Research IndicatorsGraph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (2)
Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.
Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: EIF4EBP1 (cancer-related)
System l amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) is highly expressed in various types of human cancer, and contributes to cancer growth and survival. Recently, we have shown that LAT1 expression is closely related to the growth and aggressiveness of esophageal cancer, and is an independent marker of poor prognosis. However, it remains unclear whether LAT1 inhibition could suppress esophageal cancer growth. In this study, we investigated the tumor-suppressive effects of the inhibition of LAT1. Both LAT1 and CD98, which covalently associates to LAT1 on the membrane, were expressed in human esophageal cancer cell lines KYSE30 and KYSE150. Quantitative PCR analysis showed that the expression of LAT1 was much higher than other subtypes of LAT. A selective inhibitor of LAT, 2-aminobicyclo-(2,2,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid (BCH), suppressed cellular uptake of l-(14) C-leucine and cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. It also suppressed phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin, 4E-BP1, and p70S6K protein, and induced cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. These results suggest that suppression of both mammalian target of rapamycin signaling and cell cycle progression is involved in BCH-induced growth inhibition. In tumor-bearing mice, daily treatment with BCH significantly delayed tumor growth and decreased glucose metabolism, indicating that LAT1 inhibition potentially suppresses esophageal cancer growth in vivo. Thus, our results suggest that LAT1 inhibition could be a promising molecular target for the esophageal cancer therapy.
Gastric cancer (GC) is characterized by amplifications of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and KRAS, therefore, targeting of the RTK/KRAS downstream pathways could help to broaden the applicability of molecular targeted therapy for GC. We assembled a panel of 48 GC cell lines and screened predictors of responsiveness to inhibition of the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, one of the RTK/KRAS downstream pathways. We found that GC cells with MET amplification or KRAS mutation, but not amplification, tended to be sensitive to MEK inhibition. However, several cell lines without RTK/KRAS alterations also showed high sensitivity to MEK inhibition. We then focused on the phosphorylation of RTK/KRAS downstream molecules to screen for predictors' sensitivity to MEK inhibition. We found that the phosphorylation level of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) downstream molecules, including p70S6K, 4EBP1, and S6, was significantly associated with sensitivity to MEK inhibition in GC cells (P < 0.05), suggesting that mTORC1 activity is related to the sensitivity to MEK inhibition. Furthermore, the change in mTORC1 activity after MEK inhibition was also significantly associated with this sensitivity (P < 0.001). Among the mTORC1 downstream molecules, the change in S6 phosphorylation (pS6) showed the most significant correlation with sensitivity. Using xenograft models derived from highly sensitive and resistant cell lines, we found specific reduction of pS6 in xenografts from highly sensitive cell lines after 6 h of treatment with an MEK inhibitor. Thus, our data suggest the potential clinical applicability of an MEK inhibitor for a proportion of GC patients who could be selected on the basis of pS6 change after MEK inhibition.
Mei H, Wang Y, Fan J, Lin ZAlternative splicing of S6K1 promotes non-small cell lung cancer survival.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):13369-13376 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) that acts downstream of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) plays an important role in cell proliferation, protein translation, and cell survival. The gene RPS6KB1 encoding for S6K1 had been found to be alternatively spliced to form different isoforms. In this study, we identified that short isoforms of S6K1 splice variant were overproduced in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Moreover, suppression of S6K1 short isoforms inhibited NSCLC cell growth and induced apoptosis via upregulation of the BH3-only protein Bim in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, short isoforms of S6K1 activated mTORC1, leading to increased 4E-BP1 phosphorylation. Taken together, our findings suggested that S6K1 short isoforms were deregulated in NSCLC and promoted cell survival. Altogether, our study opens possibilities of new therapeutic approaches for NSCLC that selectively downregulate S6K1 shorter isoforms.
Riquelme I, Tapia O, Espinoza JA, et al.The Gene Expression Status of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR Pathway in Gastric Cancer Tissues and Cell Lines.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2016; 22(4):797-805 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway plays a crucial role in the regulation of multiple cellular functions including cell growth, proliferation, metabolism and angiogenesis. Emerging evidence has shown that deregulation of this pathway has a role promoting gastric cancer (GC). The aim was to assess the expression of genes involved in this pathway by qPCR in 23 tumor and 23 non-tumor gastric mucosa samples from advanced GC patients, and in AGS, MKN28 and MKN45 gastric cancer cell lines. Results showed a slight overexpression of PIK3CA, PIK3CB, AKT1, MTOR, RPS6KB1, EIF4EBP1 and EIF4E genes, and a slightly decreased PTEN and TSC1 expression. In AGS, MKN28 and MKN45 cells a significant gene overexpression of PIK3CA, PIK3CB, AKT1, MTOR, RPS6KB1 and EIF4E, and a significant repression of PTEN gene expression were observed. Immunoblotting showed that PI3K-β, AKT, p-AKT, PTEN, mTOR, p-mTOR, P70S6K1, p-P70S6K1, 4E-BP1, p-4E-BP1, eIF4E and p-eIF4E proteins were present in cell lines at different levels, confirming activation of this pathway in vitro. This is the first time this extensive panel of 9 genes within PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway has been studied in GC to clarify the biological role of this pathway in GC and develop new strategies for this malignancy.
Shin S, Go RE, Kim CW, et al.Effect of benzophenone-1 and octylphenol on the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition via an estrogen receptor-dependent pathway in estrogen receptor expressing ovarian cancer cells.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2016; 93:58-65 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important process in embryonic development and cancer progression and metastasis. EMT is influenced by 17β-estradiol (E2), an endogenous estrogen. Benzophenone-1 (2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone, BP-1) and 4-tert-octylphenol (OP) are suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) because they can exhibit estrogenic properties. In this study, we examined whether BP-1 and OP can lead to EMT of BG-1 ovarian cancer cells expressing estrogen receptors (ERs). A wound healing assay and western blot assay were conducted to show the effect of BP-1 and OP on the migration of BG-1 cells and protein expression of EMT-related genes. BP-1 (10(-6) M) and OP (10(-6) M) significantly enhanced the migration capability of BG-1 cells by reducing the wounded area in the cell monolayer relative to the control, similar to E2 (10(-9) M). However, when BG-1 cells were co-treated with ICI 182,780, an ER antagonist, the uncovered area was maintained at the level of the control. N-cadherin, snail, and slug were increased by BP-1 and OP while E-cadherin was reduced compared to the control. However, this effect was also restored by co-treatment with ICI 182,780. Taken together, these results indicate that BP-1 and OP, the potential EDCs, may have the ability to induce ovarian cancer metastasis via regulation of the expression of EMT markers and migration of ER-expressing BG-1 ovarian cancer cells.
Hayashi T, Kumasaka T, Mitani K, et al.Bronchial involvement in advanced stage lymphangioleiomyomatosis: histopathologic and molecular analyses.
Hum Pathol. 2016; 50:34-42 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a rare progressive disease that almost exclusively affects women, is characterized by pulmonary cysts and neoplastic proliferation of smooth muscle-like cells (LAM cells). Airflow obstruction is a physiologic consequence that is commonly observed in LAM and has been attributed to narrowing of peripheral airways. However, histopathologic examinations of the entire airway have been precluded by the limited availability of such specimens. Here, we used explanted lung tissues from 30 LAM patients for a thorough histologic analysis with a special emphasis on the bronchi. We found bronchial involvement by LAM cells and lymphatics in all patients examined. Furthermore, a moderate to severe degree of chronic inflammation (73%), goblet cell hyperplasia (97%), squamous cell metaplasia (83%) of the epithelium, and thickening of basal lamina (93%) were identified in the bronchi. Because LAM cells are transformed by the functional loss of the TSC genes leading to a hyperactivated mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway, we confirmed the expression of phospho-p70S6K, phospho-S6, phospho-4E-BP1, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-D in LAM cells from all of the patients examined. In contrast, no protein expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, a downstream molecule indicative of mTORC1 activation and leading to VEGF production, was detected in any patient. Our study indicates that late-stage LAM patients commonly have bronchi involved by the proliferation of both LAM cells and lymphatics and that chronic inflammation complicated their disease. Furthermore, the up-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, a common event in mTORC1-driven tumor cells, does not occur in LAM cells and plays no role in VEGF-D expression in LAM cells.
BACKGROUND: The mTOR-inhibitor everolimus improves progression-free survival in advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNETs). However, adaptive resistance to mTOR inhibition is described.
METHODS: QGP-1 and BON-1, two human PNET cell lines, were cultured with increasing concentrations of everolimus up to 22 weeks to reach a dose of 1 μM everolimus, respectively, 1000-fold and 250-fold initial IC50. Using total DNA content as a measure of cell number, growth inhibitory dose-response curves of everolimus were determined at the end of resistance induction and over time after everolimus withdrawal. Response to ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitors OSI-027 and AZD2014, and PI3K-mTOR inhibitor NVP-BEZ235 was studied. Gene expression of 10 PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway-related genes was evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR).
RESULTS: Long-term everolimus-treated BON-1/R and QGP-1/R showed a significant reduction in everolimus sensitivity. During a drug holiday, gradual return of everolimus sensitivity in BON-1/R and QGP-1/R led to complete reversal of resistance after 10-12 weeks. Treatment with AZD2014, OSI-027 and NVP-BEZ235 had an inhibitory effect on cell proliferation in both sensitive and resistant cell lines. Gene expression in BON-1/R revealed downregulation of MTOR, RICTOR, RAPTOR, AKT and HIF1A, whereas 4EBP1 was upregulated. In QGP-1/R, a downregulation of HIF1A and an upregulation of ERK2 were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Long-term everolimus resistance was induced in two human PNET cell lines. Novel PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway-targeting drugs can overcome everolimus resistance. Differential gene expression profiles suggest different mechanisms of everolimus resistance in BON-1 and QGP-1.
BACKGROUND: Control of mRNA translation is fundamentally altered in cancer. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) signaling regulates key translation mediators to modulate protein synthesis (e.g. eIF4E, 4E-BP1, mTOR, and S6K1). Importantly the Amplified in Breast Cancer (AIB1) oncogene regulates transcription and is also a downstream mediator of IGF-I signaling.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: To determine if AIB1 also affects mRNA translation, we conducted gain and loss of AIB1 function experiments in estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)(+) (MCF-7L) and ERα(-) (MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-435 and LCC6) breast cancer cells.
RESULTS: AIB1 positively regulated IGF-I-induced mRNA translation in both ERα(+) and ERα(-) cells. Formation of the eIF4E-4E-BP1 translational complex was altered in the AIB1 ERα(+) and ERα(-) knockdown cells, leading to a reduction in the eIF4E/4E-BP1 and eIF4G/4E-BP1 ratios. In basal and IGF-I stimulated MCF-7 and LCC6 cells, knockdown of AIB1 decreased the integrity of the cap-binding complex, reduced global IGF-I stimulated polyribosomal mRNA recruitment with a concomitant decrease in ten of the thirteen genes tested in polysome-bound mRNAs mapping to proliferation, cell cycle, survival, transcription, translation and ribosome biogenesis ontologies. Specifically, knockdown of AIB1 decreased ribosome-bound mRNA and steady-state protein levels of the transcription factors ERα and E2F1 in addition to reduced ribosome-bound mRNA of the ribosome biogenesis factor BYSL in a cell-line specific manner to regulate mRNA translation.
CONCLUSION: The oncogenic transcription factor AIB1 has a novel role in the regulation of polyribosome recruitment and formation of the translational complex. Combinatorial therapies targeting IGF signaling and mRNA translation in AIB1 expressing breast cancers may have clinical benefit and warrants further investigation.
Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) is a member of a family of translation repressor proteins, and a well-known substrate of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. Phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 causes its release from eIF4E to allow cap-dependent translation to proceed. Recently, 4E-BP1 was shown to be phosphorylated by other kinases besides mTOR, and overexpression of 4E-BP1 was found in different human carcinomas. In this review, we summarize the novel findings on mTOR independent 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in carcinomas. The implications of overexpression and possible multi-function of 4E-BP1 are also discussed.
This study aimed to determine the expression of progranulin (PGRN) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells in response to interleukin 6 (IL-6), a non-cellular component of the tumor microenvironment, and the molecular mechanism of PGRN oncogenic activity in hepatocarcinogenesis. Levels of IL-6 and PGRN were increased and positively correlated in HCC tissues. IL-6 dose- and time-dependently increased PGRN level in HCC cells. IL-6-driven PGRN expression was at least in part mediated by Erk/C/EBPβ signaling, and reduced expression of PGRN impaired IL-6-stimulated proliferation, migration and invasion of HepG2 cells. PGRN activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, as evidenced by increased phosphorylation of p70S6K, 4E-BP1, and Akt-Ser473/FoxO1. Inhibition of mTOR signaling with rapamycin, an mTOR signaling inhibitor, disturbed PGRN- or IL-6-mediated proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells in vitro. Persistent activation of mTOR signaling by knockdown of TSC2 restored PGRN-knockdown-attenuated pro-proliferation effects of IL-6 in HepG2 cells. In addition, rapamycin treatment in vivo in mice slowed tumor growth stimulated by recombinant human PGRN. Our findings provide a better understanding of the biological activities of the IL-6/PGRN/mTOR cascade in the carcinogenesis of HCC, which may suggest a novel target in the treatment of HCC.
Demark-Wahnefried W, Nix JW, Hunter GR, et al.Feasibility outcomes of a presurgical randomized controlled trial exploring the impact of caloric restriction and increased physical activity versus a wait-list control on tumor characteristics and circulating biomarkers in men electing prostatectomy for prostate cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:61 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Obesity is associated with tumor aggressiveness and disease-specific mortality for more than 15 defined malignancies, including prostate cancer. Preclinical studies suggest that weight loss from caloric restriction and increased physical activity may suppress hormonal, energy-sensing, and inflammatory factors that drive neoplastic progression; however, exact mechanisms are yet to be determined, and experiments in humans are limited.
METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial among 40 overweight or obese, newly-diagnosed prostate cancer patients who elected prostatectomy to explore feasibility of a presurgical weight loss intervention that promoted a weight loss of roughly one kg. week(-1) via caloric restriction and physical activity, as well as to assess effects on tumor biology and circulating biomarkers. Measures of feasibility (accrual, retention, adherence, and safety) were primary endpoints. Exploratory aims were directed at the intervention's effect on tumor proliferation (Ki-67) and other tumor markers (activated caspase-3, insulin and androgen receptors, VEGF, TNFβ, NFκB, and 4E-BP1), circulating biomarkers (PSA, insulin, glucose, VEGF, TNFβ, leptin, SHBG, and testosterone), lymphocytic gene expression of corresponding factors and cellular bioenergetics in neutrophils, and effects on the gut microbiome. Consenting patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either: 1) weight loss via a healthful, guidelines-based diet and exercise regimen; or 2) a wait-list control. While biological testing is currently ongoing, this paper details our methods and feasibility outcomes.
RESULTS: The accrual target was met after screening 101 cases (enrollment rate: 39.6%). Other outcomes included a retention rate of 85%, excellent adherence (95%), and no serious reported adverse events. No significant differences by age, race, or weight status were noted between enrollees vs. non-enrollees. The most common reasons for non-participation were "too busy" (30%), medical exclusions (21%), and "distance" (16%).
CONCLUSIONS: Presurgical trials offer a means to study the impact of diet and exercise interventions directly on tumor tissue, and other host factors that are feasible and safe, though modifications are needed to conduct trials within an abbreviated period of time and via distance medicine-based approaches. Pre-surgical trials are critical to elucidate the impact of lifestyle interventions on specific mechanisms that mediate carcinogenesis and which can be used subsequently as therapeutic targets.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT01886677.
The levels, regulation and prognostic value of p21 in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) has been puzzling for years. Here, we report a new mechanism of regulation of p21 by the mTORC1/4E-BP1 pathway. We find that non-phosphorylated 4E-BP1 interacts with p21 and induces its degradation. Accordingly, hyper-activation of mTORC1 results in phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and stabilization of p21. In HNSCC, p21 levels strongly correlate with mTORC1 activity but not with p53 status. Finally, clinical data indicate that HNSCC patients with p21 and phospho-S6-double-positive tumours present a better disease-specific survival. We conclude that over-activation of the mTORC1/4E-BP1/p21 pathway is a frequent and clinically relevant alteration in HNSCC.
Ikeda S, Okamoto T, Okano S, et al.PD-L1 Is Upregulated by Simultaneous Amplification of the PD-L1 and JAK2 Genes in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
J Thorac Oncol. 2016; 11(1):62-71 [PubMed
] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The programmed death ligand 1(PD-L1)/programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway is one of the most important checkpoint pathways for mediating tumor-induced immune suppression through T-cell exhaustion. Recently, targeted therapies using monoclonal antibodies against components of this pathway have been shown to reduce tumor burden in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the prognostic significance of PD-L1 expression is controversial and the precise mechanisms of PD-L1 gene activation in lung cancer have yet to be clarified.
METHODS: We investigated copy number alterations (CNAs) in the PD-L1 gene by real-time PCR in 94 surgically resected lung cancer samples to find possible associations between PD-L1 CNA and lung cancer biology. Janus kinase 2 gene (JAK2) CNA and its influence on the PD-L1/PD-1 pathway were also assessed.
RESULTS: Five samples were shown to have PD-L1 gene amplification, whereas 89 samples did not. The patients with PD-L1 amplification had worse prognoses than did those without PD-L1 amplification. Genetic amplification of the PD-L1 gene was correlated with JAK2 gene amplification. The lung cancer cell line HCC4006 was found to harbor both JAK2 and PD-L1 amplification. Flow cytometry analyses revealed the level of PD-L1 protein expression to be higher in HCC4006 cells than in other NSCLC cell lines. Expression of the PD-L1 protein was significantly reduced by the JAK2 inhibitor TG-101348 and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT-3) inhibitor BP-1-102, but not by the STAT1 inhibitor fludarabine.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that expression of PD-L1 protein is upregulated by the simultaneous amplification of the PD-L1 and JAK2 genes through JAK-STAT signaling in NCSLC.
Fan SJ, Li HB, Cui G, et al.miRNA-149* promotes cell proliferation and suppresses apoptosis by mediating JunB in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leuk Res. 2016; 41:62-70 [PubMed
] Related Publications
MicroRNA-149* (miRNA-149*) functions as an oncogenic regulator in human melanoma. However, the effect of miRNA-149* on T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is unclear. Here we aimed to analyze the effects of miRNA-149* on in vitro T-ALL cells and to uncover the target for miRNA-149* in these cells. The miRNA-149* level was determined in multiple cell lines and bone marrow cells derived from patients with T-ALL, B acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), acute myelocytic leukemia (AML), and healthy donors. We found that miRNA-149* was highly expressed in T-ALL cell lines and T-ALL patients' bone marrow samples. JunB was identified as a direct target of miR-149*. miRNA-149* mimics downregulated JunB levels in Molt-4 and Jurkat cells, while miRNA-149* inhibitors dramatically upregulated JunB expression in these cells. miRNA-149* mimics promoted proliferation, decreased the proportion of cells in G1 phase, and reduced cell apoptosis in T-ALL cells, while miRNA-149* inhibitors prevented these effects. miRNA-149* mimics downregulated p21 and upregulated cyclinD1, 4EBP1, and p70s6k in Molt-4 and Jurkat cells. Again, inhibitors prevented these effects. Our findings demonstrate that miRNA-149* may serve as an oncogenic regulator in T-ALL by negatively regulating JunB.
BACKGROUND: The AKT/mTORC1/S6K pathway is frequently overstimulated in breast cancer, constituting a promising therapeutic target. The benefit from mTOR inhibitors varies, likely as a consequence of tumour heterogeneity, and upregulation of several compensatory feed-back mechanisms. The mTORC1 downstream effectors S6K1, S6K2, and 4EBP1 are amplified and overexpressed in breast cancer, associated with a poor outcome and divergent endocrine treatment benefit. S6K1 and S6K2 share high sequence homology, but evidence of partly distinct biological functions is emerging. The aim of this work was to explore possible different roles and treatment target potentials of S6K1 and S6K2 in breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Whole-genome expression profiles were compared for breast tumours expressing high levels of S6K1, S6K2 or 4EBP1, using public datasets, as well as after in vitro siRNA downregulation of S6K1 and/or S6K2 in ZR751 breast cancer cells. In silico homology modelling of the S6K2 kinase domain was used to evaluate its possible structural divergences to S6K1.
RESULTS: Genome expression profiles were highly different in S6K1 and S6K2 high tumours, whereas S6K2 and 4EBP1 profiles showed significant overlaps, both correlated to genes involved in cell cycle progression, among these the master regulator E2F1. S6K2 and 4EBP1 were inversely associated with IGF1 levels, and their prognostic value was shown to be restricted to tumours positive for IGFR and/or HER2. In vitro, S6K1 and S6K2 silencing resulted in upregulation of genes in the mTORC1 and mTORC2 complexes. Isoform-specific silencing also showed distinct patterns, e.g. S6K2 downregulation lead to upregulation of several cell cycle associated genes. Structural analyses of the S6K2 kinase domain showed unique structure patterns, deviating from those of S6K1, facilitating the development of isoform-specific inhibitors. Our data support emerging proposals of distinct biological features of S6K1 and S6K2, suggesting their importance as separate oncogenes and clinical markers, where specific targeting in different breast cancer subtypes could facilitate further individualised therapies.
The aim of the present study was to identify the specific miRNAs involved in regulation of EIF4EBP1 expression in ovarian cancer and to define their biological function. miRNA mimics and miRNA inhibitors were used in quantitative PCR, western blotting, and luciferase reporter assays to assess cell migration, invasiveness, and viability. miR-125a and miR-125b were downregulated in ovarian cancer tissue and cell lines relative to healthy controls. Increased expression of miR-125a and miR-125b inhibited invasion and migration of SKOV3 and OVCAR-429 ovarian cancer cells and was associated with a decrease in EIF4EBP1 expression. The inverse relationship between miR-125a and miR-125b was corroborated by cotransfection of a luciferase reporter plasmid. Furthermore, miR-125a and miR-125b caused apoptosis and decreased cell viability and migration in an apparently EIF4EBP1-directed manner. Collectively, these results indicate that miR-125a and miR-125b are important posttranscriptional regulators of EIF4EBP1 expression, providing rationale for new therapeutic approaches to suppress tumour invasion and migration using miR-125a, miR-125b, or their mimics for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Wang T, Seah S, Loh X, et al.Simvastatin-induced breast cancer cell death and deactivation of PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK signalling are reversed by metabolic products of the mevalonate pathway.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):2532-44 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Statins purportedly exert anti-tumoral effects on breast cancer. However, the biologic mechanisms for these actions are not fully elucidated. The aims of this study were 1) to explore the effects of simvastatin on apoptosis, proliferation as well as PI3K/Akt/mTOR and MAPK/ERK pathway in a window-of-opportunity breast cancer trial; 2) to further confirm findings from the clinical trial by functional studies; 3) to explore the regulatory role of mevalonate pathway on the anti-tumoral effects of simvastatin. In clinical samples, simvastatin led to increase in cleaved caspase-3 (p = 0.002) and decreased trend for Ki67 (p = 0.245). Simvastatin markedly suppressed PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling by activating PTEN (p = 0.005) and by dephosphorylating Akt (p = 0.002) and S6RP (p = 0.033); it also inhibited MAPK/ERK pathway by dephosphorylating c-Raf (p = 0.018) and ERK1/2 (p = 0.002). In ER-positive (MCF-7, T47D) and ER-negative (MDA-MB-231, BT-549) breast cancer cells, simvastatin treatment consistently induced apoptosis and inhibited proliferation by deregulating caspase cascades and cell cycle proteins in a dose dependent manner. Concordantly, simvastatin strongly suppressed PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway by enhancing PTEN expression and by further sequentially dephosphorylating downstream cascades including Akt, mTOR, p70S6K, S6RP and 4E-BP1. Furthermore, simvastatin significantly inhibited MAPK/ERK pathway by dephosphorylating sequential cascades such as c-Raf, MEK1/2 and ERK1/2. These simvastatin anti-tumoral effects were reversed by metabolic products of the mevalonate pathway, including mevalonate, farnesyl pyrophosphate and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. These findings shed light on the biological and potential anti-tumoral effects of simvastatin in breast cancer.
Zheng Z, Zheng Y, Zhang M, et al.Reciprocal expression of p-AMPKa and p-S6 is strongly associated with the prognosis of gastric cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(4):4803-11 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) suppressed mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, resulting in impaired cancer cell proliferation. Two cohorts (50 and 1072 cases) of patients with resected gastric adenocarcinoma were enrolled in the study. Immunohistochemical staining for p-AMPKa, p-ACC, p-mTOR, p-S6, and p-4EBP1 was performed on the 50-patient cohort. Tissue microarray blocks containing samples from 1072 patients of Chinese ethnicity were used for the immunohistochemical detection of p-AMPKa and p-S6 levels. p-AMPK and p-ACC were frequently inactivated in both cohorts of gastric cancer samples, while p-mTOR, p-S6, and p-4EBP1 were frequently activated in the small cohort of gastric cancer. However, only levels of p-AMPKa and p-S6 were associated with the overall survival of gastric cancer patients. In the larger 1072-patient cohort, downregulation of p-AMPKa and upregulation of p-S6 were associated with tumor progression and were independent predictors of survival after resection of primary gastric cancer. Therefore, reciprocal expression of p-AMPKa and p-S6 may be promising prognostic biomarkers in patients with gastric cancer.
Ilmer M, Garnier A, Vykoukal J, et al.Targeting the Neurokinin-1 Receptor Compromises Canonical Wnt Signaling in Hepatoblastoma.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2015; 14(12):2712-21 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The substance P (SP)/NK-1 receptor (NK1R) complex represents an intriguing anticancer target for a variety of tumors, including hepatoblastoma (HB). Therefore, NK1R antagonists, such as the clinical drug aprepitant, recently have been proposed as potent anticancer agents. However, very little is known regarding the molecular basis of NK1R inhibition in cancer. Using reverse phase protein array, Western blot, Super TOP/FOP, confocal microscopy, and sphere formation ability (SFA) assays, we identified the AKT and Wnt signaling pathways as the key targets of aprepitant in three human HB cell lines (HepT1, HepG2, and HuH6). Following NK1R blockage, we observed decreased phosphorylation of p70S6K and 4E-BP1/2 and inhibition of the canonical Wnt pathway with subsequent decrease of HB cell growth. This effect was dependent of high baseline Wnt activity either by mutational status of β-catenin or extrinsic Wnt activation. Wnt inhibition seemed to be strengthened by disruption of the FOXM1-β-catenin complex. Furthermore, treatment of HB cells with aprepitant led to reduced expression of (liver) stemness markers (AFP, CD13, SOX2, NANOG, and OCT4) and SFA when grown under cancer stem cell conditions. Taken together, we show for the first time that targeting the SP/NK1R signaling cascade inhibits canonical Wnt signaling in HB cells. These findings reveal important insight into the molecular mechanisms of the SP/NK1R complex as a critical component in a model of pediatric liver cancer and may support the development of novel therapeutic interventions for HB and other Wnt-activated cancers.
The T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (Tim-3) is a plasma membrane-associated receptor which is involved in a variety of biological responses in human immune cells. It is highly expressed in most acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells and therefore may serve as a possible target for AML therapy. However, its biochemical activities in primary human AML cells remain unclear. We therefore analysed the total expression and surface presence of the Tim-3 receptor in primary human AML blasts and healthy primary human leukocytes isolated from human blood. We found that Tim-3 expression was significantly higher in primary AML cells compared to primary healthy leukocytes. Tim-3 receptor molecules were distributed largely on the surface of primary AML cells, whereas in healthy leukocytes Tim-3 protein was mainly expressed intracellularly. In primary human AML blasts, both Tim-3 agonistic antibody and galectin-9 (a Tim-3 natural ligand) significantly upregulated mTOR pathway activity. This was in line with increased accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) and secretion of VEGF and TNF-α. Similar results were obtained in primary human healthy leukocytes. Importantly, in both types of primary cells, Tim-3-mediated effects were compared with those induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and stem cell factor (SCF). Tim-3 induced comparatively moderate responses in both AML cells and healthy leukocytes. However, Tim-3, like LPS, mediated the release of both TNF-α and VEGF, while SCF induced mostly VEGF secretion and did not upregulate TNF-α release.
Li H, Kong X, Cui G, et al.Rapamycin restores p14, p15 and p57 expression and inhibits the mTOR/p70S6K pathway in acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
Int J Hematol. 2015; 102(5):558-68 [PubMed
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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of rapamycin and its underlying mechanisms on acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells. We found that the p14, p15, and p57 genes were not expressed in ALL cell lines (Molt-4 and Nalm-6) and adult ALL patients, whereas mTOR, 4E-BP1, and p70S6K were highly expressed. In Molt-4 and Nalm-6 cells exposed to rapamycin, cell viability decreased and the cell cycle was arrested at the G1/S phase. Rapamycin restored p14, p15, and p57 gene expression through demethylation of the promoters of these genes. As expected, rapamycin also increased p14 and p15 protein expression in both Molt-4 and Nalm-6 cells, as well as p57 protein expression in Nalm-6 cells. Rapamycin additionally decreased mTOR and p70S6K mRNA levels, as well as p70S6K and p-p70S6K protein levels. However, depletion of mTOR by siRNA did not alter the expression and promoter methylation states of p14, p15, and p57. These results indicate that the inhibitory effect of rapamycin may be due mainly to increased p14, p15, and p57 expression via promoter demethylation and decreased mTOR and p70S6K expression in ALL cell lines. These results suggest a potential role for rapamycin in the treatment of adult ALL.
Twist1 overexpression corresponds with poor survival in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the underlining mechanism is not clear. The objective of the present study was to investigate the tumorigenic role of Twist1 and its related molecular mechanisms in NSCLC. Twist1 was overexpressed in 34.7% of NSCLC patients. The survival rate was significantly lower in patients with high Twist1 expression than low expression (P < 0.05). Twist1 expression levels were higher in H1650 cells, but relatively lower in H1975 cells. H1650 with stable Twist1 knockdown, H1650shTw, demonstrated a significantly slower rate of wound closure; however, H1975 with stable Twist1 overexpression, H1975Over, had an increased motility velocity. A significant decrease in colony number and size was observed in H1650shTw, but a significant increase in colony number was found in H1975Over (P < 0.05). Tumor growth significantly decreased in mice implanted with H1650shTw compared to H1650 (P < 0.05). 4E-BP1 and p53 gene expressions were increased, but p-4E-BP1 and p-mTOR protein expressions were decreased in H1650shTw. However, 4E-BP1 gene expression was decreased, while p-4E-BP1 and p-mTOR protein expressions were increased in H1975Over. p-4E-BP1 was overexpressed in 24.0% of NSCLC patients. Survival rate was significantly lower in patients with high p-4E-BP1 expression than low p-4E-BP1 (P < 0.01). A significant correlation was found between Twist1 and p-4E-BP1 (P < 0.01). A total of 13 genes in RT-PCR array showed significant changes in H1650shTw. Altogether, Twist1 is correlated with p-4E-BP1 in predicting the prognostic outcome of NSCLC. Inhibition of Twist1 decreases p-4E-BP1 expression possibly through downregulating p-mTOR and increasing p53 expression in NSCLC.
Shi F, Len Y, Gong Y, et al.Ribavirin Inhibits the Activity of mTOR/eIF4E, ERK/Mnk1/eIF4E Signaling Pathway and Synergizes with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Imatinib to Impair Bcr-Abl Mediated Proliferation and Apoptosis in Ph+ Leukemia.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0136746 [PubMed
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The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), which is the main composition factor of eIF4F translation initiation complex, influences the growth of tumor through modulating cap-dependent protein translation. Previous studies reported that ribavirin could suppress eIF4E-controlled translation and reduce the synthesis of onco-proteins. Here, we investigated the anti-leukemic effects of ribavirin alone or in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib in Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) leukemia cell lines SUP-B15 (Ph+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell line, Ph+ ALL) and K562 (chronic myelogenous leukemia cell line, CML). Our results showed that ribavirin had anti-proliferation effect; it down-regulated the phosphorylation levels of Akt, mTOR, 4EBP1, and eIF4E proteins in the mTOR/eIF4E signaling pathway, and MEK, ERK, Mnk1 and eIF4E proteins in ERK/Mnk1/eIF4E signaling pathway; reduced the expression of Mcl-1 (a translation substrates of eIF4F translation initiation complex) at protein synthesis level not mRNA transcriptional level; and induced cell apoptosis in both SUP-B15 and K562. 7-Methyl-guanosine cap affinity assay further demonstrated that ribavirin remarkably increased the eIF4E binding to 4EBP1 and decreased the combination of eIF4E with eIF4G, consequently resulting in a major inhibition of eIF4F complex assembly. The combination of ribavirin with imatinib enhanced antileukemic effects mentioned above, indicating that two drugs have synergistic anti-leukemic effect. Consistent with the cell lines, similar results were observed in Ph+ acute lymphoblastic primary leukemic blasts; however, the anti-proliferative role of ribavirin in other types of acute primary leukemic blasts was not obvious, which indicated that the anti-leukemic effect of ribavirin was different in cell lineages.
Wang H, Zhang Y, Lu Y, et al.The role of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):479-89 [PubMed
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This study aimed to investigate the correlations of stearoyl-coenzyme A desaturase 1 (SCD-1) with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) severity and PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway. From 2004 to 2006, tumor tissue and normal pericarcinomatous tissue from ccRCC samples were collected from ccRCC patients at Renji Hospital of Shanghai Jiaotong University. The expression of SCD-1 in the collected ccRCC samples and four cell lines (A498, 769-P, 786-O, and CAKI) was detected by Western blot. The correlation between SCD-1 expression and ccRCC severity was also analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Stable 786-O and 769-P ccRCC cells expressing SCD-1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) were constructed, and the expression of proteins in the PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling pathway was also detected. Finally, the inhibitory effect of PI3K-AKT-mTOR inhibitors (PI103, MK2206, rapamycin, AZD8055, and RAD001) on ccRCC cells stably expressing SCD-1 shRNA was also measured. Higher SCD-1 expression level was observed in ccRCC tissues compared with normal tissues. SCD-1 expression level was the highest in 786-O. SCD-1 expression was positively correlated with the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage, grade of tumor cells, and lymphatic metastasis. There were no changes in the expression of AKT, ERK, PI3K, and PDK1. Significant differences were observed in the expression of p-AKT (at the Ser473 and Thr308 site), p-ERK, and two mTOR downstream molecules (4E-BP1 and p-P70S6K1) in cells stably expressing SCD-1 shRNA. PI103 and AZD8055 could enhance the inhibitory effect of SCD-1 interference on proliferation and migration of 786-O and 769-P cells. AZD8055 is recommended for the combined ccRCC treatment with shRNA interference.
Despite its relative rarity, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) accounts for a large percentage of cancer deaths. In this study, we investigated the in vitro efficacy of OSI-027, a selective inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2, to treat PDAC cell lines alone, and in combination with gemcitabine (GEM). Similarly, we tested the efficacy of these two compounds in a xenograft mouse model of PDAC. OSI-027 significantly arrested cell cycle in G0/G1 phase, inhibited the proliferation of Panc-1, BxPC-3, and CFPAC-1 cells, and downregulated mTORC1, mTORC2, phospho-Akt, phospho-p70S6K, phospho-4E-BP1, cyclin D1, and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) in these cells. Moreover, OSI-027 also downregulated multidrug resistance (MDR)-1, which has been implicated in chemotherapy resistance in PDAC cells and enhanced apoptosis induced by GEM in the three PDAC cell lines. When combined, OSI-027 with GEM showed synergistic cytotoxic effects both in vitro and in vivo. This is the first evidence of the efficacy of OSI-027 in PDAC and may provide the groundwork for a new clinical PDAC therapy.
Karthik GM, Ma R, Lövrot J, et al.mTOR inhibitors counteract tamoxifen-induced activation of breast cancer stem cells.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 367(1):76-87 [PubMed
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Breast cancer cells with stem cell characteristics (CSC) are a distinct cell population with phenotypic similarities to mammary stem cells. CSCs are important drivers of tumorigenesis and the metastatic process. Tamoxifen is the most widely used hormonal therapy for estrogen receptor (ER) positive cancers. In our study, tamoxifen was effective in reducing proliferation of ER + adherent cancer cells, but not their CSC population. We isolated, expanded and incubated CSC from seven breast cancers with or without tamoxifen. By genome-wide transcriptional analysis we identified tamoxifen-induced transcriptional pathways associated with ribosomal biogenesis and mRNA translation, both regulated by the mTOR-pathway. We observed induction of the key mTOR downstream targets S6K1, S6RP and 4E-BP1 in-patient derived CSCs by tamoxifen on protein level. Using the mTOR inhibitors rapamycin, everolimus and PF-04691502 (a dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitor) and in combination with tamoxifen, significant reduction in mammosphere formation was observed. Hence, we suggest that the CSC population play a significant role during endocrine resistance through activity of the mTOR pathway. In addition, tamoxifen further stimulates the mTOR-pathway but can be antagonized using mTOR-inhibitors.
eIF4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), is critical for cap-dependent and cap-independent translation. This study is the first to demonstrate that 4E-BP1 expression correlates with colorectal cancer (CRC) progression. Compared to its expression in normal colon epithelial cells, 4E-BP1 was upregulated in CRC cell lines and was detected in patient tumor tissues. Furthermore, high 4E-BP1 expression was statistically associated with poor prognosis. Hypoxia has been considered as an obstacle for cancer therapeutics. Our previous data showed that YXM110, a cryptopleurine derivative, exhibited anticancer activity via 4E-BP1 depletion. Here, we investigated whether YXM110 could inhibit protein synthesis under hypoxia. 4E-BP1 expression was notably decreased by YXM110 under hypoxic conditions, implying that cap-independent translation could be suppressed by YXM110. Moreover, YXM110 repressed hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) expression, which resulted in decreased downstream vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. These observations highlight 4E-BP1 as a useful biomarker and therapeutic target, indicating that YXM110 could be a potent CRC therapeutic drug.
Huang HG, Luo X, Wu S, Jian BMiR-99a Inhibits Cell Proliferation and Tumorigenesis through Targeting mTOR in Human Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(12):4937-44 [PubMed
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as critical regulators in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Recently, miR-99a has been reported as a tumor suppressor gene in various human cancers, but its functions in the context of anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) remain unknown. In this study, we reported that miR-99a was commonly downregulated in ATC tissue specimens and cell lines with important functional consequences. Overexpression of miR-99a not only dramatically reduced ATC cell viability by inducing cell apoptosis and accumulation of cells at G1 phase, but also inhibited tumorigenicity in vivo. We then screened and identified a novel miR-99a target, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and it was further confirmed by luciferase assay. Up-regulation of miR-99a would markedly reduce the expression of mTOR and its downstream phosphorylated proteins (p-4E- BP1 and p-S6K1). Similar to restoring miR-99a expression, mTOR down-regulation suppressed cell viability and increased cell apoptosis, whereas restoration of mTOR expression significantly reversed the miR-99a antitumor activity and the inhibition of mTOR/p-4E-BP1/p-S6K1 signal pathway profile. In clinical specimens and cell lines, mTOR was commonly overexpressed and its protein levels were statistically inversely correlated with miR-99a expression. Taken together, our results demonstrated for the first time that miR-99a functions as a tumor suppressor and plays an important role in inhibiting the tumorigenesis through targeting the mTOR/p- 4E-BP1/p-S6K1 pathway in ATC cells. Given these, miR-99a may serve as a novel prognostic/diagnostic and therapeutic target for treating ATC.
Ma BL, Shan MH, Sun G, et al.Immunohistochemical analysis of phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin and its downstream signaling components in invasive breast cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(4):5246-54 [PubMed
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The present study aimed to investigate whether the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is activated in invasive breast cancer. The expression levels of phosphorylated (p)‑mTOR at ser2448 were detected, as well as the expression levels of its downstream signaling molecules: Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E‑binding protein 1 (4E‑BP1), and p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1). The correlation between p‑mTOR, p‑4E‑BP1, p‑S6K1, and the clinicopathological parameters of breast cancer were also determined. p‑mTOR, p‑4E‑BP1 and p‑S6K1 expression was detected in 285 breast cancer tumor samples and adjacent normal tissue samples using immunohistochemistry. The expression levels and the location of the proteins were analyzed and compared in the various tissue samples. Multivariate Cox regression was used to analyze the clinicopathological factors and prognosis associated with the tissue samples. The disease‑free survival rate was examined using survival analyses and Log‑rank tests. The results of the present study indicated that the expression levels of p‑mTOR, p‑4E‑BP1, and p‑S6K1 were significantly higher in breast cancer tissue, as compared with normal tissue (P<0.01). p‑mTOR was predominantly expressed in the cytoplasm, whereas p‑4E‑BP1 and p‑S6K1 were predominantly co‑expressed in the cytoplasm and the nucleus. In addition, p‑4E‑BP1 and p‑S6K1 were more likely to be expressed in the cytoplasm in breast cancer tissue samples, as compared with normal tissue samples (P<0.001). Positive p‑mTOR was not significantly correlated with positive p‑4E‑BP1 and p‑S6K1 expression. The survival analyses of the patients with positive p‑mTOR, p‑4E‑BP1, and p‑S6K1 tissue samples were not significantly different from those of the patients with negative tissue samples (P>0.05). Thus suggesting that these markers are not adequate risk factors for disease free survival (P>0.05). In conclusion, the results of the present study suggested that p‑mTOR, p‑4E‑BP1, and p‑S6K1 are activated in invasive breast cancer. In addition, the exclusive expression of p‑4E‑BP1 and p‑S6K1 in the cytoplasm may be characteristic of progressive breast cancer. However, p‑mTOR, p‑4E‑BP1, and p‑S6K1 are not prognostic factors for breast cancer.
Durbas M, Horwacik I, Boratyn E, et al.GD2 ganglioside specific antibody treatment downregulates PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling network in human neuroblastoma cell lines.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(3):1143-59 [PubMed
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Mechanisms leading to inhibitory effects of an anti-GD2 ganglioside (GD2) 14G2a mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb) and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibitors on human neuroblastoma cell survival were studied in vitro. We have recently shown on IMR-32, CHP‑134, and LA-N-1 neuroblastoma cells that targeting GD2 with the mAb decreases cell viability of the cell lines. In this study we used cytotoxicity assays, proteomic arrays and immunoblotting to evaluate the response of the three cell lines to the anti‑GD2 14G2a mAb and specific PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibitors. We show here that the mAb modulates intracellular signal transduction through changes in several kinases and their substrates phosphorylation. More detailed analysis of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway showed significant decrease in activity of Akt, mTOR, p70 S6 and 4E-BP1 proteins and transient increase in PTEN (a suppressor of the pathway), leading to inhibition of the signaling network responsible for stimulation of translation and proliferation. Additionally, combining the GD2-specific 14G2a mAb with an Akt inhibitor (perifosine), dual mTOR/PI3K inhibitors (BEZ-235 and SAR245409), and a pan-PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) was shown to enhance cytotoxic effects against IMR-32, CHP‑134 and LA-N-1 cells. Our study extends knowledge on mechanisms of action of the 14G2a mAb on the neuroblastoma cells. Also, it stresses the need for further delineation of molecular signal orchestration aimed at more reasonable selection of drugs to target key cellular pathways in quest for better cure for neuroblastoma patients.