Axl-dependent signalling: A clinical update

Department of Medicine, Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Clinical Science (Impact Factor: 5.63). 04/2012; 122(8):361-8. DOI: 10.1042/CS20110411
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Axl is a receptor tyrosine kinase that was originally cloned from cancer cells. Axl belongs to the TAM (Tyro3, Axl and Mertk) family of receptor tyrosine kinases. Gas6 (growth-arrest-specific protein 6) is a ligand for Axl. Activation of Axl protects cells from apoptosis, and increases migration, aggregation and growth through multiple downstream pathways. Up-regulation of the Gas6/Axl pathway is more evident in pathological conditions compared with normal physiology. Recent advances in Axl receptor biology are summarized in the present review. The emphasis is given to translational aspects of Axl-dependent signalling under pathological conditions. In particular, inhibition of Axl reduces tumorigenesis and prevents metastasis as well. Axl-dependent signals are important for the progression of cardiovascular diseases. In contrast, deficiency of Axl in innate immune cells contributes to the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders. Current challenges in Axl biology are related to the functional interactions of Axl with other members of the TAM family or other tyrosine kinases, mechanisms of ligand-independent activation, inactivation of the receptor and cell-cell interactions (with respect to immune cells) in chronic diseases.

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    • "AXL was originally cloned from patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia and, when overexpressed, it exhibits transforming potential [33]. AXL overexpression has been reported in a variety of human cancers, being associated with tumor invasiveness and metastasis [35] [36] [37] [38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) targeted therapy has been explored for glioblastoma treatment. However, it is unclear which RTK inhibitors are the most effective and there are no predictive biomarkers available. We recently identified the RTK AXL as a putative target for the pan-RTK inhibitors cediranib and sunitinib, which are under clinical trials for glioblastoma patients. Here, we provide evidence that AXL activity can modulate sunitinib response in glioblastoma cell lines. We found that AXL knockdown conferred lower sensitivity to sunitinib by rescuing migratory defects and inhibiting apoptosis in cells expressing high AXL basal levels. Accordingly, overactivation of AXL by its ligand GAS6 rendered AXL positive glioblastoma cells more sensitive to sunitinib. AXL knockdown induced a cellular rewiring of several growth signaling pathways through activation of RTKs, such as EGFR, as well as intracellular pathways such as MAPK and AKT. The combination of sunitinib with a specific AKT inhibitor reverted the resistance of AXL-silenced cells to sunitinib. Together, our results suggest that sunitinib inhibits AXL and AXL activation status modulates therapy response of glioblastoma cells to sunitinib. Moreover, it indicates that combining sunitinib therapy with AKT pathway inhibitors could overcome sunitinib resistance.
    Experimental Cell Research 01/2015; 332(1). DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2015.01.009 · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    • "The Axl/PI3K pathway inhibits apoptosis in cells through several mechanisms, particularly Akt active to S6K and BCL2, an anti-apoptotic factor. It also inhibits the pro-apoptotic effect of caspase 3 and the phosphorylate enhancer nuclear factor kappalight-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NFkB ), which also increases the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL [82]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The development of miRNA-based therapeutics represents a new strategy in cancer treatment. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the differential expression of microRNAs in gallbladder cancer (GBC) and to assess the functional role of miR-1 and miR-145 in GBC cell behavior. A profile of miRNA expression was determined using Dharmacon(TM) microarray technology. Differential expression of five microRNAs was validated by TaqMan reverse transcription quantitative-PCR in a separate cohort of 8 tumors and 3 non-cancerous samples. Then, we explored the functional role of miR-1 and miR-145 in tumor cell behavior by ectopic in vitro expression in the GBC NOZ cell line. Several miRNAs were found to be aberrantly expressed in GBC; most of these showed a significantly decreased expression compared to non-neoplastic tissues (Q value < 0.05). The differential expression of 7 selected miRNAs was confirmed by real time PCR. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that the most deregulated miRNAs (miR-1, miR-133, miR-143 and miR-145) collectively targeted a number of genes belonging to signaling pathways such as TGF-β, ErbB3, WNT and VEGF, and those regulating cell motility or adhesion. The ectopic expression of miR-1 and miR-145 in NOZ cells significantly inhibited cell viability and colony formation (P < 0.01) and reduced gene expression of VEGF-A and AXL. This study represents the first investigation of the miRNA expression profile in gallbladder cancer, and our findings showed that several miRNAs are deregulated in this neoplasm. In vitro functional assays suggest that miR-1 and miR-145 act as tumor suppressor microRNAs in GBC.
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    ABSTRACT: Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are cell-surface transmembrane receptors that contain regulated kinase activity within their cytoplasmic domain and play a critical role in signal transduction in both normal and malignant cells. Besides B cell receptor (BCR) signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), multiple RTKs have been reported to be constitutively active in CLL B cells, resulting in enhanced survival and resistance to apoptosis of the leukemic cells induced by chemotherapeutic agents. In addition to increased plasma levels of various types of cytokines/growth factors in CLL, we and others have detected that CLL B cells spontaneously produce multiple cytokines in vitro which may constitute an autocrine loop of RTK activation on the leukemic B cells. Moreover, aberrant expression and activation of non-RTKs, for example, Src/Syk kinases, induce resistance of the leukemic B cells to therapy. Based on current available knowledge, we detailed the impact of aberrant activities of various RTKs/non-RTKs on CLL B cell survival and the potential of using these signaling components as future therapeutic targets in CLL therapy.
    Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 01/2013; 792:215-39. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-8051-8_10 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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