B-Raf Activation Cooperates with PTEN Loss to Drive c-Myc Expression in Advanced Prostate Cancer
ABSTRACT Both the PI3K → Akt → mTOR and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways are often deregulated in prostate tumors with poor prognosis. Here we describe a new genetically engineered mouse model of prostate cancer in which PI3K-Akt-mTOR signaling is activated by inducible disruption of PTEN, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) MAPK signaling is activated by inducible expression of a BRAF(V600E) oncogene. These tissue-specific compound mutant mice develop lethal prostate tumors that are inherently resistant to castration. These tumors bypass cellular senescence and disseminate to lymph nodes, bone marrow, and lungs where they form overt metastases in approximately 30% of the cases. Activation of PI3K → Akt → mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways in these prostate tumors cooperate to upregulate c-Myc. Accordingly, therapeutic treatments with rapamycin and PD0325901 to target these pathways, respectively, attenuate c-Myc levels and reduce tumor and metastatic burden. Together, our findings suggest a generalized therapeutic approach to target c-Myc activation in prostate cancer by combinatorial targeting of the PI3K → Akt → mTOR and ERK1/2 MAPK signaling pathways. Cancer Res; 72(18); 4765-76. ©2012 AACR.
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ABSTRACT: MYCN is a highly conserved transcription factor with multifaceted roles in development and disease. Mutations in MYCN are associated with Feingold syndrome, a developmental disorder characterized in part by congenital heart defects. Mouse models have helped elucidate MYCN functions; however its cardiac-specific roles during development remain unclear. We employed a Cre/loxp strategy to uncover the specific activities of MYCN in the developing mouse myocardium. Myocardial deletion of Mycn resulted in a thin-myocardial wall defect with dramatically reduced trabeculation. The mutant heart defects strongly resemble the phenotype caused by disruption of BMP10 and Neuregulin-1 (NRG1) signaling pathways, two central mediators of myocardial wall development. Our further examination showed that expression of MYCN is regulated by both BMP and NRG1 signaling. The thin-wall defect in mutant hearts is caused by a reduction in both cell proliferation and cell size. MYCN promotes cardiomyocyte proliferation through regulating expression of cell cycle regulators (including CCND1, CCND2, and ID2) and promotes cardiomyocyte growth through regulating expression of p70S6K. In addition, expression of multiple sarcomere proteins is altered in Mycn myocardial-inactivation embryos, indicating its essential role for proper cardiomyocyte differentiation. In summary, Mycn acts downstream of BMP and NRG1 cardiogenic signaling pathways to promote normal myocardial wall morphogenesis.Developmental Biology 10/2012; 373(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.10.005 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: More than 15 years ago, the first generation of genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models of prostate cancer was introduced. These transgenic models utilized prostate-specific promoters to express SV40 oncogenes specifically in prostate epithelium. Since the description of these initial models, there have been a plethora of GEM models of prostate cancer representing various perturbations of oncogenes or tumor suppressors, either alone or in combination. This review describes these GEM models, focusing on their relevance for human prostate cancer and highlighting their strengths and limitations, as well as opportunities for the future.CANCER AND METASTASIS REVIEW 11/2012; 32(1-2). DOI:10.1007/s10555-012-9409-1 · 7.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Expression of Sprouty genes is frequently decreased or absent in human prostate cancer, implicating them as suppressors of tumorigenesis. Here we show they function in prostate tumor suppression in the mouse. Concomitant inactivation of Spry1 and Spry2 in prostate epithelium causes ductal hyperplasia and low-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). However, when Spry1 and Spry2 loss-of-function occurs in the context of heterozygosity for a null allele of the tumor suppressor gene Pten, there is a striking increase in PIN and evidence of neoplastic invasion. Conversely, expression of a Spry2 gain-of-function transgene in Pten null prostatic epithelium suppresses the tumorigenic effects of loss of Pten function. We show that Sprouty gene loss-of-function results in hyperactive RAS/ERK1/2 signaling throughout the prostate epithelium and cooperates with heterozygosity for a Pten null allele to promote hyperactive PI3K/AKT signaling. Furthermore, Spry2 gain-of-function can suppress hyperactivation of AKT caused by the absence of PTEN. Together, these results point to a key genetic interaction between Sprouty genes and Pten in prostate tumorigenesis and provide strong evidence that Sprouty genes can function to modulate signaling via the RAS/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT pathways. The finding that Sprouty genes suppress tumorigenesis caused by Pten loss-of-function suggests that therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring normal feedback mechanisms triggered by receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, including Sprouty gene expression, may provide an effective strategy to delay or prevent high-grade PIN and invasive prostate cancer.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2012; 109(49). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1217204109 · 9.81 Impact Factor