpha-platelet-derived growth factor receptor-induced production of reactive oxygen species.

    Bäumer AT, Ten Freyhaus H, Sauer H, Wartenberg M, Kappert K, Schnabel P, Konkol C, Hescheler J, Vantler M and Rosenkranz S

    Klinik III für Innere Medizin, Universität zu Köln, 50937 Köln, Germany.

    Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of proliferative diseases. NAD(P)H oxidase (Nox)-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential for signal transduction by growth factor receptors. Here we investigated the dependence of PDGF-AA-induced ROS production on the cytosolic Nox subunits Rac-1 and p47(phox), and we systematically evaluated the signal relay mechanisms by which the alphaPDGF receptor (alphaPDGFR) induces ROS liberation. Stimulation of the alphaPDGFR led to a time-dependent increase of intracellular ROS levels in fibroblasts. Pharmacological inhibitor experiments and enzyme activity assays disclosed Nox as the source of ROS. alphaPDGFR activation is rapidly followed by the translocation of p47(phox) and Rac-1 from the cytosol to the cell membrane. Experiments performed in p47(phox)(-/-) cells and inhibition of Rac-1 or overexpression of dominant-negative Rac revealed that these Nox subunits are required for PDGF-dependent Nox activation and ROS liberation. To evaluate the signaling pathway mediating PDGF-AA-dependent ROS production, we investigated Ph cells expressing mutant alphaPDGFRs that lack specific binding sites for alphaPDGFR-associated signaling molecules (Src, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), phospholipase Cgamma, and SHP-2). Lack of PI3K signaling (but not Src, phospholipase Cgamma, or SHP-2) completely abolished PDGF-dependent p47(phox) and Rac-1 translocation, increase of Nox activity, and ROS production. Conversely, a mutant alphaPDGFR able to activate only PI3K was sufficient to mediate these subcellular events. Furthermore, the catalytic PI3K subunit p110alpha (but not p110beta) was identified as the crucial isoform that elicits alphaPDGFR-mediated production of ROS. Finally, bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and chemotaxis assays revealed that the lack of ROS liberation blunted PDGF-AA-dependent chemotaxis but not cell cycle progression. We conclude that PI3K/p110alpha mediates growth factor-dependent ROS production by recruiting p47(phox) and Rac-1 to the cell membrane, thereby assembling the active Nox complex. ROS are required for PDGF-AA-dependent chemotaxis but not proliferation.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2008;283;12;7864-76

  • Transcriptional regulation of PIK3CA oncogene by NF-kappaB in ovarian cancer microenvironment.

    Yang N, Huang J, Greshock J, Liang S, Barchetti A, Hasegawa K, Kim S, Giannakakis A, Li C, O'Brien-Jenkins A, Katsaros D, Bützow R, Coukos G and Zhang L

    Center for Research on Early Detection and Cure of Ovarian Cancer, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

    PIK3CA upregulation, amplification and mutation have been widely reported in ovarian cancers and other tumors, which strongly suggests that PIK3CA is a promising therapeutic target. However, to date the mechanisms underlying PIK3CA regulation and activation in vivo is still unclear. During tumorigenesis, host-tumor interactions may play a critical role in editing the tumor. Here, we report a novel mechanism through which the tumor microenvironment activates the PIK3CA oncogene. We show that PIK3CA upregulation occurs in non-proliferating tumor regions in vivo. We identified and characterized the PIK3CA 5' upstream transcriptional regulatory region and confirmed that PIK3CA is transcriptionally regulated through NF-kappaB pathway. These results offer a new mechanism through which the tumor microenvironment directly activates oncogenic pathways in tumor cells.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P01-CA83638, P50 CA083638

    PloS one 2008;3;3;e1758

  • PIK3CA gene mutations and amplifications in uterine cancers, identified by methods that avoid confounding by PIK3CA pseudogene sequences.

    Miyake T, Yoshino K, Enomoto T, Takata T, Ugaki H, Kim A, Fujiwara K, Miyatake T, Fujita M and Kimura T

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2, Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 5650871, Japan.

    PIK3CA codes for a Class IA p110-alpha catalytic subunit of the PI3Ks (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases) that regulate various signaling pathways important for neoplasia, including cell proliferation, motility, adhesion, and survival. Pro-oncogenic mutations in exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene have been frequently observed in numerous types of human malignancies. Amplification of the PIK3CA gene has been reported in uterine cervical cancers. In this study, we have done in depth analysis of uterine cervical and endometrial cancers for PIK3CA gene mutations and amplifications. In uterine cervical cancers, PIK3CA mutations were found in 3 of 22 cases (14%), all of them in exon 9. In endometrial cancers, a similar incidence of mutations was found, in 3 of 29 cases (10%), however they were all within exon 20. Amplification of the PIK3CA gene was also detected in 2 out of 22 (9%) cervical cancers and 3 out of 29 (10%) endometrial cancers. In this study, we were unable to find a clear association between PIK3CA mutations and gene amplifications, nor with tumor histological subtypes or staging. Mutations and amplifications of the PIK3CA gene are relatively infrequent in human cervical and endometrial cancers; however, PIK3CA gene alteration may still play a role in some subset of uterine cancers.

    Cancer letters 2008;261;1;120-6

  • Mechanisms underlying p53 regulation of PIK3CA transcription in ovarian surface epithelium and in ovarian cancer.

    Astanehe A, Arenillas D, Wasserman WW, Leung PC, Dunn SE, Davies BR, Mills GB and Auersperg N

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

    Inactivation of the transcription factor and tumor suppressor p53, and overexpression or mutational activation of PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), are two of the most common deleterious genomic changes in cancer, including in ovarian carcinomas. We investigated molecular mechanisms underlying interactions between these two mediators and their possible roles in ovarian tumorigenesis. We identified two alternate PIK3CA promoters and showed direct binding of and transcriptional inhibition by p53 to one of these promoters. Conditional suppression of functional p53 increased p110alpha transcripts, protein levels and PI3K activity in immortalized, non-tumorigenic ovarian surface epithelial (OSE) cells, the precursors of ovarian carcinoma. Conversely, overexpression of p53 by adenoviral infection and activation of p53 by gamma-irradiation both diminished p110alpha protein levels in normal OSE and ovarian cancer cells. The demonstration that p53 binds directly to the PIK3CA promoter and inhibits its activity identifies a novel mechanism whereby these two mediators regulate cellular functions, and whereby inactivation of p53 and subsequent upregulation of PIK3CA might contribute to the pathophysiology of ovarian cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: P01 CA64602, R01 CA114017-01A1

    Journal of cell science 2008;121;Pt 5;664-74

  • Novel mutant-enriched sequencing identified high frequency of PIK3CA mutations in pharyngeal cancer.

    Qiu W, Tong GX, Manolidis S, Close LG, Assaad AM and Su GH

    The Department of Otolaryngology/Head an Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.

    We previously reported 4 PIK3CA mutations in 38 head and neck cancer samples, 3 of which were identified in 6 pharyngeal cancer samples. To determine the mutation frequency of PIK3CA in pharyngeal cancer, we studied 24 additional cases of pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma in this study. Using both direct genomic DNA sequencing and novel mutant-enriched sequencing methods developed specifically for the 3 hot-spot mutations (H1047R, E545K and E452K) of PIK3CA, we detected 5 mutations of PIK3CA in the 24 pharyngeal cancers (20.8%). Three of the 5 mutations had been missed by the conventional sequencing method and were subsequently detected by novel mutant-enriched sequencing methods. We showed that the mutant-enriched sequencing method for the H1047R hot-spot mutation can identify the mutation in a mixed population of mutant and wild-type DNA sequences at 1:360 ratios. These novel mutant-enriched sequencing methods allow the detection of the PIK3CA hot-spot mutations in clinical specimens which often contain limited tumor tissues (i.e., biopsy specimens). The data further support that oncogenic PIK3CA may play a critical role in pharyngeal carcinogenesis, and the mutant-enriched sequencing methods for PIK3CA are sensitive and reliable ways to detect PIK3CA mutations in clinical samples. Because PIK3CA and its pathway are potential targets for chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and frequent somatic mutation of PIK3CA has been identified in many human cancer types (e.g., breast cancer, colorectal cancer), the abilities to detect PIK3CA mutations with enhanced sensitivities have great potential impacts on target therapies for many cancer types.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA095434, K01 CA095434, K01 CA095434-04, K01 CA095434-05, R01 CA109525, R01 CA109525-03, R01 CA109525-04

    International journal of cancer 2008;122;5;1189-94

  • Toward a confocal subcellular atlas of the human proteome.

    Barbe L, Lundberg E, Oksvold P, Stenius A, Lewin E, Björling E, Asplund A, Pontén F, Brismar H, Uhlén M and Andersson-Svahn H

    Department of Biotechnology, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.

    Information on protein localization on the subcellular level is important to map and characterize the proteome and to better understand cellular functions of proteins. Here we report on a pilot study of 466 proteins in three human cell lines aimed to allow large scale confocal microscopy analysis using protein-specific antibodies. Approximately 3000 high resolution images were generated, and more than 80% of the analyzed proteins could be classified in one or multiple subcellular compartment(s). The localizations of the proteins showed, in many cases, good agreement with the Gene Ontology localization prediction model. This is the first large scale antibody-based study to localize proteins into subcellular compartments using antibodies and confocal microscopy. The results suggest that this approach might be a valuable tool in conjunction with predictive models for protein localization.

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2008;7;3;499-508

  • Clinicopathological analysis of papillary thyroid cancer with PIK3CA alterations in a Middle Eastern population.

    Abubaker J, Jehan Z, Bavi P, Sultana M, Al-Harbi S, Ibrahim M, Al-Nuaim A, Ahmed M, Amin T, Al-Fehaily M, Al-Sanea O, Al-Dayel F, Uddin S and Al-Kuraya KS

    Department of Human Cancer Genomic Research, King Fahad National Center for Children's Cancer and Research, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Cancer, MBC#98-16, P.O. Box 3354, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia.

    Context: Genetic aberration in phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway has been detected in numerous and diverse human cancers. PIK3CA, which encodes for the catalytic subunit of p110alpha of PI3K, is amplified in some cases of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). Mutations in the PIK3CA have also been identified in thyroid cancers and, although relatively common in anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, are uncommon in PTC.

    Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate genetic alterations like PIK3CA gene mutation, PIK3CA amplification, RAS, and RAF mutations and to further explore the relationship of these genetic alterations with various clinicopathological characteristics in Middle Eastern PTC.

    Design: We used the fluorescence in situ hybridization technique for analysis of PIK3CA amplification from 536 PTC cases, and selected amplified samples were further validated by real-time quantitative PCR. Mutation analysis was done by direct DNA sequencing of PIK3CA, N2-RAS, and BRAF genes.

    Results: PIK3CA amplification was seen in 265 of 499 PTC cases analyzed (53.1%); PIK3CA gene mutations in four of 207 PTC (1.9%); N2-RAS mutations in 16 of 265 PTC (6%); and BRAF mutations in 153 of 296 PTC (51.7%). N-RAS mutations were-associated with an early stage (P = 0.0465) and lower incidence of extrathyroidal extension (P = 0.027), whereas BRAF mutations were-associated with metastasis (P = 0.0274) and poor disease-free survival (P = 0.0121) in PTCs.

    Conclusion: A higher incidence of PIK3CA alterations and the possible synergistic effect of PIK3CA alterations and BRAF mutations suggest their major role in Middle Eastern PTC tumorigenesis and argue for therapeutic targeting of PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways.

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2008;93;2;611-8

  • PIK3CA cancer mutations display gender and tissue specificity patterns.

    Benvenuti S, Frattini M, Arena S, Zanon C, Cappelletti V, Coradini D, Daidone MG, Pilotti S, Pierotti MA and Bardelli A

    Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, The Oncogenomics Center, Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (IRCC), University of Torino Medical School, Candiolo, Italy.

    The occurrence of oncogenic alleles can display striking tissue specificity. For example KRAS mutations are very frequent in pancreatic cancers but relatively rare in melanomas. The opposite is true for BRAF mutations. Somatic mutations in the gene encoding for the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3KCA) catalytic subunit, PIK3CA, occur at high frequency in many solid cancers. We have examined whether PI3K oncogenic mutations (exons 9 and 20) might exhibit gender and/or tissue specificity. By examining large cohorts of breast and colorectal cancers affecting both men and women we found that the pattern of PIK3CA mutations is distinctive. In colorectal cancers, PIK3CA (but not KRAS, APC, or TP53) mutations display a gender bias occurring at higher frequencies in women. We also found that male breast cancers display PIK3CA mutations at an overall frequency similar to that observed in female breast tumors. In male breast cancers, however, PIK3CA mutations are found mainly in exon 20. We conclude that PI3KCA mutations affecting exons 9 and 20 display gender- and tissue-specific patterns, thus suggesting that the different amino acid changes could exert distinct functional effects on the oncogenic properties of this enzyme. Furthermore, we propose that sexual dimorphisms and tissue specific factors might directly or indirectly influence the occurrence of PI3KCA cancer alleles.

    Human mutation 2008;29;2;284-8

  • PIK3CA mutations in the kinase domain (exon 20) of uterine endometrial adenocarcinomas are associated with adverse prognostic parameters.

    Catasus L, Gallardo A, Cuatrecasas M and Prat J

    Department of Pathology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

    Mutations of the oncogene PIK3CA occur frequently in endometrial carcinomas, but their prognostic significance is unclear. To determine the clinicopathological and molecular implications of these mutations, PIK3CA status was investigated in 109 endometrial (102 endometrioid and 7 mixed) carcinomas and the results were compared with clinicopathological parameters associated with prognosis. Tumors were also investigated for microsatellite instability and PTEN, beta-catenin gene (CTNNB1), K-RAS, and B-RAF mutations. We found 35 PIK3CA somatic missense mutations in 32 (29%) endometrial carcinomas. Eighteen mutations occurred in exon 20 (kinase domain), and 17 in exon 9 (helical domain). Almost all mutated tumors were pure endometrioid adenocarcinomas. All tumors with PIK3CA mutations exhibited myometrial invasion (P=0.032). Lymphovascular invasion was found more frequently in mutated (28%) than nonmutated carcinomas (18%). Histological grade varied significantly according to the location of the PIK3CA mutations whether in exon 9 or exon 20 (P=0.033). The frequency of exon 9 mutations was higher in grade 1 carcinomas (57%) than in grade 2 (29%) or grade 3 (14%) tumors. Conversely, mutations in exon 20 were more common in grade 3 (60%) than in grade 2 (20%) or grade 1 (20%) carcinomas. None of the tumors confined to the endometrium (stage IA) had PIK3CA mutations. Furthermore, whereas 64% of adenocarcinomas with exon 9 mutations had invaded < or =(1/2) of the myometrial thickness (stage IB), 73% of tumors with exon 20 mutations had either deeper myometrial invasion (stage IC) or cervical involvement (stage II) (P=0.045). PIK3CA mutations coexisted with microsatellite instability and mutations in PTEN, CTNNB1, K-RAS, and B-RAF genes. These results favor that PIK3CA mutations are associated with myometrial invasion and, moreover, that tumors harboring PIK3CA mutations in exon 20 are frequently high-grade, deeply invasive endometrial carcinomas that tend to exhibit lymphovascular invasion.

    Modern pathology : an official journal of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, Inc 2008;21;2;131-9

  • Effects of oncogenic p110alpha subunit mutations on the lipid kinase activity of phosphoinositide 3-kinase.

    Carson JD, Van Aller G, Lehr R, Sinnamon RH, Kirkpatrick RB, Auger KR, Dhanak D, Copeland RA, Gontarek RR, Tummino PJ and Luo L

    Department of Enzymology and Mechanistic Pharmacology, GlaxoSmithKline, 1250 South Collegeville Road, Collegeville, PA 19426, USA.

    The PIK3CA gene, encoding the p110alpha catalytic subunit of Class IA PI3Ks (phosphoinositide 3-kinases), is frequently mutated in many human tumours. The three most common tumour-derived alleles of p110alpha, H1047R, E542K and E545K, were shown to potently activate PI3K signalling in human epithelial cells. In the present study, we examine the biochemical activity of the recombinantly purified PI3K oncogenic mutants. The kinetic characterizations of the wt (wild-type) and the three 'hot spot' PI3K mutants show that the mutants all have approx. 2-fold increase in lipid kinase activities. Interestingly, the phosphorylated IRS-1 (insulin receptor substrate-1) protein shows activation of the lipid kinase activity for the wt and H1047R but not E542K and E545K PI3Kalpha, suggesting that these mutations represent different mechanisms of lipid kinase activation and hence transforming activity in cancer cells.

    The Biochemical journal 2008;409;2;519-24

  • A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the p110beta gene promoter is associated with partial protection from insulin resistance in severely obese adolescents.

    Le Stunff C, Dechartres A, Miraglia Del Giudice E, Froguel P and Bougnères P

    Department of Pediatric Endocrinology, Pôle d'Endocrinologie Enfants-Adultes Cochin-St. Vincent de Paul, APHP, Hôpital Saint Vincent de Paul, Paris V University, Paris, France.

    Objective: Severe juvenile obesity causes metabolic and cardiovascular complications in adulthood. The catalytic p110beta subunit of phosphatidyl-inositol-3 kinase is a major effector of insulin action. We studied the p110beta gene as a candidate gene for association with insulin resistance (IR) and fasting glycemia in severely obese children.

    Methods: We conducted an association study in 580 severely obese European children (body mass index > 99.6th centile) and 606 nonobese control children, in whom glucose and insulin were measured in the fasting state. The homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index was used to estimate IR.

    Results: We found that a single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs361072) located in the promoter of the p110beta gene was associated with fasting glucose (P = 0.0002), insulin (P = 2.6 10(-8)), and homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance index (P =1 10(-9)) in the severely obese children. The effect of rs361072 was marginal or not significant in nonobese children.

    Conclusions: The C allele of rs361072 attenuates IR in superobese children.

    Funded by: Medical Research Council: G0600331

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2008;93;1;212-5

  • Oncogenic mutations of the PIK3CA gene in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas.

    Murugan AK, Hong NT, Fukui Y, Munirajan AK and Tsuchida N

    Department of Molecular Cellular Oncology and Microbiology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8549, Japan.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are heterodimeric lipid kinases that regulate cellular activities such as proliferation, survival, motility and morphology. Recent studies reported that the p110alpha (PIK3CA), catalytic subunit of PI3-kinase is somatically mutated in human cancers. Hot- spot mutations (E542K, E545K and H1047R) are reported to have higher oncogenic potential. Although PIK3CA mutations were reported in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) of limited ethnicity, the functional consequences of HNSCC-associated PIK3CA mutations have not been examined. Status of PI3K signaling related genes (PTEN-RAS-EGFR) in the presence of PIK3CA mutation have not been reported. In this study, we analyzed exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA in 54 samples, including 17 HNSCC cell lines, 19 Indian and 18 Vietnamese primary tumors. We found mutations in 29.4% (5/17) of HNSCC cell lines, 10.5% (2/19) of Indian tumors and no mutation (0/18) in Vietnamese tumors. Two homozygous PIK3CA mutations were found in cell lines and a novel insertion mutation with oncogenicity in Indian tumor. Analysis of PI3K signaling related genes showed that PIK3CA and PTEN mutations were mutually exclusive, though PTEN mutation is uncommon in HNSCC. However, PIK3CA mutation coexisted with H-RAS mutation. Furthermore, PIK3CA mutations were mutually exclusive to EGFR amplification. All the 5 mutants that we found in HNSCC, showed increased PI3 kinase activities, followed by growth factor independent higher colony forming efficiency, changes in morphology, higher rates of migration and invasion compared with PIK3CA wild-type. Our study is the first to examine the oncogenic potential of PIK3CA mutants associated with HNSCC and report on PIK3CA mutations in Indian and Vietnamese ethnicity. These results suggest that PIK3CA mutations in HNSCC are likely to be oncogenic and may significantly contribute to HNSCC carcinogenesis and pave attractive target for therapeutic prevention.

    International journal of oncology 2008;32;1;101-11

  • Rotavirus replication in intestinal cells differentially regulates integrin expression by a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent pathway, resulting in increased cell adhesion and virus yield.

    Halasz P, Holloway G, Turner SJ and Coulson BS

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Gate 11, Royal Parade, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.

    Changes in the interactions between intestinal cells and their surrounding environment during virus infection have not been well documented. The growth and survival of intestinal epithelial cells, the main targets of rotavirus infection, are largely dependent on the interaction of cell surface integrins with the extracellular matrix. In this study, we detected alterations in cellular integrin expression following rotavirus infection, identified the signaling components required, and analyzed the subsequent effects on cell binding to the matrix component collagen. After rotavirus infection of intestinal cells, expression of alpha2beta1 and beta2 integrins was up-regulated, whereas that of alphaVbeta3, alphaVbeta5, and alpha5beta1 integrins, if present, was down-regulated. This differential regulation of integrins was reflected at the transcriptional level. It was unrelated to the use of integrins as rotavirus receptors, as both integrin-using and integrin-independent viruses induced integrin regulation. Using pharmacological agents that inhibit kinase activity, integrin regulation was shown to be dependent on phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) but independent of the activities of the mitogen-activated protein kinases p38 and ERK1/2, and cyclooxygenase-2. Replication-dependent activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway was observed following infection of intestinal and nonintestinal cell lines. Rotavirus activation of PI3K was important for regulation of alpha2beta1 expression. Blockade of integrin regulation by PI3K inhibition led to decreased adherence of infected intestinal cells to collagen and a concomitant decrease in virus titer. These findings indicate that rotavirus-induced PI3K activation causes regulation of integrin expression in intestinal cells, leading to prolonged adherence of infected cells to collagen and increased virus production.

    Journal of virology 2008;82;1;148-60

  • PIK3CA-activating mutations and chemotherapy sensitivity in stage II-III breast cancer.

    Liedtke C, Cardone L, Tordai A, Yan K, Gomez HL, Figureoa LJ, Hubbard RE, Valero V, Souchon EA, Symmans WF, Hortobagyi GN, Bardelli A and Pusztai L

    Department of Breast Medical Oncology, University of Texas M, D, Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

    Introduction: In vitro evidence suggests that PIK3CA (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, catalytic, alpha polypeptide) activation may be associated with altered chemotherapy sensitivity in cancer.

    Methods: Tumor DNA from 140 patients with stage II-III breast cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy was sequenced for PIK3CA mutations on exons 1, 9, and 20. Mutation status was correlated with clinical/pathological parameters and chemotherapy response as (a) pathological complete response (pCR) versus residual cancer or (b) quantitative residual cancer burden (RCB) scores, including stratification for estrogen receptor (ER) expression status, type of chemotherapy, and by exons.

    Results: Twenty-three patients (16.4%) harbored a PIK3CA mutation, with 12, 11, and 0 mutations located in exons 9, 20, and 1, respectively. PIK3CA exon 9 mutations were more frequent among node-negative (52% versus 25%; P = 0.012) than node-positive tumors, particularly among ER-positive tumors. pCR rates and RCB scores were similar among patients with the wild-type and mutant PIK3CA genes, even after stratification by ER status, chemotherapy regimen (anthracycline versus anthracycline plus paclitaxel), or exon.

    Conclusion: PIK3CA mutations are not associated with altered sensitivity to preoperative anthracycline-based or taxane-based chemotherapies in ER-positive and ER-negative breast tumors. In this study, PIK3CA mutation was associated with a decreased rate of node-positive disease, particularly among ER-positive tumors.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 2P30CA016672 28, P30 CA016672, R01 CA106290, R01-CA106290

    Breast cancer research : BCR 2008;10;2;R27

  • Insulin-like growth factor-1 regulates platelet activation through PI3-Kalpha isoform.

    Kim S, Garcia A, Jackson SP and Kunapuli SP

    Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and the Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.

    Platelets release insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) from alpha granules upon activation. We have investigated the regulation of IGF-1 in G(i)-dependent pathways leading to Akt activation and the role of IGF-1 in platelet activation. IGF-1 alone failed to induce platelet aggregation, but IGF-1 potentiated 2-MeSADP-induced platelet aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner. IGF-1 triggered platelet aggregation in combination with selective P2Y(1) receptor activation. IGF-1 also caused platelet aggregation without shape change when combined with selective G(z) stimulation by epinephrine, suggesting the role of IGF-1 in platelet aggregation by supplementing G(i) pathways. The potentiating effect of IGF-1 was not affected by intracellular calcium chelation. Importantly, IGF-1 was unable to potentiate platelet aggregation by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor wortmannin, suggesting a critical regulation by PI3-K. Moreover, the potentiating effect of IGF-1 was abolished by the presence of PI3-K p110alpha inhibitor PIK-75. Stimulation of platelets with IGF-1 resulted in phosphorylation of Akt, a downstream effector of PI3-K, which was completely inhibited by wortmannin. IGF-1-induced Akt phosphorylation was abolished by PIK-75 suggesting the contribution of PI3-K p110alpha for activation of Akt by IGF-1. These results demonstrate that IGF-1 plays a role in potentiating platelet aggregation by complementing G(i)- but not G(q)-signaling pathways via PI3-K p110alpha.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL00777, HL60683, HL80444, R01 HL060683, R01 HL080444

    Blood 2007;110;13;4206-13

  • The structure of a human p110alpha/p85alpha complex elucidates the effects of oncogenic PI3Kalpha mutations.

    Huang CH, Mandelker D, Schmidt-Kittler O, Samuels Y, Velculescu VE, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B, Gabelli SB and Amzel LM

    Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

    PIK3CA, one of the two most frequently mutated oncogenes in human tumors, codes for p110alpha, the catalytic subunit of a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, isoform alpha (PI3Kalpha, p110alpha/p85). Here, we report a 3.0 angstrom resolution structure of a complex between p110alpha and a polypeptide containing the p110alpha-binding domains of p85alpha, a protein required for its enzymatic activity. The structure shows that many of the mutations occur at residues lying at the interfaces between p110alpha and p85alpha or between the kinase domain of p110alpha and other domains within the catalytic subunit. Disruptions of these interactions are likely to affect the regulation of kinase activity by p85 or the catalytic activity of the enzyme, respectively. In addition to providing new insights about the structure of PI3Kalpha, these results suggest specific mechanisms for the effect of oncogenic mutations in p110alpha and p85alpha.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 43460; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM 07184, GM066895, GM07309

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2007;318;5857;1744-8

  • Concomitant activation of AKT with extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 occurs independently of PTEN or PIK3CA mutations in endometrial cancer and may be associated with favorable prognosiss.

    Mori N, Kyo S, Sakaguchi J, Mizumoto Y, Ohno S, Maida Y, Hashimoto M, Takakura M and Inoue M

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kanazawa University, 13-1 Takaramachi, Kanazawa, Ishikawa 920-8641, Japan.

    Deregulated signaling via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is common in many types of cancer, but its clinicopathological significance in endometrial cancer remains unclear. In the present study, we examined the status of the PI3K signaling pathway, especially in relation to PTEN and PIK3CA status, in endometrioid-type endometrial cancer. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed a high level of phosphorylated (p)-AKT expression, which is a hallmark of activated PI3K signaling, in approximately 60% of endometrial cancers. There was no correlation between p-AKT expression and clinicopathological characteristics, such as International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage, tumor grade, and myometrial invasion. Unexpectedly, a high level of p-AKT expression occurred independently of the presence of PTEN or PIK3CA mutations. Furthermore, p-AKT expression did not correlate with the expression of potential downstream targets, including p-mTOR and p-FOXO1/3a. In turn, p-AKT expression was strongly associated with extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 expression (P = 0.0031), which is representative of the activated RAS-MAP kinase pathway. Kaplan-Meier analysis suggested that low p-AKT expression was associated with low rates of relapse-free survival, although the difference was not statistically significant, indicating that AKT activation does not confer worse prognosis. The present study demonstrates the presence of complex signaling pathways that might mask the conventional tumorigenic PTEN-PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway, and strongly suggests a close association between the extracellular-regulated kinase and PI3K pathways in this tumor type.

    Cancer science 2007;98;12;1881-8

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation is required to form the NKG2D immunological synapse.

    Giurisato E, Cella M, Takai T, Kurosaki T, Feng Y, Longmore GD, Colonna M and Shaw AS

    Department of Pathology & Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

    The receptor NKG2D allows natural killer (NK) cells to detect virally infected, stressed, and tumor cells. In human cells, NKG2D signaling is mediated through the associated DAP10 adapter. Here we show that engagement of NKG2D by itself is sufficient to stimulate the formation of the NK immunological synapse (NKIS), with recruitment of NKG2D to the center synapse. Mutagenesis studies of DAP10 revealed that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase binding site, but not the Grb2 binding site, was required and sufficient for recruitment of DAP10 to the NKIS. Surprisingly, we found that in the absence of the Grb2 binding site, Grb2 was still recruited to the NKIS. Since the recruitment of Grb2 was dependent on phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3), we explored the possibility that recruitment to the NKIS is mediated by a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain-containing binding partner for Grb2. We found that the PH domain of SOS1, but not that of Vav1, was able to be recruited by PIP3. These results provide new insights into the mechanism of immunological synapse formation and also demonstrate how multiple mechanisms can be used to recruit the same signaling proteins to the plasma membrane.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2007;27;24;8583-99

  • Plexin-B1 utilizes RhoA and Rho kinase to promote the integrin-dependent activation of Akt and ERK and endothelial cell motility.

    Basile JR, Gavard J and Gutkind JS

    Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, NIDCR, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

    The semaphorins are a family of proteins originally identified as axon-guiding molecules in the developing nervous system that have been recently shown to regulate many cellular functions, including motility, in a variety of cell types. We have previously shown that in endothelial cells Semaphorin 4D acts through its receptor, Plexin-B1, to elicit a pro-angiogenic phenotype that involves the activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt signaling pathway. Here we show through the use of a receptor chimeric approach, Plexin-B1 mutants, and dominant negative and pharmacological inhibitors that this response is dependent upon the activation of RhoA and its downstream target, Rho kinase (ROK). Indeed, we demonstrate that in endothelial cells, Semaphorin 4D promotes the formation of focal adhesion complexes, stress fibers, and the phosphorylation of myosin light chain, a response that was abolished by the use of ROK inhibitors and absent from cells expressing Plexin-B1 mutant constructs incapable of signaling to RhoA. Stress fiber polymerization and contraction are in turn necessary for RhoA-dependent pro-angiogenic signaling through Plexin-B1. Furthermore, we observed that in endothelial cells Plexin-B1 promotes the integrin-mediated activation of Pyk2, resulting in the stimulation of PI3K, Akt, and ERK. These findings provide evidence that Plexin-B1 promotes endothelial cell motility through RhoA and ROK by regulating the integrin-dependent signaling networks that result in the activation of PI3K and Akt.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2007;282;48;34888-95

  • PIK3CA mutations are mutually exclusive with PTEN loss in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

    Abubaker J, Bavi PP, Al-Harbi S, Siraj AK, Al-Dayel F, Uddin S and Al-Kuraya K

    Leukemia 2007;21;11;2368-70

  • Reduced insulin-induced phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase activation in peripheral blood mononuclear leucocytes from patients with Alzheimer's disease.

    Castri P, Iacovelli L, De Blasi A, Giubilei F, Moretti A, Tari Capone F, Nicoletti F and Orzi F

    Department of Neurological Sciences, II Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome 'La Sapienza', Italy. paola.castri@uniroma1.it

    The epidemiological finding of an increased risk of dementia in patients with diabetes mellitus has raised the hypothesis that a dysfunction of the insulin receptors plays a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). A possible link is suggested by the evidence that the insulin-stimulated phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI-3-K)/phospho-Akt pathway negatively controls the glycogen synthase kinase-3beta. The activation of this enzyme mediates the hyperphosphorylation of the tau protein, a relevant step in the formation of the neurofibrillary tangles associated with AD. We hypothesized that the neurodegeneration associated with AD is related to an impairment of the intracellular signalling stimulated by insulin receptors. To test this hypothesis we assessed the PI-3-K/phospho-Akt pathway following in-vitro challenge with insulin in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from subjects with AD (n = 20) and controls (n = 20). We found that the stimulation of PI-3-K is blunted in patients with AD with respect to control. The reduction did not correlate with the extent of cognitive decline or with scores at neuropsychological tests exploring attention, memory, language or visuospatial abilities. The study supports the hypothesis that an impaired control of glycogen synthase kinase-3beta activity by insulin receptor-mediated signalling plays a role in the pathogenesis of AD, facilitating tau protein phosphorylation and neurofibrillary tangle formation.

    The European journal of neuroscience 2007;26;9;2469-72

  • Regulation of neuron survival through an intersectin-phosphoinositide 3'-kinase C2beta-AKT pathway.

    Das M, Scappini E, Martin NP, Wong KA, Dunn S, Chen YJ, Miller SL, Domin J and O'Bryan JP

    Laboratory of Signal Transduction, Laboratory of Neurobiology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.

    While endocytosis attenuates signals from plasma membrane receptors, recent studies suggest that endocytosis also serves as a platform for the compartmentalized activation of cellular signaling pathways. Intersectin (ITSN) is a multidomain scaffolding protein that regulates endocytosis and has the potential to regulate various biochemical pathways through its multiple, modular domains. To address the biological importance of ITSN in regulating cellular signaling pathways versus in endocytosis, we have stably silenced ITSN expression in neuronal cells by using short hairpin RNAs. Decreasing ITSN expression dramatically increased apoptosis in both neuroblastoma cells and primary cortical neurons. Surprisingly, the loss of ITSN did not lead to major defects in the endocytic pathway. Yeast two-hybrid analysis identified class II phosphoinositide 3'-kinase C2beta (PI3K-C2beta) as an ITSN binding protein, suggesting that ITSN may regulate a PI3K-C2beta-AKT survival pathway. ITSN associated with PI3K-C2beta on a subset of endomembrane vesicles and enhanced both basal and growth factor-stimulated PI3K-C2beta activity, resulting in AKT activation. The use of pharmacological inhibitors, dominant negatives, and rescue experiments revealed that PI3K-C2beta and AKT were epistatic to ITSN. This study represents the first demonstration that ITSN, independent of its role in endocytosis, regulates a critical cellular signaling pathway necessary for cell survival.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS; Medical Research Council: G0500936

    Molecular and cellular biology 2007;27;22;7906-17

  • Different prognostic roles of mutations in the helical and kinase domains of the PIK3CA gene in breast carcinomas.

    Barbareschi M, Buttitta F, Felicioni L, Cotrupi S, Barassi F, Del Grammastro M, Ferro A, Dalla Palma P, Galligioni E and Marchetti A

    Unit of Surgical Pathology, Laboratory of Molecular Pathology S. Chiara Hospital, Trento, Italy, and Clinical Research Center, Center of Excellence on Aging, University-Foundation, Chieti, Italy.

    Purpose: In breast cancer, the PIK3CA gene is frequently mutated at "hotspots" in exons 9 and 20, corresponding to the helical and kinase domains, respectively. We decided to investigate the association of PIK3CA mutations with pathologic features and clinical outcome in a large series of patients with breast cancer.

    Frozen samples from 163 consecutive patients were analyzed for PIK3CA mutations using PCR single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequence analyses.

    Results: We identified 46 missense mutations, 24 (53%) in exon 9, and 21 (47%) in exon 20. Twelve (50%) of the 24 mutations in exon 9 were of the E542K type and 11 (46%) were of the E545K type. Twenty (95%) of the 21 mutations in exon 20 were H1047R substitutions. Mutations in exon 9 were more frequent in lobular carcinomas (42% of cases) than in ductal carcinoma (11% of cases; P = 0.002). At univariate survival analysis, PIK3CA exon 20 mutations were associated with prolonged overall and disease-free survival, whereas mutations in exon 9 were associated with significantly worse prognosis. At multivariate analysis, exon 9 PIK3CA mutations were the strongest independent factor to predict poor prognosis for disease-free survival (P = 0.0003) and overall survival (P = 0.001).

    Conclusion: Our data show that exon 9 PIK3CA mutations are typical of infiltrating lobular carcinomas. In addition, they indicate that PIK3CA mutations in different exons are of different prognostic value: exon 9 mutations are independently associated with early recurrence and death, whereas exon 20 PIK3CA mutations are associated with optimal prognosis.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2007;13;20;6064-9

  • PIK3CA mutation is predictive of poor survival in patients with colorectal cancer.

    Kato S, Iida S, Higuchi T, Ishikawa T, Takagi Y, Yasuno M, Enomoto M, Uetake H and Sugihara K

    Department of Surgical Oncology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan. s-katou@daiichi.or.jp

    The PI3K-AKT pathway is activated in a variety of human cancers, resulting in disturbance of cell growth, proliferation and survival. Among the factors affecting the pathway, the K-Ras mutation and PIK3CA mutation are the most common oncogenic alterations in colorectal cancer. We hypothesized that these two mutations are important in activation of the PI3K pathway and colorectal carcinogenesis. In this study, we aimed to examine the influence of PIK3CA mutation and K-Ras mutation on AKT activation, and to clarify whether PIK3CA mutation, K-Ras mutation and p-AKT expression may be used as parameters for predicting prognosis in colorectal cancer. Tissue samples from 158 colorectal cancer patients who underwent surgical resection were examined. The sequences of exon 1 of K-Ras and exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA were determined by direct sequencing using genomic DNA extracted from paraffin-embedded blocks. Activation status of AKT was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining using phospho-specific AKT antibody (Ser473). Correlation between these factors and clinicopathologic findings/patient survival were examined. As a result, PIK3CA mutation was significantly associated with shorter relapse-free survival (RFS) in stage II/III patients (p = 0.0216) and shorter disease-specific survival in all patients (p = 0.0357). In the multivariate analysis, PIK3CA mutation was the only independent and significant prognostic factor for RFS in stage II/III patients (p = 0.0433, HR 2.478). This study revealed the prognostic value of PIK3CA mutation in colorectal cancer patients. Patients with PIK3CA mutation should be followed up carefully. Moreover, our result suggests that inhibition of PIK3CA mutant may be a new molecular target therapy.

    International journal of cancer 2007;121;8;1771-8

  • Phosphoinositide 3-kinase-independent non-genomic signals transit from the androgen receptor to Akt1 in membrane raft microdomains.

    Cinar B, Mukhopadhyay NK, Meng G and Freeman MR

    Urological Diseases Research Center, Departments of Urology, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    The serine-threonine kinase, Akt1/protein kinase Balpha is an important mediator of growth, survival, and metabolic signaling. Recent studies have implicated cholesterol-rich, lipid raft microdomains in survival signals mediated by Akt1. Here we address the role of lipid raft membranes as a potential site of intersection of androgenic and Akt1 signaling. A subpopulation of androgen receptor (AR) was found to localize to a lipid raft subcellular compartment in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Endogenous AR interacted with endogenous Akt1 preferentially in lipid raft fractions and androgen substantially enhanced the interaction between the two proteins. The association of AR with Akt1 was inhibited by the anti-androgen, bicalutamide, but was not affected by inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Androgen promoted endogenous Akt1 activity in lipid raft fractions, in a PI3K-independent manner, within 10 min of treatment. Fusion of a lipid raft targeting sequence to AR enhanced localization of the receptor to rafts, and stimulated Akt1 activity in response to androgen, while reducing the cells' dependence on constitutive signaling through PI3K for cell survival. These findings suggest that signals channeled through AR and Akt1 intersect by a mechanism involving formation within lipid raft membranes of an androgen-responsive, extranuclear AR/Akt1 complex. Our results indicate that cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains play a role in transmitting non-genomic signals involving androgen and the Akt pathway in prostate cancer cells.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: R01 CA112303; NIDDK NIH HHS: P50 DK65298, R01 DK087806, R37 DK47556

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2007;282;40;29584-93

  • Mutations of the PIK3CA gene in hereditary colorectal cancers.

    Miyaki M, Iijima T, Yamaguchi T, Takahashi K, Matsumoto H, Yasutome M, Funata N and Mori T

    Hereditary Tumor Research Project, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Tokyo, Japan. mmiyaki@opal.famille.ne.jp

    Somatic mutations of the PIK3CA gene have recently been detected in various human cancers, including sporadic colorectal cancer. However, mutations of the PIK3CA gene in hereditary colorectal cancers have not been clarified. To elucidate the mutation status in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), which are the most common hereditary colorectal cancers, we investigated PIK3CA mutations in 163 colorectal tumors, including adenomas, intramucosal carcinomas and invasive carcinomas. For comparison, we also analyzed mutations of the same gene in 160 sporadic colorectal tumors at various histopathological stages. Analysis at exons 1, 7, 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene revealed somatic mutations in 21% (8 of 39) of FAP invasive carcinomas, 21% (7 of 34) of HNPCC invasive carcinomas, 15% (8 of 52) of sporadic invasive carcinomas, and 14% (7 of 50) of sporadic colorectal metastases in the liver. Mutations in FAP and HNPCC carcinomas predominantly occurred in the kinase domain (exon 20), while the majority of mutations in sporadic cases occurred in the helical domain (exon 9). Adenomas and intramucosal carcinomas from all patients exhibited no mutations (0 of 148). Our data suggest that PIK3CA mutations contribute to the invasion step from intramucosal carcinoma to invasive carcinoma in colorectal carcinogenesis in FAP and HNPCC patients at a similar extent to that seen in sporadic patients.

    International journal of cancer 2007;121;7;1627-30

  • A functional genetic approach identifies the PI3K pathway as a major determinant of trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer.

    Berns K, Horlings HM, Hennessy BT, Madiredjo M, Hijmans EM, Beelen K, Linn SC, Gonzalez-Angulo AM, Stemke-Hale K, Hauptmann M, Beijersbergen RL, Mills GB, van de Vijver MJ and Bernards R

    Division of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Center for Biomedical Genetics, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    A large-scale RNA interference screen to discover genes involved in trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer identified only PTEN as a modulator of drug sensitivity. Oncogenic mutants of PIK3CA (activator of the same pathway and frequently mutated in breast cancer) also conferred resistance to trastuzumab in cell culture. In a cohort of 55 breast cancer patients, activation of the PI3K pathway, as judged by the presence of oncogenic PIK3CA mutations or low PTEN expression, was associated with poor prognosis after trastuzumab therapy, and the combined analysis of PTEN and PIK3CA identified twice as many patients at increased risk for progression compared to PTEN alone. Thus, assessment of PI3K pathway activation may provide a biomarker to identify patients unlikely to respond to trastuzumab-based therapy.

    Cancer cell 2007;12;4;395-402

  • PIK3CA gene amplification in Japanese non-small cell lung cancer.

    Kawano O, Sasaki H, Okuda K, Yukiue H, Yokoyama T, Yano M and Fujii Y

    We have investigated 92 non-small cell lung cancer tissues and found 11 PIK3CA amplification. PIK3CA amplification incidence was significantly higher in male, smoker and squamous cell carcinoma patients. Among 11 patients with PIK3CA amplification, two patients harbored a PIK3CA mutation. There was significant difference in survival between the patients with PIK3CA normal copy number and the patients with PIK3CA amplification.

    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2007;58;1;159-60

  • PIK3CA mutation and amplification in human lung cancer.

    Okudela K, Suzuki M, Kageyama S, Bunai T, Nagura K, Igarashi H, Takamochi K, Suzuki K, Yamada T, Niwa H, Ohashi R, Ogawa H, Mori H, Kitamura H, Kaneko T, Tsuneyoshi T and Sugimura H

    Department of Pathology I, Hamamatsu Universit School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.

    To explore the significance of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha (PIK3CA) in the carcinogenesis in human lung, mutations and copy number changes were investigated in 148 Japanese patients with primary cancer of the lung. For biological validation, the effects of exogenously expressed wild-type and mutated PIK3CA were studied in an immortalized human airway epithelial cell line. Mutations in PIK3CA were found in five (3.6%) of the 139 available patients, and copy number gains were found in 21 (18.3%) of 115 patients, respectively. Overall, mutations or copy number gains were detected in 24 of the 106 patients (22.6%) for whom results in both analyses were available. The prevalence of copy number gains was higher in men, smokers, and in patients with squamous cell carcinoma than in the opposite categories. The copy number changes showed a trend toward higher prevalence in the earlier stages (P = 0.038). Interestingly, the presence of mutations and of copy number alterations were mutually exclusive in the present patients, implying that both entail equivalent oncogenic potential. Over-expressed wild-type PIK3CA and its two common mutants, K545E and H1047R, significantly enhanced the anchorage-independent growth activity and migration activity of immortalized airway epithelium 16HBE14o- cells, but the effects of the K545E and H1047R mutants were more remarkable than those of the wild-type. The present demonstrates an important role of PIK3CA in human lung carcinogenesis.

    Pathology international 2007;57;10;664-71

  • Parathyroid hormone-related protein induces cell survival in human renal cell carcinoma through the PI3K Akt pathway: evidence for a critical role for integrin-linked kinase and nuclear factor kappa B.

    Agouni A, Sourbier C, Danilin S, Rothhut S, Lindner V, Jacqmin D, Helwig JJ, Lang H and Massfelder T

    INSERM U727, Section of Renal Pharmacology and Physiopathology, School of Medicine, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg 67085, France.

    We have recently shown that parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), a cytokine-like polyprotein, is critical for human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) growth by inhibiting tumor cell apoptosis. Here, we have explored mechanisms by which PTHrP controls tumor cell survival. Using specific inhibitors of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and depletion of Akt kinase by RNA interference, we established that PTHrP is one of the main factor involved in the constitutive activation of this pathway in human RCC, independently of von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor gene expression. Interestingly, PTHrP induced phosphorylation of Akt at S473 but had no influence on phosphorylation at T308. Through transfection with integrin-linked kinase (ILK) constructs and RNA interference, we provide evidence that ILK is involved in human RCC cell survival. PTHrP activates ILK which then acts as a phosphoinositide-dependent kinase (PDK)-2 or a facilitator protein to phosphorylate Akt at S473. Among other kinases tested, only ILK was shown to exert this function in RCC. Using specific inhibitors, western blot and transcription assay, we identified nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) as the downstream Akt target regulated by PTHrP. Since RCC remains refractory to current therapies, our results establish that the PI3K/ILK/Akt/NF-kappaB axis is a promising target for therapeutic intervention.

    Carcinogenesis 2007;28;9;1893-901

  • Phosphoinositide 3-kinase is activated by MUC1 but not responsible for MUC1-induced suppression of Toll-like receptor 5 signaling.

    Kato K, Lu W, Kai H and Kim KC

    Immunology and Asthma Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108-5127, USA.

    MUC1 is a membrane-tethered mucin-like glycoprotein expressed on the surface of various mucosal epithelial cells as well as hematopoietic cells. Recently, we showed that MUC1 suppresses flagellin-induced Toll-like receptor (TLR) 5 signaling both in vivo and in vitro through cross talk with TLR5. In this study, we determined whether phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), a negative regulator of TLR5 signaling, is involved in the cross talk between MUC1 and TLR5 using various genetically modified epithelial cell lines. Our results showed 1) activation of MUC1 induced recruitment of the PI3K regulatory subunit p85 to the MUC1 cytoplasmic tail (CT) as well as Akt phosphorylation, 2) MUC1-induced Akt phosphorylation required the presence of Tyr(20) within the PI3K binding motif of the MUC1 CT, and 3) mutation of Tyr(20) or pharmacological inhibition of PI3K activation failed to block MUC1-induced suppression of TLR5 signaling. We conclude that whereas PI3K is downstream of MUC1 activation and negatively regulates TLR5 signaling, it is not responsible for MUC1-induced suppression of TLR5 signaling.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL-81825, R01 HL-47125

    American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology 2007;293;3;L686-92

  • PIK3CA and PTEN mutations in adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast metastatic to kidney.

    Vranić S, Bilalović N, Lee LM, Kruslin B, Lilleberg SL and Gatalica Z

    Department of Pathology, Clinical Center of University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the breast rarely metastasizes and has been associated with excellent prognosis. We describe a patient with renal metastasis of primary breast ACC 5 years after the mastectomy. A detailed molecular genetic analysis of the primary and metastatic tumors demonstrated somatic mutations in 2 well-known cancer genes associated with regulation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway: (1) PIK3CA, which encodes the catalytic alpha subunit of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase, and (2) PTEN, which encodes phosphatase and tensin homolog. The mutation identified in PIK3CA (Ex1+169 A>C) predicts an amino acid change from isoleucine to methionine at codon 31 (I31M) and resides in the p85-binding domain of exon 1. The mutation identified in PTEN (IVS4-3 C>T) resides in intron 4 near the splice acceptor site of exon 5 and was associated with an aberrant PTEN transcript lacking exon 5, which is necessary for protein tyrosine phosphatase function and tumor suppressor properties of PTEN. Increased promoter methylation of PTEN was present in renal metastasis, coinciding with the decrease in the level of normal PTEN transcript. These coexistent mutations/epigenetic inactivations in PI3K/AKT pathway may be responsible for the unusually aggressive course of ACC.

    Human pathology 2007;38;9;1425-31

  • TGF-beta1 stimulates human AT1 receptor expression in lung fibroblasts by cross talk between the Smad, p38 MAPK, JNK, and PI3K signaling pathways.

    Martin MM, Buckenberger JA, Jiang J, Malana GE, Knoell DL, Feldman DS and Elton TS

    Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.

    Both angiotensin II (ANG II) and transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) are thought to be involved in mediating pulmonary fibrosis. Interactions between the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and TGF-beta1 have been well documented, with most studies describing the effect of ANG II on TGF-beta1 expression. However, recent gene expression profiling experiments demonstrated that the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT(1)R) gene was a novel TGF-beta1 target in human adult lung fibroblasts. In this report, we show that TGF-beta1 augments human AT(1)R (hAT(1)R) steady-state mRNA and protein levels in a dose- and time-dependent manner in primary human fetal pulmonary fibroblasts (hPFBs). Nuclear run-on experiments demonstrate that TGF-beta1 transcriptionally activates the hAT(1)R gene and does not influence hAT(1)R mRNA stability. Pharmacological inhibitors and specific siRNA knockdown experiments demonstrate that the TGF-beta1 type 1 receptor (TbetaRI/ALK5), Smad2/3, and Smad4 are essential for TGF-beta1-stimulated hAT(1)R expression. Additional pharmacological inhibitor and small interference RNA experiments also demonstrated that p38 MAPK, JNK, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways are also involved in the TGF-beta1-stimulated increase in hAT(1)R density. Together, our results suggest an important role for cross talk among Smad, p38 MAPK, JNK, and PI3K pathways in mediating the augmented expression of hAT(1)R following TGF-beta1 treatment in hPFB. This study supports the hypothesis that a self-potentiating loop exists between the RAS and the TGF-beta1 signaling pathways and suggests that ANG II and TGF-beta1 may cooperate in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis. The synergy between these systems may require that both pathways be simultaneously inhibited to treat fibrotic lung disease.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL48848, R01 HL048848, R01 HL084498, R01 HL084498-01A2, R29 HL048848

    American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology 2007;293;3;L790-9

  • Patterns of PIK3CA alterations in familial colorectal and endometrial carcinoma.

    Ollikainen M, Gylling A, Puputti M, Nupponen NN, Abdel-Rahman WM, Butzow R and Peltomäki P

    Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

    While the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway is known to be activated in multiple sporadic cancers, the role of this pathway in familial tumors is mostly unknown. We searched for alterations in the catalytic domain of PI3K (PIK3CA), PTEN and KRAS, all of which may contribute to PI3K/AKT pathway activation, in a total of 160-familial colorectal (CRC) and endometrial carcinomas (EC), stratified by the presence vs. absence of germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. PIK3CA alterations (consisting of point mutations or low-level amplification, which were mutually exclusive with 1 exception) occurred in 10/70 (14%) of CRCs and 19/90 (21%) of ECs. Within ECs, amplification was significantly associated with the subgroup lacking germline mutations in MMR genes (familial site-specific endometrial cancer) (p = 0.015). Decreased or lost PTEN expression was characteristic of endometrial tumourigenesis (51/81, 63%, in EC compared with 24/62, 39%, in CRC, p = 0.004) and KRAS mutations of colorectal tumourigenesis (19/70, 27% in CRC vs. 9/89, 10%, in EC, p = 0.006) regardless of the MMR gene mutation status. PIK3CA alterations frequently coexisted with PTEN or KRAS changes. Combined with published studies on sporadic tumors, our data broaden the understanding of the role for PI3K pathway genes in human tumorigenesis.

    International journal of cancer 2007;121;4;915-20

  • Oncogenic PIK3CA mutations occur in epidermal nevi and seborrheic keratoses with a characteristic mutation pattern.

    Hafner C, López-Knowles E, Luis NM, Toll A, Baselga E, Fernández-Casado A, Hernández S, Ribé A, Mentzel T, Stoehr R, Hofstaedter F, Landthaler M, Vogt T, Pujol RM, Hartmann A and Real FX

    Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, 93042 Regensburg, Germany.

    Activating mutations of the p110 alpha subunit of PI3K (PIK3CA) oncogene have been identified in a broad spectrum of malignant tumors. However, their role in benign or preneoplastic conditions is unknown. Activating FGF receptor 3 (FGFR3) mutations are common in benign skin lesions, either as embryonic mutations in epidermal nevi (EN) or as somatic mutations in seborrheic keratoses (SK). FGFR3 mutations are also common in low-grade malignant bladder tumors, where they often occur in association with PIK3CA mutations. Therefore, we examined exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA and FGFR3 hotspot mutations in EN (n = 33) and SK (n = 62), two proliferative skin lesions lacking malignant potential. Nine of 33 (27%) EN harbored PIK3CA mutations; all cases showed the E545G substitution, which is uncommon in cancers. In EN, R248C was the only FGFR3 mutation identified. By contrast, 10 of 62 (16%) SK revealed the typical cancer-associated PIK3CA mutations E542K, E545K, and H1047R. The same lesions displayed a wide range of FGFR3 mutations. Corresponding unaffected tissue was available for four EN and two mutant SK: all control samples displayed a WT sequence, confirming the somatic nature of the mutations found in lesional tissue. Forty of 95 (42%) lesions showed at least one mutation in either gene. PIK3CA and FGFR3 mutations displayed an independent distribution; 5/95 lesions harbored mutations in both genes. Our findings suggest that, in addition to their role in cancer, oncogenic PIK3CA mutations contribute to the pathogenesis of skin tumors lacking malignant potential. The remarkable genotype-phenotype correlation as observed in this study points to a distinct etiopathogenesis of the mutations in keratinocytes occuring either during fetal development or in adult life.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007;104;33;13450-4

  • Lipid rafts of primary endothelial cells are essential for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8-induced phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and RhoA-GTPases critical for microtubule dynamics and nuclear delivery of viral DNA but dispensable for binding and entry.

    Raghu H, Sharma-Walia N, Veettil MV, Sadagopan S, Caballero A, Sivakumar R, Varga L, Bottero V and Chandran B

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

    Early during de novo infection of human microvascular dermal endothelial (HMVEC-d) cells, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) (human herpesvirus 8 [HHV-8]) induces the host cell's preexisting FAK, Src, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K), Rho-GTPases, Diaphanous-2 (Dia-2), Ezrin, protein kinase C-zeta, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and NF-kappaB signal pathways that are critical for virus entry, nuclear delivery of viral DNA, and initiation of viral gene expression. Since several of these signal molecules are known to be associated with lipid raft (LR) domains, we investigated the role of LR during KSHV infection of HMVEC-d cells. Pretreatment of cells with LR-disrupting agents methyl beta-cyclo dextrin (MbetaCD) or nystatin significantly inhibited the expression of viral latent (ORF73) and lytic (ORF50) genes. LR disruption did not affect KSHV binding but increased viral DNA internalization. In contrast, association of internalized viral capsids with microtubules (MTs) and the quantity of infected nucleus-associated viral DNA were significantly reduced. Disorganized and disrupted MTs and thick rounded plasma membranes were observed in MbetaCD-treated cells. LR disruption did not affect KSHV-induced FAK and ERK1/2 phosphorylation; in contrast, it increased the phosphorylation of Src, significantly reduced the KSHV-induced PI3-K and RhoA-GTPase and NF-kappaB activation, and reduced the colocalizations of PI3-K and RhoA-GTPase with LRs. Biochemical characterization demonstrated the association of activated PI3-K with LR fractions which was inhibited by MbetaCD treatment. RhoA-GTPase activation was inhibited by PI3-K inhibitors, demonstrating that PI3-K is upstream to RhoA-GTPase. In addition, colocalization of Dia-2, a RhoA-GTPase activated molecule involved in MT activation, with LR was reduced. KSHV-RhoA-GTPase mediated acetylation and aggregation of MTs were also reduced. Taken together, these studies suggest that LRs of endothelial cells play critical roles in KSHV infection and gene expression, probably due to their roles in modulating KSHV-induced PI3-K, RhoA-GTPase, and Dia-2 molecules essential for postbinding and entry stages of infection such as modulation of microtubular dynamics, movement of virus in the cytoplasm, and nuclear delivery of viral DNA.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: AI 057349, R01 AI057349

    Journal of virology 2007;81;15;7941-59

  • Analysis of PIK3CA and Akt/protein kinase B in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

    Fenic I, Steger K, Gruber C, Arens C and Woenckhaus J

    Department of Urology, University of Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany.

    PIK3CA, which encodes the catalytic subunit, p110-alpha, of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), is implicated in the development and progression of numerous neoplasias including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of PIK3CA hot-spot mutations in exons 9 and 20, the genomic gain and amplification of PIK3CA, the expression of PIK3CA mRNA and the p110 alpha protein, as well as the expression of phosphorylated-Akt (pAkt) in 33 cases of HNSCC and compared the results with the clinicopathological data. No non-synonymous mutations were detected. PIK3CA copy number gain and amplification were found in 36.4 and 9% of the cases, respectively, whereas mRNA overexpression was observed in 48.5% of the cases. No correlations could be stated between DNA gain, DNA amplification and mRNA expression, either between DNA or mRNA status and p110 alpha expression. Direct associations were found between PIK3CA gain and lymph node metastases (p=0.025) and between mRNA expression and tumour stage (p=0.015). A strong correlation was detected between p110 alpha and pAkt expression (p<0.001). Concluding, PIK3CA could be an oncogene implicated in HNSCC development. However, our data suggest that amplifications or mutations of this gene seldom occur in HNSCC and that epigenetic events can play an important role in advanced tumour stages.

    Oncology reports 2007;18;1;253-9

  • Double-stranded RNA induces galectin-9 in vascular endothelial cells: involvement of TLR3, PI3K, and IRF3 pathway.

    Imaizumi T, Yoshida H, Nishi N, Sashinami H, Nakamura T, Hirashima M, Ohyama C, Itoh K and Satoh K

    Department of Vascular Biology, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan. timaizum@cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp

    Galectin-9 is a member of the galectin family, which induces various biological reactions such as chemotaxis of eosinophils and apoptosis of T cells. We previously reported that polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly IC), an authentic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), induces the expression of galectin-9 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). In the present study, we addressed the possible involvement of two potential receptors for dsRNA, Toll-like receptor (TLR) 3 and retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I), in the expression of galectin-9 in HUVECs. Poly IC-induced galectin-9 expression was almost completely suppressed by RNA interference (RNAi) against TLR3, but not against RIG-I. LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), inhibited the induction of galectin-9 by poly IC. RNAi against interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) also inhibited poly IC-induced galectin-9 expression. We conclude that TLR3, PI3K, and IRF3 are involved in the poly IC-induced galectin-9 expression in HUVECs.

    Glycobiology 2007;17;7;12C-5C

  • Hypoxic condition- and high cell density-induced expression of Redd1 is regulated by activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha and Sp1 through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway.

    Jin HO, An S, Lee HC, Woo SH, Seo SK, Choe TB, Yoo DH, Lee SB, Um HD, Lee SJ, Park MJ, Kim JI, Hong SI, Rhee CH and Park IC

    Laboratory of Functional Genomics, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences, 215-4 Gongneung-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul 139-706, Republic of Korea.

    Redd1, a recently discovered stress-response gene, is regulated by hypoxia via hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) and by DNA damage via p53/p63; however, the signaling pathway by which its expression is induced by hypoxia has not been elucidated. In the present study, we demonstrated that the expression of Redd1 in response to hypoxia (1% O(2)), hypoxia-mimetic agent, cobalt chloride (CoCl(2)) and high cell density (HCD) requires coactivation of HIF-1alpha and Sp1. CoCl(2) and HCD induced the activation of HIF-1alpha and Sp1 in HeLa cells, and siRNAs targeting HIF-1alpha and Sp1 abrogated Redd1 expression. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) by LY294002 and by a dominant-negative PI3K mutant reduced the expression of Redd1 and activation of HIF-1alpha and Sp1 by CoCl(2) and HCD. Also, suppression of Akt activation blocked the expression of Redd1 and the activation of HIF-1alpha and Sp1 by CoCl(2) and HCD. Furthermore, we found that the induction of Redd1 expression by CoCl(2) can be mediated by activation of Sp1 in HIF-1alpha-deficient cells but that a higher level of Redd1 expression is achieved when these cells are transfected with HIF-1alpha. These results demonstrate that hypoxic condition-and HCD-induced expression of Redd1 is mediated by coactivation of Sp1 and HIF-1alpha downstream of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

    Cellular signalling 2007;19;7;1393-403

  • Insulin-like growth factor-I induces cyclooxygenase-2 expression via PI3K, MAPK and PKC signaling pathways in human ovarian cancer cells.

    Cao Z, Liu LZ, Dixon DA, Zheng JZ, Chandran B and Jiang BH

    Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9300, USA.

    Elevated levels of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) are associated with ovarian carcinogenesis and progression. However, the molecular mechanisms by which IGF-I contributes to ovarian cancer development remain to be elucidated. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a crucial player in the pathogenesis of human malignancies. Herein we showed that IGF-I efficiently induced COX-2 expression and PGE(2) biosynthesis at physiologically relevant concentrations in human ovarian cancer cells. IGF-I treatment significantly increased COX-2 transcriptional activation. IGF-I also stabilized COX-2 mRNA through the COX-2 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR), which appeared independent of the conserved AU-rich elements. We next investigated the signaling pathways involved in IGF-I-induced COX-2 expression. We found that PI3K inhibitor wortmannin or LY294002 blocked COX-2 expression induced by IGF-I. Wortmannin treatment or a dominant negative PI3K mutant significantly inhibited IGF-I-induced COX-2 mRNA stabilization, but only slightly decreased COX-2 transcriptional activation. We showed that ERK1/2 and p38 MAPKs were required for IGF-I-induced COX-2 expression and that activation of both pathways by IGF-I increased COX-2 transcriptional activation and its mRNA stability. IGF-I stimulated PKC activation in the cells and pretreatment with PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide prevented IGF-I-induced COX-2 transcriptional activation and mRNA stabilization, and inhibited COX-2 mRNA and protein expression. Taken together, our data demonstrate that IGF-I induces COX-2 expression in human ovarian cancer cells, which is mediated by three parallel signaling cascades--PI3K, MAPK, and PKC pathways that differentially regulate COX-2 expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 099925, CA 109460, CA 123675, CA 75911, R01 CA075911, R01 CA099925, R01 CA109460, R01 CA109460-02, R03 CA123675, R03 CA123675-02; NCRR NIH HHS: P20 RR016440, P20 RR016440-050001

    Cellular signalling 2007;19;7;1542-53

  • PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss correlate with similar prognostic factors and are not mutually exclusive in breast cancer.

    Pérez-Tenorio G, Alkhori L, Olsson B, Waltersson MA, Nordenskjöld B, Rutqvist LE, Skoog L and Stål O

    Department of Biomedicine and Surgery, Division of Oncology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. gizpe@ibk.liu.se

    Purpose: The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase/Akt pathway is frequently altered in breast cancer. PTEN, a phosphatase that opposes the effect of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase, can be mutated or lost, whereas the PIK3CA gene is mutated. These have been proposed as alternative mechanisms, and their clinicalpathology significance is under discussion. In this study, we aimed to explore whether PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss are mutually exclusive mechanisms, correlate with other known clinicopathologic markers, or have clinical implication in breast cancer.

    Exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene were analyzed in 270 breast tumors, and mutations were detected by single-stranded conformational analysis followed by sequencing. The expression of PTEN was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 201 tumors.

    Results: PIK3CA mutations were found in 24% of the tumors and associated with estrogen receptor(+) status, small size, negative HER2 status, high Akt1, and high cyclin D1 protein expression. PTEN was negative in 37% of the cases and PTEN loss was associated with PIK3CA mutations (P = 0.0024). Tumors presenting PTEN loss or both alterations were often estrogen receptor(+), small in size, and HER2(-). PIK3CA mutations predicted for longer local recurrence-free survival. Moreover, PTEN loss by itself or combined with mutated PIK3CA tended to confer radiosensitivity. In addition, the patients with high S-phase fraction had longer recurrence-free survival if they carried mutations in the PIK3CA gene and/or had lost PTEN, whereas the same alterations were associated with shorter recurrence-free survival among patients with low S-phase fraction.

    Conclusions: PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss were not mutually exclusive events and associated with similar prognostic factors.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2007;13;12;3577-84

  • High prevalence and mutual exclusivity of genetic alterations in the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/akt pathway in thyroid tumors.

    Wang Y, Hou P, Yu H, Wang W, Ji M, Zhao S, Yan S, Sun X, Liu D, Shi B, Zhu G, Condouris S and Xing M

    Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.

    Context: Genetic alterations in the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway and their role in thyroid tumor pathogenesis in Chinese people remain undefined.

    Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the major genetic alterations and their relationship in the PI3K/Akt pathway in differentiated thyroid tumors in a Chinese cohort.

    Design: We used real-time quantitative PCR for the analysis of PIK3CA copy gain and direct DNA sequencing for the detection of PIK3CA, RAS, and PTEN mutations on genomic DNA isolated from 234 thyroid tumors, including 31 follicular thyroid cancer (FTC), 141 papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), and 62 follicular thyroid adenoma (FTA).

    Results: We found PIK3CA copy gain (defined as four or more copies) in nine of 31 FTC (29%), 20 of 141 PTC (14%), and five of 62 FTA (8%); PIK3CA gene mutations in four of 31 FTC (13%), one of 141 PTC (1%), and none of 62 FTA (0%); Ras mutations in three of 31 FTC (10%) and none of the 141 PTC and 62 FTA; and PTEN mutations in two of 31 FTC (6%) and none of 62 FTA (0%). Collectively, nine of 31 FTC (29%) vs. none of 62 FTA (0%) (P < 0.01) harbored one of the mutations, and when PIK3CA copy gain was included, 16 of 31 FTC (52%) vs. five of 62 FTA (8%) (P < 0.01) harbored any genetic alteration in the PI3K/Akt pathway. Mutual exclusivity was seen among all these PI3K/Akt pathway-related genetic alterations in all thyroid tumors except for two cases that harbored two genetic alterations.

    Conclusion: These data from a Chinese cohort provide further genetic evidence suggesting that dysregulated PI3K/Akt pathway plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of thyroid tumors, particularly FTC.

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2007;92;6;2387-90

  • Monocyte p110alpha phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulates phagocytosis, the phagocyte oxidase, and cytokine production.

    Lee JS, Nauseef WM, Moeenrezakhanlou A, Sly LM, Noubir S, Leidal KG, Schlomann JM, Krystal G and Reiner NE

    Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI), University of British Columbia, Rm. 452D, 2733 Heather St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5Z 3J5.

    Mononuclear phagocytes are critical modulators and effectors of innate and adaptive immune responses, and PI-3Ks have been shown to be multifunctional monocyte regulators. The PI-3K family includes eight catalytic isoforms, and only limited information is available about how these contribute to fine specificity in monocyte cell regulation. We examined the regulation of phagocytosis, the phagocyte oxidative burst, and LPS-induced cytokine production by human monocytic cells deficient in p110alpha PI-3K. We observed that p110alpha PI-3K was required for phagocytosis of IgG-opsonized and nonopsonized zymosan in differentiated THP-1 cells, and the latter was inhibitable by mannose. In contrast, p110alpha PI-3K was not required for ingestion serum-opsonized zymosan. Taken together, these results suggest that FcgammaR- and mannose receptor-mediated phagocytosis are p110alpha-dependent, whereas CR3-mediated phagocytosis involves a distinct isoform. It is notable that the phagocyte oxidative burst induced in response to PMA or opsonized zymosan was also found to be dependent on p110alpha in THP-1 cells. Furthermore, p110alpha was observed to exert selective and bidirectional effects on the secretion of pivotal cytokines. Incubation of p110alpha-deficient THP-1 cells with LPS showed that p110alpha was required for IL-12p40 and IL-6 production, whereas it negatively regulated the production of TNF-alpha and IL-10. Cells deficient in p110alpha also exhibited enhanced p38 MAPK, JNK, and NF-kappaB phosphorylation. Thus, p110alpha PI-3K appears to uniquely regulate important monocyte functions, where other PI-3K isoforms are uninvolved or unable to fully compensate.

    Funded by: BLRD VA: I01 BX000513; NIAID NIH HHS: R01 AI34879

    Journal of leukocyte biology 2007;81;6;1548-61

  • Mutational analysis of EGFR and related signaling pathway genes in lung adenocarcinomas identifies a novel somatic kinase domain mutation in FGFR4.

    Marks JL, McLellan MD, Zakowski MF, Lash AE, Kasai Y, Broderick S, Sarkaria IS, Pham D, Singh B, Miner TL, Fewell GA, Fulton LL, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Kris MG, Rusch VW, Varmus H and Pao W

    Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, United States of America.

    Background: Fifty percent of lung adenocarcinomas harbor somatic mutations in six genes that encode proteins in the EGFR signaling pathway, i.e., EGFR, HER2/ERBB2, HER4/ERBB4, PIK3CA, BRAF, and KRAS. We performed mutational profiling of a large cohort of lung adenocarcinomas to uncover other potential somatic mutations in genes of this signaling pathway that could contribute to lung tumorigenesis.

    We analyzed genomic DNA from a total of 261 resected, clinically annotated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens. The coding sequences of 39 genes were screened for somatic mutations via high-throughput dideoxynucleotide sequencing of PCR-amplified gene products. Mutations were considered to be somatic only if they were found in an independent tumor-derived PCR product but not in matched normal tissue. Sequencing of 9MB of tumor sequence identified 239 putative genetic variants. We further examined 22 variants found in RAS family genes and 135 variants localized to exons encoding the kinase domain of respective proteins. We identified a total of 37 non-synonymous somatic mutations; 36 were found collectively in EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA. One somatic mutation was a previously unreported mutation in the kinase domain (exon 16) of FGFR4 (Glu681Lys), identified in 1 of 158 tumors. The FGFR4 mutation is analogous to a reported tumor-specific somatic mutation in ERBB2 and is located in the same exon as a previously reported kinase domain mutation in FGFR4 (Pro712Thr) in a lung adenocarcinoma cell line.

    This study is one of the first comprehensive mutational analyses of major genes in a specific signaling pathway in a sizeable cohort of lung adenocarcinomas. Our results suggest the majority of gain-of-function mutations within kinase genes in the EGFR signaling pathway have already been identified. Our findings also implicate FGFR4 in the pathogenesis of a subset of lung adenocarcinomas.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K08 CA097980, K08-CA097980

    PloS one 2007;2;5;e426

  • Induction of heme-oxygenase 1 requires the p38MAPK and PI3K pathways and suppresses apoptotic cell death following hypericin-mediated photodynamic therapy.

    Kocanova S, Buytaert E, Matroule JY, Piette J, Golab J, de Witte P and Agostinis P

    Department Molecular and Cell Biology, Division of Biochemistry, Catholic University of Leuven, Campus Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an established anticancer modality utilizing the photogeneration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill the cancer cells and hypericin is a promising photosensitizer for the treatment of bladder tumors. In this paper we characterize the signaling pathways and the mechanisms leading to the up-regulation of the antioxidant enzyme heme oxygenase (HO-1) in PDT treated cancer cells. We show that PDT engages the p38(MAPK) and PI3K signaling cascades for HO-1 induction. p38(MAPK) inhibitors or small interfering RNA (siRNA) for p38(MAPK) suppress HO-1 induction after PDT and complete repression is attained when p38 and PI3K antagonists are combined. Blocking these signaling pathways increases additively the propensity of the cells to undergo PDT-induced apoptosis, mirroring the effect of HO-1 silencing. Conversely, increasing HO-1 protein level by hemin prior to irradiation is cytoprotective. HO-1 stimulation by PDT is dependent on transcription and de novo protein synthesis and it is preceded by the nuclear accumulation of the Nrf2 transcription factor, which is reduced by inhibitors of p38(MAPK) and PI3K. Altogether these results indicate that stimulation of HO-1 expression by hypericin-PDT is a cytoprotective mechanism governed by the p38(MAPK) and PI3K pathways, likely through the control of the nuclear availability of the Nrf2 pool.

    Apoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death 2007;12;4;731-41

  • Prognostic value of PIK3CA and phosphorylated AKT expression in ovarian cancer.

    Woenckhaus J, Steger K, Sturm K, Münstedt K, Franke FE and Fenic I

    Institute of Pathology, University of Giessen and Marburg, Giessen, Germany.

    Disrupted phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity and its effect on the downstream target AKT plays an important role in malignant diseases. Gain and/or amplification of PIK3CA gene, encoding the catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (p110 alpha) and its increased expression are associated with enhanced PI3K activity in ovarian cancer cell lines. In this study, ovarian carcinomas with documented clinical outcome were assessed for genetic aberrations at the 3q26.3 locus, including PIK3CA, by fluorescence in situ hybridization. PIK3CA amplification was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR with respect to a control gene situated at 3q13. The expression of p110 alpha, phosphorylated AKT (pAKT) and the proliferation marker Ki-67 were immunohistochemically investigated. PIK3CA amplification and Ki-67 index were strong predictors for an early tumour-associated death. p110 alpha expression correlated with 3q26.3 gain and Ki-67 index but not with the patient outcome. No relationship could be observed between p110 alpha and pAKT or between pAKT and disease outcome. It is interesting to note that cases with a nuclear pAKT immunoreactivity showed a trend of improved overall survival. Our results underline the prognostic significance of PIK3CA in ovarian carcinoma and argue against a simple linear model of PIK3CA gain/amplification followed by PI3K activation and consecutive AKT phosphorylation in ovarian carcinoma.

    Virchows Archiv : an international journal of pathology 2007;450;4;387-95

  • Rare cancer-specific mutations in PIK3CA show gain of function.

    Gymnopoulos M, Elsliger MA and Vogt PK

    Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

    Fifteen rare cancer-derived mutants of PIK3CA, the gene coding for the catalytic subunit p110alpha of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), were examined for their biological and biochemical properties. Fourteen of these mutants show a gain of function: they induce rapamycin-sensitive oncogenic transformation of chicken embryo fibroblasts, constitutively activate Akt and TOR-mediated signaling, and show enhanced lipid kinase activity. Mapping of these mutants on a partial structural model of p110alpha suggests three groups of mutants, defined by their location in distinct functional domains of the protein. We hypothesize that each of these three groups induces a gain of PI3K function by a different molecular mechanism. Mutants in the C2 domain increase the positive surface charge of this domain and therefore may enhance the recruitment of p110alpha to cellular membranes. Mutants in the helical domain map to a contiguous surface of the protein and may affect the interaction with other protein(s). Mutants in the kinase domain are located near the hinge of the activation loop. They may alter the position and mobility of the activation loop. Arbitrarily introduced mutations that have no detectable phenotype map either to the interior of the protein or are positioned on a surface region that lies opposite to the exposed surfaces containing gain-of-function mutants. Engineered mutants that exchange acidic or neutral residues for basic residues on the critical surfaces show a gain of function.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: U54 GM074898

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007;104;13;5569-74

  • Coexistence of the loss of heterozygosity at the PTEN locus and HER2 overexpression enhances the Akt activity thus leading to a negative progesterone receptor expression in breast carcinoma.

    Tokunaga E, Oki E, Kimura Y, Yamanaka T, Egashira A, Nishida K, Koga T, Morita M, Kakeji Y and Maehara Y

    Department of Surgery and Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi 3-1-1, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan. eriko@surg2.med.kyuhsu-u.ac.jp

    Serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB is known to regulate divergent cellular processes, including apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation, and metabolism. Akt is activated by a variety of stimuli, through such growth factor receptors as HER2, in phosphoinositide-3-OH kinase (PI3K)-dependent manner. A loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) function also activates Akt. It has recently been shown that Akt activation is associated with a worse outcome among endocrine treated breast cancer patients and that it also inhibits the progesterone receptor (PR) expression via the PI3K/Akt pathway in breast cancer cells. Therefore, the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway has recently attracted considerable attention as a new target for effective therapeutic strategies. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between Akt activation and either HER2 overexpression or PTEN gene alteration, as well as the PR expression. We analyzed the incidence of LOH at the PTEN locus in 138 breast cancer patients, using our new system for microsatellite analysis, called high-resolution fluorescent microsatellite analysis (HRFMA). We showed Akt activation to significantly correlate with HER2 overexpression or LOH at the PTEN gene locus while inversely correlating with the PR expression. In addition, when LOH at the PTEN gene locus and HER2 overexpression occurred simultaneously, the incidence of Akt activation and reduced PR expression was significant. The association between Akt activation and PR negative expression was observed even in the ER-positive cases. Our results suggest that simultaneous PTEN LOH and HER2 overexpression enhances Akt activation and may thus lead to a negative PR expression.

    Breast cancer research and treatment 2007;101;3;249-57

  • Colon carcinoma cells harboring PIK3CA mutations display resistance to growth factor deprivation induced apoptosis.

    Wang J, Kuropatwinski K, Hauser J, Rossi MR, Zhou Y, Conway A, Kan JL, Gibson NW, Willson JK, Cowell JK and Brattain MG

    Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Roswell Park Center Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA.

    PIK3CA, encoding the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), is mutated in a variety of human cancers. We screened the colon cancer cell lines previously established in our laboratory for PIK3CA mutations and found that four of them harbored gain of function mutations. We have now compared a panel of mutant and wild-type cell lines for cell proliferation and survival in response to stress. There was little difference in PI3K activity between mutant PIK3CA-bearing cells (mutant cells) and wild-type PIK3CA-bearing cells (wild-type cells) under optimal growth conditions. However, the mutant cells showed constitutive PI3K activity during growth factor deprivation stress (GFDS), whereas PI3K activity decayed rapidly in the wild-type cells. Importantly, constitutively active PI3K rendered the mutant cells resistant to GFDS-induced apoptosis relative to the wild-type cells, indicating a biological advantage under stress conditions that is imparted by the mutant enzymes. Compared with the wild-type cells, the mutant cells were hypersensitive to the apoptosis induced by the PI3K inhibitor LY294002. In addition, PIK3CA small interfering RNA significantly decreased DNA synthesis and/or induced apoptosis in the mutant cells but not in the wild-type cells. Furthermore, ecotopic expression of a mutant PIK3CA in a nontumorigenic PIK3CA wild-type cell line resulted in resistance to GFDS-induced apoptosis, whereas transfection of wild-type PIK3CA or empty vector had little effect. Taken together, our studies show that mutant PIK3CA increases the capacity for proliferation and survival under environmental stresses, such as GFDS while also imparting greater dependency on the PI3K pathway for proliferation and survival.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 16056, CA 34432, CA 54807

    Molecular cancer therapeutics 2007;6;3;1143-50

  • Infection of human immunodeficiency virus and intracellular viral Tat protein exert a pro-survival effect in a human microglial cell line.

    Chugh P, Fan S, Planelles V, Maggirwar SB, Dewhurst S and Kim B

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 672, Rochester, NY 14742, USA.

    The interaction of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) with CD4+ T lymphocytes is well studied and typically results in virally induced cytolysis. In contrast, relatively little is known concerning the interplay between HIV-1 and microglia. Recent findings suggest that, counter-intuitively, HIV-1 infection may extend the lifespan of microglia. We developed a novel cell line model system to confirm and mechanistically study this phenomenon. We found that transduction of a human microglial cell line with an HIV-1 vector results in a powerful cytoprotective effect following apoptotic challenge. This effect was reproduced by ectopic expression of a single virus-encoded protein, Tat. Subsequent studies showed that the pro-survival effects of intracellular Tat could be attributed to activation of the PI-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway in the microglial cell line. Furthermore, we found that expression of Tat led to decreased expression of PTEN, a negative regulator of the PI-3-K pathway. Consistent with this, decreased p53 activity and increased E2F activity were observed. Based on these findings, a model of possible regulatory circuits that intracellular Tat and HIV-1 infection engage during the cytoprotective event in microglia has been suggested. We propose that the expression of Tat may enable HIV-1 infected microglia to survive throughout the course of infection, leading to persistent HIV-1 production and infection in the central nervous system.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: AI 058774, AI 07362, F31 AI 64136-01, F31 AI064136, R21 AI058774, T32 AI007362; NIMH NIH HHS: MH 64570, P01 MH064570

    Journal of molecular biology 2007;366;1;67-81

  • Phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase or RAS pathway mutations in human breast cancer cell lines.

    Hollestelle A, Elstrodt F, Nagel JH, Kallemeijn WW and Schutte M

    Department of Medical Oncology, Josephine Nefkens Institute Be414, Erasmus MC, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    Constitutive activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI3K) and RAS signaling pathways are important events in tumor formation. This is illustrated by the frequent genetic alteration of several key players from these pathways in a wide variety of human cancers. Here, we report a detailed sequence analysis of the PTEN, PIK3CA, KRAS, HRAS, NRAS, and BRAF genes in a collection of 40 human breast cancer cell lines. We identified a surprisingly large proportion of cell lines with mutations in the PI3K or RAS pathways (54% and 25%, respectively), with mutants for each of the six genes. The PIK3CA, KRAS, and BRAF mutation spectra of the breast cancer cell lines were similar to those of colorectal cancers. Unlike in colorectal cancers, however, mutational activation of the PI3K pathway was mutually exclusive with mutational activation of the RAS pathway in all but 1 of 30 mutant breast cancer cell lines (P = 0.001). These results suggest that there is a fine distinction between the signaling activators and downstream effectors of the oncogenic PI3K and RAS pathways in breast epithelium and those in other tissues.

    Molecular cancer research : MCR 2007;5;2;195-201

  • Clinicopathologic analysis of breast cancers with PIK3CA mutations in Japanese women.

    Maruyama N, Miyoshi Y, Taguchi T, Tamaki Y, Monden M and Noguchi S

    Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.

    Purpose: Somatic mutations of PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, have recently been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of human breast cancers. In this study, the frequency of PIK3CA mutations and their relationship with clinicopathologic and biological variables were investigated in Japanese breast cancers.

    Mutational analysis of PIK3CA was done in 188 primary breast cancers of Japanese women. Relationship of these mutations with various clinicopathologic variables [histologic type, tumor size, histologic grade, lymph node status, estrogen receptor (ER)-alpha and progesterone receptor status, and prognosis], biological variables [phospho-AKT (pAKT) and HER2 expression determined by immunohistochemistry], and p53 mutation status was studied.

    Results: Missense mutations of PIK3CA were found in 44 of 158 invasive ductal carcinomas, 4 of 10 invasive lobular carcinomas, 1 of 4 mucinous carcinomas, 2 of 2 squamous carcinomas, and 2 of 2 apocrine carcinomas, but no mutation was found in 12 noninvasive ductal carcinomas. PIK3CA-mutated tumors were found to be more likely to be ER-alpha positive (P < 0.05) and pAKT positive (P < 0.05). There was no significant association between PIK3CA mutations and p53 mutation status. PIK3CA mutations were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with a favorable prognosis, and multivariate analysis showed that PIK3CA mutation status was a significant (P < 0.05) prognostic factor independent of the other conventional prognostic factors.

    Conclusions: The frequency of PIK3CA mutations in Japanese breast cancers is similar to that of Caucasian breast cancers. Association of PIK3CA mutations with positive pAKT and positive ER-alpha suggests that PIK3CA mutations might exert their effects through activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/ER-alpha pathway. PIK3CA mutations seem to have a potential to be used as an indicator of favorable prognosis.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2007;13;2 Pt 1;408-14

  • Activation of p53-dependent growth suppression in human cells by mutations in PTEN or PIK3CA.

    Kim JS, Lee C, Bonifant CL, Ressom H and Waldman T

    Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine, 3970 Reservoir Road NW, NRB E304, Washington, DC 20057, USA.

    In an effort to identify genes whose expression is regulated by activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling, we performed microarray analysis and subsequent quantitative reverse transcription-PCR on an isogenic set of PTEN gene-targeted human cancer cells. Numerous p53 effectors were upregulated following PTEN deletion, including p21, GDF15, PIG3, NOXA, and PLK2. Stable depletion of p53 led to reversion of the gene expression program. Western blots revealed that p53 was stabilized in HCT116 PTEN(-/-) cells via an Akt1-dependent and p14(ARF)-independent mechanism. Stable depletion of PTEN in untransformed human fibroblasts and epithelial cells also led to upregulation of p53 and senescence-like growth arrest. Simultaneous depletion of p53 rescued this phenotype, enabling PTEN-depleted cells to continue proliferating. Next, we tested whether oncogenic PIK3CA, like inactivated PTEN, could activate p53. Retroviral expression of oncogenic human PIK3CA in MCF10A cells led to activation of p53 and upregulation of p53-regulated genes. Stable depletion of p53 reversed these PIK3CA-induced expression changes and synergized with oncogenic PIK3CA in inducing anchorage-independent growth. Finally, targeted deletion of an endogenous allele of oncogenic, but not wild-type, PIK3CA in a human cancer cell line led to a reduction in p53 levels and a decrease in the expression of p53-regulated genes. These studies demonstrate that activation of PI3K signaling by mutations in PTEN or PIK3CA can lead to activation of p53-mediated growth suppression in human cells, indicating that p53 can function as a brake on phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-triphosphate-induced mitogenesis during human cancer pathogenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: K01 CA 087828, K01 CA087828, P30 CA 051008, P30 CA016672, P30 CA051008, R01 CA 115699, R01 CA115699, R01 CA115699-02, R01 CA115699-03, R01 CA115699-03S1, R01 CA115699-04, R01 CA115699-05, T32 CA 009686, T32 CA009686

    Molecular and cellular biology 2007;27;2;662-77

  • Coculture with endothelial cells enhances vascular smooth muscle cell adhesion and spreading via activation of beta1-integrin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt.

    Wang HQ, Bai L, Shen BR, Yan ZQ and Jiang ZL

    Institute of Mechanobiology and Medical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Mailbox 888, 800 Dongchuan Road, Minhang, Shanghai 200240, China.

    The interactions between endothelial cells (ECs) and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) play significant roles in the homeostasis of the blood vessel during vascular remodeling. Cell adhesion and spreading are an essential process for VSMC migration, survival and proliferation in the events of vascular physiology and pathophysiology. However, effects of ECs on adhesion and spreading of VSMCs have not been characterized yet. Here, the interaction of ECs and VSMCs on adhesion and spreading of VSMCs were investigated by using a coculture system. The results showed that VSMCs cocultured with ECs exhibited a significant increase in the number of adherent and spreading cells, and much more mRNA (twofold, P<0.01) and protein (threefold, P<0.05) expression of beta(1)-integrin comparing to the control, i.e., VSMCs cultured alone. Furthermore, the enhanced functional activity of beta(1)-integrin expression was confirmed by FACS. A beta(1)-integrin blocking antibody (P5D2) could inhibit the EC-induced VSMC adhesion and spreading. It was demonstrated that in correspondence with enhanced cell adhesion, ECs also prompted focal adhesion complex assembly and stress fiber formation of VSMCs. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway was more pronouncedly activated in response to VSMC attachment. Our results for the first time show that coculture with ECs enhances VSMC adhesion and spreading by up-regulating beta(1)-integrin expression and activating the PI3K/Akt pathway, suggesting that the interaction between ECs and VSMCs serves an important role in vascular homeostasis and remodeling.

    European journal of cell biology 2007;86;1;51-62

  • Rare mutations of the PIK3CA gene in malignancies of the hematopoietic system as well as endometrium, ovary, prostate and osteosarcomas, and discovery of a PIK3CA pseudogene.

    Müller CI, Miller CW, Hofmann WK, Gross ME, Walsh CS, Kawamata N, Luong QT and Koeffler HP

    Division of Hematology/Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA. mullerci@cshs.org

    Lipid kinase PIK3CA mutations have been described in several cancers. They clustered in two 'hot spots' located in helical (exon 9) and kinase (exon 20) domains associated with increased kinase activity strongly suggesting oncogenic potential. Mutational analysis of previously unexamined tumors showed an amino acid change from threonine to alanine (T1025A) in exon 20 in one of 28 endometrial cancer samples and 6 endometrial cell lines. Additionally, a silent polymorphism (T1025T) was found in two of 20 MDS samples, one of 43 NHL samples, two of 40 osteosarcoma samples and Ishikawa. The polymorphism was established by identifying two of 92 normal samples with the same change. No PIK3CA mutations were found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) as well as in osteosarcomas, prostate and ovarian cancer samples. Additionally, a previously unidentified PIK3CA pseudogene spanning exons 9-13 on chromosome 22 was discovered.

    Leukemia research 2007;31;1;27-32

  • Activation of FAK/PI3K/Rac1 signaling controls actin reorganization and inhibits cell motility in human cancer cells.

    Kallergi G, Agelaki S, Markomanolaki H, Georgoulias V and Stournaras C

    Department of Biochemistry, University of Crete Medical School and University Hospital, Heraklion, Greece.

    We have recently identified a specific signaling pathway that regulates actin reorganization in malignant human breast and prostate epithelial cells associated with FAK, PI-3K and Rac1 activation. Here we report that this pathway operates in MCF7 cells upon activation of membrane androgen receptors (mAR). Stimulation of mAR by the non-permeable testosterone-BSA conjugate resulted in early actin reorganization documented by quantitative measurements of actin dynamics and morphological analysis of microfilament organization. This effect was regulated by early phosphorylation of FAK and subsequent PI-3K and Rac1 activation. The functional role of this pathway was further shown in A375 melanoma cells. Treatment with the opioid antagonist alpha(s1) casomorphin resulted in rapid and potent actin remodeling in A375 cells, regulated by rapid activation of the FAK/PI-3K/Rac1 signaling. Pretreatment of both cell lines with the specific PI-3K inhibitor wortmannin blocked actin reorganization. Interestingly, wound healing assays revealed that testosterone-BSA and alpha (s1) casomorphin significantly inhibited MCF7 and A375 cell motility respectively. These effects were abrogated through blockade of PI-3K signaling by wortmannin. The results presented here indicate that actin reorganization through FAK/PI3-K/Rac-1 activation operates in various human cancer cell systems supporting a functional role for FAK/PI-3K/Rac1/actin signaling in controlling cell motility.

    Cellular physiology and biochemistry : international journal of experimental cellular physiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology 2007;20;6;977-86

  • Fibulin-5 gene expression in human lung fibroblasts is regulated by TGF-beta and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity.

    Kuang PP, Joyce-Brady M, Zhang XH, Jean JC and Goldstein RH

    The Pulmonary Center and Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Veteran Administration Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA. pkuang@lung.bumc.bu.edu

    Fibulin-5 (FBLN5), an extracellular matrix glycoprotein required for normal elastogenesis, is coordinately expressed with elastin during lung injury and repair. We found that treatment with transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) induced a rapid but transient increase in FBLN5 heterogeneous nuclear RNA (hnRNA) followed by a sustained increased in the steady-state level of FBLN5 mRNA. The transcription start site of the human FBLN5 gene was localized at 221 nucleotides upstream of the translation start site by using primer extension, Northern blots, and functional analysis of transcriptional activity in reporter plasmids containing 5'-flanking regions. TGF-beta markedly increased FBLN5 promoter activity in transient transfection assays. Two putative Smad-binding sites were identified within the proximal promoter and are required for this TGF-beta induction. Electrophoretic gel mobility shift assay revealed that TGF-beta strongly increased binding of Smad2 and Smad3 nuclear complexes to the proximal FBLN5 promoter and induced a Smad2/3-dependent binding of slow migrating nuclear protein complex. FBLN5 mRNA induction by TGF-beta was blocked by pretreatment with TGF-beta receptor inhibitor SB-431542, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) inhibitor LY-294002, and actinomycin D. Basal and TGF-beta-induced FBLN5 hnRNA and mRNA were strongly and proportionally decreased by LY-294002, as was TGF-beta-induced phosphorylation of Akt, but not Smad3, as measured by Western blot analysis. In addition, LY-294002 markedly and proportionally decreased FBLN5 promoter activity in transient transfection analyses with TGF-beta-treated or untreated lung fibroblasts. These studies demonstrate that induction of FBLN5 gene expression in lung fibroblasts is mediated via canonical TGF-beta/Smad signaling and requires the PI3-kinase/Akt pathway.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: P01 HL-46902, P01 HL-47049, R01 HL-66547

    American journal of physiology. Cell physiology 2006;291;6;C1412-21

  • PIK3CA mutation is an oncogenic aberration at advanced stages of oral squamous cell carcinoma.

    Kozaki K, Imoto I, Pimkhaokham A, Hasegawa S, Tsuda H, Omura K and Inazawa J

    Department of Genome Medicine, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45 Yushima Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) are a group of heterodimeric lipid kinases that regulate many cellular processes. Gene amplification and somatic mutations mainly within the helical (exon 9) and kinase (exon 20) domains of PIK3CA, which encode the 110-kDa catalytic subunit of PI3K and are mapped to 3q26, have been reported in various human cancers. Herein, 14 human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and 108 primary OSCC tumors were investigated for activating mutations at exons 9 and 20 as well as amplifications in PIK3CA. PIK3CA missense mutations in exons 9 and 20 were identified in 21.4% (3/14) of OSCC cell lines and 7.4% (8/108) of OSCC tumors by genomic DNA sequencing. An increase in the copy number of PIK3CA, although small, was detected in 57.1% (8/14) of OSCC lines and 16.7% (18/108) of OSCC tumors using quantitative real-time PCR. A significant correlation between somatic mutations of PIK3CA and disease stage was observed: the frequency of mutations was higher in stage IV (16.1%, 5/31) than in a subset of early stages (stages I-III) (3.9%, 3/77; P = 0.042, Fisher's extract test). In contrast, the amplification of PIK3CA was observed at a similar frequency among all stages. AKT was highly phosphorylated in OSCC cell lines with PIK3CA mutations compared to those without mutations, despite the amplification. The results suggest that somatic mutations of the PIK3CA gene are likely to occur late in the development of OSCC, and play a crucial role through the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway in cancer progression.

    Cancer science 2006;97;12;1351-8

  • Role of PI3K and AKT specific isoforms in ovarian cancer cell migration, invasion and proliferation through the p70S6K1 pathway.

    Meng Q, Xia C, Fang J, Rojanasakul Y and Jiang BH

    Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.

    Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological malignancy for women. The amplification of the PI3K catalytic subunit (p110alpha) and the lost function of PTEN are frequently detected in ovarian cancer cells. PI3K plays an important role in tumorigenesis. To specifically inhibit PI3K activity in ovarian cancer cells, we constructed small interfering RNA (siRNA) against p110alpha. The expression of p110alpha siRNA significantly decreased cell migration, invasion, and proliferation compared to the siSCR control cells. The expression of p110alpha siRNA induced CDK inhibitor p27(KIP1) levels, and decreased levels of cyclin D1, CDK4, and phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein. PI3K transmits the mytogenic signal through AKT. AKT has three isoforms in the cells: AKT1, AKT2 and AKT3. We found that inhibition of AKT1 is sufficient to affect cell migration, invasion, and proliferation. Expression of AKT1 siRNA had a similar effect as p110alpha siRNA in the cells. We showed the roles of specific PI3K and AKT isoforms in the cells, which are important to understanding the mechanism of PI3K/AKT signaling in ovarian cancer cells. Both p110alpha and AKT1 siRNA-expressing cells decreased the activation of p70S6K1. Inhibition of p70S6K1 activity by its siRNA also decreased cell migration, invasion, and proliferation associated with the induction of p27(KIP1) levels, and with the inhibition of cell cycle-associated proteins including cyclin D1, CDK2, and phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein. This study demonstrates the important role of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR/p70S6K1 pathway in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in ovarian cancer cells by using siRNA-mediated gene silencing as a reverse genetic method.

    Cellular signalling 2006;18;12;2262-71

  • Continuous signaling via PI3K isoforms beta and gamma is required for platelet ADP receptor function in dynamic thrombus stabilization.

    Cosemans JM, Munnix IC, Wetzker R, Heller R, Jackson SP and Heemskerk JW

    Department of Biochemistry and Human Biology, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), University of Maastricht, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands.

    Signaling from collagen and G protein-coupled receptors leads to platelet adhesion and subsequent thrombus formation. Paracrine agonists such as ADP, thromboxane, and Gas6 are required for platelet aggregate formation. We hypothesized that thrombi are intrinsically unstable structures and that their stabilization requires persistent paracrine activity and continuous signaling, maintaining integrin alpha(IIb)beta3 activation. Here, we studied the disassembly of human and murine thrombi formed on collagen under high shear conditions. Platelet aggregates rapidly disintegrated (1) in the absence of fibrinogen-containing plasma; (2) by blocking or inhibiting alpha(IIb)beta3; (3) by blocking P2Y12 receptors; (4) by suppression of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) beta. In murine blood, absence of PI3Kgamma led to formation of unstable thrombi, leading to dissociation of multiplatelet aggregates. In addition, blocking PI3Kbeta delayed initial thrombus formation and reduced individual platelet-platelet contact. Similarly without flow, agonist-induced aggregation was reversed by late suppression of P2Y12 or PI3K isoforms, resulting in single platelets that had inactivated alpha(IIb)beta3 and no longer bound fibrinogen. Together, the data indicate that continuous outside-in signaling via P2Y12 and both PI3Kbeta and PI3Kgamma isoforms is required for perpetuated alpha(IIb)beta3 activation and maintenance of a platelet aggregate. This novel concept of intrinsic, dynamic thrombus instability gives possibilities for the use of antiplatelet therapy.

    Blood 2006;108;9;3045-52

  • Human esophageal microvascular endothelial cells respond to acidic pH stress by PI3K/AKT and p38 MAPK-regulated induction of Hsp70 and Hsp27.

    Rafiee P, Theriot ME, Nelson VM, Heidemann J, Kanaa Y, Horowitz SA, Rogaczewski A, Johnson CP, Ali I, Shaker R and Binion DG

    Dept. of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. prafiee@mcw.edu

    The heat shock response maintains cellular homeostasis following sublethal injury. Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are induced by thermal, oxyradical, and inflammatory stress, and they chaperone denatured intracellular proteins. Hsps also chaperone signal transduction proteins, modulating signaling cascades during repeated stress. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects 7% of the US population, and it is linked to prolonged esophageal acid exposure. GERD is characterized by enhanced and selective leukocyte recruitment from esophageal microvasculature, implying activation of microvascular endothelium. We investigated whether phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt and MAPK regulate Hsp induction in primary cultures of human esophageal microvascular endothelial cells (HEMEC) in response to acid exposure (pH 4.5). Inhibitors of signaling pathways were used to define the contribution of PI3K/Akt and MAPKs in the heat shock response and following acid exposure. Acid significantly enhanced phosphorylation of Akt and MAPKs in HEMEC as well as inducing Hsp27 and Hsp70. The PI3K inhibitor LY-294002, and Akt small interfering RNA inhibited Akt activation and Hsp70 expression in HEMEC. The p38 MAPK inhibitor (SB-203580) and p38 MAPK siRNA blocked Hsp27 and Hsp70 mRNA induction, suggesting a role for MAPKs in the HEMEC heat shock response. Thus acidic pH exposure protects HEMEC through induction of Hsps and activation of MAPK and PI3 kinase pathway. Acidic exposure increased HEMEC expression of VCAM-1 protein, but not ICAM-1, which may contribute to selective leukocyte (i.e., eosinophil) recruitment in esophagitis. Activation of esophageal endothelial cells exposed to acidic refluxate may contribute to GERD in the setting of a disturbed mucosal squamous epithelial barrier (i.e., erosive esophagitis, peptic ulceration).

    American journal of physiology. Cell physiology 2006;291;5;C931-45

  • PIK3CA gene mutations in endometrial carcinoma: correlation with PTEN and K-RAS alterations.

    Velasco A, Bussaglia E, Pallares J, Dolcet X, Llobet D, Encinas M, Llecha N, Palacios J, Prat J and Matias-Guiu X

    Department of Pathology and Molecular Genetics, Hospital Universitari Arnau de Vilanova, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.

    Alterations in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway are common in endometrial carcinoma. Inactivation of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN leads to a constitutively active PI3K pathway, which plays a role in the early steps of endometrial tumorigenesis. Other alterations in the PI3K/AKT pathway are mutations in the PIK3CA gene, which encode the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K. PIK3CA mutations cluster to the helical (exon 9) and the kinase (exon 20) domains of the gene. In endometrial carcinomas, PIK3CA mutations have been found to coexist frequently with PTEN mutations, but it is not clear whether they occur in cells with monoallelic or biallelic inactivation of PTEN. In the present study we have evaluated PIK3CA mutational status in a series of 33 endometrial carcinomas, previously screened for microsatellite instability and mutations in PTEN, K-RAS, and CTNNB-1. The tumors were also evaluated for loss of heterozygosity on 10q23 and hypermethylation of the promoter region of PTEN/psiPTEN to assess the monoallelic or biallelic inactivation status of PTEN. PIK3CA mutations were detected in 8 (24%) of the 33 cases. Seven mutations were located in exon 20 and 1 in exon 9. PTEN alterations were found in 19 cases (57%). Biallelic inactivation of PTEN was demonstrated in 11 tumors, whereas 8 tumors exhibited alteration in only 1 of the 2 alleles. PIK3CA mutations coexisted with monoallelic alterations of PTEN in 4 cases (2 mutations and 2 allelic imbalances), with biallelic PTEN inactivation in 1 case (mutation and promoter methylation), and 3 tumors showed PIK3CA mutations in association with wild-type PTEN. PIK3CA mutations did not correlate with microsatellite instability or mutations in CTNNB-1. However, PIK3CA and K-RAS mutations (8 cases) were mutually exclusive alterations. In summary, the results confirm that PIK3CA mutations are frequent in endometrial carcinoma and support the hypothesis that PIK3CA mutations may have an additive effect to PTEN monoallelic inactivation in endometrial carcinoma.

    Human pathology 2006;37;11;1465-72

  • PIK3CA mutation status in Japanese lung cancer patients.

    Kawano O, Sasaki H, Endo K, Suzuki E, Haneda H, Yukiue H, Kobayashi Y, Yano M and Fujii Y

    Department of Surgery II, Nagoya City University Medical School, Nagoya, Japan.

    Somatic mutations of the PIK3CA (phosphatidylinostitol 3-kinase catalytic subunit) gene have been found in human cancer patients. Previous reports suggested that about 4% of lung cancers harbored PIK3CA gene mutations. However, the clinico-pathological background for PIK3CA gene mutations has not yet been investigated in lung cancer. We have genotyped the PIK3CA gene in Japanese lung cancer patients. The study included 235 lung cancer cases surgically removed in Nagoya City University Hospital. The two PIK3CA mutation hot spots (exon 9 and exon 20) were analyzed by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay. The data were confirmed by direct sequencing. In exon 9, somatic mutation was found in eight patients (3.4%). The mutation included three E542K (G1624A), three E545K (G1633A), one E542Q (G1624C), and one Q546K (C1636A). However, in exon 20, there was no mutation in our lung cancer patients. PIK3CA mutations were not correlated with gender (women versus men, p=0.4162), age (< or =60 versus >60, p=0.8027), or smoking status of the lung cancers (never versus smoker, p=0.5666). PIK3CA mutation incidence was significantly lower in adenocarcinoma (2/135, 1.5%) than in squamous cell carcinoma (5/77, 6.5%, p=0.0495). Among eight patients with a PIK3CA mutation, three patients also harbored an EGFR somatic mutation. PIK3CA gene mutations were rare in lung cancer; rarer in adenocarcinoma. Further functional analyses of the PIK3CA mutations are warranted to study if they could be the target of therapy for the lung cancer.

    Lung cancer (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2006;54;2;209-15

  • PIK3CA and PTEN mutations in uterine endometrioid carcinoma and complex atypical hyperplasia.

    Hayes MP, Wang H, Espinal-Witter R, Douglas W, Solomon GJ, Baker SJ and Ellenson LH

    Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

    Purpose: The tumor suppressor PTEN gene and the PIK3CA oncogene are frequently mutated in uterine endometrioid carcinoma (UEC). PTEN mutations are also common in complex atypical hyperplasia (CAH), the precursor lesion of UEC. The status of PIK3CA has not yet been explored in CAH. In this study, we evaluated both CAH and UEC for PTEN and PIK3CA mutations.

    Neoplastic tissue was microdissected, and DNA was extracted from 29 cases of CAH. DNA was available from 44 UEC cases previously characterized for PTEN mutations. Direct DNA sequencing of exons 9 and 20 of the PIK3CA gene was done on all 73 cases. In addition, CAH cases were analyzed for PTEN mutations. Statistical analyses were done using the Fisher's exact test.

    Results: Two (7%) of 29 CAH and 17 (39%) of 44 UEC cases contained a PIK3CA mutation (P = 0.003). Fourteen (48%) of 29 CAH cases had a PTEN mutation, but none contained both a PTEN and PIK3CA mutation. Twenty-five (57%) of 44 UEC cases had a PTEN mutation, and 12 (48%) of these 25 cases also contained a PIK3CA mutation. Coexistent PIK3CA and PTEN mutations were significantly correlated with UEC compared with CAH (P = 0.002), but the association in UEC did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.21).

    Conclusions: PIK3CA is the most commonly mutated oncogene in UEC; however, mutations are uncommon in CAH. Thus, mutations in PIK3CA, unlike PTEN mutations, are associated with invasion. These findings suggest that mutations in PIK3CA may serve as a marker of invasion with potential clinical use. Furthermore, PIK3CA and PTEN mutations may play distinct roles in endometrial tumorigenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA095427

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;20 Pt 1;5932-5

  • Hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha expression requires PI 3-kinase activity and correlates with Akt1 phosphorylation in invasive breast carcinomas.

    Gort EH, Groot AJ, Derks van de Ven TL, van der Groep P, Verlaan I, van Laar T, van Diest PJ, van der Wall E and Shvarts A

    Department of Pathology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

    Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1alpha) is the regulatory subunit of the heterodimeric transcription factor HIF-1 and the key factor in cellular response to low oxygen tension. Expression of HIF-1alpha protein is associated with poor patient survival and therapy resistance in many types of solid tumors. Insight into HIF-1alpha regulation in solid tumors is important for therapeutic strategies. In this study, we determined the pathophysiological relevance of HIF-1alpha regulation by the oncogenic phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI 3-kinase)/Akt signaling pathway. We modeled the physiology of hypoxic tumor regions by culturing carcinoma cells under low oxygen tension in the absence of serum. We observed that hypoxic induction of HIF-1alpha protein was decreased by serum deprivation. Overexpression of dominant-active Akt1 restored HIF-1alpha expression, whereas inhibition of PI 3-kinase activity reduced hypoxic HIF-1alpha protein levels to a similar extent as serum deprivation. Immunohistochemical analysis of 95 human breast cancers revealed that lack of Akt1 phosphorylation correlates with low HIF-1alpha levels. To our knowledge, this is the first reported comparison between HIF-1alpha expression and Akt phosphorylation in human carcinomas. We conclude that Akt activity is physiologically relevant for HIF-1alpha expression in breast cancer. This implies that HIF-1alpha function might be therapeutically targeted by inhibition of the PI 3-kinase/Akt pathway.

    Oncogene 2006;25;45;6123-7

  • Regulation of epidermal homeostasis and repair by phosphoinositide 3-kinase.

    Pankow S, Bamberger C, Klippel A and Werner S

    Institute of Cell Biology, Department of Biology, ETH Zurich, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland.

    The epidermis undergoes continuous self-renewal to maintain its protective function. Whereas growth factors are known to modulate overall skin homeostasis, the intracellular signaling pathways, which control the delicate balance between proliferation and differentiation in keratinocytes, are largely unknown. Here we show transient upregulation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunits p110alpha and p110beta in differentiating keratinocytes in vitro, expression of these subunits in the epidermis of normal and wounded skin, and enhanced Akt phosphorylation in the hyperproliferative wound epidermis. Stimulation of PI3K activity in cultured keratinocytes by stable expression of an inducible, constitutively active PI3K mutant promoted cell proliferation and inhibited terminal differentiation in keratinocyte monocultures and induced the formation of a hyperplastic, disorganized and poorly differentiated epithelium in organotypic skin cultures. Activation of PI3K signaling also caused reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and induced keratinocyte migration in vitro and in skin organ cultures. The identification of 122 genes, which are differentially expressed after induction of PI3K signaling provides insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed effects of active PI3K on keratinocytes and indicates that hyperproliferation may be achieved at the expense of genome integrity. These results identify PI3K as an important intracellular regulator of epidermal homeostasis and repair.

    Journal of cell science 2006;119;Pt 19;4033-46

  • PIK3CA gene mutations in pediatric and adult glioblastoma multiforme.

    Gallia GL, Rand V, Siu IM, Eberhart CG, James CD, Marie SK, Oba-Shinjo SM, Carlotti CG, Caballero OL, Simpson AJ, Brock MV, Massion PP, Carson BS and Riggins GJ

    Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1550 Orleans Street, CRB II, Room 257, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K) are a family of enzymes that relay important cellular growth control signals. Recently, a large-scale mutational analysis of eight PI3K and eight PI3K-like genes revealed somatic mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of class IA PI3K, in several types of cancer, including glioblastoma multiforme. In that report, 4 of 15 (27%) glioblastomas contained potentially oncogenic PIK3CA mutations. Subsequent studies, however, showed a significantly lower mutation rate ranging from 0% to 7%. Given this disparity and to address the relation of patient age to mutation frequency, we examined 10 exons of PIK3CA in 73 glioblastoma samples by PCR amplification followed by direct DNA sequencing. Overall, PIK3CA mutations were found in 11 (15%) samples, including several novel mutations. PIK3CA mutations were distributed in all sample types, with 18%, 9%, and 13% of primary tumors, xenografts, and cell lines containing mutations, respectively. Of the primary tumors, PIK3CA mutations were identified in 21% and 17% of pediatric and adult samples, respectively. No evidence of PIK3CA gene amplification was detected by quantitative real-time PCR in any of the samples. This study confirms that PIK3CA mutations occur in a significant number of human glioblastomas, further indicating that therapeutic targeting of this pathway in glioblastomas is of value. Moreover, this is the first study showing PIK3CA mutations in pediatric glioblastomas, thus providing a molecular target in this important pediatric malignancy.

    Molecular cancer research : MCR 2006;4;10;709-14

  • Regulation of angiogenesis and tumor growth by p110 alpha and AKT1 via VEGF expression.

    Xia C, Meng Q, Cao Z, Shi X and Jiang BH

    Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-9300, USA.

    Recent studies demonstrate that PI3K activation and PTEN mutation are frequently found in many human cancer cells and tissues. However, the mechanism of PI3K signaling in human cancer tumorigenesis remains to be elucidated. In this study we specifically downregulated p110alpha expression in ovarian cancer cells using siRNA interference. We found that p110alpha downregulation greatly decreased ovarian tumor growth and angiogenesis, and that p110alpha siRNA inhibited VEGF expression through decreasing hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha expression in both ovarian cancer cells and tumor tissues. To determine the downstream targets of PI3K in regulating tumor growth and angiogenesis, we find that AKT1 is a major downstream mediator for regulating tumor growth, angiogenesis, and VEGF expression. These data show that p110alpha and AKT1 play an important role in tumor growth by inducing angiogenesis and by increasing HIF-1alpha and VEGF expression. This work provides a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of human cancer induced by the activation of PI3K signaling.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA109460

    Journal of cellular physiology 2006;209;1;56-66

  • TGF-beta1 induces COX-2 expression and PGE2 synthesis through MAPK and PI3K pathways in human mesangial cells.

    Rodríguez-Barbero A, Dorado F, Velasco S, Pandiella A, Banas B and López-Novoa JM

    Departamento de Fisiología y Farmacología, Instituto Reina Sofía de Investigación Nefrológica, Universidad de Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, Edificio Departamental, Salamanca, Spain.

    Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) plays a fundamental role in the progression of renal diseases. Accumulating evidence has suggested that eicosanoids derived from cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) participate in a number of pathological processes in immune-mediated renal diseases. Mesangial cells (MC) play a major role in physiological and pathophysiological renal processes. MC express receptors for TGF-beta1, and COX-2 expression can be induced in MC. However, to date, there are no published data on the possible role of TGF-beta1 in COX-2 expression in human mesangial cells (HMC). We designed studies to determine (1) whether TGF-beta1 stimulates COX-2 expression in primary HMC, (2) whether mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) cascades are involved in TGF-beta1-induced COX-2 expression, and (3) whether prostaglandin (PG)E2 synthesis is affected by TGF-beta1 and MAP kinases and PI3K activation. Studies were performed in primary cultures of HMC and in an immortalized line of HMC. TGF-beta1 induces COX-2 promoter activity and COX-2 mRNA and protein expression in HMC. COX-2 induction is accompanied by increased PGE2 synthesis. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, p38 MAPK, and PI3K pathway inhibition blunted TGF-beta1-induced COX-2 overexpression. We demonstrate that TGF-beta1 regulates COX-2 expression in HMC through the activation of ERK1/2, p38 MAPK, and PI3K. These results can help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of COX-2 and open up specific strategies for the treatment of glomerular disease.

    Kidney international 2006;70;5;901-9

  • PIK3CA mutations are an early genetic alteration associated with FGFR3 mutations in superficial papillary bladder tumors.

    López-Knowles E, Hernández S, Malats N, Kogevinas M, Lloreta J, Carrato A, Tardón A, Serra C and Real FX

    Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Carrer del Dr. Aiguader 80, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.

    Bladder tumors constitute a very heterogeneous disease. Superficial tumors are characterized by a high prevalence of FGFR3 mutations and chromosome 9 alterations. High-grade and muscle-invasive tumors are characterized by Tp53 mutations and aneuploidy. We have analyzed the sequence of exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA in a panel of bladder tumors covering the whole spectrum of the disease. DNA from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor sections was amplified by PCR and products were sequenced. In an unselected panel of tumors representative of the disease, the PIK3CA mutation prevalence was 13% (11 of 87). Mutations occurred mainly at the previously identified hotspots (codons 542, 545, 1007, and 1047). The distribution according to stage was as follows: papillary urothelial neoplasms of uncertain malignant potential (PUNLMP; 11 of 43, 25.6%), T(a) (9 of 57, 16%), T(1) (2 of 10, 20%), and muscle-invasive tumors (0 of 20, 0%; P = 0.019). Mutations were associated with low-grade tumors: grade 1 (6 of 27, 22.2%), grade 2 (3 of 23, 13%), and grade 3 (2 of 37, 5.4%; P = 0.047). Overall, PIK3CA mutations were strongly associated with FGFR3 mutations: 18 of 69 (26%) FGFR3(mut) tumors were PIK3CA(mut), versus 4 of 58 (6.9%) FGFR3(wt) tumors (P = 0.005). Our findings indicate that PIK3CA mutations are a common event that can occur early in bladder carcinogenesis and support the notion that papillary and muscle-invasive tumors arise through different molecular pathways. PIK3CA may constitute a novel diagnostic and prognostic tool, as well as a therapeutic target, in bladder cancer.

    Cancer research 2006;66;15;7401-4

  • Mutations in PIK3CA are infrequent in neuroblastoma.

    Dam V, Morgan BT, Mazanek P and Hogarty MD

    Division of Oncology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA, USA. vincent.dam@jefferson.edu

    Background: Neuroblastoma is a frequently lethal pediatric cancer in which MYCN genomic amplification is highly correlated with aggressive disease. Deregulated MYC genes require co-operative lesions to foster tumourigenesis and both direct and indirect evidence support activated Ras signaling for this purpose in many cancers. Yet Ras genes and Braf, while often activated in cancer cells, are infrequent targets for activation in neuroblastoma. Recently, the Ras effector PIK3CA was shown to be activated in diverse human cancers. We therefore assessed PIK3CA for mutation in human neuroblastomas, as well as in neuroblastomas arising in transgenic mice with MYCN overexpressed in neural-crest tissues. In this murine model we additionally surveyed for Ras family and Braf mutations as these have not been previously reported.

    Methods: Sixty-nine human neuroblastomas (42 primary tumors and 27 cell lines) were sequenced for PIK3CA activating mutations within the C2, helical and kinase domain "hot spots" where 80% of mutations cluster. Constitutional DNA was sequenced in cases with confirmed alterations to assess for germline or somatic acquisition. Additionally, Ras family members (Hras1, Kras2 and Nras) and the downstream effectors Pik3ca and Braf, were sequenced from twenty-five neuroblastomas arising in neuroblastoma-prone transgenic mice.

    Results: We identified mutations in the PIK3CA gene in 2 of 69 human neuroblastomas (2.9%). Neither mutation (R524M and E982D) has been studied to date for effects on lipid kinase activity. Though both occurred in tumors with MYCN amplification the overall rate of PIK3CA mutations in MYCN amplified and single-copy tumors did not differ appreciably (2 of 31 versus 0 of 38, respectively). Further, no activating mutations were identified in a survey of Ras signal transduction genes (including Hras1, Kras2, Nras, Pik3ca, or Braf genes) in twenty-five neuroblastic tumors arising in the MYCN-initiated transgenic mouse model.

    Conclusion: These data suggest that activating mutations in the Ras/Raf-MAPK/PI3K signaling cascades occur infrequently in neuroblastoma. Further, despite compelling evidence for MYC and RAS cooperation in vitro and in vivo to promote tumourigenesis, activation of RAS signal transduction does not constitute a preferred secondary pathway in neuroblastomas with MYCN deregulation in either human tumors or murine models.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA97323, P01 CA097323

    BMC cancer 2006;6;177

  • Amplification of CCND1, EMS1, PIK3CA, and ERBB oncogenes in ethmoid sinus adenocarcinomas.

    Nazar G, González MV, García JM, Llorente JL, Rodrigo JP and Suárez C

    Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain. gnazar@clinicalascondes.cl

    Objective: Assess the amplification of CCND1, EMS1, PIK3CA, ERBB1, and ERBB2 oncogenes in ethmoid sinus adenocarcinomas.

    Tissue samples from 13 primary ethmoid adenocarcinomas and 2 recurrences were studied at Hospital Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain, between July 1998 and February 2002. A semiquantitative evaluation of CCND1, EMS1, PIK3CA, ERBB1, and ERBB2 amplification was performed by multiplex polymerase chain reaction.

    Results: Three (23%) cases presented CCND1 amplification, one of them with a concurrent PIK3CA amplification. EMS1 was amplified in the 2 studied recurrences. ERBB1 was amplified in 1 case (8%), whereas none presented ERBB2 amplification. Oncogenic amplifications were only detected in advanced (stage III) tumors; however, no prognostic value could be shown for them.

    Conclusions: CCND1, EMS1, PIK3CA, and ERBB1 amplifications are uncommon and appear to be late events in the development of ethmoid sinus adenocarcinoma.

    Significance: New information on the carcinogenesis of this infrequent sinonasal tumor is presented.

    Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 2006;135;1;135-9

  • PIK3CA and TFRC located in 3q are new prognostic factors in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    Wada S, Noguchi T, Takeno S and Kawahara K

    Department of Oncological Science (Surgery 2), Oita University Faculty of Medicine, Idaigaoka 1-1, Hasamam-machi, Oita, 879-5593, Japan. hasamada2000@yahoo.co.jp

    Background: Amplification of the chromosome 3q seems to occur frequently in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). This study analyzed the clinical effect of messenger RNA (mRNA) expression for PIK3CA (the gene that encodes phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase catalytic alpha-polypeptide) and TFRC (the gene that encodes the transferrin receptor), which map within chromosome 3q in ESCC.

    Methods: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded ESCC tissues were examined. Total RNAs were extracted, and reverse transcription products were subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification of beta-actin, PIK3CA, and TFRC.

    Results: Expression of beta-actin mRNA was detected in 67 (55.8%) of 120 samples, with PIK3CA mRNA expression in 22 (32.8%) of these 67 samples and TFRC mRNA expression in 15 (22.4%) of the 67 samples. PIK3CA mRNA expression correlated with regional lymph node metastasis (P = .04). TFRC mRNA expression correlated with distant metastasis (P = .04). Patients with positive results for either PIK3CA or TFRC mRNA displayed a significantly worse prognosis than patients with negative results (PIK3CA, P = .045; TFRC, P = .009). TFRC mRNA expression represented an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis (P = .0233), but PIK3CA did not (P = .7585).

    Conclusions: PIK3CA and TFRC mRNA represent prognostic factors in patients with ESCC. TFRC mRNA offers an independent prognostic factor, and expression may have clinically important implications.

    Annals of surgical oncology 2006;13;7;961-6

  • Angiotensin II regulates phosphoinositide 3 kinase/Akt cascade via a negative crosstalk between AT1 and AT2 receptors in skin fibroblasts of human hypertrophic scars.

    Liu HW, Cheng B, Yu WL, Sun RX, Zeng D, Wang J, Liao YX and Fu XB

    Department of Plastic Surgery, Guangzhou Liuhuaqiao Hospital, Liuhua road 111, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 510010, PR China. liuhongwei0521@hotmail.com

    Angiotensin II (Ang II) stimulation has been shown to regulate proliferation of skin fibroblasts and production of extracellular matrix, which are very important process in skin wound healing and scarring; however, the signaling pathways involved in this process, especially in humans, are less explored. In the present study, we used skin fibroblasts of human hypertrophic scar, which expressed both AT1 and AT2 receptors, and observed that Ang II increased Akt phosphorylation and phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI 3-K) activity. In addition, the Ang II-induced Akt phosphorylation was blocked by wortmannin, a PI 3-K inhibitor. This Ang II-activated PI 3-K/Akt cascade was markedly inhibited by valsartan, an AT(1) receptor-specific blocker, whereas it was enhanced by PD123319, an AT(2) receptor antagonist. On the other hand, the Ang II- or EGF-induced activation of PI 3-K/Akt was strongly attenuated by AG1478, an inhibitor of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor kinase. Moreover, Ang II stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of EGF receptor and p85alpha subunit of PI 3-K accompanied by an increase in their association, which was inhibited by valsartan, and enhanced by PD123319. The Ang II-induced transactivation of EGF receptor resulted in activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) that was also inhibited by valsartan, and enhanced by PD123319. Taken together, our results showed that AT(1) receptor-mediated activation of PI 3-K/Akt cascades occurs at least partially via the transactivation of EGF receptor, which is under a negative control by AT(2) receptor in hypertrophic scar fibroblasts. These findings contribute to understanding the molecular mechanism of human hypertrophic scar formation.

    Life sciences 2006;79;5;475-83

  • PIK3CA mutations in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm/carcinoma of the pancreas.

    Schönleben F, Qiu W, Ciau NT, Ho DJ, Li X, Allendorf JD, Remotti HE and Su GH

    Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA. gs2157@columbia.edu

    Purpose: Recent studies have reported high frequencies of somatic mutations in the phosphoinositide-3-kinase catalytic-alpha (PIK3CA) gene in various human solid tumors. More than 75% of those somatic mutations are clustered in the helical (exon 9) and kinase domains (exon 20). The three hot-spot mutations, E542K, E545K, and H1047R, have been proven to elevate the lipid kinase activity of PIK3CA and activate the Akt signaling pathway. The mutational status of PIK3CA in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm/carcinoma (IPMN/IPMC) has not been evaluated previously.

    To evaluate a possible role for PIK3CA in the tumorigenesis of IPMN and IPMC, exons 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 18, and 20 were analyzed in 36 IPMN/IPMC and two mucinous cystadenoma specimens by direct genomic DNA sequencing.

    Results: We identified four missense mutations in the nine screened exons of PIK3CA from 36 IPMN/IPMC specimens (11%). One of the four mutations, H1047R, has been previously reported as a hot-spot mutation. The remaining three mutations, T324I, W551G, and S1015F, were novel and somatic.

    Conclusion: This is the first report of PIK3CA mutation in pancreatic cancer. Our data provide evidence that the oncogenic properties of PIK3CA contribute to the tumorigenesis of IPMN/IPMC.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA95434, K01 CA095434, R01 CA109525

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;12;3851-5

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase mediates activation of ATM by high NaCl and by ionizing radiation: Role in osmoprotective transcriptional regulation.

    Irarrazabal CE, Burg MB, Ward SG and Ferraris JD

    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD 20892-1603, USA. irarrazc@mhlbi.nih.gov

    High NaCl causes DNA double-strand breaks and activates the transcription factor, TonEBP/OREBP, resulting in increased transcription of several protective genes, including those involved in accumulation of compatible organic osmolytes. Several kinases are known to contribute to signaling activation of TonEBP/OREBP, including ATM, which is a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-like kinase family and is activated by DNA double-strand breaks. The purpose of the present studies was to investigate a possible role of PI3K Class IA (PI3K-IA). We found that high NaCl increases PI3K-IA lipid kinase activity. Inhibiting PI3K-IA either by expressing a dominant negative of its regulatory subunit, p85, or by small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of its catalytic subunit, p110alpha, reduces high NaCl-induced increases in TonEBP/OREBP transcriptional activity and transactivation, but not nuclear translocation of TonEBP/OREBP, or increases in its abundance. Further, suppression of PI3K-IA inhibits the activation of ATM that is caused by either ionizing radiation or high NaCl. High NaCl-induced increase in TonEBP/OREBP activity is reduced equally by inhibition of ATM or PI3K-IA, and the effects are not additive. The conclusions are as follows: (i) PI3K-IA activity is necessary for both high NaCl- and ionizing radiation-induced activation of ATM and (ii) high NaCl activates PI3K-IA, which, in turn, contributes to full activation of TonEBP/OREBP via ATM.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2006;103;23;8882-7

  • Mutation analysis of PIK3CA and PIK3CB in esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus.

    Phillips WA, Russell SE, Ciavarella ML, Choong DY, Montgomery KG, Smith K, Pearson RB, Thomas RJ and Campbell IG

    Surgical Oncology Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Department of Surgery (St. Vincent's Hospital), University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia. wayne.phillips@petermac.org

    Mutation of PIK3CA, the gene coding for the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), has been reported in a limited range of human tumors. We now report that PIK3CA is also mutated in esophageal tumors. Single-strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) were used to screen all 20 exons of PIK3CA in 101 samples from 95 individuals with esophageal cancer and/or Barrett's esophagus. Somatic mutation of PIK3CA was detected in 4 of 35 (11.8%) of esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 3 of 50 (6%) adenocarcinomas. No mutations were detected in any of 17 samples of Barrett's esophagus. For PIK3CB, we screened exons 11 and 22, which code for the regions corresponding to the exon 9 and 20 mutational 'hotspots' of PIK3CA. No somatic changes were detected in PIK3CB This study extends previous observations in other tumor types by demonstrating the presence of somatic PIK3CA mutations in both SCC and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, thus implicating the PI3K pathway in the initiation and/or progression of esophageal cancers.

    International journal of cancer 2006;118;10;2644-6

  • HIV-1 gp120-mediated apoptosis of T cells is regulated by the membrane tyrosine phosphatase CD45.

    Anand AR and Ganju RK

    Division of Experimental Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    The molecular mechanism of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp120-induced apoptosis of bystander T cells is not well defined. Here, we demonstrate that CD45, a key component of the T cell receptor pathway, plays a crucial role in apoptosis induced by HIV-1 gp120. We observed that HIV-1 gp120-induced apoptosis was significantly reduced in a CD45-deficient cell line and that reconstitution of CD45 in these cells restored gp120-induced apoptosis. However, expression of a chimeric protein containing only the intracellular phosphatase domain was not able to restore the apoptotic function in the CD45-negative clone, indicating an important role for the extracellular domain of CD45 in this function. The role of CD45 in gp120-induced apoptosis was further confirmed in T cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells using a selective CD45 inhibitor as well as CD45-specific small interfering RNA. We also observed that gp120 treatment induced CD45 association with the HIV coreceptor CXCR4. Further elucidation of downstream signaling events revealed that CD45 modulates HIV-1 gp120-induced apoptosis by regulating Fas ligand induction and activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway. These results suggest a novel CD45-mediated mechanism for the HIV envelope-induced apoptosis of T cells.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: AI49140

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2006;281;18;12289-99

  • Mutational hotspot in exon 20 of PIK3CA in breast cancer among Singapore Chinese.

    Liang X, Lau QC, Salto-Tellez M, Putti TC, Loh M and Sukumar S

    Oncology Research Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

    The recent identification of somatic mutations in the catalytic region of PIK3 (PIK3CA) in breast cancer and demonstration of their oncogenic function has implicated PIK3CA in mammary carcinogenesis. To investigate possible ethnic differences in patterns of PIK3CA mutations in Singaporean Chinese breast cancer and to characterize these in a panel of cell lines, we sequenced exons 9 and 20 in 80 primary tumors, 19 breast cancer cell lines and 7 normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMECs). Searching for novel hotspots of mutation, we sequenced additional exons (1, 2, 6, 7, 14 and 18) in 20 primary tumors and 6 breast cancer cell lines. We detected 33 point mutations in 31 of 80 (39%) breast cancers, and 11 mutations in 10 of 19 (53%) breast cancer cell lines. No mutations were detected in normal breast tissue adjacent to the tumor, or in the 6 normal HMECs. The exon 20 A3140G (H1047R) substitution was identified most frequently (22/31, 71%) and showed a significant association with patient age (p = 0.043) and stage of the disease (p = 0.025), but not with ER/PR status or histological grade of the tumor. The incidence of point mutations in PIK3CA, the A3140G substitution in particular, in Singapore breast cancers are among the most frequent reported to date for any gene in breast cancer. The results suggest that mutation of PIK3CA might contribute to development of early stage breast cancer and could provide a potent target for early diagnosis and therapy.

    Cancer biology & therapy 2006;5;5;544-8

  • PI3K is required for insulin-stimulated but not EGF-stimulated ERK1/2 activation.

    Liu L, Xie Y and Lou L

    Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China.

    The Ras/Raf/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) signaling pathway is known to cross-talk with other signaling pathways, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. However, the role of PI3K in ERK-1/2 activation induced by tyrosine kinase receptors was not fully understood. Here, we report that two structurally distinct PI3K inhibitors, wortmannin and LY294002, inhibited insulin-induced activation of ERK1/2 but had no effect on EGF-induced activation of ERK1/2 in hepatocellular carcinoma BEL-7402 and SMMC-7721 cells, breast cancer MCF-7 cells, and prostate cancer LNCaP cells. Although protein kinase C could act as a mediator between PI3K and ERK1/2, protein kinase C inhibitor chelerythrine chloride did not inhibit insulin-induced ERK1/2 activation. Both insulin- and EGF-induced ERK1/2 activation are strictly dependent on Ras activation, however, wortmannin only inhibited insulin-induced, but not EGF-induced Ras activation. These results indicate that PI3K plays different roles in the activation of Ras/ERK1/2 signaling by insulin and EGF, and that insulin-stimulated, but not EGF-stimulated, ERK1/2 and Akt signalings diverge at PI3K.

    European journal of cell biology 2006;85;5;367-74

  • KRAS mutation status is predictive of response to cetuximab therapy in colorectal cancer.

    Lièvre A, Bachet JB, Le Corre D, Boige V, Landi B, Emile JF, Côté JF, Tomasic G, Penna C, Ducreux M, Rougier P, Penault-Llorca F and Laurent-Puig P

    Université Paris-Descartes, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale UMR-775, Paris, France.

    The anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (anti-EGFR) cetuximab has been proven to be efficient in metastatic colorectal cancer. The molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical response to this drug remain unknown. Genetic alterations of the intracellular effectors involved in EGFR-related signaling pathways may have an effect on response to this targeted therapy. In this study, tumors from 30 metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated by cetuximab were screened for KRAS, BRAF, and PIK3CA mutation by direct sequencing and for EGFR copy number by chromogenic in situ hybridization. Eleven of the 30 patients (37%) responded to cetuximab. A KRAS mutation was found in 13 tumors (43%) and was significantly associated with the absence of response to cetuximab (KRAS mutation in 0% of the 11 responder patients versus 68.4% of the 19 nonresponder patients; P = 0.0003). The overall survival of patients without KRAS mutation in their tumor was significantly higher compared with those patients with a mutated tumor (P = 0.016; median, 16.3 versus 6.9 months). An increased EGFR copy number was found in 3 patients (10%) and was significantly associated with an objective tumor response to cetuximab (P = 0.04). In conclusion, in this study, KRAS mutations are a predictor of resistance to cetuximab therapy and are associated with a worse prognosis. The EGFR amplification, which is not as frequent as initially reported, is also associated with response to this treatment.

    Cancer research 2006;66;8;3992-5

  • Molecular analysis of the PI3K-AKT pathway in uterine cervical neoplasia: frequent PIK3CA amplification and AKT phosphorylation.

    Bertelsen BI, Steine SJ, Sandvei R, Molven A and Laerum OD

    Department of Pathology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen and Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway. mgpbb@gades.uib.no

    Uterine cervical carcinogenesis is probably dependent on cellular genetic damage in addition to the integration of high-risk HPV DNA in the epithelial cell genome. Gain of chromosome 3q24-29 is commonly observed in cervical neoplasia. The putative oncogene PIK3CA located in this region encodes a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). In a process reversed by PTEN, PI3K generates inositol phospholipids that trigger AKT phosphorylation, which in turn effects tumor driving signals. We studied 46 specimens of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cervical neoplastic tissue. The activation state of the PI3K-AKT pathway was assessed immunohistochemically using an antibody with specificity towards serine 473-phosphorylated AKT. AKT phosphorylation was found in 39 out of 46 examined specimens. To examine the possible molecular basis for this activation, we searched for PIK3CA amplification using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. PIK3CA gene copy number was estimated to be 3 or more in 28 out of 40 successfully examined cases. Further, a PTEN mutation analysis of all 9 PTEN exons was carried out, but except for 1 metastasis with an exon 9 V369I heterozygosity, all cases showed normal PTEN sequence. Immunohistochemical staining for PTEN was strong in all lesions. In conclusion, an increased activation state of AKT kinase appears to be present in cervical carcinogenesis, and may be accounted for by PIK3CA amplification, whereas PTEN mutation seems to be of little importance.

    International journal of cancer 2006;118;8;1877-83

  • TRAF6 activation of PI 3-kinase-dependent cytoskeletal changes is cooperative with Ras and is mediated by an interaction with cytoplasmic Src.

    Wang KZ, Wara-Aswapati N, Boch JA, Yoshida Y, Hu CD, Galson DL and Auron PE

    Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.

    Interleukin 1 (IL-1) has been implicated in the reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. An expression vector encoding a PKB/Akt pleckstrin-homology domain fused to a fluorescent protein was used to detect phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) products. It was observed that PI 3-kinase was activated either by treatment with IL-1 or by expression of either TRAF6, Src, MyD88 or dominant-positive PI 3-kinase, and resulted in the formation of long filopodia-like cellular protrusions that appeared to branch at membrane sites consisting of clusters of phosphoinositide. This depended upon a TRAF6 polyproline motif and Src catalytic activity, and was blocked by inhibitors of PI 3-kinase, Src and Ras. Using both conventional and split fluorescent protein probes fused to expressed TRAF6 and Src in living cells, the polyproline sequence of TRAF6 and the Src-homology 3 (SH3) domain of Src were shown to be required for interaction between these two proteins. Interaction occurred within the cytoplasm, and not at either the cell membrane or cytoplasmic sequestosomes. In addition, co-transfection of vectors expressing fluorescent-protein-fused TRAF6 and non-fluorescent MyD88, IRAK1 and IRAK2 revealed an inverse correlation between increased sequestosome formation and activation of both PI 3-kinase and NF-kappaB. Although a key factor in TRAF6-dependent activation of PI 3-kinase, ectopic expression of Src was insufficient for NF-kappaB activation and, in contrast to NF-kappaB, was not inhibited by IRAK2.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA68544; NIAID NIH HHS: AI44122; NIDCR NIH HHS: DE14197

    Journal of cell science 2006;119;Pt 8;1579-91

  • Human tumor mutants in the p110alpha subunit of PI3K.

    Liu Z and Roberts TM

    Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    The PI3K-Akt pathway is frequently upregulated in human tumors. Recently, somatic mutations of PIK3CA, encoding p110alpha catalytic subunit of Class IA PI3Ks, have been found in various cancers. The two most common types of p110alpha mutants, those in the helical and kinase domains, have been shown to be very potent in Akt activation and oncogenic transformation by several groups. Notably these common mutations may not enhance recruitment of p110alpha to the plasma membrane where its substrates are located. We have investigated the effect of membrane localization on common PIK3CA tumor mutants via myristoylation. In addition we have studied a third class of less frequent mutants in the p85-binding domain, in an attempt to gain insight into p85's inhibitory effect on p110alpha. This article briefly reviews and extends the literature on mutant forms of p110alpha.

    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2006;5;7;675-7

  • PIK3CA mutations in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

    Qiu W, Schönleben F, Li X, Ho DJ, Close LG, Manolidis S, Bennett BP and Su GH

    Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.

    Purpose: Recent studies have reported high frequencies of somatic mutations in the phosphoinositide-3-kinase catalytic alpha (PIK3CA) gene in several human solid tumors. Although gene amplifications of PIK3CA have been reported in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), small mutation of the gene has not been evaluated in HNSCC previously. In this study, we examined the mutation frequency of PIK3CA in HNSCC.

    More than 75% of the somatic mutations of PIK3CA are clustered in the helical (exon 9) and kinase domains (exon 20). To investigate the possible role of PIK3CA in HNSCC tumorigenesis, exons 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 20 of the gene were analyzed by direct genomic DNA sequencing in 38 HNSCC specimens.

    Results: We identified four missense mutations in the seven exons of PIK3CA from 38 HNSCC specimens (11%). Three of the four mutations (i.e., H1047R, E542K, and E545K) have been previously reported as hotspot mutations. The remaining novel mutation, Y343C, is identified at exon 4 nucleotide 1028 A --> G. Three of the four mutations were shown to be somatic, whereas the fourth mutation (H1047R) was identified in a cell line. Interestingly, three of the four mutations identified were in pharyngeal cancer samples.

    Conclusions: These data provide evidence that oncogenic properties of PIK3CA contribute to the carcinogenesis of human head and neck cancers, especially in pharyngeal cancer. A specific kinase inhibitor to PIK3CA may potentially be an effective therapeutic reagent against HNSCC or pharyngeal cancer in particular.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA95434, K01 CA095434, R01 CA109525

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;5;1441-6

  • PIK3CA mutations in breast cancer are associated with poor outcome.

    Li SY, Rong M, Grieu F and Iacopetta B

    School of Surgery and Pathology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.

    The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT signaling pathway is considered to play an important role in tumorigenesis. Frequent somatic mutations in the PI3K subunit p110alpha (PIK3CA) occur in a variety of cancer types. We screened 250 primary human breast tumors for mutations in PIK3CA in order to determine associations with pathological features and with patient outcome. The frequency of PIK3CA mutations in the C2, helical and kinase domains was 35% (88/250). Mutations were associated with larger tumor size (p = 0.004) and positive estrogen receptor status (p = 0.008). Patients with PIK3CA mutations showed significantly worse survival (p = 0.004), particularly those with positive estrogen receptor expression or non-amplified erbB2 (both p = 0.002). PIK3CA mutation was an independent factor for worse survival in breast cancer patients with non-amplified erbB2 (RR = 2.6, 95%CI [1.2-5.5], p = 0.016).

    Breast cancer research and treatment 2006;96;1;91-5

  • PIK3CA mutations in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

    Or YY, Hui AB, To KF, Lam CN and Lo KW

    International journal of cancer 2006;118;4;1065-7

  • Correlation of PIK3Ca mutations with gene expression and drug sensitivity in NCI-60 cell lines.

    Whyte DB and Holbeck SL

    Argus Biosciences, LLC 2623 Barclay Way, Belmont, CA 94002, USA. dwhyte@argusbio.com

    The gene that encodes the alpha-isoform of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PIK3Ca) is frequently mutated in human cancers. We profiled the mutation status of the PIK3Ca gene in the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-60 panel of human cancer cell lines maintained by the Developmental Therapeutics Program of the NCI. Mutation hotspots on the gene were PCR amplified and sequenced, and the trace data were analyzed with software designed to detect mutations. Seven of the cell lines tested have PIK3Ca mutations: two lines derived from breast cancer, two from colon cancer, two from ovarian cancer, and one from lung cancer. BRAF and EGFR genes were normal in the PIK3Ca mutant lines. Two of the cell lines with mutant PIK3Ca also have a mutant version of the KRAS gene. The mutation status was correlated with array-based gene expression that is publicly available for the NCI-60 cell lines. We found increased expression levels for estrogen receptor (ER) and ERBB2 in PIK3Ca mutant lines. The PIK3Ca mutation status was also correlated with compound screening data for the cell lines. PIK3Ca-mutant cell lines were relatively more sensitive than PIK3Ca-normal cell lines to the ER inhibitor tamoxifen and the AKT inhibitor triciribine, among other compounds. The results provide insights into the role of mutant PIK3Ca in oncogenic signaling and allow preliminary identification of novel targets for therapeutic intervention in cancers harboring PIK3Ca mutations.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2006;340;2;469-75

  • PIK3CA mutation and histological type in breast carcinoma: high frequency of mutations in lobular carcinoma.

    Buttitta F, Felicioni L, Barassi F, Martella C, Paolizzi D, Fresu G, Salvatore S, Cuccurullo F, Mezzetti A, Campani D and Marchetti A

    Clinical Research Center, Center of Excellence on Aging, University-Foundation, Chieti, Italy.

    Mutations in the PIK3CA gene have recently been reported in different human neoplasms, including breast cancer. This paper reports the results of a systematic analysis of PIK3CA mutations in different histological types of breast carcinoma. One hundred and eighty invasive breast carcinomas, comprising 74 ductal, 56 lobular, 22 mucinous, 20 medullary, and eight papillary, were selected on the basis of their histological type in a consecutive series of 780 breast cancers. Exons 1-20 of the PIK3CA gene were subjected to SSCP analysis followed by direct sequencing. PIK3CA mutations were observed in 46 (26%) of the 180 tumours examined: 23 (50%) mutations were located in exon 9, and 23 (50%) in exon 20. Mutations were frequent in lobular (46%), less frequent in ductal (22%), and uncommon in medullary (10%), mucinous (5%), and papillary tumours (12%) (p = 0.0002). Mutations in exon 9 were more frequent in lobular carcinomas (30% of cases) than in the other histological types (less than 5% of cases) (p = 0.00014). No significant differences were observed in the distribution of mutations in exon 20. There was no significant correlation between PIK3CA mutations and other clinicopathological and biological variables, including age, tumour size, lymph node metastases, oestrogen receptor (ER) status, progesterone receptor (PgR) status, p53 gene mutations, and p53 protein expression. The findings indicate that in invasive breast carcinomas, PIK3CA alterations are mainly present in lobular and ductal tumours, whereas the other histological types, known to be associated with a favourable prognosis, show a very low incidence of PIK3CA mutations.

    The Journal of pathology 2006;208;3;350-5

  • Cancer-specific mutations in PIK3CA are oncogenic in vivo.

    Bader AG, Kang S and Vogt PK

    Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

    The PIK3CA gene, coding for the catalytic subunit p110alpha of class IA phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks), is frequently mutated in human cancer. Mutated p110alpha proteins show a gain of enzymatic function in vitro and are oncogenic in cell culture. Here, we show that three prevalent mutants of p110alpha, E542K, E545K, and H1047R, are oncogenic in vivo. They induce tumors in the chorioallantoic membrane of the chicken embryo and cause hemangiosarcomas in the animal. These tumors are marked by increased angiogenesis and an activation of the Akt pathway. The target of rapamycin inhibitor RAD001 blocks tumor growth induced by the H1047R p110alpha mutant. The in vivo oncogenicity of PIK3CA mutants in an avian species strongly suggests a critical role for these mutated proteins in human malignancies.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2006;103;5;1475-9

  • Laminin-5-integrin interaction signals through PI 3-kinase and Rac1b to promote assembly of adherens junctions in HT-29 cells.

    Chartier NT, Lainé M, Gout S, Pawlak G, Marie CA, Matos P, Block MR and Jacquier-Sarlin MR

    Laboratoire d'Etude de la Différenciation et de l'Adhérence Cellulaires, UMR UJF/CNRS 5538, Institut Albert Bonniot, Faculté de Médecine de Grenoble, Domaine de la Merci, 38706 La Tronche Cedex, France.

    Human intestinal cell differentiation is mediated by signaling pathways that remain largely undefined. We and others have shown that cell migration and differentiation along the crypt-villus axis is associated with temporal and spatial modulations of the repertoire, as well as with the function of integrins and E-cadherins and their substrates. Cross-talk between integrin and cadherin signaling was previously described and seems to coordinate this differentiation process. Here, we report that engagement of alpha6 and, to a lesser extent, alpha3 integrin subunits after HT-29 cell adhesion on laminin 5 increases the expression of E-cadherin, which then organizes into nascent adherens junctions. We further identify that phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activation plays a key role in this cross-talk. Indeed, integrin-dependent adhesion on laminin 5 stimulates PI 3-kinase activity. Immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that activated PI 3-kinase is recruited at cell-cell contacts. Using LY294002, an inhibitor of PI 3-kinase activity, we found that this activation is essential for E-cadherin connection with the cytoskeleton and for biogenesis of adherens junctions. Finally, we demonstrated that PI 3-kinase could signal through Rac1b activation to control adherens junction assembly. Our results provide a mechanistic insight into integrin-cadherin cross-talk and identify a novel role for PI 3-kinase in the establishment of adherens junctions.

    Journal of cell science 2006;119;Pt 1;31-46

  • Somatic mutations of ERBB2 kinase domain in gastric, colorectal, and breast carcinomas.

    Lee JW, Soung YH, Seo SH, Kim SY, Park CH, Wang YP, Park K, Nam SW, Park WS, Kim SH, Lee JY, Yoo NJ and Lee SH

    Department of Pathology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

    Purpose: Recent reports revealed that the kinase domain of the ERBB2 gene is somatically mutated in lung adenocarcinoma, suggesting the mutated ERBB2 gene as an oncogene in human cancers. However, because previous reports focused the mutational search of ERBB2 primarily on lung cancers, the data on ERBB2 mutations in other types of human cancers have been largely unknown.

    Here, we did a mutational analysis of the ERBB2 kinase domain by PCR single-strand conformational polymorphism assay in gastric, colorectal, and breast carcinoma tissues.

    Results: We detected the ERBB2 kinase domain mutations in 9 of 180 gastric carcinomas (5.0%), in 3 of 104 colorectal carcinomas (2.9%), and in 4 of 94 breast carcinomas (4.3%). All of the detected ERBB2 mutations except for one in-frame deletion mutation were missense mutations. Of the 16 ERBB2 mutations detected, 4 affected Val777 in the exon 20 site, and 3 affected Leu755 in the exon 19 site. We simultaneously analyzed the somatic mutations of EGFR, K-RAS, PIK3CA, and BRAF genes in the 16 samples with ERBB2 mutations, and found that all of the 3 colorectal carcinoma samples with ERBB2 mutations harbored K-RAS mutations.

    Conclusion: This study showed that in addition to lung adenocarcinomas, ERBB2 kinase domain mutation occurs in other common human cancers such as gastric, breast, and colorectal cancers, and suggested that alterations of ERBB2-mediated signaling pathway by ERBB2 mutations alone or together with K-RAS mutations may contribute to the development of human cancers.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2006;12;1;57-61

  • Diversification of transcriptional modulation: large-scale identification and characterization of putative alternative promoters of human genes.

    Kimura K, Wakamatsu A, Suzuki Y, Ota T, Nishikawa T, Yamashita R, Yamamoto J, Sekine M, Tsuritani K, Wakaguri H, Ishii S, Sugiyama T, Saito K, Isono Y, Irie R, Kushida N, Yoneyama T, Otsuka R, Kanda K, Yokoi T, Kondo H, Wagatsuma M, Murakawa K, Ishida S, Ishibashi T, Takahashi-Fujii A, Tanase T, Nagai K, Kikuchi H, Nakai K, Isogai T and Sugano S

    Life Science Research Laboratory, Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd., Kokubunji, Tokyo, 185-8601, Japan.

    By analyzing 1,780,295 5'-end sequences of human full-length cDNAs derived from 164 kinds of oligo-cap cDNA libraries, we identified 269,774 independent positions of transcriptional start sites (TSSs) for 14,628 human RefSeq genes. These TSSs were clustered into 30,964 clusters that were separated from each other by more than 500 bp and thus are very likely to constitute mutually distinct alternative promoters. To our surprise, at least 7674 (52%) human RefSeq genes were subject to regulation by putative alternative promoters (PAPs). On average, there were 3.1 PAPs per gene, with the composition of one CpG-island-containing promoter per 2.6 CpG-less promoters. In 17% of the PAP-containing loci, tissue-specific use of the PAPs was observed. The richest tissue sources of the tissue-specific PAPs were testis and brain. It was also intriguing that the PAP-containing promoters were enriched in the genes encoding signal transduction-related proteins and were rarer in the genes encoding extracellular proteins, possibly reflecting the varied functional requirement for and the restricted expression of those categories of genes, respectively. The patterns of the first exons were highly diverse as well. On average, there were 7.7 different splicing types of first exons per locus partly produced by the PAPs, suggesting that a wide variety of transcripts can be achieved by this mechanism. Our findings suggest that use of alternate promoters and consequent alternative use of first exons should play a pivotal role in generating the complexity required for the highly elaborated molecular systems in humans.

    Genome research 2006;16;1;55-65

  • Nutrients suppress phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling via raptor-dependent mTOR-mediated insulin receptor substrate 1 phosphorylation.

    Tzatsos A and Kandror KV

    Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118, USA. atzatsos@tufts-nemc.org

    Nutritional excess and/or obesity represent well-known predisposition factors for the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). However, molecular links between obesity and NIDDM are only beginning to emerge. Here, we demonstrate that nutrients suppress phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI3)-kinase/Akt signaling via Raptor-dependent mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin)-mediated phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1). Raptor directly binds to and serves as a scaffold for mTOR-mediated phosphorylation of IRS-1 on Ser636/639. These serines lie close to the Y(632)MPM motif that is implicated in the binding of p85alpha/p110alpha PI3-kinase to IRS-1 upon insulin stimulation. Phosphomimicking mutations of these serines block insulin-stimulated activation of IRS-1-associated PI3-kinase. Knockdown of Raptor as well as activators of the LKB1/AMPK pathway, such as the widely used antidiabetic compound metformin, suppress IRS-1 Ser636/639 phosphorylation and reverse mTOR-mediated inhibition on PI3-kinase/Akt signaling. Thus, diabetes-related hyperglycemia hyperactivates the mTOR pathway and may lead to insulin resistance due to suppression of IRS-1-dependent PI3-kinase/Akt signaling.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: DK52057, DK56736, R01 DK052057, R01 DK056736, R56 DK052057

    Molecular and cellular biology 2006;26;1;63-76

  • The oncogenic properties of mutant p110alpha and p110beta phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases in human mammary epithelial cells.

    Zhao JJ, Liu Z, Wang L, Shin E, Loda MF and Roberts TM

    Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. jean.zhao@dfci.harvard.edu

    The PIK3CA gene encoding the p110alpha subunit of Class IA phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) is frequently mutated in human tumors. Mutations in the PIK3CB gene encoding p110beta, the only other widely expressed Class IA PI3K, have not been reported. We compared the biochemical activity and transforming potential of mutant forms of p110alpha and p110beta in a human mammary epithelial cell system. The two most common tumor-derived alleles of p110alpha, H1047R and E545K, potently activated PI3K signaling. Human mammary epithelial cells expressing these alleles grew efficiently in soft agar and as orthotopic tumors in nude mice. We also examined a third class of mutations in p110alpha, those in the p85-binding domain. A representative tumor-derived p85-binding-domain mutant R38H showed modestly reduced p85 binding and weakly activated PI3K/Akt signaling. In contrast, a deletion mutant lacking the entire p85-binding domain efficiently activated PI3K signaling. When we constructed in p110beta a mutation homologous to the E545K allele of p110alpha, the resulting p110beta mutant was only weakly activated and allowed minimal soft-agar growth. However, a gene fusion of p110beta with the membrane anchor from c-Src was highly active and transforming in both soft-agar and orthotopic nude mouse assays. Thus, although introduction of activating mutations from p110alpha at the corresponding sites in p110beta failed to render the enzyme oncogenic in human cells, the possibility remains that other mutations might activate the beta isoform.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 5P50CA090381-05, CA089021, CA30002, P01 CA050661, P01 CA089021, P01-CA50661, P50 CA090381, R01 CA030002, R37 CA030002

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2005;102;51;18443-8

  • High frequency of coexistent mutations of PIK3CA and PTEN genes in endometrial carcinoma.

    Oda K, Stokoe D, Taketani Y and McCormick F

    Cancer Research Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) pathway is activated in many human cancers. In addition to inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene, mutations or amplifications of the catalytic subunit alpha of PI3K (PIK3CA) have been reported. However, the coexistence of mutations in these two genes seems exceedingly rare. As PTEN mutations occur at high frequency in endometrial carcinoma, we screened 66 primary endometrial carcinomas for mutations in the helical and catalytic domains of PIK3CA. We identified a total of 24 (36%) mutations in this gene and coexistence of PIK3CA/PTEN mutations at high frequency (26%). PIK3CA mutations were more common in tumors with PTEN mutations (17 of 37, 46%) compared with those without PTEN mutations (7 of 29, 24%). Array comparative genomic hybridization detected 3q24-qter amplification, which covers the PIK3CA gene (3q26.3), in one of nine tumors. Knocking down PTEN expression in the HEC-1B cell line, which possesses both K-Ras and PIK3CA mutations, further enhances phosphorylation of Akt (Ser473), indicating that double mutation of PIK3CA and PTEN has an additive effect on PI3K activation. Our data suggest that the PI3K pathway is extensively activated in endometrial carcinomas, and that combination of PIK3CA/PTEN alterations might play an important role in development of these tumors.

    Cancer research 2005;65;23;10669-73

  • Oncogenic PI3K deregulates transcription and translation.

    Bader AG, Kang S, Zhao L and Vogt PK

    Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

    There have long been indications of a role for PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) in cancer pathogenesis. Experimental data document a requirement for deregulation of both transcription and translation in PI3K-mediated oncogenic transformation. The recent discoveries of cancer-specific mutations in PIK3CA, the gene that encodes the catalytic subunit p110alpha of PI3K, have heightened the interest in the oncogenic potential of this lipid kinase and have made p110alpha an ideal drug target.

    Nature reviews. Cancer 2005;5;12;921-9

  • Mutation of the PIK3CA gene in anaplastic thyroid cancer.

    García-Rostán G, Costa AM, Pereira-Castro I, Salvatore G, Hernandez R, Hermsem MJ, Herrero A, Fusco A, Cameselle-Teijeiro J and Santoro M

    Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of Porto University, Porto, Portugal. grostan@ipatimup.pt

    The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently activated in thyroid carcinomas through the constitutive activation of stimulatory molecules (e.g., Ras) and/or the loss of expression and/or function of the inhibitory PTEN protein that results in Akt activation. Recently, it has been reported that somatic mutations within the PI3K catalytic subunit, PIK3CA, are common (25-40%) among colorectal, gastric, breast, ovarian cancers, and high-grade brain tumors. Moreover, PIK3CA mutations have a tendency to cluster within the helical (exon 9) and the kinase (exon 20) domains. In this study, 13 thyroid cancer cell lines, 80 well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas of follicular (WDFC) and papillary (WDPC) type, and 70 anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATC) were investigated, by PCR-direct sequencing, for activating PIK3CA mutations at exons 9 and 20. Nonsynonymous somatic mutations were found in 16 ATC (23%), two WDFC (8%), and one WDPC (2%). In 18 of the 20 ATC cases showing coexisting differentiated carcinoma, mutations, when present, were restricted to the ATC component and located primarily within the kinase domain. Three cell lines of papillary and follicular lineage (K1, K2, and K5) were also found mutated. In addition, activation of Akt was observed in most of the ATC harboring PIK3CA mutations. These findings indicate that mutant PIK3CA is likely to function as an oncogene among ATC and less frequently well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas. The data also argue for a role of PIK3CA targeting in the treatment of ATC patients.

    Cancer research 2005;65;22;10199-207

  • PIK3CA mutations in ovarian cancer.

    Campbell IG, Russell SE and Phillips WA

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2005;11;19 Pt 1;7042; author reply 7042-3

  • Genetic alteration and expression of the phosphoinositol-3-kinase/Akt pathway genes PIK3CA and PIKE in human glioblastomas.

    Knobbe CB, Trampe-Kieslich A and Reifenberger G

    Department of Neuropathology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

    Glioblastomas frequently carry genetic alterations resulting in an aberrant activation of the phosphoinositol-3-kinase (Pi3k)/protein kinase B (Akt) signalling pathway, including most notably phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) mutation, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) amplification and rearrangement, as well as carboxyl-terminal modulator protein (CTMP) hypermethylation [Knobbe et al., (2004) Hypermethylation and transcriptional downregulation of the carboxyl-terminal modulator protein gene in glioblastomas. J Natl Cancer Institute, 96, 483-486]. Here, we investigated two further Pi3k/Akt pathway genes, namely PIK3CA (3q26.3) and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase enhancer (PIKE) (CENTG1, 12q14), for genetic alteration and aberrant expression in a series of 97 primary glioblastomas. Single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis of PIK3CA revealed somatic mutations in five tumours (5%). Twelve glioblastomas (12%) showed amplification of PIKE with invariable co-amplification of the adjacent CDK4 gene. All tumours with PIKE amplification as well as the vast majority of glioblastomas without amplification demonstrated increased expression of PIKE-A but not PIKE-S/L transcripts as compared with non-neoplastic brain tissue. Taken together, our data support an important role of PIK3CA and PIKE gene aberrations in the molecular pathogenesis of primary glioblastomas.

    Neuropathology and applied neurobiology 2005;31;5;486-90

  • HIV-1 gp120-induced TNF-{alpha} production by primary human macrophages is mediated by phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3) kinase and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways.

    Lee C, Tomkowicz B, Freedman BD and Collman RG

    Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania school of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is initiated by binding of the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120 to CD4 followed by a chemokine receptor, but these interactions may also take place independently from infection. gp120 stimulation of primary human macrophages is known to trigger production of cytokines implicated in pathogenesis, particularly tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), but the mechanisms have not been determined. We sought to define the pathways responsible for TNF-alpha secretion by monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) following HIV-1 gp120 stimulation. MDM exposure to recombinant macrophage-tropic (R5) gp120 led to dose- and donor-dependent release of TNF-alpha, which was cyclohexamide-sensitive and associated with up-regulated message. Pretreatment with specific inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK-1/2; PD98059, U0126) and p38 (SB202190, PD169316) inhibited the secretion of TNF-alpha. gp120-elicited TNF-alpha production was also blocked by phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI-3K) inhibitors (wortmannin, LY294002). Moreover, PI-3K inhibition ablated gp120-induced phosphorylation of p38 and ERK-1/2. The response was inhibited by a CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5)-specific antagonist, indicating that CCR5 was in large part responsible. These results indicate that gp120-elicited TNF-alpha production by macrophages involves chemokine receptor-mediated PI-3K and MAPK activation, that PI-3K is an upstream regulator of MAPK in this pathway, and that p38 and ERK-1/2 independently regulate TNF-alpha production. These gp120-triggered signaling pathways may be responsible for inappropriate production of proinflammatory cytokines by macrophages, which are believed to play a role in immunopathogenesis and in neurological sequelae of AIDS.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: P30 AI045008, R01 AI060921

    Journal of leukocyte biology 2005;78;4;1016-23

  • Comparison of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signalling within a panel of human colorectal cancer cell lines with mutant or wild-type PIK3CA.

    Morrow CJ, Gray A and Dive C

    Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom.

    Recent studies have identified conserved missense mutations in PIK3CA, the gene encoding the catalytic phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase subunit p110alpha, in a variety of human cancers. Further investigation demonstrated that PIK3CA mutations lead to increased basal phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase activity, promoting cell growth and invasion [Samuels, Y., Diaz, L.A., Jr., Schmidt-Kittler, O., Cummins, J.M., Delong, L., Cheong, I., Rago, C., Huso, D.L., Lengauer, C., Kinzler, K.W., Vogelstein, B. and Velculescu, V.E. (2005) Mutant PIK3CA promotes cell growth and invasion of human cancer cells. Cancer Cell 7, 561-573]. A panel of commonly used colorectal cancer cell lines was screened for these PIK3CA mutations. Constitutive and IGF-1-stimulated phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase activity, signal response and duration were assessed. In the assays used no differences distinguished cells carrying PIK3CA mutations indicating that these mutations did not significantly alter growth factor stimulated or steady state phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase activity in normal cell culture conditions.

    FEBS letters 2005;579;23;5123-8

  • The p85 regulatory subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase down-regulates IRS-1 signaling via the formation of a sequestration complex.

    Luo J, Field SJ, Lee JY, Engelman JA and Cantley LC

    Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    Phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinase is required for most insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) 1-dependent cellular responses. The p85 regulatory subunit of PI 3-kinase is required to mediate the insulin-dependent recruitment of PI 3-kinase to the plasma membrane, yet mice with reduced p85 expression have increased insulin sensitivity. To further understand the role of p85, we examined IGF-1-dependent translocation of p85alpha by using a green fluorescence protein (GFP)-tagged p85alpha (EGFP-p85alpha). In response to IGF-1, but not to PDGF signaling, EGFP-p85alpha translocates to discrete foci in the cell. These foci contain the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) 1 adaptor molecule, and their formation requires the binding of p85 to IRS-1. Surprisingly, monomeric p85 is preferentially localized to these foci compared with the p85-p110 dimer, and these foci are not sites of phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate production. Ultrastructural analysis reveals that p85-IRS-1 foci are cytosolic protein complexes devoid of membrane. These results suggest a mechanism of signal down-regulation of IRS-1 that is mediated by monomeric p85 through the formation of a sequestration complex between p85 and IRS-1.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA089021, P01 CA089021; NIDDK NIH HHS: K08 DK065108, K08 DK065108-01; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM41890, R01 GM041890, R37 GM041890

    The Journal of cell biology 2005;170;3;455-64

  • Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor inhibits cytokine-induced NF-kappa B activation and nitric oxide production via activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway.

    Mehta VB and Besner GE

    Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital, and Children's Research Institute, Center for Cellular and Vascular Biology, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.

    NO produced by inducible NO synthase (iNOS) has been implicated in various pathophysiological processes including inflammation. Therefore, inhibitors of NO synthesis or iNOS gene expression have been considered as potential anti-inflammatory agents. We have previously demonstrated that heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factor (HB-EGF) decreases proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 and NO production in cytokine-stimulated intestinal epithelial cells by interfering with the NF-kappaB signaling pathway. However, the upstream signaling mechanisms involved in these responses have not yet been defined. In this report, we show that in intestinal epithelial cells, HB-EGF triggered PI3K-dependent phosphorylation of Akt. Inhibition of PI3K reversed the ability of HB-EGF to block NF-kappaB activation, expression of iNOS, and NO production. Small interfering RNA of PI3K also reversed the inhibitory effect of HB-EGF on iNOS expression. Alternatively, transient expression of constitutively active PI3K decreased NO production by approximately 2-fold more than treatment with HB-EGF alone. This PI3K effect was HB-EGF dependent. Thus, activation of PI3K is essential but not sufficient for decreased NO synthesis. PI3K and HB-EGF act synergistically to decrease NO synthesis. Neither overexpression or inhibition of MEK, Ras, or Akt affected HB-EGF-mediated inhibition of NF-kappaB activation. These data demonstrate that HB-EGF decreases proinflammatory cytokine-stimulated NF-kappaB activation and NO production via activation of the PI3K signaling pathway. These results also suggest that inhibition of NF-kappaB and activation of the PI3K-dependent signaling cascade by HB-EGF may represent key signals responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of HB-EGF.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: R01 GM61193

    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2005;175;3;1911-8

  • Uncommon mutation, but common amplifications, of the PIK3CA gene in thyroid tumors.

    Wu G, Mambo E, Guo Z, Hu S, Huang X, Gollin SM, Trink B, Ladenson PW, Sidransky D and Xing M

    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 East Monument Street, Suite 333, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.

    Context: As in many other human cancers, overactivation of the phosphotidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway occurs frequently in thyroid cancer, but the mechanism is not completely clear.

    Objective: Because activating mutations and genomic amplification of the PIK3CA gene, which encodes the p110a catalytic subunit of PI3K, are common in many cancers, we sought to investigate this phenomenon in thyroid tumors.

    Design: To search for PIK3CA mutations, we isolated genomic DNA from primary thyroid tumors of various types and performed direct sequencing of the exons of PIK3CA gene that carry the most common mutations in other cancers. We used real-time quantitative PCR to investigate genomic amplification of the PIK3CA gene.

    Results: We found no PIK3CA gene mutations in 37 benign thyroid adenomas, 52 papillary thyroid cancers, 25 follicular thyroid cancers, 13 anaplastic thyroid cancers, 13 medullary thyroid cancers, and seven thyroid tumor cell lines. We found a C3075T single-nucleotide polymorphism in exon 20 of this gene in two cases. With a copy number of 4 or more defined as amplification, we found PIK3CA gene amplification in four of 34 (12%) benign thyroid adenomas, three of 59 (5%) papillary thyroid cancer, five of 21 (24%) follicular thyroid cancer, none of 14 (0%) medullary thyroid cancer, and five of seven (71%) thyroid tumor cell lines. The PIK3CA gene amplification and consequent Akt activation were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and Western blotting studies using cell lines, respectively.

    Conclusion: These data suggest that mutation of the PIK3CA gene is not common, but its amplification is relatively common and may be a novel mechanism in activating the PI3K/Akt pathway in some thyroid tumors.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: U01-CA-98-028; NIDCR NIH HHS: R01-DE13561-01

    The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2005;90;8;4688-93

  • The prevalence of PIK3CA mutations in gastric and colon cancer.

    Velho S, Oliveira C, Ferreira A, Ferreira AC, Suriano G, Schwartz S, Duval A, Carneiro F, Machado JC, Hamelin R and Seruca R

    Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Portugal.

    A wide variety of tumours show PIK3CA mutations leading to increased phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) activity. We have determined the frequency of PIK3CA mutations in exons 9 and 20 that has previously been reported as mutational hotspot regions in distinct tumour models. One hundred and fifty gastrointestinal carcinomas (47 gastric and 103 colorectal) that were characterised for MSI status (76 MSI and 74 MSS) by PCR-SSCP sequencing were evaluated. We also analysed the association between PIK3CA mutations and KRAS or BRAF mutations. PIK3CA mutations in exons 9 and 20 were present in 13.6% and 10.6% of colorectal and gastric carcinomas, respectively. No differences in frequency and type of PIK3CA mutations were found between MSI and MSS colorectal carcinomas. All gastric carcinomas with PIK3CA mutations were MSI. The number of cases harbouring concomitant PIK3CA and KRAS or BRAF mutations was higher in colorectal than in gastric carcinomas (P = 0.016). In colorectal carcinoma, PIK3CA mutations occur preferentially together with activating KRAS-BRAF mutations (MSI and MSS) while in gastric carcinomas PIK3CA mutations tend to occur as isolated events (MSI).

    European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) 2005;41;11;1649-54

  • Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase enhances TRIF-dependent NF-kappa B activation and IFN-beta synthesis downstream of Toll-like receptor 3 and 4.

    Aksoy E, Vanden Berghe W, Detienne S, Amraoui Z, Fitzgerald KA, Haegeman G, Goldman M and Willems F

    Institute for Medical Immunology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Charleroi, Belgium.

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) are known to regulate Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated inflammatory responses, but their impact on the different pathways of TLR signaling remains to be clarified. Here, we investigated the consequences of pharmacological inhibition of PI3K on Toll-IL-1 receptor domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-beta (TRIF)-dependent signaling, which induces IFN-beta gene expression downstream of TLR3 and TLR4. First, treatment of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) with wortmannin or LY294002 was found to enhance IFN-beta expression upon TLR3 or TLR4 engagement. In the same models of DC activation, PI3K inhibition increased DNA-binding activity of NF-kappaB, but not interferon response factor (IRF)-3, the key transcription factors required for TLR-mediated IFN-beta synthesis. In parallel, wortmannin-treated DC exhibited enhanced levels of IkappaB kinase (IKK)-alpha/beta phosphorylation and IkappaB-alpha degradation with a concomitant increase in NF-kappaB nuclear translocation. Experiments carried out in HEK 293T cells stably expressing TLR3 or TLR4 confirmed that inhibition of PI3K activity enhances NF-kappaB-dependent promoters as well as IFN-beta promoter activities without interfering with transcription at the positive regulatory domain III-I. Furthermore, wortmannin enhanced NF-kappaB activity induced by TRIF overexpression in HEK 293T cells, while overexpression of catalytically active PI3K selectively attenuated TRIF-mediated NF-kappaB transcriptional activity. Finally, in co-immunoprecipitation experiments, we showed that PI3K physically interacted with TRIF. We conclude that inhibition of PI3K activity enhances TRIF-dependent NF-kappaB activity, and thereby increases IFN-beta synthesis elicited by TLR3 or TLR4 ligands.

    European journal of immunology 2005;35;7;2200-9

  • Functional analysis of PIK3CA gene mutations in human colorectal cancer.

    Ikenoue T, Kanai F, Hikiba Y, Obata T, Tanaka Y, Imamura J, Ohta M, Jazag A, Guleng B, Tateishi K, Asaoka Y, Matsumura M, Kawabe T and Omata M

    Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo Hospital, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.

    Mutations in the PIK3CA gene, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), have been reported in human cancers, including colorectal cancer. Most of the mutations cluster at hotspots within the helical and kinase domains. Whereas H1047R, one of the hotspot mutants, is reported to have elevated lipid kinase activity, the functional consequences of other mutations have not been examined. In this study, we examined the effects of colon cancer-associated PIK3CA mutations on the lipid kinase activity in vitro, activation of the downstream targets Akt and p70S6K in vivo and NIH 3T3-transforming ability. Of eight mutations examined, all showed increased lipid kinase activity compared with wild-type p110alpha. All the mutants strongly activated Akt and p70S6K compared with wild-type p110alpha as determined by immunoblotting using phospho-specific antibodies. These mutants also induced morphologic changes, loss of contact inhibition, and anchorage-independent growth of NIH 3T3 cells. The hotspot mutations examined in this study, E542K, E545K, and H1047R, all had high enzymatic and transforming activities. These results show that almost all the colon cancer-associated PIK3CA mutations are functionally active so that they are likely to be involved in carcinogenesis.

    Cancer research 2005;65;11;4562-7

  • Mutant PIK3CA promotes cell growth and invasion of human cancer cells.

    Samuels Y, Diaz LA, Schmidt-Kittler O, Cummins JM, Delong L, Cheong I, Rago C, Huso DL, Lengauer C, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B and Velculescu VE

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    PIK3CA is mutated in diverse human cancers, but the functional effects of these mutations have not been defined. To evaluate the consequences of PIK3CA alterations, the two most common mutations were inactivated by gene targeting in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Biochemical analyses of these cells showed that mutant PIK3CA selectively regulated the phosphorylation of AKT and the forkhead transcription factors FKHR and FKHRL1. PIK3CA mutations had little effect on growth under standard conditions, but reduced cellular dependence on growth factors. PIK3CA mutations resulted in attenuation of apoptosis and facilitated tumor invasion. Treatment with the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 abrogated PIK3CA signaling and preferentially inhibited growth of PIK3CA mutant cells. These data have important implications for therapy of cancers harboring PIK3CA alterations.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA057345, CA43460, CA62924

    Cancer cell 2005;7;6;561-73

  • PIK3CA mutations in glioblastoma multiforme.

    Hartmann C, Bartels G, Gehlhaar C, Holtkamp N and von Deimling A

    Department of Neuropathology, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany. ch.hartmann@charite.de

    Glioblastoma multiforme WHO grade IV is the most common and malignant variant of astrocytic tumors. Loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 10 and mutations in the tumor suppressor gene PTEN on 10q are molecular hallmarks of glioblastomas. Recently, mutations were identified in PIK3CA, encoding a protein that antagonizes the function of PTEN protein in the PI3K/Akt pathway. To address the question whether an exclusive mutation pattern can be observed in PIK3CA and PTEN, we determined the frequency of mutations in both genes. All coding exons were examined by single strand confirmation polymorphism and direct sequencing. Additionally, we analyzed chromosome 10 for loss of heterozygosity and evaluated the mutational status of TP53. In 70 glioblastomas, 5 (7%) PIK3CA mutations and 10 (14%) PTEN mutations were found. All mutations in PIK3CA located to exons 1, 9 and 20, thereby supporting the concept of mutational hot spot regions. In all but one glioblastoma, mutations were seen either in PIK3CA or in PTEN. In conclusion, the frequency of PIK3CA mutations in glioblastomas appears to be much lower than initially reported.

    Acta neuropathologica 2005;109;6;639-42

  • PI 3-kinase p110beta: a new target for antithrombotic therapy.

    Jackson SP, Schoenwaelder SM, Goncalves I, Nesbitt WS, Yap CL, Wright CE, Kenche V, Anderson KE, Dopheide SM, Yuan Y, Sturgeon SA, Prabaharan H, Thompson PE, Smith GD, Shepherd PR, Daniele N, Kulkarni S, Abbott B, Saylik D, Jones C, Lu L, Giuliano S, Hughan SC, Angus JA, Robertson AD and Salem HH

    Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Monash University, 6th Floor Burnet Building Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct, Prahran, Victoria, Australia 3181. shaun.jackson@med.monash.edu.au

    Platelet activation at sites of vascular injury is essential for the arrest of bleeding; however, excessive platelet accumulation at regions of atherosclerotic plaque rupture can result in the development of arterial thrombi, precipitating diseases such as acute myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Rheological disturbances (high shear stress) have an important role in promoting arterial thrombosis by enhancing the adhesive and signaling function of platelet integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) (GPIIb-IIIa). In this study we have defined a key role for the Type Ia phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) p110beta isoform in regulating the formation and stability of integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) adhesion bonds, necessary for shear activation of platelets. Isoform-selective PI3K p110beta inhibitors have been developed which prevent formation of stable integrin alpha(IIb)beta(3) adhesion contacts, leading to defective platelet thrombus formation. In vivo, these inhibitors eliminate occlusive thrombus formation but do not prolong bleeding time. These studies define PI3K p110beta as an important new target for antithrombotic therapy.

    Nature medicine 2005;11;5;507-14

  • Frequent mutation of the PIK3CA gene in ovarian and breast cancers.

    Levine DA, Bogomolniy F, Yee CJ, Lash A, Barakat RR, Borgen PI and Boyd J

    Gynecology and Breast Research Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.

    Purpose: Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway, resulting in increased cell proliferation, survival, and motility, is believed to play an oncogenic role in many cancer types. The PIK3CA gene encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K, and is amplified in some ovarian cancers, whereas the AKT2 gene is amplified in some ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers. Recently, in a mutational screen of eight PI3K genes and eight PI3K-like genes, PIK3CA was found to be the only gene affected by somatic mutations, which were observed frequently in gastrointestinal and brain cancers. Here, we test whether PIK3CA is subject to mutation in ovarian and breast cancers.

    Exons 9 and 20, encoding the highly conserved helical and kinase domains of PIK3CA, were subjected to sequence analysis in 198 advanced stage epithelial ovarian carcinomas and 72 invasive breast carcinomas (48 of ductal histology and 24 of lobular histology).

    Results: Somatic missense mutations were observed in 24 of 198 (12%) ovarian carcinomas, and in 13 of 72 (18%) breast carcinomas.

    Conclusions: These data indicate that mutations of PIK3CA play an oncogenic role in substantial fractions of ovarian and breast carcinomas, and in consideration of mutation of other components of the PI3K-AKT pathway in both tumor types, confirm the major oncogenic role of this pathway in ovarian and breast carcinomas.

    Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2005;11;8;2875-8

  • PIK3CA mutations correlate with hormone receptors, node metastasis, and ERBB2, and are mutually exclusive with PTEN loss in human breast carcinoma.

    Saal LH, Holm K, Maurer M, Memeo L, Su T, Wang X, Yu JS, Malmström PO, Mansukhani M, Enoksson J, Hibshoosh H, Borg A and Parsons R

    Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biophysical Studies, Institute for Cancer Genetics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

    Deregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway either through loss of PTEN or mutation of the catalytic subunit alpha of PI3K (PIK3CA) occurs frequently in human cancer. We identified PIK3CA mutations in 26% of 342 human breast tumor samples and cell lines at about equal frequency in tumor stages I to IV. To investigate the relationship between PTEN and PIK3CA, we generated a cohort of tumors that had lost PTEN expression and compared it with a matched control set that had retained PTEN. A highly significant association between PIK3CA mutations and retention of PTEN protein expression was observed. In addition, PIK3CA mutations were associated with expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR), lymph node metastasis, and ERBB2 overexpression. The fact that PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss are nearly mutually exclusive implies that deregulated phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP(3)) is critical for tumorigenesis in a significant fraction of breast cancers and that loss of PIP(3) homeostasis by abrogation of either PIK3CA or PTEN relieves selective pressure for targeting of the other gene. The correlation of PIK3CA mutation to ER/PR-positive tumors and PTEN loss to ER/PR-negative tumors argues for disparate branches of tumor evolution. Furthermore, the association between ERBB2 overexpression and PIK3CA mutation implies that more than one input activating the PI3K/AKT pathway may be required to overcome intact PTEN. Thus, mutation of PIK3CA is frequent, occurs early in carcinoma development, and has prognostic and therapeutic implications.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA082783, CA097403, R01 CA082783, R01 CA082783-05, R01 CA082783-06; NIGMS NIH HHS: 5T32 GM07367-29

    Cancer research 2005;65;7;2554-9

  • Mutations of PIK3CA in gastric adenocarcinoma.

    Li VS, Wong CW, Chan TL, Chan AS, Zhao W, Chu KM, So S, Chen X, Yuen ST and Leung SY

    Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. vswli@hkucc.hku.hk

    Background: Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) through mutational inactivation of PTEN tumour suppressor gene is common in diverse cancer types, but rarely reported in gastric cancer. Recently, mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K, have been identified in various human cancers, including 3 of 12 gastric cancers. Eighty percent of these reported mutations clustered within 2 regions involving the helical and kinase domains. In vitro study on one of the "hot-spot" mutants has demonstrated it as an activating mutation.

    Methods: Based on these data, we initiated PIK3CA mutation screening in 94 human gastric cancers by direct sequencing of the gene regions in which 80% of all the known PIK3CA mutations were found. We also examined PIK3CA expression level by extracting data from the previous large-scale gene expression profiling study. Using Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM), we further searched for genes that show correlating expression with PIK3CA.

    Results: We have identified PIK3CA mutations in 4 cases (4.3%), all involving the previously reported hotspots. Among these 4 cases, 3 tumours demonstrated microsatellite instability and 2 tumours harboured concurrent KRAS mutation. Data extracted from microarray studies showed an increased expression of PIK3CA in gastric cancers when compared with the non-neoplastic gastric mucosae (p < 0.001). SAM further identified 2910 genes whose expression levels were positively associated with that of PIK3CA.

    Conclusion: Our data suggested that activation of the PI3K signalling pathway in gastric cancer may be achieved through up-regulation or mutation of PIK3CA, in which the latter may be a consequence of mismatch repair deficiency.

    BMC cancer 2005;5;29

  • PIK3CA mutations in advanced ovarian carcinomas.

    Wang Y, Helland A, Holm R, Kristensen GB and Børresen-Dale AL

    Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, N-0310, Oslo, Norway.

    PIK3CA belongs to the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) family, which play an important role in proliferation, adherence, transformation and cell survival through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Somatic activating mutations of this gene have recently been detected in several types of cancers. In the present study, 109 advanced ovarian carcinomas were analyzed for PIK3CA mutations in exon 9 and exon 20 by direct sequencing. Activating missense mutations were observed in 4 of the 109 tumors in addition to one variant leading no change of the PIK3CA protein. Two of the cases with mutations were mucinous and clear cell tumors, suggesting that PIK3CA mutations are more common in these rare histological types.

    Human mutation 2005;25;3;322

  • Signalling crosstalk in FGF2-mediated protection of endothelial cells from HIV-gp120.

    Langford D, Hurford R, Hashimoto M, Digicaylioglu M and Masliah E

    Department of Pathology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. tdlangford@ucsd.edu

    Background: The blood brain barrier (BBB) is the first line of defence of the central nervous system (CNS) against circulating pathogens, such as HIV. The cytotoxic HIV protein, gp120, damages endothelial cells of the BBB, thereby compromising its integrity, which may lead to migration of HIV-infected cells into the brain. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), produced primarily by astrocytes, promotes endothelial cell fitness and angiogenesis. We hypothesized that treatment of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) with FGF2 would protect the cells from gp120-mediated toxicity via endothelial cell survival signalling.

    Results: Exposure of HUVEC to gp120 resulted in dose- and time-dependent cell death; whereas, pre-treatment of endothelial cells with FGF2 protected cells from gp120 angiotoxicity. Treatment of HUVEC with FGF2 resulted in dose- and time-dependent activation of the extracellular regulated kinase (ERK), with moderate effects on phosphoinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) and protein kinase B (PKB), also known as AKT, but no effects on glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3beta) activity. Using pharmacological approaches, gene transfer and kinase activity assays, we show that FGF2-mediated angioprotection against gp120 toxicity is regulated by crosstalk among the ERK, PI3K-AKT and PKC signalling pathways.

    Conclusions: Taken together, these results suggest that FGF2 may play a significant role in maintaining the integrity of the BBB during the progress of HIV associated cerebral endothelial cell damage.

    Funded by: NIDA NIH HHS: DA12065, P01 DA012065; NIMH NIH HHS: K01 MH071206, MH071206, MH58164, MH59745, MH62962, P50 MH045294, R01 MH062962, R24 MH059745

    BMC neuroscience 2005;6;8

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase mutations identified in human cancer are oncogenic.

    Kang S, Bader AG and Vogt PK

    Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

    Mutations in genes that encode components of the phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) signaling pathway are common in human cancer. The recent discovery of nonrandom somatic mutations in the PIK3CA gene of many human tumors suggests an oncogenic role for the mutated enzyme. We have determined the growth-regulatory and signaling properties of the three most frequently observed PI3-kinase mutations: E542K, E545K, and H1047R. Expressed in chicken embryo fibroblasts, all three mutants induce oncogenic transformation with high efficiency. This transforming ability is correlated with elevated catalytic activity in in vitro kinase assays. The mutant-transformed cells show constitutive phosphorylation of Akt, of p70 S6 kinase, and of the 4E-binding protein 1. Phosphorylation of S6 kinase and of 4E-binding protein 1 is regulated by the target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase and affects rates of protein synthesis. The inhibitor of TOR, rapamycin, strongly interferes with cellular transformation induced by the PI3-kinase mutants, suggesting that the TOR and its downstream targets are essential components of the transformation process. The oncogenic transforming activity makes the mutated PI3-kinase proteins promising targets for small molecule inhibitors that could be developed into effective and highly specific anticancer drugs.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2005;102;3;802-7

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-mediated effects of glucose on vacuolar H+-ATPase assembly, translocation, and acidification of intracellular compartments in renal epithelial cells.

    Sautin YY, Lu M, Gaugler A, Zhang L and Gluck SL

    Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Box 100224, University of Florida, 1600 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32610-0224, USA. sautiyy@medicine.ufl.edu

    Vacuolar H+-ATPases (V-ATPases) are a family of ATP-driven proton pumps. They maintain pH gradients between intracellular compartments and are required for proton secretion out of the cytoplasm. Mechanisms of extrinsic control of V-ATPase are poorly understood. Previous studies showed that glucose is an important regulator of V-ATPase assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Human V-ATPase directly interacts with aldolase, providing a coupling mechanism for glucose metabolism and V-ATPase function. Here we show that glucose is a crucial regulator of V-ATPase in renal epithelial cells and that the effect of glucose is mediated by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Glucose stimulates V-ATPase-dependent acidification of the intracellular compartments in human proximal tubular cells HK-2 and porcine renal epithelial cells LLC-PK1. Glucose induces rapid ATP-independent assembly of the V1 and Vo domains of V-ATPase and extensive translocation of the V-ATPase V1 and Vo domains between different membrane pools and between membranes and the cytoplasm. In HK-2 cells, glucose stimulates polarized translocation of V-ATPase to the apical plasma membrane. The effects of glucose on V-ATPase trafficking and assembly can be abolished by pretreatment with the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and can be reproduced in glucose-deprived cells by adenoviral expression of the constitutively active catalytic subunit p110alpha of PI3K. Taken together these data provide evidence that, in renal epithelial cells, glucose plays an important role in the control of V-ATPase-dependent acidification of intracellular compartments and V-ATPase assembly and trafficking and that the effects of glucose are mediated by PI3K-dependent signaling.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: DK38848, DK54362

    Molecular and cellular biology 2005;25;2;575-89

  • Wortmannin, a widely used phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor, also potently inhibits mammalian polo-like kinase.

    Liu Y, Shreder KR, Gai W, Corral S, Ferris DK and Rosenblum JS

    ActivX Biosciences, Inc., 11025 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. yongshengl@activx.com

    Polo-like kinases (PLKs) play critical roles throughout mitosis. Here, we report that wortmannin, which was previously thought to be a highly selective inhibitor of phosphoinositide (PI) 3-kinases, is a potent inhibitor of mammalian PLK1. Observation of the wortmannin-PLK1 interaction was enabled by a tetramethylrhodamine-wortmannin conjugate (AX7503) that permits rapid detection of PLK1 activity and expression in complex proteomes. Importantly, we show that wortmannin inhibits PLK1 activity in an in vitro kinase assay with an IC(50) of 24 nM and when incubated with intact cells. Taken together, our results indicate that, at the concentrations of wortmannin commonly used to inhibit PI 3-kinases, PLK1 is also significantly inhibited.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 2R44 CA 097462-02

    Chemistry & biology 2005;12;1;99-107

  • Somatic mutation and gain of copy number of PIK3CA in human breast cancer.

    Wu G, Xing M, Mambo E, Huang X, Liu J, Guo Z, Chatterjee A, Goldenberg D, Gollin SM, Sukumar S, Trink B and Sidransky D

    Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Head and Neck Cancer Research Division, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. gwu10@jhmi.edu

    Introduction: Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are a group of lipid kinases that regulate signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, adhesion, survival, and motility. Even though PIK3CA amplification and somatic mutation have been reported previously in various kinds of human cancers, the genetic change in PIK3CA in human breast cancer has not been clearly identified.

    Methods: Fifteen breast cancer cell lines and 92 primary breast tumors (33 with matched normal tissue) were used to check somatic mutation and gene copy number of PIK3CA. For the somatic mutation study, we specifically checked exons 1, 9, and 20, which have been reported to be hot spots in colon cancer. For the analysis of the gene copy number, we used quantitative real-time PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization. We also treated several breast cancer cells with the PIK3CA inhibitor LY294002 and compared the apoptosis status in cells with and without PIK3CA mutation.

    Results: We identified a 20.6% (19 of 92) and 33.3% (5 of 15) PIK3CA somatic mutation frequency in primary breast tumors and cell lines, respectively. We also found that 8.7% (8 of 92) of the tumors harbored a gain of PIK3CA gene copy number. Only four cases in this study contained both an increase in the gene copy number and a somatic mutation. In addition, mutation of PIK3CA correlated with the status of Akt phosphorylation in some breast cancer cells and inhibition of PIK3CA-induced increased apoptosis in breast cancer cells with PIK3CA mutation.

    Conclusion: Somatic mutation rather than a gain of gene copy number of PIK3CA is the frequent genetic alteration that contributes to human breast cancer progression. The frequent and clustered mutations within PIK3CA make it an attractive molecular marker for early detection and a promising therapeutic target in breast cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 58184-01, P50 CA058184; NIDCR NIH HHS: R01 DE012588, R01-DE 012588-0

    Breast cancer research : BCR 2005;7;5;R609-16

  • Mutation of the PIK3CA gene in ovarian and breast cancer.

    Campbell IG, Russell SE, Choong DY, Montgomery KG, Ciavarella ML, Hooi CS, Cristiano BE, Pearson RB and Phillips WA

    VBCRC Cancer Genetics Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. ian.campbell@petermac.org

    Phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinases are lipid kinases with important roles in neoplasia. Recently, a very high frequency of somatic mutations in PIK3CA has been reported among a large series of colorectal cancers. However, the relevance of PIK3CA mutation in other cancer types remains unclear because of the limited number of tumors investigated. We have screened a total of 284 primary human tumors for mutations in all coding exons of PIK3CA using a combination of single stranded conformational polymorphism and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Among 70 primary breast cancers, 40% (28 of 70) harbored mutations in PIK3CA, making it the most common mutation described to date in this cancer type. Mutations were not associated with histologic subtype, estrogen receptor status, grade or presence of tumor in lymph nodes. Among the primary epithelial ovarian cancers only 11 of 167 (6.6%) contain somatic mutations, but there was a clear histologic subtype bias in their distribution. Only 2 of 88 (2.3%) of serous carcinomas had PIK3CA mutations compared with 8 of 40 (20.0%) endometrioid and clear cell cancers, which was highly significant (P = 0.001). In contrast, PIK3CA gene amplification (>7-fold) was common among all histologic subtypes (24.5%) and was inversely associated with the presence of mutations. Overall, PIK3CA mutation or gene amplification was detected in 30.5% of all ovarian cancers and 45% of the endometrioid and clear cell subtypes. Our study is the first direct evidence that PIK3CA is an oncogene in ovarian cancer and greatly extends recent findings in breast cancer.

    Cancer research 2004;64;21;7678-81

  • The status, quality, and expansion of the NIH full-length cDNA project: the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC).

    Gerhard DS, Wagner L, Feingold EA, Shenmen CM, Grouse LH, Schuler G, Klein SL, Old S, Rasooly R, Good P, Guyer M, Peck AM, Derge JG, Lipman D, Collins FS, Jang W, Sherry S, Feolo M, Misquitta L, Lee E, Rotmistrovsky K, Greenhut SF, Schaefer CF, Buetow K, Bonner TI, Haussler D, Kent J, Kiekhaus M, Furey T, Brent M, Prange C, Schreiber K, Shapiro N, Bhat NK, Hopkins RF, Hsie F, Driscoll T, Soares MB, Casavant TL, Scheetz TE, Brown-stein MJ, Usdin TB, Toshiyuki S, Carninci P, Piao Y, Dudekula DB, Ko MS, Kawakami K, Suzuki Y, Sugano S, Gruber CE, Smith MR, Simmons B, Moore T, Waterman R, Johnson SL, Ruan Y, Wei CL, Mathavan S, Gunaratne PH, Wu J, Garcia AM, Hulyk SW, Fuh E, Yuan Y, Sneed A, Kowis C, Hodgson A, Muzny DM, McPherson J, Gibbs RA, Fahey J, Helton E, Ketteman M, Madan A, Rodrigues S, Sanchez A, Whiting M, Madari A, Young AC, Wetherby KD, Granite SJ, Kwong PN, Brinkley CP, Pearson RL, Bouffard GG, Blakesly RW, Green ED, Dickson MC, Rodriguez AC, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Butterfield YS, Griffith M, Griffith OL, Krzywinski MI, Liao N, Morin R, Morrin R, Palmquist D, Petrescu AS, Skalska U, Smailus DE, Stott JM, Schnerch A, Schein JE, Jones SJ, Holt RA, Baross A, Marra MA, Clifton S, Makowski KA, Bosak S, Malek J and MGC Project Team

    The National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) project was designed to generate and sequence a publicly accessible cDNA resource containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) for every human and mouse gene. The project initially used a random strategy to select clones from a large number of cDNA libraries from diverse tissues. Candidate clones were chosen based on 5'-EST sequences, and then fully sequenced to high accuracy and analyzed by algorithms developed for this project. Currently, more than 11,000 human and 10,000 mouse genes are represented in MGC by at least one clone with a full ORF. The random selection approach is now reaching a saturation point, and a transition to protocols targeted at the missing transcripts is now required to complete the mouse and human collections. Comparison of the sequence of the MGC clones to reference genome sequences reveals that most cDNA clones are of very high sequence quality, although it is likely that some cDNAs may carry missense variants as a consequence of experimental artifact, such as PCR, cloning, or reverse transcriptase errors. Recently, a rat cDNA component was added to the project, and ongoing frog (Xenopus) and zebrafish (Danio) cDNA projects were expanded to take advantage of the high-throughput MGC pipeline.

    Funded by: PHS HHS: N01-C0-12400

    Genome research 2004;14;10B;2121-7

  • Genetic alterations of phosphoinositide 3-kinase subunit genes in human glioblastomas.

    Mizoguchi M, Nutt CL, Mohapatra G and Louis DN

    Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.

    Genetic alterations of PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) subunits have been documented in a number of tumor types, with increased PI3K activity linked to gene amplification and mutation of catalytic subunits, as well as mutations of regulatory subunits. Among high grade gliomas, activation of the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway through loss of PTEN function is common. We therefore investigated whether genetic alteration of class IA PI3Ks might provide a mechanism for deregulation of this pathway in glioblastomas. We studied a series of glioblastomas with FISH to assess copy number of catalytic subunits (PIK3CA and PIK3CD) and with PCR-SSCP to screen for somatic mutations of conserved regions of both catalytic and regulatory subunits. FISH revealed frequent balanced copy number increases of both PIK3CA and PIK3CD, and one case showed an extra copy limited to PIK3CA. One glioblastoma exhibited a 9-bp deletion that encompassed the exon-intron junction of exon 12 of PIK3R1, documenting for the first time a mutation within a PI3K regulatory subunit in human glioblastoma. This deletion would be predicted to yield a truncated protein that lacks the inhibitory domain, resulting in increased PI3K activity. Furthermore, the case with selected PIK3CA copy number gain and the case with a truncating PIK3R1 mutation both featured AKT activation without PTEN mutation. These results suggest that genetic alterations of class IA PI3K subunit genes can occasionally play a role in human glioblastoma by activating the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway independently of PTEN mutation.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 57683

    Brain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland) 2004;14;4;372-7

  • Oncogenic mutations of PIK3CA in human cancers.

    Samuels Y and Velculescu VE

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are important regulators of signaling pathways. To determine whether PI3Ks are genetically altered in human cancers, we recently analyzed the sequences of the PI3K gene family and discovered that one member, the PIK3CA gene encoding the p110alpha catalytic subunit, was frequently mutated in cancers of the colon, breast, brain and lung. The majority of mutations clustered near two positions within the PI3K helical or catalytic domains and at least one hotspot mutation appeared to increase kinase activity. PIK3CA represents one of the most highly mutated oncogenes identified in human cancers and may be a useful diagnostic and therapeutic target.

    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2004;3;10;1221-4

  • Mutations of PIK3CA in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, high-grade astrocytomas, and medulloblastomas.

    Broderick DK, Di C, Parrett TJ, Samuels YR, Cummins JM, McLendon RE, Fults DW, Velculescu VE, Bigner DD and Yan H

    Brain Tumor Center, Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

    The phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase pathway is activated in multiple advanced cancers, including glioblastomas, through inactivation of the PTEN tumor suppressor gene. Recently, mutations in PIK3CA, a member of the family of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase catalytic subunits, were identified in a significant fraction (25-30%) of colorectal cancers, gastric cancers, and glioblastomas and in a smaller fraction of breast and lung cancers. These mutations were found to cluster into two major "hot spots" located in the helical and catalytic domains. To determine whether PIK3CA is genetically altered in brain tumors, we performed a large-scale mutational analysis of the helical and catalytic domains. A total of 13 mutations of PIK3CA within these specific domains were identified in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, anaplastic astrocytomas, glioblastoma multiforme, and medulloblastomas, whereas no mutations were identified in ependymomas or low-grade astrocytomas. These observations implicate PIK3CA as an oncogene in a wider spectrum of adult and pediatric brain tumors and suggest that PIK3CA may be a useful diagnostic marker or a therapeutic target in these cancers.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: 2P30 CA 14236, 5P20 CA 096890-02, R37 CA 11898-34; NINDS NIH HHS: NS 20023-21

    Cancer research 2004;64;15;5048-50

  • The PIK3CA gene is mutated with high frequency in human breast cancers.

    Bachman KE, Argani P, Samuels Y, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Konishi H, Karakas B, Blair BG, Lin C, Peters BA, Velculescu VE and Park BH

    The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Oncology, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA. kbachman1@yahoo.com

    The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are known regulators of cellular growth and proliferation. It has recently been reported that somatic mutations within the PI3K subunit p110alpha (PIK3CA) are present in human colorectal and other cancers. Here we show that thirteen of fifty-three breast cancers (25%) contain somatic mutations in PIK3CA, with the majority of mutations located in the kinase domain. These results demonstrate that PIK3CA is the most mutated oncogene in breast cancer and support a role for PIK3CA in epithelial carcinogenesis.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA62924, P50 CA88843

    Cancer biology & therapy 2004;3;8;772-5

  • PKCdelta associates with and is involved in the phosphorylation of RasGRP3 in response to phorbol esters.

    Brodie C, Steinhart R, Kazimirsky G, Rubinfeld H, Hyman T, Ayres JN, Hur GM, Toth A, Yang D, Garfield SH, Stone JC and Blumberg PM

    Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel. chaya@mail.biu.ac.il

    RasGRP is a family of guanine nucleotide exchange factors that activate small GTPases and contain a C1 domain similar to the one present in protein kinase C (PKC). In this study, we examined the interaction of RasGRP3 and PKC in response to the phorbol ester PMA. In Chinese hamster ovary or LN-229 cells heterologously expressing RasGRP3, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) induced translocation of RasGRP3 to the perinuclear region and a decrease in the electrophoretic mobility of RasGRP3. The mobility shift was associated with phosphorylation of RasGRP3 on serine residues and seemed to be PKCdelta-dependent because it was blocked by the PKCdelta inhibitor rottlerin as well as by a PKCdelta kinase-dead mutant. Using coimmunoprecipitation, we found that PMA induced the physical association of RasGRP3 with PKCdelta and, using in situ methods, we showed colocalization of PKCdelta and RasGRP3 in the perinuclear region. PKCdelta phosphorylated RasGRP3 in vitro. Previous studies suggest that ectopic expression of RasGRP3 increases activation of Erk1/2. We found that overexpression of either PKCdelta or RasGRP3 increased the activation of Erk1/2 by PMA. In contrast, coexpression of PKCdelta and RasGRP3 yielded a level of phosphorylation of Erk1/2 similar to that of control vector cells. Our results suggest that PKCdelta may act as an upstream kinase associating with and phosphorylating RasGRP3 in response to PMA. The interaction between RasGRP3 and PKCdelta points to the existence of complex cross-talk between various members of the phorbol ester receptors which can have important impact on major signal transduction pathways and cellular processes induced by phorbol esters or DAG

    Molecular pharmacology 2004;66;1;76-84

  • High frequency of mutations of the PIK3CA gene in human cancers.

    Samuels Y, Wang Z, Bardelli A, Silliman N, Ptak J, Szabo S, Yan H, Gazdar A, Powell SM, Riggins GJ, Willson JK, Markowitz S, Kinzler KW, Vogelstein B and Velculescu VE

    Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 43460, CA 57345, CA 62924, CA 67900, CA 88128

    Science (New York, N.Y.) 2004;304;5670;554

  • Regulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase by its intrinsic serine kinase activity in vivo.

    Foukas LC, Beeton CA, Jensen J, Phillips WA and Shepherd PR

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.

    One potentially important mechanism for regulating class Ia phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity is autophosphorylation of the p85 alpha adapter subunit on Ser608 by the intrinsic protein kinase activity of the p110 catalytic subunit, as this downregulates the lipid kinase activity in vitro. Here we investigate whether this phosphorylation can occur in vivo. We find that p110 alpha phosphorylates p85 alpha Ser608 in vivo with significant stoichiometry. However, p110 beta is far less efficient at phosphorylating p85 alpha Ser608, identifying a potential difference in the mechanisms by which these two isoforms are regulated. The p85 alpha Ser608 phosphorylation was increased by treatment with insulin, platelet-derived growth factor, and the phosphatase inhibitor okadaic acid. The functional effects of this phosphorylation are highlighted by mutation of Ser608, which results in reduced lipid kinase activity and reduced association of the p110 alpha catalytic subunit with p85 alpha. The importance of this phosphorylation was further highlighted by the finding that autophosphorylation on Ser608 was impaired, while lipid kinase activity was increased, in a p85 alpha mutant recently discovered in human tumors. These results provide the first evidence that phosphorylation of Ser608 plays a role as a shutoff switch in growth factor signaling and contributes to the differences in functional properties of different PI 3-kinase isoforms in vivo.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2004;24;3;966-75

  • The anti-apoptotic effect of Notch-1 requires p56lck-dependent, Akt/PKB-mediated signaling in T cells.

    Sade H, Krishna S and Sarin A

    National Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Agricultural Sciences-Gandhi Krishi Vignan Kendra Campus, New Bellary Road, Bangalore 560065, Karnataka, India.

    The Notch family of transmembrane receptors have been implicated in a variety of cellular decisions in different cell types. Here we investigate the mechanism underlying Notch-1-mediated anti-apoptotic function in T cells using model cell lines as the experimental system. Ectopic expression of the intracellular domain of Notch-1/activated Notch (AcN1) increases expression of anti-apoptotic proteins of the inhibitors of apoptosis (IAP) family, the Bcl-2 family, and the FLICE-like inhibitor protein (FLIP) and inhibits death triggered by multiple stimuli that activate intrinsic or extrinsic pathways of apoptosis in human and murine T cell lines. Numb inhibited the AcN1-dependent induction of anti-apoptotic proteins and anti-apoptotic function. Using pharmacological inhibitors and dominant-negative approaches, we describe a functional role for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-dependent activation of the serine-threonine kinase Akt/PKB in the regulation of AcN1-mediated anti-apoptotic function and the expression of FLIP and IAP family proteins. Using a cell line deficient for the T cell-specific, Src family protein, the tyrosine kinase p56(lck) and by reconstitution approaches we demonstrate that p56(lck) is required for the Notch-1-mediated activation of Akt/PKB function. Furthermore, the Src tyrosine kinase inhibitor, PP2, abrogated ectopically expressed AcN1-mediated anti-apoptotic function and phosphorylation of p56(lck). We present evidence that endogenous Notch-1 associates with p56(lck) and PI3K but that Akt/PKB does not co-immunoprecipitate with the Notch1.p56(lck).PI3K complex. Finally, we demonstrate that the Notch1.p56(lck).PI3K complex is present in primary T cells that have been activated in vitro and sustained in culture with the cytokine interleukin-2.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2004;279;4;2937-44

  • The small GTP-binding protein, Rhes, regulates signal transduction from G protein-coupled receptors.

    Vargiu P, De Abajo R, Garcia-Ranea JA, Valencia A, Santisteban P, Crespo P and Bernal J

    Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28029 Madrid, Spain.

    The Ras homolog enriched in striatum, Rhes, is the product of a thyroid hormone-regulated gene during brain development. Rhes and the dexamethasone-induced Dexras1 define a novel distinct subfamily of proteins within the Ras family, characterized by an extended variable domain in the carboxyl terminal region. We have carried this study because there is a complete lack of knowledge on Rhes signaling. We show that in PC12 cells, Rhes is targeted to the plasma membrane by farnesylation. We demonstrate that about 30% of the native Rhes protein is bound to GTP and this proportion is unaltered by typical Ras family nucleotide exchange factors. However, Rhes is not transforming in murine fibroblasts. We have also examined the role of Rhes in cell signaling. Rhes does not stimulate the ERK pathway. By contrast, it binds to and activates PI3K. On the other hand, we demonstrate that Rhes impairs the activation of the cAMP/PKA pathway by thyroid-stimulating hormone, and by an activated beta2 adrenergic receptor by a mechanism that suggests uncoupling of the receptor to its cognate heterotrimeric complex. Overall, our results provide the initial insights into the role in signal transduction of this novel Ras family member.

    Oncogene 2004;23;2;559-68

  • Ca2+-dependent inhibition of NHE3 requires PKC alpha which binds to E3KARP to decrease surface NHE3 containing plasma membrane complexes.

    Lee-Kwon W, Kim JH, Choi JW, Kawano K, Cha B, Dartt DA, Zoukhri D and Donowitz M

    Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine, 925 Ross Research Bldg., 720 Rutland Ave., Baltimore, MD 21205-2195, USA.

    The intestinal brush border (BB) Na+/H+ exchanger isoform 3 (NHE3) is acutely inhibited by elevation in the concentration of free intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) by the cholinergic agonist carbachol and Ca2+ ionophores in a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent manner. We previously showed that elevating [Ca2+]i with ionomycin rapidly inhibited NHE3 activity and decreased the amount of NHE3 on the plasma membrane in a manner that depended on the presence of the PDZ domain-containing protein E3KARP (NHE3 kinase A regulatory protein, also called NHERF2). The current studies were performed in PS120 fibroblasts (NHE-null cell line) stably transfected with NHE3 and E3KARP to probe the mechanism of PKC involvement in Ca2+ regulation of NHE3. Pretreatment with the general PKC inhibitor, GF109203X prevented ionomycin inhibition of NHE3 without altering basal NHE3 activity. Similarly, the Ca2+-mediated inhibition of NHE3 activity was blocked after pretreatment with the conventional PKC inhibitor Gö-6976 and a specific PKCalpha pseudosubstrate-derived inhibitor peptide. [Ca2+]i elevation caused translocation of PKCalpha from cytosol to membrane. PKCalpha bound to the PDZ1 domain of GST-E3KARP in vitro in a Ca2+-dependent manner. PKCalpha and E3KARP coimmunoprecipitated from cell lysates; this occurred to a lesser extent at basal [Ca2+]i and was increased with ionomycin exposure. Biotinylation studies demonstrated that [Ca2+]i elevation induced oligomerization of NHE3 in total lysates and decreased the amount of plasma membrane NHE3. Treatment with PKC inhibitors did not affect the oligomerization of NHE3 but did prevent the decrease in surface amount of NHE3. These results suggest that PKCalpha is not necessary for the Ca2+-dependent formation of the NHE3 plasma membrane complex, although it is necessary for decreasing the membrane amounts of NHE3, probably by stimulating NHE3 endocytosis.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: P01-DK-44484, R01-DK-26523, T32-DK-07632

    American journal of physiology. Cell physiology 2003;285;6;C1527-36

  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 tat-mediated cytotoxicity of human brain microvascular endothelial cells.

    Khan NA, Di Cello F, Nath A and Kim KS

    Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection is often complicated with neurologic disorders, but the pathogenesis of HIV-1 encephalopathy is incompletely understood. Tat (HIV-1 transactivator protein) is released from HIV-1-infected cells and has been detected in the sera and cerebrospinal fluid of HIV-1-infected patients. Tat, along with increased inflammatory cytokines such as interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), have been implicated in the pathogenesis of HIV-1-associated blood-brain barrier dysfunction. The present study examined the effects of Tat and IFN-gamma on human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), which constitute the blood-brain barrier. Tat produced cytotoxicity of HBMECs, but required IFN-gamma. IFN-gamma treatment of HBMECs up-regulates vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2/KDR), which is known to be the receptor for Tat. Tat activated KDR in the presence of IFN-gamma, and Tat-mediated cytopathic changes involve its interaction with KDR and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Further understanding and characterization of Tat-HBMEC interactions should help us understand HIV-1 neuropathogenesis and develop strategies to prevent HIV-1 encephalopathy.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: R01 HL 61951; NIAAA NIH HHS: AA 13858

    Journal of neurovirology 2003;9;6;584-93

  • Macrophage activation through CCR5- and CXCR4-mediated gp120-elicited signaling pathways.

    Lee C, Liu QH, Tomkowicz B, Yi Y, Freedman BD and Collman RG

    Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

    Macrophages are major targets for infection by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). In addition to their role as productive viral reservoirs, inappropriate activation of infected and uninfected macrophages appears to contribute to pathogenesis. HIV-1 infection requires initial interactions between the viral envelope surface glycoprotein gp120, the cell-surface protein CD4, and a chemokine receptor CCR5 or CXCR4. Besides their role in HIV-1 entry, CCR5 and CXCR4 are G protein-coupled receptors that can activate multiple intracellular signaling pathways. HIV-1 gp120 has been shown to activate signaling pathways through the chemokine receptors in several cell types including lymphocytes, neurons, and astrocytes. In some cell types, these consequences may cause cellular injury. In this review, we highlight our data demonstrating diverse signaling events that occur in primary human macrophages in response to gp120/chemokine receptor interactions. These responses include K+, Cl-, and nonselective cation currents, intracellular Ca2+ increases, and activation of several kinases including the focal adhesion-related tyrosine kinase Pyk2, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), and phosphoinositol-3 kinase. Activation of the MAPK leads to gp120-induced expression of chemokines such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and macrophage-inflammatory protein-1beta and the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha. These responses establish a complex cytokine network, which may enhance or suppress HIV-1 replication. In addition, dysregulation of macrophage function by gp120/chemokine receptor signaling may contribute to local inflammation and injury and further recruit additional inflammatory and/or target cells. Targeting these cellular signaling pathways may have benefit in controlling inflammatory sequelae of HIV infection such as in neurological disease.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: R01 AI060921

    Journal of leukocyte biology 2003;74;5;676-82

  • Protein kinase C alpha phosphorylates and negatively regulates diacylglycerol kinase zeta.

    Luo B, Prescott SM and Topham MK

    Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Department of Oncological Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.

    Diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) terminates diacylglycerol (DAG) signaling by phosphorylating DAG to produce phosphatidic acid, which also has signaling properties. Thus, precise control of DGK activity is essential for proper signal transduction. We demonstrated previously that a peptide corresponding to the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) phosphorylation site domain (PSD) in DGK zeta was phosphorylated in vitro by an active fragment of protein kinase C (PKC). In the present study, we tested full-length DGK zeta and found that PKC alpha phosphorylated DGK zeta on serines within the MARCKS PSD in vitro and in vivo. DGK zeta also coimmunoprecipitated with PKC alpha, suggesting that they reside in a regulated signaling complex. We then tested whether phosphorylation affected DAG kinase activity. We found that a mutant (DGK zeta S/D) in which serines within the MARCKS PSD were altered to aspartates (to mimic phosphorylation) had lower activity compared with wild-type DGK zeta or a control mutant (DGK zeta S/N) in which the same serines were changed to asparagines. Furthermore, activation of PKC alpha by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate inhibited the activity of wild-type DGK zeta, but not DGK zeta S/D, in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. These results suggest that by phosphorylating the MARCKS PSD, PKC alpha attenuates DGK zeta activity. Supporting this, we found that cells expressing DGK zeta S/D had higher DAG levels and grew more rapidly compared with cells expressing DGK zeta S/N that could not be phosphorylated. Taken together, these results indicate that PKC alpha phosphorylates DGK zeta in cells, and this phosphorylation inhibits its kinase activity to remove cellular DAG, thereby affecting cell growth.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;41;39542-7

  • Centaurin-alpha(1) associates with and is phosphorylated by isoforms of protein kinase C.

    Zemlickova E, Dubois T, Kerai P, Clokie S, Cronshaw AD, Wakefield RI, Johannes FJ and Aitken A

    University of Edinburgh, School of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Hugh Robson Building, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9XD, UK.

    Centaurin-alpha(1) is a member of the family of ADP-ribosylation factors (ARF) GTPase activating proteins (GAPs), although ARF GAP activity has not yet been demonstrated. The human homologue, centaurin-alpha(1) functionally complements the ARF GAP activity of Gcs1 in yeast. Although Gcs1 is involved in the formation of actin filaments in vivo, the function of centaurin remains elusive. We have identified a number of novel centaurin-alpha(1) binding partners; including CKIalpha and nucleolin. In this report, we have focused on the interaction of centaurin-alpha(1) with PKC. All groups of PKC associate directly through their cysteine rich domains. Centaurin-alpha(1) is also a substrate for all PKC classes and we have identified the two sites of phosphorylation. This is the first report of a kinase that phosphorylates centaurin-alpha(1).

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2003;307;3;459-65

  • Protein kinase Calpha-induced p115RhoGEF phosphorylation signals endothelial cytoskeletal rearrangement.

    Holinstat M, Mehta D, Kozasa T, Minshall RD and Malik AB

    Department of Pharmacology and Anesthesiology, University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.

    Heterotrimeric G-proteins of the Galpha12/13 family activate Rho GTPase through the guanine nucleotide exchange factor p115RhoGEF. Because Rho activation is also dependent on protein kinase Calpha (PKCalpha), we addressed the possibility that PKCalpha can also induce Rho activation secondary to the phosphorylation of p115RhoGEF. Studies were made using human umbilical vein endothelial cells in which we addressed the mechanisms of PKCalpha-induced Rho activation and its consequences on actin cytoskeletal changes. We observed that PKCalpha associated with p115RhoGEF within 1 min of thrombin stimulation and p115RhoGEF phosphorylation was dependent on PKCalpha. Inhibition of PKCalpha-dependent p115RhoGEF phosphorylation prevented the thrombin-induced Rho activation, indicating that the response occurred downstream of PKCalpha phosphorylation of p115RhoGEF. The regulator of G-protein signaling domain of p115RhoGEF, a GTPase activating protein for G12/13, also prevented thrombin-induced Rho activation, indicating the parallel requirement of G12/13 in signaling Rho activation via p115RhoGEF. These data demonstrate a pathway of Rho activation involving PKCalpha-dependent phosphorylation of p115RhoGEF. Thus, Rho activation in endothelial cells and the subsequent actin cytoskeletal re-arrangement require the cooperative interaction of both G12/13 and PKCalpha pathways that converge at p115RhoGEF.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL45638, HL46350, HL71794, T32-HL07239

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;31;28793-8

  • Activated G alpha q inhibits p110 alpha phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt.

    Ballou LM, Lin HY, Fan G, Jiang YP and Lin RZ

    Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, New York 11768, USA.

    Some Gq-coupled receptors have been shown to antagonize growth factor activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and its downstream effector, Akt. We used a constitutively active Galphaq(Q209L) mutant to explore the effects of Galphaq activation on signaling through the PI3K/Akt pathway. Transient expression of Galphaq(Q209L) in Rat-1 fibroblasts inhibited Akt activation induced by platelet-derived growth factor or insulin treatment. Expression of Galphaq(Q209L) also attenuated Akt activation promoted by coexpression of constitutively active PI3K in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. Galphaq(Q209L) had no effect on the activity of an Akt mutant in which the two regulatory phosphorylation sites were changed to acidic amino acids. Inducible expression of Galphaq(Q209L) in a stably transfected 293 cell line caused a decrease in PI3K activity in p110alpha (but not p110beta) immunoprecipitates. Receptor activation of Galphaq also selectively inhibited PI3K activity in p110alpha immunoprecipitates. Active Galphaq still inhibited PI3K/Akt in cells pretreated with the phospholipase C inhibitor U73122. Finally, Galphaq(Q209L) co-immunoprecipitated with the p110alpha-p85alpha PI3K heterodimer from lysates of COS-7 cells expressing these proteins, and incubation of immunoprecipitated Galphaq(Q209L) with purified recombinant p110alpha-p85alpha in vitro led to a decrease in PI3K activity. These results suggest that agonist binding to Gq-coupled receptors blocks Akt activation via the release of active Galphaq subunits that inhibit PI3K. The inhibitory mechanism seems to be independent of phospholipase C activation and might involve an inhibitory interaction between Galphaq and p110alpha PI3K.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: R01 DK62722

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;26;23472-9

  • The role of PI3K in immune cells.

    Koyasu S

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan. koyasu@sc.itc.keio.ac.jp

    Members of the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) family control several cellular responses including cell growth, survival, cytoskeletal remodeling and the trafficking of intracellular organelles in many different types of cell. In particular PI3K has important functions in the immune system. It has been difficult to evaluate the roles of distinct PI3Ks in cellular immune responses because no PI3K inhibitors are specific for individual family members and because most stimuli activate several PI3K enzymes. The development of gene-targeted mice now enables us to examine the physiological functions of individual PI3K enzymes in the immune system in vivo.

    Nature immunology 2003;4;4;313-9

  • Nef-mediated disruption of HLA-A2 transport to the cell surface in T cells.

    Kasper MR and Collins KL

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Nef is a key pathogenic factor necessary for the development of AIDS. One important function of Nef is to reduce cell surface levels of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules, thereby protecting HIV-infected cells from recognition by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The mechanism of MHC-I downmodulation by Nef has not been clearly elucidated, and its reported effect on MHC-I steady-state levels ranges widely, from 2-fold in HeLa cells to 200-fold in HIV-infected primary T cells. Here, we directly compared downmodulation of HLA-A2 in HIV-infected HeLa cells to that in T cells. We found that similar amounts of Nef protein resulted in a much more dramatic downmodulation of HLA-A2 in T cells than in HeLa cells. A comparison of Nef's effects on HLA-A2 endocytosis, recycling, and transport rates indicated that the most prominent effect of Nef on HLA-A2 in T cells was to inhibit transport to the cell surface. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002, previously reported to inhibit Nef-mediated MHC-I downmodulation in astrocytic cells, did not directly affect Nef's ability to block transport of MHC-I to the cell surface in T cells.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: R01 AI046998, R01 AI46998

    Journal of virology 2003;77;5;3041-9

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase regulates human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication following viral entry in primary CD4+ T lymphocytes and macrophages.

    François F and Klotman ME

    Division of Infectious Diseases, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA.

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gp120 induces multiple cellular signaling pathways, including the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) pathway. The role of the PI3-kinase pathway in HIV-1 replication is not understood. Here we examined whether HIV-1 gp120 upregulates the PI3-kinase pathway and whether PI3-kinase activity plays a role in virus replication in primary human CD4(+) T cells and macrophages. Soluble and virion-associated HIV-1 gp120 induced calcium mobilization and phosphorylation of the PI3-kinase downstream effectors PKB/Akt and p70 S6 kinase. gp120-induced PI3-kinase activity and calcium mobilization were inhibited by pertussis toxin and blocking antibodies directed against CCR5 and CXCR4, suggesting that the signaling is mediated through the chemokine receptor. The PI3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 inhibited infection of CD4(+) T cells and macrophages with X4 and R5 HIV-1-pseudotyped viruses at concentrations that did not induce cell toxicity or downregulate HIV-1 coreceptor expression. When gp120-induced signaling was bypassed with the vesicular stomatitis virus G envelope protein, infection was still sensitive to PI3-kinase inhibition, suggesting that basal PI3-kinase activity is required for infection. LY294002 inhibited HIV-1 infection when added after viral entry and did not affect formation of the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase products R/U5 and long terminal repeat/Gag in the presence of the inhibitor. However, when the inhibitor was added after viral integration had occurred, no inhibition of HIV infection was observed. Our studies show that inhibition of the PI3-kinase signaling pathway suppresses virus infection post-viral entry and post-reverse transcription but prior to HIV gene expression. This type of host-virus interaction has implications for anti-HIV therapeutics that target cellular signaling machinery.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: P01 DK 56492-01, P01 DK056492

    Journal of virology 2003;77;4;2539-49

  • A single amino acid alteration in cytoplasmic domain determines IL-2 promoter activation by ligation of CD28 but not inducible costimulator (ICOS).

    Harada Y, Ohgai D, Watanabe R, Okano K, Koiwai O, Tanabe K, Toma H, Altman A and Abe R

    Research Institute for Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2669 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-0022, Japan.

    The CD28 family molecules, CD28, and inducible costimulator (ICOS) all provide positive costimulatory signals. However, unlike CD28, ICOS does not costimulate IL-2 secretion. The YMNM motif that exists in the CD28 cytoplasmic domain is a known binding site for phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) and Grb2. ICOS possesses the YMFM motif in the corresponding region of CD28 that binds PI3-K but not Grb2. We postulated that the reason that ICOS does not have the ability to induce IL-2 production is because it fails to recruit Grb2. To verify this hypothesis, we generated a mutant ICOS gene that contains the CD28 YMNM motif and measured IL-2 promoter activation after ICOS ligation. The results indicated that ICOS became competent to activate the IL-2 promoter by this single alteration. Further analysis demonstrated that Grb2 binding to ICOS was sufficient to activate the NFAT/AP-1 site in the IL-2 promoter and that the cytoplasmic domain of CD28 outside of the YMNM motif is required for activation of the CD28RE/AP-1 and NF-kappaB sites. Together, these observations lead us to believe that the difference of a single amino acid, which affects Grb2 binding ability, may define a functional difference between the CD28- and ICOS-mediated costimulatory signals.

    The Journal of experimental medicine 2003;197;2;257-62

  • HIV-1 Nef downregulates MHC-I by a PACS-1- and PI3K-regulated ARF6 endocytic pathway.

    Blagoveshchenskaya AD, Thomas L, Feliciangeli SF, Hung CH and Thomas G

    Vollum Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

    The HIV-1 Nef-mediated downregulation of cell surface MHC-I molecules to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) enables HIV-1 to escape immune surveillance. However, the cellular pathway used by Nef to downregulate MHC-I is unknown. Here, we show that Nef and PACS-1 combine to usurp the ARF6 endocytic pathway by a PI3K-dependent process and downregulate cell surface MHC-I to the TGN. This mechanism requires the hierarchical actions of three Nef motifs-the acidic cluster 62EEEE(65), the SH3 domain binding site 72PXXP(75), and M(20)-in controlling PACS-1-dependent sorting to the TGN, ARF6 activation, and sequestering internalized MHC-I to the TGN, respectively. These data provide new insights into the cellular basis of HIV-1 immunoevasion.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: AI49793, AI8585, R01 AI049793; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK37274

    Cell 2002;111;6;853-66

  • Multiple phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent steps in activation of protein kinase B.

    Scheid MP, Marignani PA and Woodgett JR

    Department of Experimental Therapeutics, University Health Network. Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    The protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt family of serine kinases is rapidly activated following agonist-induced stimulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). To probe the molecular events important for the activation process, we employed two distinct models of posttranslational inducible activation and membrane recruitment. PKB induction requires phosphorylation of two critical residues, threonine 308 in the activation loop and serine 473 near the carboxyl terminus. Membrane localization of PKB was found to be a primary determinant of serine 473 phosphorylation. PI3K activity was equally important for promoting phosphorylation of serine 473, but this was separable from membrane localization. PDK1 phosphorylation of threonine 308 was primarily dependent upon prior serine 473 phosphorylation and, to a lesser extent, localization to the plasma membrane. Mutation of serine 473 to alanine or aspartic acid modulated the degree of threonine 308 phosphorylation in both models, while a point mutation in the substrate-binding region of PDK1 (L155E) rendered PDK1 incapable of phosphorylating PKB. Together, these results suggest a mechanism in which 3' phosphoinositide lipid-dependent translocation of PKB to the plasma membrane promotes serine 473 phosphorylation, which is, in turn, necessary for PDK1-mediated phosphorylation of threonine 308 and, consequentially, full PKB activation.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2002;22;17;6247-60

  • HIV-1-Tat protein activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/ AKT-dependent survival pathways in Kaposi's sarcoma cells.

    Deregibus MC, Cantaluppi V, Doublier S, Brizzi MF, Deambrosis I, Albini A and Camussi G

    Cattedra di Nefrologia, Dipartimento di Medicina Interna Università di Torino, Centro Ricerca Medicina Sperimentale (CeRMS), Italy.

    In this study we found that Tat protected vincristine-treated Kaposi's sarcoma cells from apoptosis and from down-regulation of several anti-apoptotic genes such as AKT-1, AKT-2, BCL2, BCL-XL, and insulin-like growth factor I and induced the de novo expression of the interleukin-3 gene. Moreover, we found that Tat enhanced phosphorylation of AKT and BAD proteins. The inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with two unrelated pharmacological inhibitors, wortmannin and LY294002, abrogated both the anti-apoptotic effect and the phosphorylation of AKT induced by Tat. After treatment with Tat, the AKT enzymatic activity showed a biphasic increase: an early activation (15 min), independent from protein synthesis; and a delayed activation (24 h), which was significantly decreased upon blockage of protein synthesis. Experiments with a function blocking anti-vascular endothelial cell growth factor receptor-2 antibody suggested that both the early and delayed AKT activation and the protection from apoptosis were triggered by the interaction of Tat with vascular endothelial cell growth factor receptor-2. Moreover, experiments with function-blocking antibodies directed against insulin-like growth factor I/insulin-like growth factor I receptor or interleukin-3 indicated their involvement in the delayed activation of AKT and their contribution to the anti-apoptotic effect of Tat on vincristine-treated Kaposi's sarcoma cells.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;28;25195-202

  • Recruitment of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase to CD28 inhibits HIV transcription by a Tat-dependent mechanism.

    Cook JA, August A and Henderson AJ

    Graduate Program, Department of Biochemistry, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

    Activation through the TCR and the costimulatory molecule CD28 influences the susceptibility of T cells to HIV-1 infection and regulates proviral gene expression. Signaling events initiated by CD28 that directly impact HIV-1 transcription have not been fully characterized. T cell lines expressing CD8alpha/28 chimeric receptors containing a mutation in tyrosine 173 to phenylalanine, which inhibits the recruitment of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) to CD28, expressed higher levels of HIV-1 following T cell activation. Whereas constitutively active PI3K decreased provirus transcription, inhibiting endogenous PI3K with specific inhibitors or by overexpressing PTEN phosphatase enhanced HIV-1 expression. PI3K-dependent inhibition required the viral Tat protein and a trans activation response region element. Tat pull-down and coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicate that PI3K affects the formation of the Tat-associated kinase trans-activating complex. These studies demonstrate that PI3K negatively impacts HIV-1 transcription and that Tat activity is sensitive to T cell signaling events.

    Funded by: PHS HHS: A146261

    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2002;169;1;254-60

  • Insulin receptor substrate 4 associates with the protein IRAS.

    Sano H, Liu SC, Lane WS, Piletz JE and Lienhard GE

    Department of Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.

    The insulin receptor substrates (IRSs) are key components in signaling from the insulin receptor, and consequently any proteins that interact with them are expected to participate in insulin signaling. In this study we have searched for proteins that interact with IRS-4 by identifying the proteins that coimmunoprecipitated with IRS-4 from human embryonic kidney 293 cells by microsequencing through mass spectrometry. A group of proteins was found. These included phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, a protein previously identified as an IRS-4 interactor, and several proteins for which there was no previous evidence of IRS-4 association. One of these proteins, named IRAS, that had been found earlier in another context was examined in detail. The results from the overexpression of IRAS, where its amount was about the same as that of IRS-4, indicated that IRAS associated directly with IRS-4 and showed that the increased complexation of IRS-4 with IRAS did not alter the insulin-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS-4 or the association of IRS-4 with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase or Grb2. On the other hand, overexpression of IRAS enhanced IRS-4-dependent insulin stimulation of the extracellularly regulated kinase. The domains of IRAS and IRS-4 responsible for the association of these two proteins were identified, and it was shown that IRAS also associates with IRS-1, IRS-2, and IRS-3.

    Funded by: NIMH NIH HHS: MH49248, R01 MH049248

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;22;19439-47

  • Phosphorylation-dependent interaction of kinesin light chain 2 and the 14-3-3 protein.

    Ichimura T, Wakamiya-Tsuruta A, Itagaki C, Taoka M, Hayano T, Natsume T and Isobe T

    Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan. ichimura@mail.comp.metro-u.ac.jp

    The protein 14-3-3 is a key regulator in a cell signaling pathway mediated by protein phosphorylation. To identify the cellular targets of this protein systematically, we have employed a proteomic approach: protein components pulled down from PC12 cells stably expressing a myc-tagged 14-3-3eta isoform were analyzed by means of SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry. This procedure allowed us to identify more than 30 proteins that include various known and unknown targets of the 14-3-3 protein. Among them are several proteins in the membrane traffic pathway, such as the heavy and light chains (KHC/KIF5B and KLC2) of conventional kinesin, a heterotetrameric mechanochemical motor involved in the ATP-dependent movement of vesicles and organelles along microtubules. Subsequent analysis showed that 14-3-3 directly binds to kinesin heterodimers through interaction with KLC2 and that this interaction is dependent on the phosphorylation of KLC2. Studies on the interaction between 14-3-3 and KLC2 variants expressed in cultured cells coupled with mass spectrometric analysis proved that Ser575 is the site of phosphorylation in KLC2 that is responsible for the in vivo interaction with the 14-3-3 protein. These data add KLC2 to the growing list of 14-3-3 targets, and suggest a role of 14-3-3 in the phosphorylation-regulated cellular transport of vesicles and organelles.

    Biochemistry 2002;41;17;5566-72

  • p53 regulates cell survival by inhibiting PIK3CA in squamous cell carcinomas.

    Singh B, Reddy PG, Goberdhan A, Walsh C, Dao S, Ngai I, Chou TC, O-Charoenrat P, Levine AJ, Rao PH and Stoffel A

    Laboratory of Epithelial Cancer Biology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA. singhb@mskcc.org

    Interactions between the p53 and PI3K/AKT pathways play a significant role in the determination of cell death/survival. In benign cells these pathways are interrelated through the transcriptional regulation of PTEN by p53, which is required for p53-mediated apoptosis. PTEN exerts its effects by decreasing the phosphorylated AKT fraction, thereby diminishing prosurvival activities. However, the link between these pathways in cancer is not known. In this study, PIK3CA, encoding the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K, is identified as an oncogene involved in upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) carcinomas. Simultaneous abnormalities in both pathways are rare in primary tumors, suggesting that amplification of PIK3CA and mutation of p53 are mutually exclusive events and either event is able to promote a malignant phenotype. Moreover, the negative effect of p53 induction on cell survival involves the transcriptional inhibition of PIK3CA that is independent of PTEN activity, as PTEN is not expressed in the primary tumors. Conversely, constitutive activation of PIK3CA results in resistance to p53-related apoptosis in PTEN deficient cells. Thus, p53 regulates cell survival by inhibiting the PI3K/AKT prosurvival signal independent of PTEN in epithelial tumors. This inhibition is required for p53-mediated apoptosis in malignant cells.

    Genes & development 2002;16;8;984-93

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate directs association of Src homology 2-containing signaling proteins with gelsolin.

    Chellaiah MA, Biswas RS, Yuen D, Alvarez UM and Hruska KA

    Department of Oral and Craniofacial Biological Sciences, University of Maryland, 666 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. mac001@dental.umaryland.edu

    Podosomes are adhesion structures in osteoclasts and are structurally related to focal adhesions mediating cell motility during bone resorption. Here we show that gelsolin coprecipitates some of the focal adhesion-associated proteins such as c-Src, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), p130(Cas), focal adhesion kinase, integrin alpha(v)beta(3), vinculin, talin, and paxillin. These proteins were inducibly tyrosine-phosphorylated in response to integrin activation by osteopontin. Previous studies have defined unique biochemical properties of gelsolin related to phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate in osteoclast podosomes, and here we demonstrate phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate/gelsolin function in mediating organization of the podosome signaling complex. Overlay and GST pull-down assays demonstrated strong phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate-PI3K interactions based on the Src homology 2 domains of PI3K. Furthermore, lipid extraction of lysates from activated osteoclasts eliminated interaction between gelsolin, c-Src, PI3K, and focal adhesion kinase despite equal amounts of gelsolin in both the lipid-extracted and unextracted experiment. The cytoplasmic protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP)-proline-glutamic acid-serine-threonine amino acid sequences (PEST) was also found to be associated with gelsolin in osteoclast podosomes and with stimulation of alpha(v)beta(3)-regulated phosphorylation of PTP-PEST. We conclude that gelsolin plays a key role in recruitment of signaling proteins to the plasma membrane through phospholipid-protein interactions and by regulation of their phosphorylation status through its association with PTP-PEST. Because both gelsolin deficiency and PI3K inhibition impair bone resorption, we conclude that phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate-based protein interactions are critical for osteoclast function.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR 41677, AR 46292; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK 09976

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2001;276;50;47434-44

  • Physical and functional interactions between protein tyrosine phosphatase alpha, PI 3-kinase, and PKCdelta.

    Steták A, Csermely P, Ullrich A and Kéri G

    Department of Medical Chemistry, Peptide Biochemistry Research Group, Semmelweis University, Budapest, H-1088, Hungary. stetak@hotmail.com

    The somatostatin analogue, TT-232 inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in a variety of tumor cells both in vivo and in vitro. While the early transient activation of Erk/MAPK was found to be important for the induction of cell cycle arrest, the signaling pathway leading to the activation of Erk/MAPK had not been fully established. Here we present evidence that activation of the Erk/MAPK pathway by TT-232 involves PI 3-kinase, PKCdelta and the protein tyrosine phosphatase alpha (PTPalpha). We show a physical interaction of PI 3-kinase and PKCdelta with PTPalpha and show that the tyrosine phosphatase plays a role in the activation of MAPK. In this process, PTPalpha Ser-180 and Ser-204 phosphorylation is critical for the induction of phosphatase activity, which is required for dephosphorylation of pp60(c-src). Taken together, we demonstrate the physical and functional association between PI 3-kinase, PKCdelta and PTPalpha in a signaling complex that mediates the antitumor activity of the somatostatin analogue TT-232.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2001;288;3;564-72

  • Unique phosphorylation mechanism of Gab1 using PI 3-kinase as an adaptor protein.

    Onishi-Haraikawa Y, Funaki M, Gotoh N, Shibuya M, Inukai K, Katagiri H, Fukushima Y, Anai M, Ogihara T, Sakoda H, Ono H, Kikuchi M, Oka Y and Asano T

    Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.

    Grb2-associated binder-1 (Gab1) undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation in response to stimulation by growth factors and hormones including insulin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). However, the HGF receptor is the only one known to associate directly with Gab1. Herein, we explore the mechanism of Gab1 phosphorylation by other receptor protein-tyrosine kinases unable to bind to Gab1 directly. The Src homology 2 (SH2) domain of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) regulatory subunit binds Gab1 in a phosphorylation-independent manner. Moreover, the regulatory subunit of PI3K can mediate the association of Gab1 and receptor protein-tyrosine kinases including the insulin, EGF, and NGF receptors, all of which phosphorylate Gab1. Thus, it appears that the PI3K regulatory subunit acts as an adaptor protein via a phosphotyrosyl-independent SH2 interaction, allowing Gab1 to serve as a substrate for several tyrosine kinases. This is a new role for the PI3K regulatory subunit.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2001;288;2;476-82

  • Role of phosphoinositide 3-kinase in monocyte recruitment under flow conditions.

    Gerszten RE, Friedrich EB, Matsui T, Hung RR, Li L, Force T and Rosenzweig A

    Program in Cardiovascular Gene Therapy, Cardiovascular Research Center and the Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129, USA. gerszten@cvrc.mgh.harvard.edu

    Chemokines such as the monocyte chemol attractant protein-1 (MCP-1) convert monocyte rolling to firm arrest under physiological flow conditions via integrin activation and simultaneously activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Here we used adenoviral gene transfer and biochemical inhibitors to manipulate PI3K-dependent pathways in human monocytes. In in vitro lipid kinase assays from purified human monocytes, we showed that MCP-1 activates the "classical" PI3Kalpha pathway and not PI3Kgamma, a PI3K isoform thought to be activated only by the betagamma complex of heterotrimeric G proteins. The activity of PI3Kalpha in purified human monocytes was evident within 30 s. MCP-1-induced monocyte arrest was significantly inhibited both by wortmannin (n = 4; p < 0.01) and LY294002 (n = 4; p < 0.01) with restoration of the rolling phenotype (p < 0.05 for both inhibitors, compared with rolling of control monocytes after MCP-1 treatment). To test the hypothesis that activation of PI3K is sufficient to induce monocyte adhesion, we transduced the monocytic THP-1 cell line with a recombinant adenovirus (Ad) carrying a constitutively active mutant of PI3K (Ad.BD110). We examined the ability of these cells to adhere to human vascular endothelium (HUVEC) transduced with adenoviruses carrying E-selectin, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and VCAM-1. Under flow conditions, ICAM-1- and VCAM-1-dependent firm adhesion of Ad.BD110-transduced THP-1 cells was enhanced compared with THP-1 cells infected with control Ad (n = 4; p < 0.01 for both). Adhesion augmented by constitutive PI3K activation was entirely abrogated by pretreatment with wortmannin (n = 3; p < 0.01). In contrast, a constitutively active Akt construct had no effect on THP-1 adhesion (n = 3; p = NS). We conclude that PI3K activation is necessary and sufficient to enhance monocytic adhesion under physiological flow conditions. BD110-expressing THP-1 cells should provide a useful tool for identifying the signaling pathways downstream of PI3K that are necessary for monocyte recruitment relevant to a variety of human vascular pathologies.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL03348, HL54202, HL59521, HL61688, HL65584; NIAID NIH HHS: AI40970; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK50282

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2001;276;29;26846-51

  • Signal transduction pathways involved in phosphorylation and activation of p70S6K following exposure to UVA irradiation.

    Zhang Y, Dong Z, Nomura M, Zhong S, Chen N, Bode AM and Dong Z

    Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, Minnesota 55912, USA.

    Ultraviolet light A (UVA) plays an important role in the etiology of human skin cancer, and UVA-induced signal transduction has a critical role in UVA-induced skin carcinogenesis. The upstream signaling pathways leading to p70(S6K) phosphorylation and activation are not well understood. Here, we observed that UVA induces phosphorylation and activation of p70(S6K). Further, UVA-stimulated p70(S6K) activity and phosphorylation at Thr(389) were blocked by wortmannin, rapamycin, PD98059, SB202190, and dominant negative mutants of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase p85 subunit (DNM-Deltap85), ERK2 (DNM-ERK2), p38 kinase (DNM-p38), and JNK1 (DNM-JNK1) and were absent in Jnk1-/- or Jnk2-/- knockout cells. The p70(S6K) phosphorylation at Ser(411) and Thr(421)/Ser(424) was inhibited by rapamycin, PD98059, or DNM-ERK2 but not by wortmannin, SB202190, DNM-Deltap85, or DNM-p38. However, Ser(411), but not Thr(421)/Ser(424) phosphorylation, was suppressed in DNM-JNK1 and abrogated in Jnk1-/- or Jnk2-/- cells. In vitro assays indicated that Ser(411) on immunoprecipitated p70(S6K) proteins is phosphorylated by active JNKs and ERKs, but not p38 kinase, and Thr(421)/Ser(424) is phosphorylated by ERK1, but not ERK2, JNKs, or p38 kinase. Moreover, p70(S6K) co-immunoprecipitated with PI 3-kinase and possibly PDK1. The complex possibly possessed a partial basal level of phosphorylation, but not at MAPK sites, which was available for its activation by MAPKs in vitro. Thus, these results suggest that activation of MAPKs, like PI 3-kinase/mTOR, may be involved in UVA-induced phosphorylation and activation of p70(S6K).

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA77646, CA81064

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2001;276;24;20913-23

  • Regulation by insulin of gene expression in human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Evidence for specific defects in type 2 diabetes.

    Ducluzeau PH, Perretti N, Laville M, Andreelli F, Vega N, Riou JP and Vidal H

    Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale INSERM U.449, Faculty of Medicine R. Laennec, Lyon, France.

    Defective regulation of gene expression may be involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. We have characterized the concerted regulation by insulin (3-h hyperinsulinemic clamp) of the expression of 10 genes related to insulin action in skeletal muscle and in subcutaneous adipose tissue, and we have verified whether a defective regulation of some of them could be specifically encountered in tissues of type 2 diabetic patients. Basal mRNA levels (determined by reverse transcriptase-competitive polymerase chain reaction) of insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate-1, p85alpha phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), p110alphaPI3K, p110betaPI3K, GLUT4, glycogen synthase, and sterol regulatory-element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) were similar in muscle of control (n = 17), type 2 diabetic (n = 9), type 1 diabetic (n = 9), and nondiabetic obese (n = 9) subjects. In muscle, the expression of hexokinase II was decreased in type 2 diabetic patients (P < 0.01). In adipose tissue, SREBP-1c (P < 0.01) mRNA expression was reduced in obese (nondiabetic and type 2 diabetic) subjects and was negatively correlated with the BMI of the subjects (r = -0.63, P = 0.02). Insulin (+/-1,000 pmol/l) induced a two- to threefold increase (P < 0.05) in hexokinase II, p85alphaPI3K, and SREBP-1c mRNA levels in muscle and in adipose tissue in control subjects, in insulin-resistant nondiabetic obese patients, and in hyperglycemic type 1 diabetic subjects. Upregulation of these genes was completely blunted in type 2 diabetic patients. This study thus provides evidence for a specific defect in the regulation of a group of important genes in response to insulin in peripheral tissues of type 2 diabetic patients.

    Diabetes 2001;50;5;1134-42

  • HIV-1 Nef blocks transport of MHC class I molecules to the cell surface via a PI 3-kinase-dependent pathway.

    Swann SA, Williams M, Story CM, Bobbitt KR, Fleis R and Collins KL

    Departments of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

    HIV causes a chronic infection by evading immune eradication. A key element of HIV immune escape is the HIV-1 Nef protein. Nef causes a reduction in the level of cell surface major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) protein expression, thus protecting HIV-infected cells from anti-HIV cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) recognition and killing. Nef also reduces cell surface levels of the HIV receptor, CD4, by accelerating endocytosis. We show here that endocytosis is not required for Nef-mediated downmodulation of MHC-I molecules. The main effect of Nef is to block transport of MHC-I molecules to the cell surface, leading to accumulation in intracellular organelles. Furthermore, the effect of Nef on MHC-I molecules (but not on CD4) requires phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) activity. We propose that Nef diverts MHC-1 proteins into a PI 3-kinase-dependent transport pathway that prevents expression on the cell surface.

    Funded by: NIAID NIH HHS: KO8 AI01448, R01 AI46998; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM07315

    Virology 2001;282;2;267-77

  • HIV-1 Tat protein down-regulates CREB transcription factor expression in PC12 neuronal cells through a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/cyclic nucleoside phosphodiesterase pathway.

    Zauli G, Milani D, Mirandola P, Mazzoni M, Secchiero P, Miscia S and Capitani S

    Institute of Normal Morphology, G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti; 66100 Chieti, Italy. g.zauli@morpho.unich.it

    The addition of low concentrations (0.1-1 nM) of extracellular HIV-1 Tat protein to PC12 neuronal cells stimulated a rapid (peak at 5 min) elevation of the cAMP intracellular levels, which in turn induced the phosphorylation of CREB transcription factor (peak at 15 min) on serine-133 (Ser-133). On the contrary, at later time points (60-120 min) Tat induced a significant decline of intracellular cAMP with respect to the basal levels observed in control cells treated with bovine serum albumin. In blocking experiments performed with pharmacological inhibitors, Tat decreased the intracellular levels of cAMP and CREB Ser-133 phosphorylation through a signal transduction pathway involving the sequential activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, AKT, and cyclic nucleoside phosphodiesterases. Moreover, in transient transfection experiments, Tat inhibited transcription of CREB promoter in a manner strictly dependent on the presence of the cAMP-responsive elements (CRE) in the CREB promoter. Consistently, the expression of endogenous CREB protein was significantly reduced in PC12 cells by prolonged (24-48 h) treatment with Tat. This decline in the expression of CREB, which plays an essential role in the survival and function of neuronal cells, anticipated a progressive increase of apoptosis in Tat-treated cells. Although obtained in a neuronal cell line, our findings might help to explain some aspects of the pathogenesis of HIV-1-associated dementia.

    FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2001;15;2;483-91

  • HIV-1 Tat promotes monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 secretion followed by transmigration of monocytes.

    Park IW, Wang JF and Groopman JE

    Division of Experimental Medicine and Hematology/Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Institutes of Medicine, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    The mechanism whereby HIV-infected cells transit from the bloodstream into tissues is not well defined. This phenomenon was addressed by studying the effects of HIV-1 Tat, a protein secreted by infected cells, on human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC-Ls). It was found that monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) was released from HMVEC-Ls in a dose- and time-dependent manner after Tat treatment. MCP-1 is a potent beta-chemokine that recruits monocytes and T cells and promotes cell adhesion and transmigration across an endothelial monolayer. It was also observed that MCP-1 and the culture medium from Tat-treated HMVEC-Ls were chemotactic for CD14(+) monocytes from human peripheral blood and for THP-1, a promonocytic cell line used as a model system. To characterize the signaling pathways underlying the observed induction of MCP-1, HMVEC-Ls were treated with 2 different protein kinase inhibitors: PD98059, a MAP kinase inhibitor, and GF109203X, a protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor. MCP-1 release was significantly reduced when PKC was inhibited, and slightly decreased when PI3 kinase was blocked; no effect on MCP-1 release was observed on MAP kinase inhibition. Similarly, transmigration of THP-1 cells was significantly impaired by the PKC inhibitor, but not by the other tested inhibitors. These data indicate that the HIV-1 Tat protein may act as a protocytokine by causing the release of MCP-1 from the endothelial monolayer, and thereby facilitating monocyte transmigration into tissues via a PKC signaling pathway.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL53745, HL61940

    Blood 2001;97;2;352-8

  • HIV-Nef enhances interleukin-2 production and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activity in a human T cell line.

    Schibeci SD, Clegg AO, Biti RA, Sagawa K, Stewart GJ and Williamson P

    Department of Clinical Immunology, Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia.

    Objective: The Nef protein has a major influence on disease pathogenesis in HIV-infected individuals. The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of Nef on T lymphocyte activation and associated signalling events.

    Design: A recombinant vaccinia expression system was used to express Nef in a human T cell line. Stimulation of these cells with anti-CD28 antibody, and either phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) or anti-CD3, activates signal transduction pathways and results in IL-2 production and IL-2 receptor alpha-chain (CD25) expression. Cellular responses were examined in cells expressing either Nef or an irrelevant control protein.

    Methods: Activation of signalling was assessed by immunoblot analysis, or by in-vitro phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) assays. IL-2 production was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and CD25 cell surface expression was examined using flow cytometry.

    Results: Infection of cells with recombinant vaccinia expressing HIV-nef resulted in a marked increase in the production of IL-2 when cells were activated. The enhanced IL-2 response was accompanied by an increase in the level of PI3K activity. IL-2 production remained sensitive to inhibition with the PI3K competitive inhibitor Ly294002, and to the fungal macrolide, rapamycin. In contrast, CD25 expression was not affected, and there were no measurable changes to nuclear factor kappaB (NFkappaB) activation pathways.

    Conclusion: Enhanced IL-2 production in stimulated T cells expressing HIV-Nef is associated with increased activation of PI3K-dependent signalling pathways. The results support a model in which Nef affects HIV disease progression by distorting T cell responses.

    AIDS (London, England) 2000;14;12;1701-7

  • Negative regulation of PI 3-kinase by Ruk, a novel adaptor protein.

    Gout I, Middleton G, Adu J, Ninkina NN, Drobot LB, Filonenko V, Matsuka G, Davies AM, Waterfield M and Buchman VL

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Courtauld Building, 91 Riding House Street, London W1P 8BT, UK.

    Class I(A) phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) is a key component of important intracellular signalling cascades. We have identified an adaptor protein, Ruk(l), which forms complexes with the PI 3-kinase holoenzyme in vitro and in vivo. This interaction involves the proline-rich region of Ruk and the SH3 domain of the p85 alpha regulatory subunit of the class I(A) PI 3-kinase. In contrast to many other adaptor proteins that activate PI 3-kinase, interaction with Ruk(l) substantially inhibits the lipid kinase activity of the enzyme. Overexpression of Ruk(l) in cultured primary neurons induces apoptosis, an effect that could be reversed by co-expression of constitutively activated forms of the p110 alpha catalytic subunit of PI 3-kinase or its downstream effector PKB/Akt. Our data provide evidence for the existence of a negative regulator of the PI 3-kinase signalling pathway that is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis. Structural similarities between Ruk, CIN85 and CD2AP/CMS suggest that these proteins form a novel family of adaptor molecules that are involved in various intracellular signalling pathways.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA21765

    The EMBO journal 2000;19;15;4015-25

  • The leucine-rich repeat protein SUR-8 enhances MAP kinase activation and forms a complex with Ras and Raf.

    Li W, Han M and Guan KL

    Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 USA.

    Caenorhabditis elegans sur-8 encodes a positive regulator of Ras signaling. We investigated the mechanism by which the human Sur-8 homolog can positively regulate Ras-MAP kinase signaling in mammalian cells. Sur-8 expression enhances Ras- or EGF-induced Raf and ERK activation but has no effect on ERK activation induced by active Raf or MEK. Furthermore, Sur-8 expression does not increase AKT or JNK activation. Sur-8 interacts with Ras and Raf and is able to form a ternary complex with the two proteins. Thus, Sur-8 may function as a scaffold that enhances Ras-MAP kinase signal transduction by facilitating the interaction between Ras and Raf.

    Genes & development 2000;14;8;895-900

  • R-Ras3, a brain-specific Ras-related protein, activates Akt and promotes cell survival in PC12 cells.

    Kimmelman AC, Osada M and Chan AM

    The Derald H Ruttenberg Cancer Center, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.

    The GTP-binding protein, R-Ras3/M-Ras, is a novel member of the Ras subfamily of GTPases which shows highest sequence similarity to the TC21 gene. R-Ras3 is highly expressed in both human and mouse brain and ectopic expression of a constitutively active mutant of R-Ras3 induces cellular transformation in NIH3T3 cells. To gain further insight into the normal cellular function of R-Ras3, we examined the ability of R-Ras3 in activating several known intracellular signaling cascades. We observed that R-Ras3 is a relatively weak activator of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (MAPK/ERKs) when compared to the H-Ras oncogene. On the contrary, both R-Ras3 and H-Ras activated the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) to a similar extent. Under similar experimental conditions, R-Ras3 significantly stimulated one of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) downstream substrates, Akt/PKB/RAC (Akt), which has been extensively implicated in mediating cell survival signaling. The activation of Akt by R-Ras3 was most likely to be PI3-K-dependent since this biochemical event was blocked by the pharmacological inhibitors, Wortmannin and LY294002, as well as by a dominant negative mutant of PI3-K. More importantly, R-Ras3 affinity-precipitated PI3-K from cell extracts in a GTP-dependent manner, and associated lipid kinase activity was readily detectable in R-Ras3 immune complexes. The biological significance of R-Ras3 in inducing Akt kinase activity is evidenced by the ability of an activated R-Ras3 to confer cell survival in the rat pheochromocytoma cell line, PC12. As expected, this biological activity of R-Ras3 was also abrogated by the addition of LY294002. Thus, R-Ras3 represents a novel G-protein which may play a role in cell survival of neural-derived cells.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA66654, CA78509; NIMH NIH HHS: MH59771; ...

    Oncogene 2000;19;16;2014-22

  • A novel positive feedback loop mediated by the docking protein Gab1 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in epidermal growth factor receptor signaling.

    Rodrigues GA, Falasca M, Zhang Z, Ong SH and Schlessinger J

    Department of Pharmacology and Skirball Institute, New York University Medical Center, New York, New York 10016, USA.

    The Gab1 protein is tyrosine phosphorylated in response to various growth factors and serves as a docking protein that recruits a number of downstream signaling proteins, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3 kinase). To determine the role of Gab1 in signaling via the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) we tested the ability of Gab1 to associate with and modulate signaling by this receptor. We show that Gab1 associates with the EGFR in vivo and in vitro via pTyr sites 1068 and 1086 in the carboxy-terminal tail of the receptor and that overexpression of Gab1 potentiates EGF-induced activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and Jun kinase signaling pathways. A mutant of Gab1 unable to bind the p85 subunit of PI-3 kinase is defective in potentiating EGFR signaling, confirming a role for PI-3 kinase as a downstream effector of Gab1. Inhibition of PI-3 kinase by a dominant-interfering mutant of p85 or by Wortmannin treatment similarly impairs Gab1-induced enhancement of signaling via the EGFR. The PH domain of Gab1 was shown to bind specifically to phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P3], a product of PI-3 kinase, and is required for activation of Gab1-mediated enhancement of EGFR signaling. Moreover, the PH domain mediates Gab1 translocation to the plasma membrane in response to EGF and is required for efficient tyrosine phosphorylation of Gab1 upon EGF stimulation. In addition, overexpression of Gab1 PH domain blocks Gab1 potentiation of EGFR signaling. Finally, expression of the gene for the lipid phosphatase PTEN, which dephosphorylates PtdIns(3,4, 5)P3, inhibits EGF signaling and translocation of Gab1 to the plasma membrane. These results reveal a novel positive feedback loop, modulated by PTEN, in which PI-3 kinase functions as both an upstream regulator and a downstream effector of Gab1 in signaling via the EGFR.

    Molecular and cellular biology 2000;20;4;1448-59

  • Substrate specificities and identification of putative substrates of ATM kinase family members.

    Kim ST, Lim DS, Canman CE and Kastan MB

    Department of Hematology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105, USA.

    Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) phosphorylates p53 protein in response to ionizing radiation, but the complex phenotype of AT cells suggests that it must have other cellular substrates as well. To identify substrates for ATM and the related kinases ATR and DNA-PK, we optimized in vitro kinase assays and developed a rapid peptide screening method to determine general phosphorylation consensus sequences. ATM and ATR require Mn(2+), but not DNA ends or Ku proteins, for optimal in vitro activity while DNA-PKCs requires Mg(2+), DNA ends, and Ku proteins. From p53 peptide mutagenesis analysis, we found that the sequence S/TQ is a minimal essential requirement for all three kinases. In addition, hydrophobic amino acids and negatively charged amino acids immediately NH(2)-terminal to serine or threonine are positive determinants and positively charged amino acids in the region are negative determinants for substrate phosphorylation. We determined a general phosphorylation consensus sequence for ATM and identified putative in vitro targets by using glutathione S-transferase peptides as substrates. Putative ATM in vitro targets include p95/nibrin, Mre11, Brca1, Rad17, PTS, WRN, and ATM (S440) itself. Brca2, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and DNA-5B peptides were phosphorylated specifically by ATR, and DNA Ligase IV is a specific in vitro substrate of DNA-PK.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA21765, CA71387; NIEHS NIH HHS: ES0577

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1999;274;53;37538-43

  • Phosphorylation-dependent interaction of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor epsilon 2 subunit with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

    Hisatsune C, Umemori H, Mishina M and Yamamoto T

    Department of Oncology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.

    Background: The NMDA receptors (NMDARs) are ion channels through which Ca2+ influx triggers various intracellular responses. Tyrosine phosphorylation of NMDARs regulates NMDA channel activities, which may be important in neuronal plasticity. The biological significance of the tyrosine phosphorylation events, however, differs among NMDAR subunits: tyrosine phosphorylation of NMDARepsilon1 increases NMDA channel activities, but that of NMDARepsilon2 does not. Since signal transductions from various cell surface receptors are mediated by protein-protein interaction through phosphotyrosine and the Src homology 2 (SH2) domain, we examined the possibility that phosphotyrosines in NMDARepsilon2 contribute to the intracellular signalling events.

    Results: We first show that Fyn is deeply involved in the phosphorylation of NMDARepsilon2 and second that a phosphotyrosine in NMDARepsilon2 interacts with the p85 regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase). Both the level of tyrosine phosphorylation on NMDARepsilon2 and the amounts of the p85 subunit (p85) bound to NMDARepsilon2 are decreased in Fyn-deficient mice. Moreover, we show that ischaemia stimulates the binding of p85 to phosphorylated NMDARepsilon2, suggesting a physiological role of the phosphotyrosine/SH2-based interaction between NMDARepsilon2 and p85 in the brain.

    Conclusions: The tyrosine phosphorylation event on NMDARs is important in not only the regulation of its channel activity but also intracellular signalling mediated through the interaction of the NMDAR with SH2 domain-containing molecules.

    Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms 1999;4;11;657-66

  • Identification of a chromosome 3p14.3-21.1 gene, APPL, encoding an adaptor molecule that interacts with the oncoprotein-serine/threonine kinase AKT2.

    Mitsuuchi Y, Johnson SW, Sonoda G, Tanno S, Golemis EA and Testa JR

    Molecular Oncology Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PA 19111, USA.

    AKT2 is a serine/threonine kinase implicated in human ovarian and pancreatic cancers. AKT2 is activated by a variety of growth factors and insulin via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). However, its normal cellular role is not well understood. To gain insight into the function of AKT2, we performed yeast two-hybrid system to screen for interacting proteins. Using this technique, we identified a novel interactor, designated APPL, which contains a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, a phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain and a leucine zipper, classes of motifs defined in signaling molecules as functional interaction domains with specific targets. The PH domain of APPL shows similarity to those found in GTPase-activating proteins such as oligophrenin-1 and Graf, whereas its PTB domain exhibits homology with CED-6, an adaptor protein that promotes engulfment of apoptotic cells, and IB1, a transactivator of the GLUT2 gene. APPL is highly expressed in skeletal muscle, heart, ovary and pancreas, tissues in which AKT2 mRNA is abundant. APPL interacts with the inactive form of AKT2; moreover, APPL binds to the PI3K catalytic subunit, p110alpha. These data suggest that APPL is an adaptor that may tether inactive AKT2 to p110alpha in the cytoplasm and thereby may expedite recruitment of AKT2 and p110alpha to the cell membrane upon mitogenic stimulation. Furthermore, the APPL gene was mapped to human chromosome 3p14.3-p21.1, where deletions and other rearrangements have often been reported in a variety of tumor types. The identification of APPL may facilitate further analysis of the physiological and oncogenic activities of AKT2.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA06927, CA77429

    Oncogene 1999;18;35;4891-8

  • Serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (SGK) is a target of the PI 3-kinase-stimulated signaling pathway.

    Park J, Leong ML, Buse P, Maiyar AC, Firestone GL and Hemmings BA

    Friedrich Miescher-Institut, Maulbeerstrasse 66, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

    Serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase (SGK) is a novel member of the serine/threonine protein kinase family that is transcriptionally regulated. In this study, we have investigated the regulatory mechanisms that control SGK activity. We have established a peptide kinase assay for SGK and present evidence demonstrating that SGK is a component of the phosphoinositide 3 (PI 3)-kinase signaling pathway. Treatment of human embryo kidney 293 cells with insulin, IGF-1 or pervanadate induced a 3- to 12-fold activation of ectopically expressed SGK. Activation was completely abolished by pretreatment of cells with the PI 3-kinase inhibitor, LY294002. Treatment of activated SGK with protein phosphatase 2A in vitro led to kinase inactivation. Consistent with the similarity of SGK to other second-messenger regulated kinases, mutation of putative phosphorylation sites at Thr256 and Ser422 inhibited SGK activation. Cotransfection of PDK1 with SGK caused a 6-fold activation of SGK activity, whereas kinase-dead PDK1 caused no activation. GST-pulldown assays revealed a direct interaction between PDK1 and the catalytic domain of SGK. Treatment of rat mammary tumor cells with serum caused hyperphosphorylation of endogenous SGK, and promoted translocation to the nucleus. Both hyperphosphorylation and nuclear translocation could be inhibited by wortmannin, but not by rapamycin.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA-71514

    The EMBO journal 1999;18;11;3024-33

  • HIV-1 Nef plays an essential role in two independent processes in CD4 down-regulation: dissociation of the CD4-p56(lck) complex and targeting of CD4 to lysosomes.

    Kim YH, Chang SH, Kwon JH and Rhee SS

    Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Nef down-regulates CD4 by triggering rapid endocytosis of cell surface CD4. To better understand how Nef induces CD4 down-regulation, we generated a series of Nef mutants with small in-frame deletions in the coding region. Three classes of mutants were obtained. The first class produces neither CD4 down-regulation nor dissociation of the CD4-p56(lck) complex. The second class induces CD4 down-regulation in cells lacking p56(lck) expression, but not in cells with p56(lck);these mutants fail to dissociate CD4 from p56lck. These results show that Nef-mediated CD4 dissociation from p56(lck) is important for CD4 down-regulation. The third class of mutants is able to dissociate the CD4-p56(lck) complex but fails to down-regulate surface CD4; internalized CD4 molecules are recycled back to the cell surface. This result suggests that Nef diverts the CD4 recycling pathway to a degradative pathway. We also demonstrate that Nef associates with phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) activity, which is known to be involved in several aspects of membrane trafficking. However, Nef mutants that cause internalized CD4 to be recycled do not associate with PI3K activity; thus Nef-associated PI3K activity might be involved in the latter process of targeting CD4 to a degradative pathway. We conclude that HIV-1 Nef plays a critical role in multiple processes in CD4 down-regulation: (i) disrupting the CD4-p56(lck) complex on the cell surface to allow CD4 internalization and (ii) diverting the internalized CD4 to a lysosomal pathway for its degradation, likely through a PI3K activity.

    Virology 1999;257;1;208-19

  • Differential mRNA expression and subcellular locations of PI3-kinase isoforms in sympathetic and sensory neurons.

    Bartlett SE, Reynolds AJ, Tan T, Heydon K and Hendry IA

    Developmental Neurobiology, Division of Neuroscience, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT. selena.bartlett@anu.edu.au

    Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) enzymes are key signalling molecules in the PC12 and neuronal cell survival pathway and are also involved in the regulation of retrograde axonal transport of nerve growth factor (NGF), with sympathetic neurons more sensitive to the effects of wortmannin/LY294002 than sensory neurons (Bartlett et al. [1997]; Brain Res. 761:257-262; Reynolds et al. [1998] Brain Res. 798:67-74). In this article, we characterized the mRNA expression of PI3-kinase isoforms in mouse sympathetic superior cervical ganglia (SCG) and sensory trigeminal ganglia (TGG) and examined the subcellular locations of immunoreactivity of the PI3-kinase isoforms in mouse cultured SCG and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. Both the SCG and the TGG express mRNA for the p110alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and vps34p PI3-kinase isoforms, but the TGG and not the SCG express mRNA for the p170 PI3-kinase isoform. In cultured SCG and DRG neurons, p110alpha, beta, and gamma immunoreactivity is in the SCG and DRG growth cones, and predominantly in puncta throughout the growth cone varicosity. However, in the cell bodies immunoreactivity varied, p110alpha is localized predominantly at the plasma membrane, while p110beta and gamma is localized in the perinuclear region of the cells. In addition, unlike other cell types, wortmannin has little effect on actin filament polymerization in either mouse cultured SCG or DRG neurons.

    Journal of neuroscience research 1999;56;1;44-53

  • Synergistic activation of a family of phosphoinositide 3-kinase via G-protein coupled and tyrosine kinase-related receptors.

    Katada T, Kurosu H, Okada T, Suzuki T, Tsujimoto N, Takasuga S, Kontani K, Hazeki O and Ui M

    Department of Physiological Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan. katada@mol.f.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) is a key signaling enzyme implicated in a variety of receptor-stimulated cell responses. Stimulation of receptors possessing (or coupling to) protein-tyrosine kinase activates heterodimeric PI 3-kinases, which consist of an 85-kDa regulatory subunit (p85) containing Src-homology 2 (SH2) domains and a 110-kDa catalytic subunit (p110 alpha or p110 beta). Thus, this form of PI 3-kinases could be activated in vitro by a phosphotyrosyl peptide containing a YMXM motif that binds to the SH2 domains of p85. Receptors coupling to alpha beta gamma-trimeric G proteins also stimulate the lipid kinase activity of a novel p110 gamma isoform, which is not associated with p85, and thereby is not activated by tyrosine kinase receptors. The activation of p110 gamma PI 3-kinase appears to be mediated through the beta gamma subunits of the G protein (G beta gamma). In addition, rat liver heterodimeric PI 3-kinases containing the p110 beta catalytic subunit are synergistically activated by the phosphotyrosyl peptide plus G beta gamma. Such enzymatic properties were also observed with a recombinant p110 beta/p85 alpha expressed in COS-7 cells. In contrast, another heterodimeric PI 3-kinase consisting of p110 alpha and p85 in the same rat liver, together with a recombinant p110 alpha/p85 alpha, was not activated by G beta gamma, though their activities were stimulated by the phosphotyrosyl peptide. Synergistic activation of PI 3-kinase by the stimulation of the two major receptor types was indeed observed in intact cells, such as chemotactic peptide (N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe) plus insulin (or Fc gamma II) receptors in differentiated THP-1 and CHO cells and adenosine (A1) plus insulin receptors in rat adipocytes. Thus, PI 3-kinase isoforms consisting of p110 beta catalytic and SH2-containing (p85 or its related) regulatory subunits appeared to function as a 'cross-talk' enzyme between the two signal transduction pathways mediated through tyrosine kinase and G protein-coupled receptors.

    Chemistry and physics of lipids 1999;98;1-2;79-86

  • PIK3CA is implicated as an oncogene in ovarian cancer.

    Shayesteh L, Lu Y, Kuo WL, Baldocchi R, Godfrey T, Collins C, Pinkel D, Powell B, Mills GB and Gray JW

    UCSF Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco 941430-0808, USA.

    Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological malignancy and the fourth leading cause of cancer death among American women, yet little is known about its molecular aetiology. Studies using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) have revealed several regions of recurrent, abnormal, DNA sequence copy number that may encode genes involved in the genesis or progression of the disease. One region at 3q26 found to be increased in copy number in approximately 40% of ovarian and others cancers contains PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase). The association between PIK3CA copy number and PI3-kinase activity makes PIK3CA a candidate oncogene because a broad range of cancer-related functions have been associated with PI3-kinase mediated signalling. These include proliferation, glucose transport and catabolism, cell adhesion, apoptosis, RAS signalling and oncogenic transformation. In addition, downstream effectors of PI3-kinase, AKT1 and AKT2, have been found to be amplified or activated in human tumours, including ovarian cancer. We show here that PIK3CA is frequently increased in copy number in ovarian cancers, that the increased copy number is associated with increased PIK3CA transcription, p110alpha protein expression and PI3-kinase activity and that treatment with the PI3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 decreases proliferation and increases apoptosis. Our observations suggest PIK3CA is an oncogene that has an important role in ovarian cancer.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA09215, P01-CA64602

    Nature genetics 1999;21;1;99-102

  • Ligands of CD4 inhibit the association of phospholipase Cgamma1 with phosphoinositide 3 kinase in T cells: regulation of this association by the phosphoinositide 3 kinase activity.

    Jauliac S, Mazerolles F, Jabado N, Pallier A, Bernard F, Peake J, Fischer A and Hivroz C

    INSERM U429, Hôpital Necker, Enfants Malades, Paris, France.

    We have previously shown that CD4 ligands inhibit interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and T cell proliferation in human peripheral CD4+ T lymphocytes, in an MHC-independent way. Two major pathways implicated in T cell activation are inhibited by binding of CD4 ligands to the CD4 molecule, i.e. Ca2+ signaling by phospholipase Cgamma1 (PLCgamma1), and ERK-2 activation, suggesting a p21ras inhibition. We have correlated these inhibitions with the disruption of multifunctional complexes containing PLCgamma1, p120GAP and Sam68, induced by T cell activation. We report here that T cell activation through the TCR/CD3 induces an association of the phosphoinositide 3 kinase (PI3 kinase) with PLCgamma1, both in peripheral CD4+ T lymphocytes and the HUT-78 CD4+ T cell line. PI3 kinase is present in the multifunctional complexes that we have described previously. Preincubation of human peripheral CD4+ T cells and HUT-78 CD4+ T cells with gp160 or a peptide analogue of the HLA class II DR molecule precludes the association of PLCgamma1 with PI3 kinase. We also demonstrate, using two specific inhibitors of PI3 kinase activity (LY294002 and wortmannin), that this activity plays a key role in the association of PLCgamma1 with PI3 kinase. Moreover, we demonstrate the implication of the PI3 kinase activity in the negative signal mediated by HIV gp160 binding to CD4 molecules. We propose that the products of the PI3 kinase are important mediators of the negative signaling induced by the binding of CD4 ligands to the CD4 molecule implicated in the regulation of the formation of multifunctional complexes.

    European journal of immunology 1998;28;10;3183-91

  • HIV-1 Tat induces tyrosine phosphorylation of p125FAK and its association with phosphoinositide 3-kinase in PC12 cells.

    Milani D, Mazzoni M, Zauli G, Mischiati C, Gibellini D, Giacca M and Capitani S

    Department of Morphology and Embriology, University of Ferrara, Italy.

    Objective: To evaluate the signal transduction potential of HIV-1 Tat in a neuronal cell model.

    Methods: The tyrosine phosphorylation levels of the focal adhesion kinase p125FAK and its association with phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-K) were evaluated in serum-starved rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells, either treated with low concentrations (0.1-1 nM) of extracellular HIV-1 Tat protein or stably transfected with Tat cDNA.

    Results: Extracellular Tat induced a rapid increase of p125FAK tyrosine phosphorylation and p125FAK-associated PI 3-K activity. By using recombinant mutated Tat proteins, it was found that deletion of amino acids 73-86 encoded by the second exon of the tat gene resulted in a significant decrease of the ability of Tat to induce p125FAK tyrosine phosphorylation. Paradoxically, mutations in the basic region encoded by the first exon of tat, which is essential for nuclear localization and HIV-1 LTR transactivation, increased the ability of Tat to stimulate p125FAK tyrosine phosphorylation. Moreover, in comparison with cells transfected with a control vector, PC12 cells stably transfected with tat cDNA showed greater amounts of p125FAK protein, an increase in p125FAK tyrosine phosphorylation and higher levels of p125FAK-associated PI 3-K activity. The addition of anti-Tat neutralizing antibody to tat-transfected PC12 cells in culture blocked both the p125FAK tyrosine phosphorylation and its association with PI 3-K but did not affect the total amount of p125FAK.

    Conclusion: HIV-1 Tat protein enhanced both the expression and the functionality of p1 25FAK in PC12 neuronal cells. Whereas the first event required intracellular Tat, the increased p125FAK phosphorylation was strictly dependent upon extracellular Tat.

    AIDS (London, England) 1998;12;11;1275-84

  • Extracellular HIV-1 Tat protein induces a rapid and selective activation of protein kinase C (PKC)-alpha, and -epsilon and -zeta isoforms in PC12 cells.

    Borgatti P, Zauli G, Cantley LC and Capitani S

    Division of Signal Transduction, Harvard Institute of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusettes 02115, USA.

    The addition in culture of extracellular HIV-1 Tat protein (0.1-1 nM) to PC12 cells induced a rapid increase of the bulk protein kinase C (PKC) catalytic activity. Among various PKC isoforms (alpha, beta I, beta II, delta, epsilon, eta, theta, and zeta) expressed in PC12 cells, Tat selectively stimulated alpha, epsilon, and zeta, as judged by activities in immunoprecipitates. Activation of these isoforms was suppressed by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein. Moreover, PKC-zeta showed the fastest kinetics of activation in response to Tat, but PKC-alpha and PKC-epsilon showed the highest levels of activation. PKC-alpha activation was accompanied by a rise of intracellular IP3, while the PI 3-kinase inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 suppressed PKC-epsilon activation. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that extracellular Tat shows a cytokine-like activity in PC12 cells, being able to trigger an intracellular signalling cascade which involves PKC-alpha, -epsilon, and -zeta.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1998;242;2;332-7

  • Interaction of wild type and dominant-negative p55PIK regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase with insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling proteins.

    Mothe I, Delahaye L, Filloux C, Pons S, White MF and Van Obberghen E

    Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U145, Nice, France.

    In a first series of experiments done in the yeast two-hybrid system, we investigated the nature of protein-protein interaction between the regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase), p55PIK, and several of its potential signaling partners. The region between the Src homology 2 (SH2) domains of p55PIK bound to the NH2 terminus region of p110alpha, as previously shown for p85alpha. Moreover, we found that the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-IR) bound to p55PIK; the interaction occurred at the receptor tyrosine 1316 and involved both p55PIK SH2 domains. Interaction between p55PIK and IGF-IR was seen not only in the yeast two-hybrid system, but also using in vitro binding and coimmunoprecipitation of lysates from IGF-1 stimulated 293 cells overexpressing p55PIK. Further, IGF-I stimulation of these cells led to tyrosine phosphorylation of p55PIK. In 293 cells association of p55PIK with insulin receptor substrate-1 and with IGF-IR was dependent on PI 3-kinase, since it was increased by wortmannin, an inhibitor of PI 3-kinase. Further, by deleting amino acids 203-217 of p55PIK inter-SH2 domain, we engineered a p55PIK mutant unable to bind to the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI 3-kinase. This mutant had a dominant-negative action on insulin-stimulated glucose transport, since insulin's effect on Glut 4 myc translocation was inhibited in adipocytes expressing mutant p55PIK. Importantly, this dominant-negative mutant was more efficient than wild type p55PIK in associating to IGF-IR and insulin receptor substrate-1 in 293 cells. Taken together, our results show that p55PIK interacts with key elements in the IGF-I signaling pathway, and that these interactions are negatively modulated by PI 3-kinase itself, providing circuitry for regulatory feedback control.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: DK-38712, DK-43808

    Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.) 1997;11;13;1911-23

  • Extracellular HIV-1 Tat protein activates phosphatidylinositol 3- and Akt/PKB kinases in CD4+ T lymphoblastoid Jurkat cells.

    Borgatti P, Zauli G, Colamussi ML, Gibellini D, Previati M, Cantley LL and Capitani S

    Institute of Human Anatomy, University of Ferrara, Italy.

    The biological basis for the pleiotropic activity of extracellular human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 Tat protein on lymphoid T cell survival is not well understood. We have here demonstrated that the addition in culture of 0.1-10 nM Tat protein to 36-h serum-starved lymphoblastoid Jurkat T cells rapidly stimulates the catalytic activity of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-K). The peak of activation was observed 30 min after Tat addition. Extracellular Tat also stimulated the catalytic activity of the Akt/PKB kinase, a major target of PI 3-K lipid products. Pretreatment of serum-starved Jurkat cells with 100 nM wortmannin (WT) or 10 microM LY294002, two unrelated pharmacological inhibitors of PI 3-K, markedly suppressed the catalytic activity of both PI 3-K and Akt/PKB in Jurkat cells. Moreover, at low concentrations (0.1-1 nM), extracellular Tat showed a small but reproducible protection of Jurkat cells from apoptosis induced by serum deprivation (p < 0.05), while the combination of Tat plus 100 nM WT significantly (p < 0.05) increased the percentage of apoptosis with respect to cells left untreated or treated with Tat alone. Taken together, these data suggest that the anti-apoptotic activity of low concentrations of Tat protein on Jurkat cells is mediated by a PI 3-kinase/Akt pathway.

    European journal of immunology 1997;27;11;2805-11

  • Down-regulation of LFA-1-mediated T cell adhesion induced by the HIV envelope glycoprotein gp160 requires phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase activity.

    Mazerolles F, Barbat C and Fischer A

    INSERM U 429, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Maladis, Paris, France. mazerol@ceylan.necker.fr

    Human immunodeficiency virus binds to CD4+ T lymphocyte by the interaction, in part, between its gp120 envelope glycoprotein and the CD4 molecule. We and others have reported that the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3-kinase) is associated with the CD4-p56lck complex and can be activated by various CD4 ligands. In a previous report we showed that the gp160 envelope down-regulates lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1)-dependent adhesion between CD4+ T cells and B cells. This down-regulation was shown to be p56lck-dependent. Here we investigate the role of PI3-kinase in the inhibition of adhesion induced by gp160 binding to CD4. We found that gp160 activates the PI3-kinase of HUT78 CD4+ T cell lines in a way dependent on CD4-p56lck association, since no activation was detected when the interaction between CD4 and p56lck was disrupted. It was also shown, using different inhibitors of the PI3-kinase (wortmannin, Ly294002 and antisense oligonucleotides), that this lipid kinase was necessary for the down-regulation of LFA-1-mediated adhesion induced by gp160. These results strongly suggest that PI3-kinase activation induced by gp160 leads to down-regulation of LFA-1-mediated T cell adhesion to B cells. Inhibition by gp160 of cytoskeleton rearrangement-dependent, anti-CD3-mediated T cell adhesion to B cells was blocked by neutralization of PI3-kinase activity, while inhibition of cytoskeleton rearrangement-independent, Mg(2+)-induced T cell adhesion was not. These results emphasize the role of PI3-kinase in the regulation of cytoskeleton structure. It is proposed that gp160 activates both p56lck and PI3-kinase which lead to a cytoskeleton organization unfavorable for LFA-1 function.

    European journal of immunology 1997;27;9;2457-65

  • Expression of HIV-1 nef decreases basal phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase activity.

    Garcia A

    Groupe de développement cellulaire et unité d'immunologie virale, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.

    CEM lymphoid cells expressing high levels of HIV-1 nef protein displayed a significant decrease in basal phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase (P13-kinase) activity associated with immunoprecipitates with anti-p85 regulatory subunit. In contrast, chronically infected U937 monocytic cells displayed a significant increase in basal P13-kinase activity in cells infected with HIV-1 nef compared to those infected with isogenic HIV-1 nef+. These findings suggest that HIV-1-nef expression is accompanied by a decrease in basal intracellular phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase activity and suggest that P13-kinase could be important for HIV-1 replication. Moreover, wortmannin, a potent in-vitro phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase inhibitor, can inhibit HIV-1 replication in U937 chronically infected cells. Together these results suggest a correlation between P13-kinase activity and HIV-1 replication.

    Comptes rendus de l'Academie des sciences. Serie III, Sciences de la vie 1997;320;6;505-8

  • Role of phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase in cell transformation and control of the actin cytoskeleton by Ras.

    Rodriguez-Viciana P, Warne PH, Khwaja A, Marte BM, Pappin D, Das P, Waterfield MD, Ridley A and Downward J

    Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom.

    The pathways by which mammalian Ras proteins induce cortical actin rearrangement and cause cellular transformation are investigated using partial loss of function mutants of Ras and activated and inhibitory forms of various postulated target enzymes for Ras. Efficient transformation by Ras requires activation of other direct effectors in addition to the MAP kinase kinase kinase Raf and is inhibited by inactivation of the PI 3-kinase pathway. Actin rearrangement correlates with the ability of Ras mutants to activate PI 3-kinase. Inhibition of PI 3-kinase activity blocks Ras induction of membrane ruffling, while activated PI 3-kinase is sufficient to induce membrane ruffling, acting through Rac. The ability of activated Ras to stimulate PI 3-kinase in addition to Raf is therefore important in Ras transformation of mammalian cells and essential in Ras-induced cytoskeletal reorganization.

    Cell 1997;89;3;457-67

  • P110delta, a novel phosphoinositide 3-kinase in leukocytes.

    Vanhaesebroeck B, Welham MJ, Kotani K, Stein R, Warne PH, Zvelebil MJ, Higashi K, Volinia S, Downward J and Waterfield MD

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, 91 Riding House Street, London W1P 8BT, United Kingdom.

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are a family of lipid kinases that have been implicated in signal transduction through tyrosine kinase- and heterotrimeric G-protein-linked receptors. We report herein the cloning and characterization of p110delta, a novel class I PI3K. Like p110alpha and p110beta, other class I PI3Ks, p110delta displays a broad phosphoinositide lipid substrate specificity and interacts with SH2/SH3 domain-containing p85 adaptor proteins and with GTP-bound Ras. In contrast to the widely distributed p110alpha and beta, p110delta is exclusively found in leukocytes. In these cells, p110alpha and delta both associate with the p85alpha and beta adaptor subunits and are similarly recruited to activated signaling complexes after treatment with the cytokines interleukin 3 and 4 and stem cell factor. Thus, these class I PI3Ks appear not to be distinguishable at the level of p85 adaptor selection or recruitment to activated receptor complexes. However, distinct biochemical and structural features of p110delta suggest divergent functional/regulatory capacities for this PI3K. Unlike p110alpha, p110delta does not phosphorylate p85 but instead harbors an intrinsic autophosphorylation capacity. In addition, the p110delta catalytic domain contains unique potential protein-protein interaction modules such as a Pro-rich region and a basic-region leucine-zipper (bZIP)-like domain. Possible selective functions of p110delta in white blood cells are discussed.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1997;94;9;4330-5

  • Cloning and mutagenesis of the p110 alpha subunit of human phosphoinositide 3'-hydroxykinase.

    Stirdivant SM, Ahern J, Conroy RR, Barnett SF, Ledder LM, Oliff A and Heimbrook DC

    Department of Cancer Research, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486, USA.

    Activation of phosphoinositide 3'-hydroxykinase (P13K) is required for mitogenic signal transduction by several growth factors and oncogenes. P13K is a heterodimer consisting of a p85 regulatory subunit and a p110 catalytic subunit. In the current study, we report the cloning and characterization of the p110 alpha catalytic subunit of human P13K. This clone is highly homologous (> 99% amino acid identity) to bovine brain p110 alpha, but contains 10 amino acid differences from the human p110 alpha sequence previously reported. Comparison of this sequence with known Ser/Thr kinases and p110 homologs highlighted several conserved residues within the putative kinase domain. Mutational analysis of these residues (Asp915, (Asp933 + Phe934)) yielded P13K mutants with virtually complete loss of phosphoinositide phosphorylating activity. Expression of the wild-type p110 alpha protein in CHO cells is sufficient to activate the serum response element derived from the promoter of c-fos, an immediate early gene product. In contrast, the catalytically impaired p110 alpha mutants as well as the p85 alpha subunit of P13K were inactive in the fos assay. These studies suggest that the mitogenic signal transduction pathway mediated by P13K is dependent upon the enzymatic activity of the p110 alpha subunit of P13K.

    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 1997;5;1;65-74

  • Extracellular human immunodeficiency virus type-1 Tat protein activates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in PC12 neuronal cells.

    Milani D, Mazzoni M, Borgatti P, Zauli G, Cantley L and Capitani S

    Institute of Human Anatomy, University of Ferrara, 44100 Ferrara, Italy.

    We have here investigated the effect of the regulatory Tat protein of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) on the PI 3-kinase catalytic activity in PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cells. After as early as 1 min from the beginning of the treatment with recombinant HIV-1 Tat protein, a significant increase in the tyrosine phosphorylation levels of the p85 regulatory subunit of PI 3-kinase was noticed in 48 h serum-starved PC12 cells. Moreover, the addition of Tat to PC12 cells induced a great increase in PI 3-kinase immunoprecipitated with an anti-phosphotyrosine antibody with a peak of activity (19-fold increase with respect to the basal levels) after a 15-min treatment. This increase in PI 3-kinase activity was significantly higher in PC12 cell cultures supplemented with Tat protein than in cultures stimulated by 100 ng/ml nerve growth factor (NGF; 8-fold increase with respect to the basal levels). Further experiments showed that Tat protein was able to specifically activate PI 3-kinase at picomolar concentrations. In fact: (i) maximal activation of PI 3-kinase was observed at concentrations as low as 1 ng/ml and was specifically blocked by anti-Tat neutralizing antibody; (ii) a Tat-dependent activation was also observed in experiments in which PI 3-kinase activity was evaluated in either anti-Tyr(P) or anti-p85 immunoprecipitates; (iii) 100 nM wortmannin completely blocked the Tat-mediated increase in PI 3-kinase activity both in vitro and in vivo. Our data strongly support the concept that extracellular Tat acts as a cell stimulator, inducing intracellular signal transduction in uninfected cells.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM41890, R01 GM041890

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;38;22961-4

  • Binding to the platelet-derived growth factor receptor transiently activates the p85alpha-p110alpha phosphoinositide 3-kinase complex in vivo.

    Domin J, Dhand R and Waterfield MD

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, W1P 8BT, United Kingdom.

    Ligand stimulation of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor results in its association with phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity and a corresponding synthesis of 3'-phosphorylated lipids. Early studies that examined this interaction in vivo employed anti-phosphotyrosine antiserum or antiserum against the PDGF receptor. The recent identification of multiple isoforms of both the regulatory and the catalytic subunit of the enzyme have led us to utilize antisera against p85alpha and p110alpha to characterize the association of this particular phosphoinositide 3-kinase complex with the PDGF receptor following ligand stimulation of murine fibroblasts. Both the p85alpha and p110alpha subunits rapidly associated with the ligand-activated receptor resulting in a transient, 2-fold increase in the total pool of p110alpha lipid kinase activity. This association was stable for 15 min after initial stimulation. Subsequently, both subunits began to dissociate from the receptor with similar kinetics. By 60 min this process was complete, demonstrating that p85alpha and p110alpha both associate with the receptor and dissociate from the receptor as a dimeric complex. At this time, marked PDGF receptor down-regulation was observed. Immunoprecipitation from metabolically labeled cells revealed that p85alpha is constitutively phosphorylated on serine residues in quiescent cultures. Upon PDGF stimulation, this phosphorylation upon serine residues was maintained in addition to tyrosine phosphorylation of this subunit. No phosphorylation of the p110alpha subunit was detected in either quiescent or PDGF-stimulated cells. Quantitation of Western blot analysis demonstrated that only 5% of the total pool of p85alpha associated with the PDGF receptor upon ligand stimulation. The 2-fold increase in the lipid kinase activity measured in immunoprecipitates using either anti-p85alpha or anti-p110alpha antiserum therefore reflects a far greater increase in the specific activity of the enzyme upon its association with the PDGF receptor.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;35;21614-21

  • Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase by interaction with Ras and by point mutation.

    Rodriguez-Viciana P, Warne PH, Vanhaesebroeck B, Waterfield MD and Downward J

    Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London.

    We have reported previously that Ras interacts with the catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) in a GTP-dependent manner. The affinity of the interaction of Ras-GTP with p85alpha/p110alpha is shown here to be approximately 150 nM. The site of interaction on the p110alpha and beta isoforms of PI 3-kinase lies between amino acid residues 133 and 314. A point mutation in this region, K227E, blocks the GTP-dependent interaction of PI 3-kinase p110alpha with Ras in vitro and the ability of Ras to activate PI 3-kinase in intact cells. In addition, this mutation elevates the basal activity of PI 3-kinase in intact cells, suggesting a direct influence of the Ras binding site on the catalytic activity of PI 3-kinase. Using an in vitro reconstitution assay, it is shown that the interaction of Ras-GTP, but not Ras-GDP, with PI 3-kinase leads to an increase in its enzymatic activity. This stimulation is synergistic with the effect of tyrosine phosphopeptide binding to p85, particularly at suboptimal peptide concentrations. These data show that PI 3-kinase is regulated by a number of mechanisms, and that Ras contributes to the activation of this lipid kinase synergistically with tyrosine kinases.

    The EMBO journal 1996;15;10;2442-51

  • The HIV-1 nef protein interferes with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation 1.

    Graziani A, Galimi F, Medico E, Cottone E, Gramaglia D, Boccaccio C and Comoglio PM

    Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (IRCC), University of Torino Medical School, 10126 Torino, Italy.

    nef is a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gene encoding a 27-kDa myristoylated protein with structural features of a signal transducing molecule, but whose functions are largely unknown. We studied the interactions of Nef with the signal transduction pathways triggered by the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor. The association of phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase with the activated receptor was severely impaired by nef expression. Conversely, PDGF-induced receptor tyrosine phosphorylation, binding to phospholipase C-gamma and to Ras-GAP were not modified. Microtubule-associated protein kinase activation and intracellular calcium influx in response to PDGF were either unaffected or only slightly enhanced. Nef significantly reduced the proliferative response to the growth factor, while the chemotactic response was unchanged. These data show that Nef affects selectively the PI 3-kinase signaling pathway and suggest that this interference results in some of the HIV adverse effects on host cell functions.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1996;271;12;6590-3

  • p210BCR/ABL induces formation of complexes containing focal adhesion proteins and the protooncogene product p120c-Cbl.

    Salgia R, Sattler M, Pisick E, Li JL and Griffin JD

    Division of Hematologic Malignacies, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115.

    Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is a myeloproliferative disorder caused by the t(9;22) translocation. This translocation creates a unique tyrosine kinase oncogene, bcr/abl, whose product, p210BCR/ABL, is localized to the actin cytoskeleton. One of the major tyrosine phosphoproteins in cells transformed by p210BCR/ABL is the protooncoprotein p120c-Cbl. We have previously shown that p210BCR/ABL induces formation of a multimeric complex of proteins which include p120c-Cbl, phosphotidylinositol-3' kinase, and p210BCR/ABL itself. Here we show that certain focal adhesion proteins are also part of this complex, including paxillin and talin. The sites in paxillin required to bind to p120c-Cbl in this complex have been partially mapped. The interaction of pl20c-Cbl with paxillin is specific, since other focal adhesion proteins, such as p125FAK, vinculin, and alpha-actinin, are not in this complex. The binding of p120c-Cbl to the focal adhesion protein paxillin could contribute to the known adhesive defects of CML cells.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA36167, CA60821

    Experimental hematology 1996;24;2;310-3

  • Molecular cloning, cDNA sequence, and chromosomal localization of the human phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p110 alpha (PIK3CA) gene.

    Volinia S, Hiles I, Ormondroyd E, Nizetic D, Antonacci R, Rocchi M and Waterfield MD

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, United Kingdom.

    Phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase is a heterodimeric enzyme comprising a 110-kDa catalytic subunit and an 85-kDa regulatory subunit that binds to tyrosine phosphopeptide sites linked directly or indirectly to receptors serving diverse signal functions. Knowledge of the structure and function of PI 3-kinase was greatly advanced by the purification, cDNA cloning, and subsequent expression of the bovine enzyme. Here the cloning of the cDNA for the human p110 alpha subunit of PI 3-kinase (PIK3CA), encoding a protein 99% identical to the bovine p110, and of its gene in YAC is described. The chromosomal localization of the gene for PIK3CA is shown to be at 3q21-qter as determined using somatic cell hybrids. In situ hybridization performed using Alu-PCR from the YAC DNA located the gene in 3q26.3.

    Genomics 1994;24;3;472-7

  • Biochemical characterization of the free catalytic p110 alpha and the complexed heterodimeric p110 alpha.p85 alpha forms of the mammalian phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

    Woscholski R, Dhand R, Fry MJ, Waterfield MD and Parker PJ

    Protein Phosphorylation Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom.

    The regulatory (p85 alpha) and catalytic (p110 alpha) subunits of the mammalian phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase have been expressed in insect cells using the baculovirus sytem. The free catalytic subunit p110 alpha and the coexpressed heterodimeric complex of p85 alpha and p110 alpha were purified and their enzymological properties compared. While many kinetic parameters were similar, the coexpressed complex was found to have a 20-fold higher Km for ATP in comparison with the free catalytic subunit p110 alpha using phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate as a substrate; no significant difference was detectable when phosphatidylinositol was used. Reconstitution of the p110 alpha.p85 alpha complex in vitro showed that it had the properties of the free p110 alpha and not the p110 alpha.p85 alpha in vivo complex. Therefore, a post-translational modification dependent upon the presence of the regulatory subunit p85 alpha rather than the physical subunit interaction itself is responsible for the observed properties of the lipid kinase activity of the p110 alpha.p85 alpha complex. Phosphatase treatment of the purified lipid kinase complex reduced the high Km for ATP, suggesting that a phosphorylation of the heterodimeric complex (p85 alpha.p110 alpha) caused this effect. This mode of regulation is discussed in the context of lipid kinase activation in vivo.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1994;269;40;25067-72

  • The activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase by Ras.

    Kodaki T, Woscholski R, Hallberg B, Rodriguez-Viciana P, Downward J and Parker PJ

    Protein Phosphorylation Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.

    Background: Activation of the mammalian phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex can play a critical role in transducing growth factor responses. The lipid kinase complex, which is made up of p85 alpha and p110 alpha regulatory and catalytic subunits, becomes associated with a number of activated receptor protein tyrosine kinases, but the mechanism of its activation has not yet been defined. Recent evidence indicates that Ras can bind to the p85 alpha/p110 alpha complex. We describe here the functional regulation of the mammalian phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex by Ras.

    Results: Expression of p110 alpha, the catalytic subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, has been used to demonstrate an inhibitory effect of p85 alpha on p110 alpha activity in intact cells; inhibition did not result from a decrease in p110 alpha expression. In this cellular context, we have investigated the effect of a constitutively active mutant of Ras, v-Ras, either on p85 alpha or p110 alpha-alone, or on the p85 alpha/p110 alpha complex. In the presence of the p85 alpha/p110 alpha complex, v-Ras suppressed cell growth, but an effector-domain mutant of v-Ras did not. The growth-suppressive effect of v-Ras was not seen for any other combination of expressed proteins. The phenotype induced by v-Ras was consistent with activation of the p85 alpha/p110 alpha complex: it was sensitive to the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, and the cells accumulated 3-phosphorylated polyphosphoinositides. Activation of purified p85 alpha/p110 alpha by purified recombinant Ras in vitro was also demonstrated.

    Conclusions: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase complex, p85 alpha/p110 alpha, shows a suppressed catalytic function in vivo when compared with free p110 alpha. This complex can, however, be activated by Ras. We suggest that the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p85 alpha/p110 alpha complex is a downstream effector of Ras.

    Current biology : CB 1994;4;9;798-806

  • Activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase in Jurkat T cells depends on the presence of the p56lck tyrosine kinase.

    von Willebrand M, Baier G, Couture C, Burn P and Mustelin T

    Division of Cell Biology, Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037.

    Activation of resting T lymphocytes by ligands to the T cell receptor (TcR)/CD3 complex is initiated by phosphorylation of a number of key regulatory proteins on specific tyrosine residues. One such protein is the heterodimeric enzyme phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). We recently found that this enzyme is also rapidly activated following TcR/CD3 triggering and that immunoprecipitated PI3K was activated in vitro by direct tyrosine phosphorylation. Here we show that TcR/CD3-induced tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of PI3K in Jurkat T leukemia cells depend on the presence of the p56lck tyrosine kinase: in a variant of the Jurkat T cell line lacking p56lck, JCaM1, these responses were absent. We also show that p56lck directly activates PI3K purified from transfected COS-1 cells, indicating that other T cell-specific proteins are not required for the process. Finally, tryptic peptide maps show that p56lck phosphorylates three tyrosine residues in the p85 alpha subunit of PI3K and two in p110 of PI3K. Our results suggest that p56lck is required for activation of PI3K in Jurkat T cells and can itself directly activate it by phosphorylating one or several stimulatory sites.

    Funded by: NIGMS NIH HHS: GM-48960

    European journal of immunology 1994;24;1;234-8

  • Phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase and PI 4-kinase binding to the CD4-p56lck complex: the p56lck SH3 domain binds to PI 3-kinase but not PI 4-kinase.

    Prasad KV, Kapeller R, Janssen O, Repke H, Duke-Cohan JS, Cantley LC and Rudd CE

    Division of Tumor Immunology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

    CD4 serves as a receptor for major histocompatibility complex class II antigens and as a receptor for the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) viral coat protein gp120. It is coupled to the protein-tyrosine kinase p56lck, an interaction necessary for an optimal response of certain T cells to antigen. In addition to the protein-tyrosine kinase domain, p56lck possesses Src homology 2 and 3 (SH2 and SH3) domains as well as a unique N-terminal region. The mechanism by which p56lck generates intracellular signals is unclear, although it has the potential to interact with various downstream molecules. One such downstream target is the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase), which has been found to bind to activated pp60src and receptor-tyrosine kinases. In this study, we verified that PI 3-kinase associates with the CD4:p56lck complex as judged by the presence of PI 3-phosphate generated from anti-CD4 immunoprecipitates and detected by high-pressure liquid chromatographic analysis. However, surprisingly, CD4-p56lck was also found to associate with another lipid kinase, phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PI 4-kinase). The level of associated PI 4-kinase was generally higher than PI 3-kinase activity. HIV-1 gp120 and antibody-mediated cross-linking induced a 5- to 10-fold increase in the level of CD4-associated PI 4- and PI 3-kinases. The use of glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins carrying Lck-SH2, Lck-SH3, and Lck-SH2/SH3 domains showed PI 3-kinase binding to the SH3 domain of p56lck, an interaction facilitated by the presence of an adjacent SH2 domain. PI 4-kinase bound to neither the SH2 nor the SH3 domain of p56lck. CD4-p56lck contributes PI 3- and PI 4-kinase to the activation process of T cells and may play a role in HIV-1-induced immune defects.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: NCI CA51887-02; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM 36624, GM 41890, R01 GM041890

    Molecular and cellular biology 1993;13;12;7708-17

  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase: structure and expression of the 110 kd catalytic subunit.

    Hiles ID, Otsu M, Volinia S, Fry MJ, Gout I, Dhand R, Panayotou G, Ruiz-Larrea F, Thompson A, Totty NF et al.

    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London, England.

    Purified bovine brain phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (Pl3-kinase) is composed of 85 kd and 110 kd subunits. The 85 kd subunit (p85 alpha) lacks Pl3-kinase activity and acts as an adaptor, coupling the 110 kd subunit (p110) to activated protein tyrosine kinases. Here the characterization of the p110 subunit is presented. cDNA cloning reveals p110 to be a 1068 aa protein related to Vps34p, a S. cerevisiae protein involved in the sorting of proteins to the vacuole. p110 expressed in insect cells possesses Pl3-kinase activity and associates with p85 alpha into an active p85 alpha-p110 complex that binds the activated colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor. p110 expressed in COS-1 cells is catalytically active only when complexed with p85 alpha.

    Cell 1992;70;3;419-29

  • Purification and characterization of phosphoinositide 3-kinase from rat liver.

    Carpenter CL, Duckworth BC, Auger KR, Cohen B, Schaffhausen BS and Cantley LC

    Department of Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinase was purified 27,000-fold from rat liver. The enzyme was purified by acid precipitation of the cytosol followed by chromatography on DEAE-Sepharose, S-Sepharose, hydroxylapatite, Mono-Q, and Mono-S columns. When analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, the purified phosphoinositide 3-kinase preparation contained an 85-kDa protein and a protein doublet of approximately 110 kDa. The 85- and 110-kDa proteins focus together on native isoelectric focusing gels and are cross-linked by dithiobis(succinylamide propionate), showing that the 110- and 85-kDa proteins are a complex. The apparent size of the native enzyme, as determined by gel filtration, is 190 kDa. The 85-kDa subunit is the same protein previously shown to associate with polyoma virus middle T antigen and the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (Kaplan, D. R., Whitman, M., Schaffhausen, B., Pallas, D. C., White, M., Cantley, L., and Roberts, T. M. (1987) Cell 50, 1021-1029). The two proteins co-migrate on two-dimensional gels; and, using a Western blotting procedure, 32P-labeled middle T antigen specifically blots the 85-kDa protein. The purified enzyme phosphorylates phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate, and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. The apparent Km values for ATP were found to be 60 microM with phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate or phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate as the substrate. The apparent Km for phosphatidyinositol is 60 microM, for phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate is 9 microM, and for phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate is 4 microM. The maximum specific activity using phosphatidylinositol as the substrate is 0.8 mumol/mg/min. The enzyme requires Mg2+ with an optimum of 5 mM. Substitution of Mn2+ for Mg2+ results in only approximately 10% of the Mg2(+)-dependent activity. Physiological calcium concentrations have no effect on the enzyme activity. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase has a broad pH optimum around 7.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA 34722, R01 CA034722; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK 34928; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM 36624, R01 GM041890

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1990;265;32;19704-11

Gene lists (4)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000009 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSD Human orthologues of mouse PSD adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1080
L00000015 G2C Homo sapiens Human NRC Human orthologues of mouse NRC adapted from Collins et al (2006) 186
L00000016 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSP Human orthologues of mouse PSP adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1121
L00000034 G2C Homo sapiens Pocklington H3 Human orthologues of cluster 3 (mouse) from Pocklington et al (2006) 30
© G2C 2014. The Genes to Cognition Programme received funding from The Wellcome Trust and the EU FP7 Framework Programmes:
EUROSPIN (FP7-HEALTH-241498), SynSys (FP7-HEALTH-242167) and GENCODYS (FP7-HEALTH-241995).

Cookies Policy | Terms and Conditions. This site is hosted by Edinburgh University and the Genes to Cognition Programme.