Gene Summary

Gene:NTRK3; neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 3
Aliases: TRKC, gp145(trkC)
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) family. This kinase is a membrane-bound receptor that, upon neurotrophin binding, phosphorylates itself and members of the MAPK pathway. Signalling through this kinase leads to cell differentiation and may play a role in the development of proprioceptive neurons that sense body position. Mutations in this gene have been associated with medulloblastomas, secretory breast carcinomas and other cancers. Several transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2011]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:NT-3 growth factor receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (20)

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 (9)

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

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
MedulloblastomaNTRK3 expression in MedulloblastomaPrognostic View Publications46
NeuroblastomaNTRK3 expression in NeuroblastomaPrognostic View Publications41
Breast CancerNTRK3 and Breast Cancer View Publications33
Salivary Gland CancerNTRK3 and Salivary Gland Cancer View Publications23
Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Childhoodt(12;15)(p13;q25) ETV6-NTRK3 in Congenital Fibrosarcoma
The t(12;15)(p13;q25) fusing the ETV6 and NTRK3 genes has been reported in congenital (infantile) fibrosarcoma. In an RT-PCR study of paediatric tumours (Bourgeois, 2000), the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion transcripts were detected in 10/11 congenital fibrosarcomas compared to 0/13 other malignant spindle cell tumours and 0/38 benign spindle cell tumours. The authors suggest RT-PCR assays to detect the ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion will be useful in the diagnosis of congenital fibrosarcoma and in particular to differentiation from more aggressive spindle cell sarcomas including adult-type fibrosarcoma.
View Publications20
-t(12;15)(p13;q25) ETV6-NTRK3 in congenital mesoblastic nephroma View Publications7
Breast Cancert(12;15)(p13;q25) ETV6-NTRK3 in Breast Cancer View Publications6
Wilms TumourNTRK3 and Wilms Tumour View Publications3
Stomach CancerNTRK3 and Stomach Cancer View Publications3

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

Latest Publications: NTRK3 (cancer-related)

Mehlen P, Tauszig-Delamasure S
Dependence receptors and colorectal cancer.
Gut. 2014; 63(11):1821-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The research on colorectal cancer (CRC) biology has been leading the oncology field since the early 1990s. The search for genetic alterations has allowed the identification of the main tumour suppressors or oncogenes. Recent work obtained in CRC has unexpectedly proposed the existence of novel category of tumour suppressors, the so-called 'dependence receptors'. These transmembrane receptors behave as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with two opposite sides: they induce a positive signalling (survival, proliferation, differentiation) in presence of their ligand, but are not inactive in the absence of their ligand and rather trigger apoptosis when unbound. This trait confers them a conditional tumour suppressor activity: they eliminate cells that grow abnormally in an environment offering a limited quantity of ligand. This review will describe how receptors such as deleted in colorectal carcinoma (DCC), uncoordinated 5 (UNC5), rearranged during transfection (RET) or TrkC constrain CRC progression and how this dependence receptor paradigm may open up therapeutical perspectives.

Wu G, Diaz AK, Paugh BS, et al.
The genomic landscape of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma and pediatric non-brainstem high-grade glioma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):444-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pediatric high-grade glioma (HGG) is a devastating disease with a less than 20% survival rate 2 years after diagnosis. We analyzed 127 pediatric HGGs, including diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs) and non-brainstem HGGs (NBS-HGGs), by whole-genome, whole-exome and/or transcriptome sequencing. We identified recurrent somatic mutations in ACVR1 exclusively in DIPGs (32%), in addition to previously reported frequent somatic mutations in histone H3 genes, TP53 and ATRX, in both DIPGs and NBS-HGGs. Structural variants generating fusion genes were found in 47% of DIPGs and NBS-HGGs, with recurrent fusions involving the neurotrophin receptor genes NTRK1, NTRK2 and NTRK3 in 40% of NBS-HGGs in infants. Mutations targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-RAS-PI3K signaling, histone modification or chromatin remodeling, and cell cycle regulation were found in 68%, 73% and 59% of pediatric HGGs, respectively, including in DIPGs and NBS-HGGs. This comprehensive analysis provides insights into the unique and shared pathways driving pediatric HGG within and outside the brainstem.

Forsyth PA, Krishna N, Lawn S, et al.
p75 neurotrophin receptor cleavage by α- and γ-secretases is required for neurotrophin-mediated proliferation of brain tumor-initiating cells.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(12):8067-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
Malignant gliomas are highly invasive, proliferative, and resistant to treatment. Previously, we have shown that p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) is a novel mediator of invasion of human glioma cells. However, the role of p75NTR in glioma proliferation is unknown. Here we used brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs) and show that BTICs express neurotrophin receptors (p75NTR, TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC) and their ligands (NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and neurotrophin 3) and secrete NGF. Down-regulation of p75NTR significantly decreased proliferation of BTICs. Conversely, exogenouous NGF stimulated BTIC proliferation through α- and γ-secretase-mediated p75NTR cleavage and release of its intracellular domain (ICD). In contrast, overexpression of the p75NTR ICD induced proliferation. Interestingly, inhibition of Trk signaling blocked NGF-stimulated BTIC proliferation and p75NTR cleavage, indicating a role of Trk in p75NTR signaling. Further, blocking p75NTR cleavage attenuated Akt activation in BTICs, suggesting role of Akt in p75NTR-mediated proliferation. We also found that p75NTR, α-secretases, and the four subunits of the γ-secretase enzyme were elevated in glioblastoma multiformes patients. Importantly, the ICD of p75NTR was commonly found in malignant glioma patient specimens, suggesting that the receptor is activated and cleaved in patient tumors. These results suggest that p75NTR proteolysis is required for BTIC proliferation and is a novel potential clinical target.

Leeman-Neill RJ, Kelly LM, Liu P, et al.
ETV6-NTRK3 is a common chromosomal rearrangement in radiation-associated thyroid cancer.
Cancer. 2014; 120(6):799-807 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In their previous analysis of papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs) from an Ukrainian-American cohort that was exposed to iodine-131 ((131) I) from the Chernobyl accident, the authors identified RET/PTC rearrangements and other driver mutations in 60% of tumors.
METHODS: In this study, the remaining mutation-negative tumors from that cohort were analyzed using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to identify novel chromosomal rearrangements and to characterize their relation with radiation dose.
RESULTS: The ETS variant gene 6 (ETV6)-neurotrophin receptor 3 (NTRK3) rearrangement (ETV6-NTRK3) was identified by RNA-Seq in a tumor from a patient who received a high (131) I dose. Overall, the rearrangement was detected in 9 of 62 (14.5%) post-Chernobyl PTCs and in 3 of 151 (2%) sporadic PTCs (P = .019). The most common fusion type was between exon 4 of ETV6 and exon 14 of NTRK3. The prevalence of ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangement in post-Chernobyl PTCs was associated with increasing (131) I dose, albeit at borderline significance (P = .126). The group of rearrangement-positive PTCs (ETV6-NTRK3, RET/PTC, PAX8-PPARγ) was associated with significantly higher dose response compared with the group of PTCs with point mutations (BRAF, RAS; P < .001). In vitro exposure of human thyroid cells to 1 gray of (131) I and γ-radiation resulted in the formation of ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangement at a rate of 7.9 × 10(-6) cells and 3.0 × 10(-6) cells, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The authors report the occurrence of ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangements in thyroid cancer and demonstrate that this rearrangement is significantly more common in tumors associated with exposure to (131) I and has a borderline significant dose response. Moreover, ETV6-NTRK3 rearrangement can be directly induced in thyroid cells by ionizing radiation in vitro and, thus, may represent a novel mechanism of radiation-induced carcinogenesis.

Ricarte-Filho JC, Li S, Garcia-Rendueles ME, et al.
Identification of kinase fusion oncogenes in post-Chernobyl radiation-induced thyroid cancers.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(11):4935-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
Exposure to ionizing radiation during childhood markedly increases the risk of developing papillary thyroid cancer. We examined tissues from 26 Ukrainian patients with thyroid cancer who were younger than 10 years of age and living in contaminated areas during the time of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. We identified nonoverlapping somatic driver mutations in all 26 cases through candidate gene assays and next-generation RNA sequencing. We found that 22 tumors harbored fusion oncogenes that arose primarily through intrachromosomal rearrangements. Altogether, 23 of the oncogenic drivers identified in this cohort aberrantly activate MAPK signaling, including the 2 somatic rearrangements resulting in fusion of transcription factor ETS variant 6 (ETV6) with neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor, type 3 (NTRK3) and fusion of acylglycerol kinase (AGK) with BRAF. Two other tumors harbored distinct fusions leading to overexpression of the nuclear receptor PPARγ. Fusion oncogenes were less prevalent in tumors from a cohort of children with pediatric thyroid cancers that had not been exposed to radiation but were from the same geographical regions. Radiation-induced thyroid cancers provide a paradigm of tumorigenesis driven by fusion oncogenes that activate MAPK signaling or, less frequently, a PPARγ-driven transcriptional program.

Luo Y, Kaz AM, Kanngurn S, et al.
NTRK3 is a potential tumor suppressor gene commonly inactivated by epigenetic mechanisms in colorectal cancer.
PLoS Genet. 2013; 9(7):e1003552 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
NTRK3 is a member of the neurotrophin receptor family and regulates cell survival. It appears to be a dependence receptor, and thus has the potential to act as an oncogene or as a tumor suppressor gene. NTRK3 is a receptor for NT-3 and when bound to NT-3 it induces cell survival, but when NT-3 free, it induces apoptosis. We identified aberrantly methylated NTRK3 in colorectal cancers through a genome-wide screen for hypermethylated genes. This discovery led us to assess whether NTRK3 could be a tumor suppressor gene in the colon. NTRK3 is methylated in 60% of colon adenomas and 67% of colon adenocarcinomas. NTRK3 methylation suppresses NTRK3 expression. Reconstitution of NTRK3 induces apoptosis in colorectal cancers, if NT-3 is absent. Furthermore, the loss of NTRK3 expression associates with neoplastic transformation in vitro and in vivo. We also found that a naturally occurring mutant NTRK3 found in human colorectal cancer inhibits the tumor suppressor activity of NTRK3. In summary, our findings suggest NTRK3 is a conditional tumor suppressor gene that is commonly inactivated in colorectal cancer by both epigenetic and genetic mechanisms whose function in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer depends on the expression status of its ligand, NT-3.

Peng WM, Maintz L, Allam JP, et al.
Increased circulating levels of neurotrophins and elevated expression of their high-affinity receptors on skin and gut mast cells in mastocytosis.
Blood. 2013; 122(10):1779-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mastocytosis is a rare heterogeneous disease characterized by increase of mast cells (MCs) in different organs. Neurotrophins (NTs) have been shown to promote differentiation and survival of MCs, which in turn represent a major source of NTs. Thus, a contribution of NTs to mastocytosis seems highly conceivable but has not yet been investigated. We could demonstrate expression of high-affinity NT receptors tropomyosin-related kinase A (TrkA) for nerve growth factor (NGF)-β, TrkB for brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and NT-4 and TrkC for NT-3 on skin MCs; and of TrkA and TrkC on intestinal MCs of patients with mastocytosis. Moreover, increased expression of NGF-β; NT-3; TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC; and isoforms truncated TrkB-T1 and truncated TrkC were observed on skin MCs. Patients with mastocytosis featured elevated serum levels of NGF, NT-3, and NT-4. Levels of NGF-β and NT-4 correlated with tryptase levels, suggesting a link between MC load and blood levels of NGF and NT-4. Migration of CD117+ progenitor cells from the blood was enhanced toward NGF-β gradient in both mastocytosis and controls. Together with enhanced NT levels, the elevated expression of modified Trk receptors on skin and gut MCs might contribute to the pathophysiology of mastocytosis in autocrine and paracrine loops.

Kim MS, Kim GM, Choi YJ, et al.
TrkC promotes survival and growth of leukemia cells through Akt-mTOR-dependent up-regulation of PLK-1 and Twist-1.
Mol Cells. 2013; 36(2):177-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
It has been suggested that activation of receptor PTKs is important for leukemogenesis and leukemia cell response to targeted therapy in hematological malignancies including leukemia. PTKs induce activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, which can result in prevention of apoptosis. Here, we describe an important role of the TrkC-associated molecular network in the process of leukemogenesis. TrkC was found to be frequently overexpressed in human leukemia cells and leukemia subtypes. In U937 human leukemia cells, blockade of TrkC using small hairpin RNA (shRNA) specific to TrkC or K562a, a specific inhibitor of TrkC, resulted in a significant decrease in growth and survival of the cells, which was closely associated with reduced mTOR level and Akt activity. In addition, TrkC enhances the survival and proliferation of leukemia, which is correlated with activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway. Moreover, TrkC significantly inhibits apoptosis via induction of the expression of PLK-1 and Twist-1 through activation of AKT/mTor pathway; therefore, it plays a key role in leukemogenesis. These findings reveal an unexpected physiological role for TrkC in the pathogenesis of leukemia and have important implications for understanding various hematological malignancies.

Genevois AL, Ichim G, Coissieux MM, et al.
Dependence receptor TrkC is a putative colon cancer tumor suppressor.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(8):3017-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
The TrkC neurotrophin receptor belongs to the functional dependence receptor family, members of which share the ability to induce apoptosis in the absence of their ligands. Such a trait has been hypothesized to confer tumor-suppressor activity. Indeed, cells that express these receptors are thought to be dependent on ligand availability for their survival, a mechanism that inhibits uncontrolled tumor cell proliferation and migration. TrkC is a classic tyrosine kinase receptor and therefore generally considered to be a proto-oncogene. We show here that TrkC expression is down-regulated in a large fraction of human colorectal cancers, mainly through promoter methylation. Moreover, we show that TrkC silencing by promoter methylation is a selective advantage for colorectal cell lines to limit tumor cell death. Furthermore, reestablished TrkC expression in colorectal cancer cell lines is associated with tumor cell death and inhibition of in vitro characteristics of cell transformation, as well as in vivo tumor growth. Finally, we provide evidence that a mutation of TrkC detected in a sporadic cancer is a loss-of-proapoptotic function mutation. Together, these data support the conclusion that TrkC is a colorectal cancer tumor suppressor.

Sasahira T, Ueda N, Kurihara M, et al.
Tropomyosin receptor kinases B and C are tumor progressive and metastatic marker in colorectal carcinoma.
Hum Pathol. 2013; 44(6):1098-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
Members of the tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) family have a high affinity for neurotrophins and regulate neuronal survival. The role of Trks in cancer is still controversial. The expression and role of TrkB and TrkC were examined in colorectal cancer (CRC). Immunohistochemical analysis of TrkB and TrkC was performed in 133 patients with CRC. Using human CRC cell lines, expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and transforming growth factor β, cell growth, invasion, and apoptosis were examined by knockdown methods. Immunohistochemistry showed positive results of TrkB and TrkC (23.3% and 12.8%, respectively). TrkB expression was associated with local progression (P = .0284), clinical stage (P = .0026), nodal metastasis (P = .0068), and peritoneal metastasis (P = .0026). TrkC expression was only related to liver metastasis (P = .0001). Coexpression of TrkB or TrkC and their ligands was found in 80.6% and 82.4% of cases, respectively. In vitro analysis using human CRC cells showed that TrkB positively regulated gene expression of VEGF-A (P < .05) and VEGF-C (P < .05), whereas TrkC suppressed transforming growth factor β expression (P < .05). TrkB and TrkC induced cell growth (P < .05) and invasion (P < .05), respectively. Both TrkB and TrkC showed antiapoptotic effect (P < .05). These results suggest that TrkB and TrkC have a tumor progressive function and may be a useful diagnostic and therapeutic target in CRC.

Zalatimo O, Zoccoli CM, Patel A, et al.
Impact of genetic targets on primary brain tumor therapy: what's ready for prime time?
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013; 779:267-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary brain tumors constitute a substantial public health problem with 66,290 cases diagnosed in the US in 2012, and 13,700 deaths recorded. With discovery of genetic factors associated with specific brain tumor subtypes, the goal of therapy is changing from treating a class of tumors to developing individualized therapies catering to the molecular composition of the actual tumor. For oligodendrogliomas, the loss of 1p/19q due to an unbalanced translocation improves both survival and the response to therapy, and is thus both a prognostic and a predictive marker. Several additional genetic alterations such as EGFR amplification, MGMT methylation, PDGFR activation, and 9p and 10q loss, have improved our understanding of the characteristics of these tumors and may help guide therapy in the future. For astrocytic tumors, MGMT is associated with a better prognosis and an improved response to temozolomide, and for all glial tumors, mutations in the IDH1 gene are possibly the most potent of good prognostic markers. Three of these markers - 1p/19q deletions, MGMT methylation status, and mutations in the IDH1 gene - are so potent that a new brain tumor subtype, the "triple negative" glioma (1p/19q intact, MGMT unmethylated, IDH1 non-mutated) has entered common parlance. Newer markers, such as CD 133, require additional investigation to determine their prognostic and predictive utility. In medulloblastomas, markers of WNT activation, MYCC/MCYN amplification, and TrkC expression levels are reliable prognostic indicators, but do not yet drive specific treatment selection. Many other proposed markers, such as 17q gain, TP53 mutations, and hMOF protein expression show promise, but are not yet ready for prime time. In this chapter, we focus on the markers that have shown convincing prognostic, predictive, and diagnostic value, and discuss potential markers that are being currently being intensively investigated. We also discuss serum profiling of tumors in an effort to discover additional potential markers.

Ivanov SV, Panaccione A, Brown B, et al.
TrkC signaling is activated in adenoid cystic carcinoma and requires NT-3 to stimulate invasive behavior.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(32):3698-710 [PubMed] Related Publications
Treatment options for adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the salivary gland, a slowly growing tumor with propensity for neuroinvasion and late recurrence, are limited to surgery and radiotherapy. Based on expression analysis performed on clinical specimens of salivary cancers, we identified in ACC expression of the neurotrophin-3 receptor TrkC/NTRK3, neural crest marker SOX10, and other neurologic genes. Here, we characterize TrkC as a novel ACC marker, which was highly expressed in 17 out of 18 ACC primary-tumor specimens, but not in mucoepidermoid salivary carcinomas or head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Expression of the TrkC ligand NT-3 and Tyr-phosphorylation of TrkC detected in our study suggested the existence of an autocrine signaling loop in ACC with potential therapeutic significance. NT-3 stimulation of U2OS cells with ectopic TrkC expression triggered TrkC phosphorylation and resulted in Ras, Erk 1/2 and Akt activation, as well as VEGFR1 phosphorylation. Without NT-3, TrkC remained unphosphorylated, stimulated accumulation of phospho-p53 and had opposite effects on p-Akt and p-Erk 1/2. NT-3 promoted motility, migration, invasion, soft-agar colony growth and cytoskeleton restructuring in TrkC-expressing U2OS cells. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that TrkC-positive ACC specimens also show high expression of Bcl2, a Trk target regulated via Erk 1/2, in agreement with activation of the TrkC pathway in real tumors. In normal salivary gland tissue, both TrkC and Bcl2 were expressed in myoepithelial cells, suggesting a principal role for this cell lineage in the ACC origin and progression. Sub-micromolar concentrations of a novel potent Trk inhibitor AZD7451 completely blocked TrkC activation and associated tumorigenic behaviors. Pre-clinical studies on ACC tumors engrafted in mice showed efficacy and low toxicity of AZD7451, validating our in vitro data and stimulating more research into its clinical application. In summary, we describe in ACC a previously unrecognized pro-survival neurotrophin signaling pathway and link it with cancer progression.

Sasahira T, Ueda N, Yamamoto K, et al.
Trks are novel oncogenes involved in the induction of neovascularization, tumor progression, and nodal metastasis in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2013; 30(2):165-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
The function of tropomyosin receptor kinase (Trk) family including TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC in cancer remains unknown. The role of Trks in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) was examined. Knockdown of Trks provided inhibition of growth or invasion and decrease of apoptosis in OSCC cells, which expressed Trks at high levels. VEGF expression was associated with TrkA and TrkB expression; a decrease of VEGF-C and VEGF-D was observed in OSCC cells with TrkB knockdown. TrkC did not affect the expression of VEGF family. An immunohistochemical analysis of 102 OSCCs showed that TrkB expression was related to microvessel density (MVD), lymph vessel density (LVD), and poor prognosis. TrkC expression was correlated with clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, MVD, LVD, and poor prognosis. TrkA expression was associated with VEGF expression, whereas TrkB expression was associated with the expressions of VEGF, VEGF-C and VEGF-D. No significant association was found between the expression of TrkC and genes of the VEGF family. Expression of Trks was not associated with RUNX3 silencing by methylation in OSCC cells. Trks expression was inversely correlated with RUNX3 expression in the OSCC cases. These results suggested that Trks enhances progression of OSCC through angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis.

Friedrich RE, Holstein AF, Middendorff R, Davidoff MS
Vascular wall cells contribute to tumourigenesis in cutaneous neurofibromas of patients with neurofibromatosis type 1. A comparative histological, ultrastructural and immunohistochemical study.
Anticancer Res. 2012; 32(5):2139-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Neurofibromas are benign nerve sheath tumours. They occur sporadically, singly or few in number, and in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), an autosomal inherited disease. These tumours are composed of different cell types, e.g. nerve cells (axons and axon sheaths), Schwann cells, mast cells, and fibroblasts. The local control of tumour growth in NF1 is poorly understood. Identification of cell markers could provide new information on the processes that are involved in tumour growth.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: NF1 patients were diagnosed according to the revised NF1 diagnostic criteria proposed by the US National Institute of Health. Fifteen cutaneous neurofibromas from eight patients (origin: trunk and face) were excised, immediately immersion-fixed in Bouin's fixative and embedded in paraffin. Six micrometre thin sections were incubated with a variety of neuronal markers, connective tissue and glial cell markers, neurotrophic factors and their receptors. In addition, material was fixed, embedded and further processed for light and electron microscopic studies.
RESULTS: The tumours were composed of different cell types, e.g. nerve cells (axons and axon sheaths), Schwann cells, mast cells, compartmentalising cells and fibroblasts. Neuronal markers were identified in axons (neuron-specific protein gene product 9.5, PGP9.5), in several cell types (neurofilament protein-200 kDa, NF-200) and glial cells (protein S-100, S-100). In glial cells the immunoreactivity for fibroblast surface protein (FSP) was scanty, low for cyclic 2,3-nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase), strong for glucose transporter 1 (Glut-1) but lacking for glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Schwann cells and so-called compartmentalising cells exhibited immunoreactivity for neurotrophin receptor protein TrkA (TrkA) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). GDNF receptor α-1 (GFR-α1) exhibited distinct immunoreactivity in single axons, in Schwann cells, and with lower intensity in some perineurial sheet cells. No immunoreactivity was observed for the low-affinity neurotrophin receptor protein p75(NTR), high-affinity receptor protein TrkB (TrkB), high-affinity receptor protein TrkC (TrkC), the neurotrophin 3 (NT-3), and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
CONCLUSION: Human cutaneous neurofibromas displayed a pattern of neurotrophic factors and their receptor immunoreactivity, which is characteristic of differentiated non-malignant tumours, and exhibited some differences from that established in developing and differentiated control Schwann cells (probably involved in the pathogenesis of the neurofibromas), as well as tumour cells in the process of differentiation. Neurofibromas are highly vascularized tumours and possess activated endothelial cells and pericytes. We presume that most of the hyperplastic structural components of a neurofibroma are generated from activated pericytes and smooth muscle cells of the small tumour vessels which possess qualities of adult stem cells.

Parsi S, Soltani BM, Hosseini E, et al.
Experimental verification of a predicted intronic microRNA in human NGFR gene with a potential pro-apoptotic function.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(4):e35561 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
Neurotrophins (NTs) are a family of secreted growth factor proteins primarily involved in the regulation of survival and appropriate development of neural cells, functioning by binding to their specific (TrkA, TtkB, and TrkC) and/or common NGFR receptor. NGFR is the common receptor of NTs, binding with low-affinity to all members of the family. Among different functions assigned to NGFR, it is also involved in apoptosis induction and tumorigenesis processes. Interestingly, some of the functions of NGFR appear to be ligand-independent, suggesting a probable involvement of non-coding RNA residing within the sequence of the gene. Here, we are reporting the existence of a conserved putative microRNA, named Hsa-mir-6165 [EBI accession#: FR873488]. Transfection of a DNA segment corresponding to the pre-mir-6165 sequence in Hela cell line caused the generation of mature exogenous mir-6165 (a ∼200,000 fold overexpression). Furthermore, using specific primers, we succeeded to detect the endogenous expression of mir-6165 in several glioma cell lines and glioma primary tumors known to express NGFR. Similar to the pro-apoptotic role of NGFR in some cell types, overexpression of pre-mir-6165 in U87 cell line resulted in an elevated rate of apoptosis. Moreover, coordinated with the increased level of mir-6165 in the transfected U87 cell line, two of its predicted target genes (Pkd1 and DAGLA) were significantly down-regulated. The latter findings suggest that some of the previously attributed functions of NGFR could be explained indirectly by co-transcription of mir-6165 in the cells.

Gadd S, Beezhold P, Jennings L, et al.
Mediators of receptor tyrosine kinase activation in infantile fibrosarcoma: a Children's Oncology Group study.
J Pathol. 2012; 228(1):119-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Infantile fibrosarcoma (IFS; also known as cellular congenital mesoblastic nephroma, CMN, when in the kidney) is a rare, undifferentiated tumour often characterized by the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion transcript. Our goal was to identify downstream pathways, diagnostic markers and potential therapeutic targets for IFS/CMN. Global gene expression, reverse-phase protein array and ETV6-NTRK3 fusion analyses were performed on 14 IFS/CMN and compared with 41 other paediatric renal tumours. These analyses confirm significant receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activation, with evidence of PI3-Akt, MAPK and SRC activation. In particular, GAB2 docking protein, STAT5-pTyr-694, STAT3-pSer-729 and YAP-pSer-127 were elevated, and TAZ-pSer-89 was decreased. This provides mRNA and proteomic evidence that GAB2, STAT activation and phosphorylation of the Hippo pathway transcription co-activators YAP and TAZ contribute to the RTK signal transduction in IFS/CMN. All IFS/CMN tumours displayed a distinctive gene expression pattern that may be diagnostically useful. Unexpectedly, abundant ETV6-NTRK3 transcript copies were present in only 7/14 IFS, with very low copy number in 3/14. An additional 4/14 were negative by RT-PCR and absence of ETV6-NTRK3 was confirmed by FISH for both ETV6 and NTRK3. Therefore, molecular mechanisms other than ETV6-NTRK3 fusion are responsible for the development of some IFS/CMNs and the absence of ETV6-NTRK3 fusion products should not exclude IFS/CMN as a diagnosis.

Fung W, Hasan MY, Loh AH, et al.
Gene expression of TRK neurotrophin receptors in advanced neuroblastomas in Singapore--a pilot study.
Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011; 28(7):571-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clinical hallmark of neuroblastoma is heterogeneity. Biologically, ploidy and N-Myc amplification are currently the only 2 features used to define risk group and to determine therapy. Tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trks, including TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC) are important in the clinical and biological behavior of neuroblastomas. The authors aim to study Trks gene expression in their local population of advanced neuroblastoma patients. Multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay on the expression of TrkA, TrkB, TrkB-truncated, and TrkC was performed on a total of 19 advanced neuroblastoma archival tumors, diagnosed in KK Women's and Children's Hospital between 2003 and 2007. Of the 19 tumors investigated, Trks expression was present in 14 (73.6%) cases. Of these cases, 8 (42.1%), 10 (52.6%), 7 (36.8%), and 6 (31.6%) expressed TrkA, TrkB, TrkB-truncated, and TrkC receptor mRNAs, respectively. Subsequently, the authors compared Trks expression with N-Myc amplification status of the 19 patients. N-Myc was amplified in 5 (26.3%) of the cases. Within the non-N-Myc-amplified group, Trks expression was present in 9 (64%) of the 14 cases. The significant expression of Trk isoforms among advanced neuroblastoma cases as evident from this study support their role as possible risk assessment tools alongside N-Myc amplification status.

Shinwari Z, Al-Hindi H, Al-Shail E, et al.
Response of medulloblastoma cells to vincristine and lomustine: role of TRKC, CTNNB1 and STK15.
Anticancer Res. 2011; 31(5):1721-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Vincristine and lomustine are two important chemotherapeutic drugs used for the treatment of different types of neoplasms, including medulloblastomas.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the effects of vincristine and lomustine on 12 primary medulloblastoma cell cultures and the DAOY cell line using the annexinV-flow cytometry and immunoblotting techniques, following treatment of cells for different periods of time.
RESULTS: Both drugs triggered apoptosis and cell cycle delay at the G(2)/M phase and also up-regulated p16. Furthermore, the expression of 8 different cancer-related genes were assessed and their mRNA and protein levels were found to be highly heterogeneous and did not correlate in several medulloblastoma cultures. Importantly, there was significant correlation between the level of cadherin-associated protein beta 1 (CTNNB1) and Aurora kinase A (STK15) proteins and neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor type 3 (TRKC) mRNA and the proportion of apoptosis induced by vincristine, the combination of both drugs, and lomustine, respectively.
CONCLUSION: These genes could be of great importance as therapeutic biomarkers during the treatment of medulloblastoma patients with vincristine and lomustine.

Rajan N, Elliott R, Clewes O, et al.
Dysregulated TRK signalling is a therapeutic target in CYLD defective tumours.
Oncogene. 2011; 30(41):4243-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
Individuals with germline mutations in the tumour-suppressor gene CYLD are at high risk of developing disfiguring cutaneous appendageal tumours, the defining tumour being the highly organised cylindroma. Here, we analysed CYLD mutant tumour genomes by array comparative genomic hybridisation and gene expression microarray analysis. CYLD mutant tumours were characterised by an absence of copy-number aberrations apart from LOH chromosome 16q, the genomic location of the CYLD gene. Gene expression profiling of CYLD mutant tumours showed dysregulated tropomyosin kinase (TRK) signalling, with overexpression of TRKB and TRKC in tumours when compared with perilesional skin. Immunohistochemical analysis of a tumour microarray showed strong membranous TRKB and TRKC staining in cylindromas, as well as elevated levels of ERK phosphorylation and BCL2 expression. Membranous TRKC overexpression was also observed in 70% of sporadic BCCs. RNA interference-mediated silencing of TRKB and TRKC, as well as treatment with the small-molecule TRK inhibitor lestaurtinib, reduced colony formation and proliferation in 3D primary cell cultures established from CYLD mutant tumours. These results suggest that TRK inhibition could be used as a strategy to treat tumours with loss of functional CYLD.

Vanhecke E, Adriaenssens E, Verbeke S, et al.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and neurotrophin-4/5 are expressed in breast cancer and can be targeted to inhibit tumor cell survival.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(7):1741-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Given that nerve growth factor has previously been shown to be involved in breast cancer progression, we have tested here the hypothesis that the other neurotrophins (NT) are expressed and have an influence in breast tumor growth.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), NT-3 and NT-4/5, as well as the neurotrophin receptor p75(NTR), TrkB, and TrkC, was studied by RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry in cell lines and tumor biopsies. The biological impacts of neurotrophins, and associated mechanisms, were analyzed in cell cultures and xenografted mice.
RESULTS: BDNF and NT-4/5 were expressed and secreted by breast cancer cells, and the use of blocking antibodies suggested an autocrine loop mediating cell resistance to apoptosis. The corresponding tyrosine kinase receptor TrkB was only rarely observed at full length, whereas the expression of TrkB-T1, lacking the kinase domain, as well as p75(NTR), were detected in all tested breast cancer cell lines and tumor biopsies. In contrast, NT-3 and TrkC were not detected. SiRNA against p75(NTR) and TrkB-T1 abolished the antiapoptotic effect of BDNF and NT-4/5, whereas the pharmacological inhibitors K252a and PD98059 had no effect, suggesting the involvement of p75(NTR) and TrkB-T1, but not kinase activities from Trks and MAPK. In xenografted mice, anti-BDNF, anti-NT-4/5, anti-p75(NTR), or anti-TrkB-T1 treatments resulted in tumor growth inhibition, characterized by an increase in cell apoptosis, but with no change in proliferation.
CONCLUSION: BDNF and NT-4/5 contribute to breast cancer cell survival and can serve as prospective targets in attempts to inhibit tumor growth.

Jin W, Lee JJ, Kim MS, et al.
DNA methylation-dependent regulation of TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC genes in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 406(1):89-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family of neurotrophin receptors, TrkA, TrkB and TrkC, has been implicated in the growth and survival of human cancers. Here we report that Trks are frequently overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from patients and human liver cancer cell lines. To unravel the underlying molecular mechanism(s) for this phenomenon, DNA methylation patterns of CpG islands in TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC genes were examined in normal and cancer cell lines derived from liver. A good correlation was observed between promoter hypermethylation and lower expression of TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC genes, which was supported by the data that inhibiting DNA methylation with 5-azacytidine restored expression of those genes in normal liver cell lines. Furthermore, Trks promoted the proliferation of HepG2 and induced expression of the metastatic regulator, Twist. These results suggest that Trks may contribute to growth and metastasis of liver cancer.

de Souza DR, Sanabani SS, de Souza AC, et al.
Prognostic impact of MYCN, DDX1, TrkA, and TrkC gene transcripts expression in neuroblastoma.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2011; 56(5):749-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to define the mRNA expression profiles of MYCN, DDX1, TrkA, and TrkC in biopsy tumor samples from 64 Brazilian patients with neuroblastomas of different risk stages and to correlate altered expression with prognostic values.
PROCEDURE: Patients were retrospectively classified into low- (n = 11), intermediate- (n = 18), and high-risk (n = 35) groups using standard criteria. The mRNA levels of the above genes were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Univariate analyses were performed and survival curves were plotted by the Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: Of the 64 patients, 53% were female and 62.5% were older than 18 months. The 5-year overall survival (OS) for the entire cohort was 40.3%, with inferior median OS in patients identified in the intermediate- and high-risk groups. A significant difference in OS with respect to TrkA mRNA expression was found for the high-risk group vs. either the low- or intermediate-risk groups (P < 0.01, log rank test). Within the intermediate-risk group, neuroblastoma patients with positive TrkA mRNA expression had better clinical outcomes than patients with no TrkA transcript expression (P = 0.004). Another difference in OS was only found between the intermediate- and high-risk groups (P < 0.027, log rank test). No significant correlation of mRNA expression and survival outcome could be detected for the MYCN, DDX1.
CONCLUSIONS: Positive expression of TrkA mRNA may be a clinically useful addition to the current risk classification system, allowing the identification of NB tumors with favorable prognosis.

Guidi M, Muiños-Gimeno M, Kagerbauer B, et al.
Overexpression of miR-128 specifically inhibits the truncated isoform of NTRK3 and upregulates BCL2 in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells.
BMC Mol Biol. 2010; 11:95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neurotrophins and their receptors are key molecules in the regulation of neuronal differentiation and survival. They mediate the survival of neurons during development and adulthood and are implicated in synaptic plasticity. The human neurotrophin-3 receptor gene NTRK3 yields two major isoforms, a full-length kinase-active form and a truncated non-catalytic form, which activates a specific pathway affecting membrane remodeling and cytoskeletal reorganization. The two variants present non-overlapping 3'UTRs, indicating that they might be differentially regulated at the post-transcriptional level. Here, we provide evidence that the two isoforms of NTRK3 are targeted by different sets of microRNAs, small non-coding RNAs that play an important regulatory role in the nervous system.
RESULTS: We identify one microRNA (miR-151-3p) that represses the full-length isoform of NTRK3 and four microRNAs (miR-128, miR-485-3p, miR-765 and miR-768-5p) that repress the truncated isoform. In particular, we show that the overexpression of miR-128 - a brain enriched miRNA - causes morphological changes in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells similar to those observed using an siRNA specifically directed against truncated NTRK3, as well as a significant increase in cell number. Accordingly, transcriptome analysis of cells transfected with miR-128 revealed an alteration of the expression of genes implicated in cytoskeletal organization as well as genes involved in apoptosis, cell survival and proliferation, including the anti-apoptotic factor BCL2.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the regulation of NTRK3 by microRNAs is isoform-specific and suggest that neurotrophin-mediated processes are strongly linked to microRNA-dependent mechanisms. In addition, these findings open new perspectives for the study of the physiological role of miR-128 and its possible involvement in cell death/survival processes.

Huang YT, Lai PC, Wu CC, et al.
BDNF mediated TrkB activation is a survival signal for transitional cell carcinoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2010; 36(6):1469-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pathologically, >90% of bladder cancer is transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). Previously, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) but not tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) was found in normal urothelium. TrkB activation by BDNF has been shown to promote the progression of several cancers, however, the existence and functional roles of both BDNF and TrkB in TCC have not been elucidated. In this study, three human TCC cell lines, BFTC905, TSGH8301, and T24 were used for the investigation. Both BDNF and TrkB but not TrkA or TrkC identified by RT-PCR and Western blotting were found in these cell lines. Immunostaining demonstrated the cytosolic expression of BDNF and TrkB, as well as membranous expression of TrkB in these cells. BDNF released from three cell lines was also detected in culture medium by ELISA. The proliferation of BFTC905 cells was enhanced by recombinant human BDNF (rhBDNF) in vitro, which was associated with increased phospho-TrkB and phospho-ERK levels. In contrast, TrkB-Fc chimeric protein served as BDNF scavenger eliciting cytotoxicity. Addition of rhBDNF in these cell lines cultured in poly-HEMA [Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)] coated dishes for 48 h did not confer resistance to anoikis. Increased phospho-Akt expression was observed transiently within an hour after rhBDNF administration but disappeared 24 h later. Weekly injections of 100 ng rhBDNF into the cancer cell-loading site for 6 weeks promoted BFTC905 xenograft growth in SCID mice. Daily injection of 5 microg TrkB-Fc chimeric protein into the tumor 2 weeks after tumor cell implantation delayed tumor growth concomitant with phospho-TrkB suppression in xenografts. These results indicate that BDNF binding to TrkB receptor is a survival signal for TCC cells. Drugs that block BDNF or TrkB may provide a new and potential approach for TCC therapy.

Harel L, Costa B, Fainzilber M
On the death Trk.
Dev Neurobiol. 2010; 70(5):298-303 [PubMed] Related Publications
The trk family of receptor tyrosine kinases supports survival and differentiation in the nervous system. Paradoxically it has also been shown that members of the trk family can induce cell death in pediatric tumor cells of neuronal origin. Moreover, TrkA and TrkC serve as good prognostic indicators in neuroblastoma and medulloblatoma, respectively. Although the possible linkage between these observations was intriguing, until recently there was limited insight on the mechanisms involved. Recent findings suggest that TrkA might influence neuronal cell death through stimulation of p75 cleavage. An alternative p75-independent mechanism was suggested by a newly discovered interaction between TrkA and CCM2 (the protein product of the gene cerebral cavernous malformation 2). Coexpression of CCM2 with TrkA induces cell death in medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma cells, and CCM2 expression levels correlate with those of TrkA and with good prognosis in neuroblastoma patients. Thus, mechanistic clues to the enigma of trk-induced cell death have begun to emerge. Detailed elucidation of these mechanisms and their in vivo physiological significance will be of keen interest for future research.

Bouzas-Rodriguez J, Cabrera JR, Delloye-Bourgeois C, et al.
Neurotrophin-3 production promotes human neuroblastoma cell survival by inhibiting TrkC-induced apoptosis.
J Clin Invest. 2010; 120(3):850-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/03/2015 Related Publications
Tropomyosin-related kinase receptor C (TrkC) is a neurotrophin receptor with tyrosine kinase activity that was expected to be oncogenic. However, it has several characteristics of a tumor suppressor: its expression in tumors has often been associated with good prognosis; and it was recently demonstrated to be a dependence receptor, transducing different positive signals in the presence of ligand but inducing apoptosis in the absence of ligand. Here we show that the TrkC ligand neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is upregulated in a large fraction of aggressive human neuroblastomas (NBs) and that it blocks TrkC-induced apoptosis of human NB cell lines, consistent with the idea that TrkC is a dependence receptor. Functionally, both siRNA knockdown of NT-3 expression and incubation with a TrkC-specific blocking antibody triggered apoptosis in human NB cell lines. Importantly, disruption of the NT-3 autocrine loop in malignant human neuroblasts triggered in vitro NB cell death and inhibited tumor growth and metastasis in both a chick and a mouse xenograft model. Thus, we believe that our data suggest that NT-3/TrkC disruption is a putative alternative targeted therapeutic strategy for the treatment of NB.

von Hoff K, Hartmann W, von Bueren AO, et al.
Large cell/anaplastic medulloblastoma: outcome according to myc status, histopathological, and clinical risk factors.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010; 54(3):369-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate the prognostic impact of large cell/anaplastic (LC/A) histology together with molecular and clinical risk factors in childhood medulloblastoma.
METHODS: Three consecutive prospective medulloblastoma trials were screened for patients with the histological diagnosis of LC/A medulloblastoma. Tumors were considered as LC/A if they displayed areas of severe cytological anaplasia or a significant or predominant large cell component. Histology was centrally confirmed. Genomic DNA amplification of c-myc and n-myc, and mRNA expression of c-myc and trkC were analyzed.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients with LC/A medulloblastoma with a median age of 6.1 years (1.4-16.5 years) and a median follow-up of 4.5 years were identified (5% of all medulloblastoma). Four-year event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were 58% and 67%. Young age and metastases (n = 13, 4-year EFS 31% vs. 82% in 15 children >4 years and without metastases, P = 0.001), large cell histology (n = 9, 4-year EFS 22% vs. 75%, P = 0.005) and c-myc amplification (n = 9, 4-year EFS 22% vs. 89%, P < 0.0001) were negative prognostic factors. C-myc amplification was highly correlated with young age (P < 0.001), metastases (P = 0.002) and large cell histology (P = 0.007). Outcome of 12 patients with severely anaplastic tumors without these risk factors was not impaired (4-year EFS 86%).
CONCLUSION: In a subgroup of patients without clinical and molecular risk factors outcome was favorable despite severely anaplastic histology. In contrast, c-myc amplification and large-cell histology were associated with an inferior outcome. Intensified treatment strategies should be considered for children with LC/A medulloblastoma and these characteristics.

Kubo T, Kuroda Y, Kokubu A, et al.
Resequencing analysis of the human tyrosine kinase gene family in pancreatic cancer.
Pancreas. 2009; 38(7):e200-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most intractable of cancers. However, the comprehensive view of somatic mutations in this tumor is far from clear. The tyrosine kinase (TK) gene family, which encodes important regulators of various signal transduction pathways, is one of the most frequently altered gene families in human cancer.
METHODS: To clarify the somatic mutation profile of TKs in pancreatic cancer, we performed a systematic screening of mutations in the kinase domains of all human TK genes (636 exons of 90 genes in total) in 11 pancreatic cancer cell lines and 29 microdissected primary tumors.
RESULTS: We identified 15 nonsynonymous alterations that included 9 DNA alterations in cell lines and 6 somatic mutations in primary tumors. In particular, we identified the previously reported pathogenic mutation of NTRK3 in a KRAS/BRAF wild-type tumor and 2 somatic mutations in the Src family of kinases (YES1 and LYN) that would be expected to cause structural changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Our genome-wide resequencing approach revealed novel oncogenic pathways in pancreatic cancers.

Kubo T, Kuroda Y, Shimizu H, et al.
Resequencing and copy number analysis of the human tyrosine kinase gene family in poorly differentiated gastric cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2009; 30(11):1857-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tyrosine kinase (TK) family is an important regulator of signaling pathways that control a variety of physiological and pathological conditions, and a substantial proportion of TK genes are genetically altered in cancer. To clarify the somatic mutation profile of TK genes and discover potential targets for gastric cancer (GC) therapy, we undertook a systematic screening of mutations in the kinase domains of all human TK genes (636 exons of 90 genes) in 17 GC cell lines and 52 microdissected primary GCs with poorly differentiated histology. We identified 26 non-synonymous alterations (22 genes in total) that included 11 sequence alterations in cell lines and 15 somatic mutations in primary tumors. Recurrent mutations were found in four genes including a known oncogene (NTRK3), the Src kinase family (LTK and CSK) and a potential Wnt signal activator (ROR2). In addition, we analyzed copy number alterations of all the TK gene loci in the same cohort samples by array-based comparative genomic hybridization analysis and identified 24 high-level amplifications and two homozygous deletions. Both sequence alteration and frequent copy number aberration were detected in two TK genes (HCK and ERBB2), strongly suggesting that they encode potential oncogenes in GC. Our focused and integrated analyses of systemic resequencing and gene copy number have revealed the novel onco-kinome profile of GC and pave the way to a comprehensive understanding of the GC genome.

Mulligan P, Westbrook TF, Ottinger M, et al.
CDYL bridges REST and histone methyltransferases for gene repression and suppression of cellular transformation.
Mol Cell. 2008; 32(5):718-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
The neuronal gene repressor REST/NRSF recruits corepressors, including CoREST, to modify histones and repress transcription. REST also functions as a tumor suppressor, but the mechanism remains unclear. We identified chromodomain on Y-like (CDYL) as a REST corepressor that physically bridges REST and the histone methylase G9a to repress transcription. Importantly, RNAi knockdown of REST, CDYL, and G9a, but not CoREST, induced oncogenic transformation of immortalized primary human cells and derepression of the proto-oncogene TrkC. Significantly, transgenic expression of TrkC also induced transformation. This implicates CDYL-G9a, but not CoREST, in REST suppression of transformation, possibly by oncogene repression. CDYL knockdown also augments transformation in a cell culture model of cervical cancer, where loss of heterozygosity of the CDYL locus occurs. These findings demonstrate molecular strategies by which REST carries out distinct biological functions via different corepressors and provide critical insights into the role of histone-modifying complexes in regulating cellular transformation.

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