AKT1

Gene Summary

Gene:AKT1; v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1
Aliases: AKT, PKB, RAC, CWS6, PRKBA, PKB-ALPHA, RAC-ALPHA
Location:14q32.32
Summary:The serine-threonine protein kinase encoded by the AKT1 gene is catalytically inactive in serum-starved primary and immortalized fibroblasts. AKT1 and the related AKT2 are activated by platelet-derived growth factor. The activation is rapid and specific, and it is abrogated by mutations in the pleckstrin homology domain of AKT1. It was shown that the activation occurs through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. In the developing nervous system AKT is a critical mediator of growth factor-induced neuronal survival. Survival factors can suppress apoptosis in a transcription-independent manner by activating the serine/threonine kinase AKT1, which then phosphorylates and inactivates components of the apoptotic machinery. Mutations in this gene have been associated with the Proteus syndrome. Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 March, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 17 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Breast CancerAKT1 and Breast Cancer View Publications344
Lung CancerAKT1 and Lung Cancer View Publications204
Skin CancerAKT1 and Skin Cancer View Publications50
Soft Tissue SarcomaAKT1 and Sarcoma View Publications43
Bladder CancerAKT1 and Bladder Cancer View Publications27
Cervical CancerAKT1 and Cervical Cancer View Publications17
Cowden SyndromeOccasional AKT1 mutations in Cowden Syndrome
Orloff et al (2013) reported 2 patients with AKT1 mutations out of a series of 91 Cowden Syndrome patients without PTEN mutations. PTEN antagonizes the AKT1/PI3K signaling pathway and has roles in cell cycle, migration, cell polarity, and apoptosis.
View Publications17

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: AKT1 (cancer-related)

Pasqualetti F, Bocci G, Mey V, et al.
Akt1 rs2498801 is related to survival in head and neck squamous cell cancer treated with radiotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(1):269-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Radiotherapy (RT) with or without chemotherapy (CT) plays an important role as exclusive treatment in patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). Unfortunately, in some cases, benefit for patients is not recorded and only treatment-related complications are registered.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data relating to Akt1 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and response to treatment of 46 patients treated with exclusive RT or RT-CT for HNSCC were evaluated.
RESULTS: For heterozygous patients median overall survival was 28.5 months, while for the wild-type group median overall survival was 10.9 (p=0.019). Three-year survival was 85% for mutated Akt1 homozygosis and 40% for patients with a heterozygous status (p=0.019, hazard ratio (HR)=7.960).
CONCLUSION: SNP of rs2498804 can recognize patients resistant to RT-CT. Further studies are needed to confirm our data and to investigate the role of Akt SNPs in HNSCC patients.

Priolo C, Pyne S, Rose J, et al.
AKT1 and MYC induce distinctive metabolic fingerprints in human prostate cancer.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(24):7198-204 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Cancer cells may overcome growth factor dependence by deregulating oncogenic and/or tumor-suppressor pathways that affect their metabolism, or by activating metabolic pathways de novo with targeted mutations in critical metabolic enzymes. It is unknown whether human prostate tumors develop a similar metabolic response to different oncogenic drivers or a particular oncogenic event results in its own metabolic reprogramming. Akt and Myc are arguably the most prevalent driving oncogenes in prostate cancer. Mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling was performed on immortalized human prostate epithelial cells transformed by AKT1 or MYC, transgenic mice driven by the same oncogenes under the control of a prostate-specific promoter, and human prostate specimens characterized for the expression and activation of these oncoproteins. Integrative analysis of these metabolomic datasets revealed that AKT1 activation was associated with accumulation of aerobic glycolysis metabolites, whereas MYC overexpression was associated with dysregulated lipid metabolism. Selected metabolites that differentially accumulated in the MYC-high versus AKT1-high tumors, or in normal versus tumor prostate tissue by untargeted metabolomics, were validated using absolute quantitation assays. Importantly, the AKT1/MYC status was independent of Gleason grade and pathologic staging. Our findings show how prostate tumors undergo a metabolic reprogramming that reflects their molecular phenotypes, with implications for the development of metabolic diagnostics and targeted therapeutics.

Shen G, Rong X, Zhao J, et al.
MicroRNA-105 suppresses cell proliferation and inhibits PI3K/AKT signaling in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Carcinogenesis. 2014; 35(12):2748-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
A growing amount of evidence supports that microRNA (miRNA) dysregulation is involved in cancer progression by directly downregulating multiple targets. Elucidating the underlying mechanism of miRNA in carcinogenesis may improve diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for malignancy. In the current study, we found that miR-105 expression was markedly downregulated in both hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines and clinical HCC tissues, compared with normal human hepatocyte and adjacent non-cancerous tissues, respectively. Ectopic miR-105 expression suppressed, whereas inhibiting miR-105 promoted the proliferation and tumorigenicity of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-105 could deactivated the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathway by downregulating insulin receptor substrate-1, 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 and AKT1 directly, resulting in increasing cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors 1A and 1B (p21(Cip1) and p27(Kip1)) and decreasing cyclin D1 expression in HCC. Therefore, our results suggest that miR-105 functions as a potential tumor suppressor by inhibiting the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and might represent a potential therapeutic target for HCC patients.

Nummela P, Saarinen L, Thiel A, et al.
Genomic profile of pseudomyxoma peritonei analyzed using next-generation sequencing and immunohistochemistry.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(5):E282-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) is a relatively rare clinical syndrome characterized by neoplastic epithelial cells growing in the peritoneal cavity and secreting mucinous ascites. Our aim was to explore the molecular events behind this fatal but under-investigated disease. We extracted DNA from 19 appendix-derived PMP tumors and nine corresponding normal tissues, and analyzed the mutational hotspot areas of 48 cancer-related genes by amplicon-based next-generation sequencing (NGS). Further, we analyzed the protein expression of V600E mutated BRAF, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and p53 from a larger set of PMP tumors (n = 74) using immunohistochemistry. With NGS, we detected activating somatic KRAS mutations in all of the tumors studied. GNAS was mutated in 63% of the tumors with no marked difference between low-grade and high-grade tumors. Only one (5.3%) tumor showed oncogenic PIK3CA mutation, one showed oncogenic AKT1 mutation, three (15.8%) showed SMAD4 mutations and none showed an APC mutation. P53 protein was aberrantly expressed in higher proportion of high-grade tumors as compared with low-grade ones (31.3 vs. 7.1%, respectively; p = 0.012) and aberrant expression was an independent factor for reduced overall survival (p = 0.002). BRAF V600E mutation was only found in one (1.4%) high-grade tumor by immunohistochemistry (n = 74). All the studied tumors expressed mismatch repair proteins MLH1, MSH2 and MSH6. Our results indicate that KRAS mutations are evident in all and GNAS mutations in most of the PMPs, but BRAF V600E, PIK3CA and APC mutations are rare. Aberrantly expressed p53 is associated with high-grade histology and reduced survival.

Boland JM, Wampfler JA, Jang JS, et al.
Pulmonary adenocarcinoma with signet ring cell features: a comprehensive study from 3 distinct patient cohorts.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(12):1681-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Comprehensive biological characteristics of pulmonary adenocarcinomas with signet ring cell features (SRC⁺) are not well known. Herein, we systematically evaluated clinical and molecular features of SRC⁺ cases with particular attention to smoking status. Surgically treated lung adenocarcinomas (n=763) with follow-up ≥5 years in 3 cohorts were reviewed: all patients in 2006 to 2007 ("all-comers," n=222; 168 ever-smokers), a never-smoker cohort (n=266), and a cohort of ever-smokers (n=275). SRC⁺ tumors had ≥10% of SRCs agreed by 2 pathologists. SRC⁺ cases were tested for rearrangement of ALK and ROS1, as well as 187 known mutations in 10 oncogenes including EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, ERBB2, JAK2, AKT1, AKT2, KIT, MET, and PIK3CA. Overall, 53 of 763 cases (7%) were SRC⁺. In the 2006 to 2007 "all comer" cohort, 9% were SRC⁺. In the never-smoker cohort, 9% were SRC⁺. In the smoker cohort, 3% were SRC⁺. Univariable analysis showed that SRC⁺ never-smokers had shorter overall and disease-free survival (P=0.006 and 0.0004, respectively), but the significance faded in the multivariable analysis. For the other 2 cohorts, crude 5-year survival was decreased by 6% to 27% in SRC⁺ cases without reaching statistical significance. In SRC⁺ tumors, KRAS mutation was most common (29%), followed by ALK (26%), EGFR (18%), ROS1 (6%), BRAF (6%), and PIK3CA (3%). In summary, SRC⁺ tumors in never-smokers had a worse survival by univariable analysis only. SRC⁺ cases seemed enriched for ALK⁺ and ROS1⁺, and other mutations were generally in keeping with the patient's smoking status.

Doldo E, Costanza G, Ferlosio A, et al.
CRBP-1 expression in ovarian cancer: a potential therapeutic target.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(7):3303-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Cellular retinol binding protein-1 regulates retinol bioavailability and contributes to cell differentiation maintenance, but its role in ovarian carcinogenesis remains uncertain. We investigated CRBP-1 expression in ovarian tumors and CRBP-1 signaling-regulated pathways.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed immunohistochemistry, methylation-specific PCR, gene copy number analysis in ovarian tumors and proliferation/apoptosis evaluation, gene array, blot and real-time PCR in CRBP-1-transfected A2780 ovarian cancer cells.
RESULTS: CRBP-1 expression was reduced or absent in G2 and G3 ovarian carcinomas. CRBP-1 silencing in 60% of G2 and 66.7% of G3 carcinomas was due to CRBP-1 promoter methylation. A2780 CRBP-1-transfected cells showed increased retinol-induced apoptosis, retinoid-induced reduced clonogenicity and down-regulation of proliferation and transcription genes, including AKT1, AKT3, EGFR, FOS, JUN, STAT1 and STAT5A.
CONCLUSION: CRBP-1 loss in G2/G3 ovarian carcinomas and increased apoptotic susceptibility to retinoids in CRBP-1-transfected-A2780 cells suggest CRBP-1 screening as a target to ensure efficacy of an adjuvant retinoid therapy.

Dumble M, Crouthamel MC, Zhang SY, et al.
Discovery of novel AKT inhibitors with enhanced anti-tumor effects in combination with the MEK inhibitor.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e100880 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
Tumor cells upregulate many cell signaling pathways, with AKT being one of the key kinases to be activated in a variety of malignancies. GSK2110183 and GSK2141795 are orally bioavailable, potent inhibitors of the AKT kinases that have progressed to human clinical studies. Both compounds are selective, ATP-competitive inhibitors of AKT 1, 2 and 3. Cells treated with either compound show decreased phosphorylation of several substrates downstream of AKT. Both compounds have desirable pharmaceutical properties and daily oral dosing results in a sustained inhibition of AKT activity as well as inhibition of tumor growth in several mouse tumor models of various histologic origins. Improved kinase selectivity was associated with reduced effects on glucose homeostasis as compared to previously reported ATP-competitive AKT kinase inhibitors. In a diverse cell line proliferation screen, AKT inhibitors showed increased potency in cell lines with an activated AKT pathway (via PI3K/PTEN mutation or loss) while cell lines with activating mutations in the MAPK pathway (KRAS/BRAF) were less sensitive to AKT inhibition. Further investigation in mouse models of KRAS driven pancreatic cancer confirmed that combining the AKT inhibitor, GSK2141795 with a MEK inhibitor (GSK2110212; trametinib) resulted in an enhanced anti-tumor effect accompanied with greater reduction in phospho-S6 levels. Taken together these results support clinical evaluation of the AKT inhibitors in cancer, especially in combination with MEK inhibitor.

Soeda H, Shimodaira H, Gamoh M, et al.
Phase II trial of cetuximab plus irinotecan for oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy-refractory patients with advanced and/or metastatic colorectal cancer: evaluation of efficacy and safety based on KRAS mutation status (T-CORE0801).
Oncology. 2014; 87(1):7-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Mutations in the KRAS gene have been identified as negative predictors of response to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody therapy by patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). However, it has been based on the study of mainly Caucasian mCRC patients. This prospective study investigated the relationship between the mutation status of EGFR-related genes including KRAS and the response rate (RR) to cetuximab plus irinotecan therapy in Japanese mCRC patients.
METHODS: Samples taken from 43 chemotherapy-refractory mCRC patients who had undergone cetuximab plus irinotecan therapy at 11 medical centers in Japan were subjected to direct DNA sequencing to determine the KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, and AKT1 mutation status. The clinical outcome after the treatment was evaluated for each mutation status.
RESULTS: KRAS mutations were detected in 31.7% of 41 eligible patients. The RR to cetuximab plus irinotecan therapy was found to be 17.9 and 0% in the KRAS wild-type and mutant subgroups, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Despite the identification of a lower-than-expected RR to treatment by the KRAS wild-type subgroup, KRAS mutation status appears to be a useful predictive marker of response to cetuximab plus irinotecan therapy in Japanese mCRC patients.

Akamatsu H, Koh Y, Kenmotsu H, et al.
Multiplexed molecular profiling of lung cancer using pleural effusion.
J Thorac Oncol. 2014; 9(7):1048-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Pleural effusion is frequently observed in patients with advanced lung cancer. Although effusion can be obtained less invasively and repeatedly, its use in multiplexed molecular profiling has not been fully investigated.
METHODS: Between July 2011 and April 2013, pleural effusion samples were obtained from patients with lung cancer at Shizuoka Cancer Center. They were analyzed for EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, MEK1, AKT1, PTEN, and HER2 mutations, EGFR, MET, FGFR1, FGFR2, and PIK3CA amplifications, and ALK, ROS1, and RET fusion genes using pyrosequensing and/or capillary electrophoresis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, respectively.
RESULTS: One hundred and two samples from 84 patients were analyzed. Adenocarcinoma was the most common histological subtype (82%). Genetic abnormalities were detected in 42% of patients. The most common abnormality was EGFR mutation (29%), followed by EML4-ALK rearrangement (5%), KRAS mutation, and EGFR amplification (4%, each). Concordance rates between pleural effusion and matched formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded samples were 88%. Among 11 patients who provided samples at multiple time points, changes in molecular profile over the course of treatment were observed in five patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of pleural effusion for multiplexed molecular testing and real-time monitoring in lung cancer was demonstrated.

Wheler JJ, Moulder SL, Naing A, et al.
Anastrozole and everolimus in advanced gynecologic and breast malignancies: activity and molecular alterations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(10):3029-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Since PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway activation diminishes the effects of hormone therapy, combining aromatase inhibitors (anatrozole) with mTOR inhibitors (everolimus) was investigated.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated anastrozole and everolimus in 55 patients with metastatic estrogen (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR)-positive breast and gynecologic tumors. Endpoints were safety, antitumor activity and molecular correlates.
RESULTS: Full doses of anastrozole (1 mg PO daily) and everolimus (10 mg PO daily) were well tolerated. Twelve of 50 evaluable patients (24%) (median = 3 prior therapies) achieved stable disease (SD) ≥ 6 months/partial response (PR)/complete response (CR) (n = 5 (10%) with PR/CR): 9 of 32 (28%) with breast cancer (n=5 (16%) with PR/CR); 2 of 10 (20%), ovarian cancer; and 1 of 6 (17%), endometrial cancer. Six of 22 patients (27%) with molecular alterations in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway achieved SD ≥ 6 months/PR/CR. Six of 8 patients (75%) with SD ≥ 6 months/PR/CR with molecular testing demonstrated at least one alteration in the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway: mutations in PIK3CA (n=3) and AKT1 (n=1) or PTEN loss (n=3). All three responders (CR (n = 1); PR (n=2)) who had next generation sequencing demonstrated additional alterations: amplifications in CCNE1, IRS2, MCL1, CCND1, FGFR1 and MYC and a rearrangement in PRKDC.
CONCLUSIONS: Combination anastrozole and everolimus is well tolerated at full approved doses, and is active in heavily-pretreated patients with ER and/or PR-positive breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. Responses were observed in patients with multiple molecular aberrations. CLINICAL TRAILS INCLUDED: NCT01197170.

Wang L, Yamaguchi S, Burstein MD, et al.
Novel somatic and germline mutations in intracranial germ cell tumours.
Nature. 2014; 511(7508):241-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intracranial germ cell tumours (IGCTs) are a group of rare heterogeneous brain tumours that are clinically and histologically similar to the more common gonadal GCTs. IGCTs show great variation in their geographical and gender distribution, histological composition and treatment outcomes. The incidence of IGCTs is historically five- to eightfold greater in Japan and other East Asian countries than in Western countries, with peak incidence near the time of puberty. About half of the tumours are located in the pineal region. The male-to-female incidence ratio is approximately 3-4:1 overall, but is even higher for tumours located in the pineal region. Owing to the scarcity of tumour specimens available for research, little is currently known about this rare disease. Here we report the analysis of 62 cases by next-generation sequencing, single nucleotide polymorphism array and expression array. We find the KIT/RAS signalling pathway frequently mutated in more than 50% of IGCTs, including novel recurrent somatic mutations in KIT, its downstream mediators KRAS and NRAS, and its negative regulator CBL. Novel somatic alterations in the AKT/mTOR pathway included copy number gains of the AKT1 locus at 14q32.33 in 19% of patients, with corresponding upregulation of AKT1 expression. We identified loss-of-function mutations in BCORL1, a transcriptional co-repressor and tumour suppressor. We report significant enrichment of novel and rare germline variants in JMJD1C, which codes for a histone demethylase and is a coactivator of the androgen receptor, among Japanese IGCT patients. This study establishes a molecular foundation for understanding the biology of IGCTs and suggests potentially promising therapeutic strategies focusing on the inhibition of KIT/RAS activation and the AKT1/mTOR pathway.

Wee JS, Mortimer PS, Lindhurst MJ, et al.
A limited form of proteus syndrome with bilateral plantar cerebriform collagenomas and varicose veins secondary to a mosaic AKT1 mutation.
JAMA Dermatol. 2014; 150(9):990-3 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Proteus syndrome is an extremely rare disorder of mosaic postnatal overgrowth affecting multiple tissues including bone, soft tissue, and skin. It typically manifests in early childhood with asymmetric and progressive skeletal overgrowth that leads to severe distortion of the skeleton and disability. The genetic basis has recently been identified as a somatic activating mutation in the AKT1 gene, which encodes an enzyme mediating cell proliferation and apoptosis.
OBSERVATIONS: We present a 33-year-old man who developed plantar cerebriform collagenomas on the soles of both feet and varicose veins in early childhood, in the absence of any skeletal or other connective tissue abnormality. Although the patient did not meet the diagnostic criteria for Proteus syndrome, he was found to have the c.49G>A, p.Glu17Lys AKT1 mutation in lesional skin but not in his blood.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: To our knowledge, this is the mildest molecularly confirmed case of Proteus syndrome, occurring in the absence of the characteristic skeletal overgrowth. These findings extend the spectrum of Proteus syndrome pathological characteristics and suggest that somatic mutations late in development and restricted in distribution cause subtle clinical presentations that do not meet the published clinical criteria.

Kris MG, Johnson BE, Berry LD, et al.
Using multiplexed assays of oncogenic drivers in lung cancers to select targeted drugs.
JAMA. 2014; 311(19):1998-2006 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
IMPORTANCE: Targeting oncogenic drivers (genomic alterations critical to cancer development and maintenance) has transformed the care of patients with lung adenocarcinomas. The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium was formed to perform multiplexed assays testing adenocarcinomas of the lung for drivers in 10 genes to enable clinicians to select targeted treatments and enroll patients into clinical trials.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency of oncogenic drivers in patients with lung adenocarcinomas and to use the data to select treatments targeting the identified driver(s) and measure survival.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: From 2009 through 2012, 14 sites in the United States enrolled patients with metastatic lung adenocarcinomas and a performance status of 0 through 2 and tested their tumors for 10 drivers. Information was collected on patients, therapies, and survival.
INTERVENTIONS: Tumors were tested for 10 oncogenic drivers, and results were used to select matched targeted therapies.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Determination of the frequency of oncogenic drivers, the proportion of patients treated with genotype-directed therapy, and survival.
RESULTS: From 2009 through 2012, tumors from 1007 patients were tested for at least 1 gene and 733 for 10 genes (patients with full genotyping). An oncogenic driver was found in 466 of 733 patients (64%). Among these 733 tumors, 182 tumors (25%) had the KRAS driver; sensitizing EGFR, 122 (17%); ALK rearrangements, 57 (8%); other EGFR, 29 (4%); 2 or more genes, 24 (3%); ERBB2 (formerly HER2), 19 (3%); BRAF, 16 (2%); PIK3CA, 6 (<1%); MET amplification, 5 (<1%); NRAS, 5 (<1%); MEK1, 1 (<1%); AKT1, 0. Results were used to select a targeted therapy or trial in 275 of 1007 patients (28%). The median survival was 3.5 years (interquartile range [IQR], 1.96-7.70) for the 260 patients with an oncogenic driver and genotype-directed therapy compared with 2.4 years (IQR, 0.88-6.20) for the 318 patients with any oncogenic driver(s) who did not receive genotype-directed therapy (propensity score-adjusted hazard ratio, 0.69 [95% CI, 0.53-0.9], P = .006).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Actionable drivers were detected in 64% of lung adenocarcinomas. Multiplexed testing aided physicians in selecting therapies. Although individuals with drivers receiving a matched targeted agent lived longer, randomized trials are required to determine if targeting therapy based on oncogenic drivers improves survival.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01014286.

Sun CK, Zhang F, Xiang T, et al.
Phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 confers PARP inhibitor resistance in BRCA1-deficient cancers.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(10):3375-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is a promising therapeutic strategy for BRCA1 deficient cancers, however, the development of drug resistance limits clinical efficacy. Previously we found that the BRCA1-AKT1 pathway contributes to tumorigenesis and that the AKT1/mTOR is a novel therapeutic target for BRCA1-deficient cancers. Here, we report that phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6, a mTOR downstream effector, is greatly increased in BRCA1 deficient cells resistant to PARP inhibition. Phosphorylation of S6 is associated with DNA damage and repair signaling during PARP inhibitor treatment. In BRCA1 deficient cells, expression of S6 lacking all five phosphorylatable sites renders the cells sensitive to PARP inhibitor and increases DNA damage signals. In addition, the S6 mutations reduce tumor formation induced by Brca1-deficiency in mice. Inhibition of S6 phosphorylation by rapamycin restores PARP sensitivity to resistant cells. Combined treatment with rapamycin and PARP inhibitor effectively suppresses BRCA1-deficient tumor growth in mice. These results provide evidence for a novel mechanism by which BRCA1 deficient cancers acquire drug resistance and suggest a new therapeutic strategy to circumvent resistance.

Liu X, Mody K, de Abreu FB, et al.
Molecular profiling of appendiceal epithelial tumors using massively parallel sequencing to identify somatic mutations.
Clin Chem. 2014; 60(7):1004-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Some epithelial neoplasms of the appendix, including low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm and adenocarcinoma, can result in pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP). Little is known about the mutational spectra of these tumor types and whether mutations may be of clinical significance with respect to therapeutic selection. In this study, we identified somatic mutations using the Ion Torrent AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel v2.
METHODS: Specimens consisted of 3 nonneoplastic retention cysts/mucocele, 15 low-grade mucinous neoplasms (LAMNs), 8 low-grade/well-differentiated mucinous adenocarcinomas with pseudomyxoma peritonei, and 12 adenocarcinomas with/without goblet cell/signet ring cell features. Barcoded libraries were prepared from up to 10 ng of extracted DNA and multiplexed on single 318 chips for sequencing. Data analysis was performed using Golden Helix SVS. Variants that remained after the analysis pipeline were individually interrogated using the Integrative Genomics Viewer.
RESULTS: A single Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) mutation was detected in the mucocele group. Eight mutations were identified in the V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and GNAS complex locus (GNAS) genes among LAMN samples. Additional gene mutations were identified in the AKT1 (v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1), APC (adenomatous polyposis coli), JAK3, MET (met proto-oncogene), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PIK3CA), RB1 (retinoblastoma 1), STK11 (serine/threonine kinase 11), and tumor protein p53 (TP53) genes. Among the PMPs, 6 mutations were detected in the KRAS gene and also in the GNAS, TP53, and RB1 genes. Appendiceal cancers showed mutations in the APC, ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated), KRAS, IDH1 [isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (NADP+)], NRAS [neuroblastoma RAS viral (v-ras) oncogene homolog], PIK3CA, SMAD4 (SMAD family member 4), and TP53 genes.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest molecular heterogeneity among epithelial tumors of the appendix. Next generation sequencing efforts have identified mutational spectra in several subtypes of these tumors that may suggest a phenotypic heterogeneity showing mutations that are relevant for targeted therapies.

Kohsaka S, Shukla N, Ameur N, et al.
A recurrent neomorphic mutation in MYOD1 defines a clinically aggressive subset of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma associated with PI3K-AKT pathway mutations.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(6):595-600 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of skeletal muscle lineage, is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children. Major subtypes of rhabdomyosarcoma include alveolar (ARMS) and embryonal (ERMS) tumors. Whereas ARMS tumors typically contain translocations generating PAX3-FOXO1 or PAX7-FOXO1 fusions that block terminal myogenic differentiation, no functionally comparable genetic event has been found in ERMS tumors. Here we report the discovery, through whole-exome sequencing, of a recurrent somatic mutation encoding p.Leu122Arg in the myogenic transcription factor MYOD1 in a distinct subset of ERMS tumors with poor outcomes that also often contain mutations altering PI3K-AKT pathway components. Previous mutagenesis studies had shown that MYOD1 with a p.Leu122Arg substitution can block wild-type MYOD1 function and bind to MYC consensus sequences, suggesting a possible switch from differentiation to proliferation. Our functional data now confirm this prediction. Thus, MYOD1 p.Leu122Arg defines a subset of rhabdomyosarcomas eligible for high-risk protocols and the development of targeted therapeutics.

Wu Y, Kim J, Elshimali Y, et al.
Activation of Akt1 accelerates carcinogen-induced tumorigenesis in mammary gland of virgin and post-lactating transgenic mice.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:266 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Data from in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that activation of Akt regulates cell survival signaling and plays a key role in tumorigenesis. Hence, transgenic mice were created to explore the oncogenic role of Akt1 in the development of mammary tumors.
METHODS: The transgenic mice were generated by expressing myristoylated-Akt1 (myr-Akt1) under the control of the MMTV-LTR promoter. The carcinogen 7, 12 dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene (DMBA) was used to induce tumor formation.
RESULTS: The MMTV driven myr-Akt1 transgene expression was detected primarily in the mammary glands, uterus, and ovaries. The expression level increased significantly in lactating mice, suggesting that the response was hormone dependent. The total Akt expression level in the mammary gland was also higher in the lactating mice. Interestingly, the expression of MMTVmyr-Akt1 in the ovaries of the transgenic mice caused significant increase in circulating estrogen levels, even at the post-lactation stage. Expression of myr-Akt1 in mammary glands alone did not increase the frequency of tumor formation. However, there was an increased susceptibility of forming mammary tumors induced by DMBA in the transgenic mice, especially in mice post-lactation. Within 34 weeks, DMBA induced mammary tumors in 42.9% of transgenic mice post-lactation, but not in wild-type mice post-lactation. The myr-Akt1 mammary tumors induced by DMBA had increased phosphorylated-Akt1 and showed strong expression of estrogen receptor (ERα) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). In addition, Cyclin D1 was more frequently up-regulated in mammary tumors from transgenic mice compared to tumors from wild-type mice. Overexpression of Cyclin D1, however, was not completely dependent on activated Akt1. Interestingly, mammary tumors that had metastasized to secondary sites had increased expression of Twist and Slug, but low expression of Cyclin D1.
CONCLUSIONS: In summary, the MMTVmyr-Akt1 transgenic mouse model could be useful to study mechanisms of ER-positive breast tumor development.

Wang X, Lin Y, Lan F, et al.
A GG allele of 3'-side AKT1 SNP is associated with decreased AKT1 activation and better prognosis of gastric cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(8):1399-411 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: v-akt Murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (AKT) pathway is critically involved in cancer cell growth, invasion, and survival. We examined the correlation between the genetic variations in molecules of AKT pathway and clinical outcomes of gastric cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Six single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in the four core genes of AKT pathway, namely the PIK3CA, PTEN, AKT1, and mTOR, were determined in 221 patients with stage T2 and T3 gastric cancer. Additionally, the activation of AKT1 in gastric cancer tissues was examined by immunostaining. The correlation between SNPs, AKT activation, and the progress of gastric cancer was analyzed after an average of 51-month follow-up.
RESULTS: The overall recurrence and survival rate in this study group were 54.8 and 46.6 %, respectively. The recurrence rate was reduced 30.4 %, and the survival rate was increased 33.7 % in patients with GG allele of a 3'-side AKT1 SNP (rs2498804). Significantly, GG allele was associated with lower AKT1 activation in gastric cancer tissues. On the contrary, CC allele of PTEN (rs701848) was associated with the increased risk of recurrence (hazard ratio [HR] 2.06, 95 % CI 1.19-3.58) and patient death (HR 2.01, 95 % CI 1.15-3.53).
CONCLUSIONS: The genetic variants in the PI3K/PTEN/AKT especially the GG allele in 3' side of AKT1 are closely related to clinical outcomes of gastric cancer.

Serizawa M, Koh Y, Kenmotsu H, et al.
Assessment of mutational profile of Japanese lung adenocarcinoma patients by multitarget assays: a prospective, single-institute study.
Cancer. 2014; 120(10):1471-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Integration of mutational profiling to identify driver genetic alterations in a clinical setting is necessary to facilitate personalized lung cancer medicine. A tumor genotyping panel was developed and the Shizuoka Lung Cancer Mutation Study was initiated as a prospective tumor genotyping study. This study reports the frequency of driver genetic alterations in Japanese lung adenocarcinoma patients, and clinicopathologic correlations with each genotype.
METHODS: Between July 2011 and January 2013, 411 lung adenocarcinoma patients admitted to the Shizuoka Cancer Center were included in this study with their written informed consent. Surgically resected tissues, tumor biopsies, and/or body cavity fluids were collected and tested for 23 hotspot sites of driver mutations in 9 genes (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, MEK1, AKT1, PTEN, and HER2), gene amplifications in 5 genes (EGFR, MET, PIK3CA, FGFR1, and FGFR2), and ALK, ROS1, and RET fusions.
RESULTS: Genetic alterations were detected in 54.3% (223 of 411) of all patients. The most common genetic alterations detected in this study were EGFR mutations (35.0%) followed by KRAS mutations (8.5%) and ALK fusions (5.0%). Concurrent genetic alterations were detected in 22 patients (5.4%), and EGFR mutations were observed in 16 patients as the most common partner for concurrent genetic alteration. Significantly more concurrent genetic alterations were observed in older patients.
CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the largest reports of a prospective tumor genotyping study on Japanese patients with adenocarcinoma. These data suggest that mutational profiling data using a multimutational testing platform would be valuable for expanding the range of molecular-targeted therapeutics in lung cancer.

Yu Z, Xu Z, Disante G, et al.
miR-17/20 sensitization of breast cancer cells to chemotherapy-induced apoptosis requires Akt1.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(4):1083-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The serine threonine kinase Akt1 has been implicated in the control of cellular metabolism, survival and growth. Herein, disruption of the ubiquitously expressed member of the Akt family of genes, Akt1, in the mouse, demonstrates a requirement for Akt1 in miRNA-mediated cellular apoptosis. The miR-17/20 cluster is known to inhibit breast cancer cellular proliferation through G1/S cell cycle arrest via binding to the cyclin D1 3'UTR. Here we show that miR-17/20 overexpression sensitizes cells to apoptosis induced by either Doxorubicin or UV irradiation in MCF-7 cells via Akt1. miR-17/20 mediates apoptosis via increased p53 expression which promotes Akt degradation. Akt1⁻/⁻ mammary epithelial cells which express Akt2 and Akt3 demonstrated increased apoptosis to DNA damaging agents. Akt1 deficiency abolished the miR-17/20-mediated apoptosis. These results demonstrated a novel pathway through which miR17/20 regulate p53 and Akt controlling breast cancer cell apoptosis.

Wakuda K, Kenmotsu H, Serizawa M, et al.
Molecular profiling of small cell lung cancer in a Japanese cohort.
Lung Cancer. 2014; 84(2):139-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Advances in the molecular profiling of lung adenocarcinoma over the past decade have led to a paradigm shift in its diagnosis and treatment. However, there are very few reports on the molecular profiles of small cell lung cancers (SCLCs). We therefore conducted the present Shizuoka Lung Cancer Mutation Study to analyze genomic aberrations in patients with thoracic malignancies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We collected samples of SCLC from a biobank system and analyzed their molecular profiles. We assessed 23 mutations in nine genes (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, NRAS, MEK1, AKT1, PTEN, and HER2) using pyrosequencing plus capillary electrophoresis. We also amplified EGFR, MET, PIK3CA, FGFR1, and FGFR2 using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the fusion genes ALK, ROS1, and RET using reverse transcription PCR.
RESULTS: Between July 2011 and January 2013, 60 SCLC patients were enrolled in the study. Samples included eight surgically resected snap-frozen samples, 50 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples, and seven pleural effusion samples. We detected 13 genomic aberrations in nine cases (15%), including an EGFR mutation (n=1, G719A), a KRAS mutation (n=1, G12D), PIK3CA mutations (n=3, E542K, E545K, E545Q), an AKT1 mutation (n=1, E17K), a MET amplification (n=1), and PIK3CA amplifications (n=6). EGFR and KRAS mutations were found in patients with combined SCLC and adenocarcinoma. No significant differences were detected in the characteristics of patients with and without genomic aberrations. However, serum neuron-specific enolase and progastrin-releasing peptide levels were significantly higher in patients without genomic aberrations than in those with aberrations (p=0.01 and 0.04, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Genomic aberrations were found in 15% SCLC patients, with PIK3CA amplifications most frequently observed. To further our understanding of the molecular profiles of SCLC, comprehensive mutational analyses should be conducted using massive parallel sequencing.

Niepel M, Hafner M, Pace EA, et al.
Analysis of growth factor signaling in genetically diverse breast cancer lines.
BMC Biol. 2014; 12:20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Soluble growth factors present in the microenvironment play a major role in tumor development, invasion, metastasis, and responsiveness to targeted therapies. While the biochemistry of growth factor-dependent signal transduction has been studied extensively in individual cell types, relatively little systematic data are available across genetically diverse cell lines.
RESULTS: We describe a quantitative and comparative dataset focused on immediate-early signaling that regulates the AKT (AKT1/2/3) and ERK (MAPK1/3) pathways in a canonical panel of well-characterized breast cancer lines. We also provide interactive web-based tools to facilitate follow-on analysis of the data. Our findings show that breast cancers are diverse with respect to ligand sensitivity and signaling biochemistry. Surprisingly, triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs; which express low levels of ErbB2, progesterone and estrogen receptors) are the most broadly responsive to growth factors and HER2amp cancers (which overexpress ErbB2) the least. The ratio of ERK to AKT activation varies with ligand and subtype, with a systematic bias in favor of ERK in hormone receptor positive (HR+) cells. The factors that correlate with growth factor responsiveness depend on whether fold-change or absolute activity is considered the key biological variable, and they differ between ERK and AKT pathways.
CONCLUSIONS: Responses to growth factors are highly diverse across breast cancer cell lines, even within the same subtype. A simple four-part heuristic suggests that diversity arises from variation in receptor abundance, an ERK/AKT bias that depends on ligand identity, a set of factors common to all receptors that varies in abundance or activity with cell line, and an "indirect negative regulation" by ErbB2. This analysis sets the stage for the development of a mechanistic and predictive model of growth factor signaling in diverse cancer lines. Interactive tools for looking up these results and downloading raw data are available at http://lincs.hms.harvard.edu/niepel-bmcbiol-2014/.

Zhang X, Chen X, Zhai Y, et al.
Combined effects of genetic variants of the PTEN, AKT1, MDM2 and p53 genes on the risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e92135 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (AKT1), mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) and p53 play important roles in the development of cancer. We examined whether the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PTEN, AKT1, MDM2 and p53 genes were related to the risk and severity of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in the Chinese population. Seven SNPs [p53 rs1042522, PTEN rs11202592, AKT1 SNP1-5 (rs3803300, rs1130214, rs3730358, rs1130233 and rs2494732)] were genotyped in 593 NPC cases and 480 controls by PCR direct sequencing or PCR-RFLP analysis. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). None of the polymorphisms alone was associated with the risk or severity of NPC. However, haplotype analyses indicated that a two-SNP core haplotype (SNP4-5, AA) in AKT1 was associated with a significantly increased susceptibility to NPC risk (adjusted OR  =  3.87, 95% CI  =  1.96-7.65; P<0.001). Furthermore, there was a significantly increased risk of NPC associated with the combined risk genotypes (i.e., p53 rs1042522 Arg/Pro + Pro/Pro, MDM2 rs2279244 G/T + G/G, PTEN rs11202592 C/C, AKT1 rs1130233 A/A). Compared with the low-risk group (0-2 combined risk genotypes), the high-risk group (3-4 combined risk genotypes) was associated with a significantly increased susceptibility to NPC risk (adjusted OR  =  1.67, 95% CI  =  1.12-2.50; P = 0.012). Our results suggest that genetic variants in the PTEN, AKT1, MDM2 and p53 tumor suppressor-oncoprotein network may play roles in mediating the susceptibility to NPC in Chinese populations.

Schmidt JW, Wehde BL, Sakamoto K, et al.
Novel transcripts from a distinct promoter that encode the full-length AKT1 in human breast cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:195 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The serine-threonine kinase AKT1 plays essential roles during normal mammary gland development as well as the initiation and progression of breast cancer. AKT1 is generally considered a ubiquitously expressed gene, and its persistent activation is transcriptionally controlled by regulatory elements characteristic of housekeeping gene promoters. We recently identified a novel Akt1 transcript in mice (Akt1m), which is induced by growth factors and their signal transducers of transcription from a previously unknown promoter. The purpose of this study was to examine whether normal and neoplastic human breast epithelial cells express an orthologous AKT1m transcript and whether its expression is deregulated in cancer cells.
METHODS: Initial sequence analyses were performed using the UCSC Genome Browser and GenBank to assess the potential occurrence of an AKT1m transcript variant in human cells and to identify conserved promoter sequences that are orthologous to the murine Akt1m. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to determine the transcriptional activation of AKT1m in mouse mammary tumors as well as 41 normal and neoplastic human breast epithelial cell lines and selected primary breast cancers.
RESULTS: We identified four new AKT1 transcript variants in human breast cancer cells that are orthologous to the murine Akt1m and that encode the full-length kinase. These transcripts originate from an alternative promoter that is conserved between humans and mice. Akt1m is upregulated in the majority of luminal-type and basal-type mammary cancers in four different genetically engineered mouse models. Similarly, a subset of human breast cancer cell lines and primary breast cancers exhibited a higher expression of orthologous AKT1m transcripts.
CONCLUSIONS: The existence of an alternative promoter that drives the expression of the unique AKT1m transcript may provide a mechanism by which the levels of AKT1 can be temporally and spatially regulated at particular physiological states, such as cancer, where a heightened activity of this kinase is required.

Yang F, Deng R, Qian XJ, et al.
Feedback loops blockade potentiates apoptosis induction and antitumor activity of a novel AKT inhibitor DC120 in human liver cancer.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1114 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
The serine/threonine kinase AKT is generally accepted as a promising anticancer therapeutic target. However, the relief of feedback inhibition and enhancement of other survival pathways often attenuate the anticancer effects of AKT inhibitors. These compensatory mechanisms are very complicated and remain poorly understood. In the present study, we found a novel 2-pyrimidyl-5-amidothiazole compound, DC120, as an ATP competitive AKT kinase inhibitor that suppressed proliferation and induced apoptosis in liver cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. DC120 blocked the phosphorylation of downstream molecules in the AKT signal pathway in dose- and time-dependent manners both in vitro and in vivo. However, unexpectedly, DC120 activated mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway that was suggested by increased phosphorylation of 70KD ribosomal protein S6 kinase (P70S6K) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). The activated mTORC1 signal was because of increase of intracellular Ca(2+) via Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)/ signaling to human vacuolar protein sorting 34 (hVps34) upon AKT inhibition. Meanwhile, DC120 attenuated the inhibitory effect of AKT on CRAF by decreasing phosphorylation of CRAF at Ser259 and thus activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. The activation of the mTORC1 and MAPK pathways by DC120 was not mutually dependent, and the combination of DC120 with mTORC1 inhibitor and/or MEK inhibitor induced significant apoptosis and growth inhibition both in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, the combination of AKT, mTORC1 and/or MEK inhibitors would be a promising therapeutic strategy for liver cancer treatment.

Meric-Bernstam F, Frampton GM, Ferrer-Lozano J, et al.
Concordance of genomic alterations between primary and recurrent breast cancer.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2014; 13(5):1382-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
There is growing interest in delivering genomically informed cancer therapy. Our aim was to determine the concordance of genomic alterations between primary and recurrent breast cancer. Targeted next-generation sequencing was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, profiling 3,320 exons of 182 cancer-related genes plus 37 introns from 14 genes often rearranged in cancer. Point mutations, indels, copy-number alterations (CNA), and select rearrangements were assessed in 74 tumors from 43 patients (36 primary and 38 recurrence/metastases). Alterations potentially targetable with established or investigational therapeutics were considered "actionable." Alterations were detected in 55 genes (mean 3.95 alterations/sample, range 1-12), including mutations in PIK3CA, TP53, ARID1A, PTEN, AKT1, NF1, FBXW7, and FGFR3 and amplifications in MCL1, CCND1, FGFR1, MYC, IGF1R, MDM2, MDM4, AKT3, CDK4, and AKT2. In 33 matched primary and recurrent tumors, 97 of 112 (86.6%) somatic mutations were concordant. Of identified CNAs, 136 of 159 (85.5%) were concordant: 37 (23.3%) were concordant, but below the reporting threshold in one of the matched samples, and 23 (14.5%) discordant. There was an increased frequency of CDK4/MDM2 amplifications in recurrences, as well as gains and losses of other actionable alterations. Forty of 43 (93%) patients had actionable alterations that could inform targeted treatment options. In conclusion, deep genomic profiling of cancer-related genes reveals potentially actionable alterations in most patients with breast cancer. Overall there was high concordance between primary and recurrent tumors. Analysis of recurrent tumors before treatment may provide additional insights, as both gains and losses of targets are observed.


AKT isoform-specific signals regulate RNA processing in lung cancer.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(3):OF17 [PubMed] Related Publications
IWS1 phosphorylation by AKT1 and AKT3 shifts splicing towards a tumorigenic FGFR2 isoform.

Guo Z, Lai Y, Du T, et al.
Prostate specific membrane antigen knockdown impairs the tumorigenicity of LNCaP prostate cancer cells by inhibiting the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway.
Chin Med J (Engl). 2014; 127(5):929-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) can facilitate the growth, migration, and invasion of the LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have not yet been clearly defined. Here, we investigated whether PSMA serves as a novel regulator of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling by employing PSMA knockdown model and PI3K pharmacological inhibitor (LY294002) in LNCaP prostate cancer cells.
METHODS: PSMA knockdown had been stably established by transfecting with lentivirus-mediated siRNA in our previous study. Then, LNCaP cells were divided into interference, non-interference, and blank groups. We first testified the efficacy of PSMA knockdown in our LNCaP cell line. Then, we compared the expression of PSMA and total/activated Akt by Western blotting in the above three groups with or without LY294002 treatment. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry was performed to confirm the changes of activated Akt (p-Akt, Ser473) in groups. Besides, cell proliferation, migration, and cell cycle were measured by CCK-8 assay, Transwell analysis, and Flow cytometry respectively.
RESULTS: After PSMA knockdown, the level of p-Akt (Ser473) but not of total-Akt (Akt1/2) was significantly decreased when compared with the non-interference and blank groups. However, LY294002 administration significantly reduced the expression of p-Akt (Ser473) in all the three groups. The results of immunocytochemistry further confirmed that PSMA knockdown or LY294002 treatment was associated with p-Akt (Ser473) down-regulation. Decrease of cell proliferation, migration, and survival were also observed upon PSMA knockdown and LY294002 treatment.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results reveal that PI3K/Akt signaling pathway inhibition may serve as a novel molecular mechanism in LNCaP prostate cancer cells of PSMA knockdown and suggest that Akt (Ser473) may play a critical role as a downstream signaling target effector of PSMA in this cellular model.

Wang L, Hu H, Pan Y, et al.
PIK3CA mutations frequently coexist with EGFR/KRAS mutations in non-small cell lung cancer and suggest poor prognosis in EGFR/KRAS wildtype subgroup.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88291 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
PURPOSE: PIK3CA gene encoding a catalytic subunit of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) is mutated and/or amplified in various neoplasia, including lung cancer. Here we investigated PIK3CA gene alterations, the expression of core components of PI3K pathway, and evaluated their clinical importance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Oncogenic mutations/rearrangements in PIK3CA, EGFR, KRAS, HER2, BRAF, AKT1 and ALK genes were detected in tumors from 1117 patients with NSCLC. PIK3CA gene copy number was examined by fluorescent in situ hybridization and the expression of PI3K p110 subunit alpha (PI3K p110α), p-Akt, mTOR, PTEN was determined by immunohistochemistry in PIK3CA mutant cases and 108 patients without PIK3CA mutation.
RESULTS: PIK3CA mutation was found in 3.9% of squamous cell carcinoma and 2.7% of adenocarcinoma. Among 34 PIK3CA mutant cases, 17 tumors harbored concurrent EGFR mutations and 4 had KRAS mutations. PIK3CA mutation was significantly associated with high expression of PI3K p110α (p<0.0001), p-Akt (p = 0.024) and mTOR (p = 0.001), but not correlated with PIK3CA amplification (p = 0.463). Patients with single PIK3CA mutation had shorter overall survival than those with PIK3CA-EGFR/KRAS co-mutation or wildtype PIK3CA (p = 0.004). A significantly worse survival was also found in patients with PIK3CA mutations than those without PIK3CA mutations in the EGFR/KRAS wildtype subgroup (p = 0.043).
CONCLUSIONS: PIK3CA mutations frequently coexist with EGFR/KRAS mutations. The poor prognosis of patients with single PIK3CA mutation in NSCLC and the prognostic value of PIK3CA mutation in EGFR/KRAS wildtype subgroup suggest the distinct mutation status of PIK3CA gene should be determined for individual therapeutic strategies in NSCLC.

Schleifman EB, Desai R, Spoerke JM, et al.
Targeted biomarker profiling of matched primary and metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancers.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e88401 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2015 Related Publications
Patients with newly diagnosed, early stage estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer often show disease free survival in excess of five years following surgery and systemic adjuvant therapy. An important question is whether diagnostic tumor tissue from the primary lesion offers an accurate molecular portrait of the cancer post recurrence and thus may be used for predictive diagnostic purposes for patients with relapsed, metastatic disease. As the class I phosphatidylinositol 3' kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently activated in ER+ breast cancer and has been linked to acquired resistance to hormonal therapy, we hypothesized pathway status could evolve over time and treatment. Biomarker analyses were conducted on matched, asynchronous primary and metastatic tumors from 77 patients with ER+ breast cancer. We examined whether PIK3CA and AKT1 alterations or PTEN and Ki67 levels showed differences between primary and metastatic samples. We also sought to look more broadly at gene expression markers reflective of proliferation, molecular subtype, and key receptors and signaling pathways using an mRNA analysis platform developed on the Fluidigm BioMark™ microfluidics system to measure the relative expression of 90 breast cancer related genes in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue. Application of this panel of biomarker assays to matched tumor pairs showed a high concordance between primary and metastatic tissue, with generally few changes in mutation status, proliferative markers, or gene expression between matched samples. The collection of assays described here has been optimized for FFPE tissue and may have utility in exploratory analyses to identify patient subsets responsive to targeted therapies.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1 (14q32.3), Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancer-genetics.org/AKT1.htm Accessed:

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