Gene Summary

Gene:GAB1; GRB2 associated binding protein 1
Aliases: DFNB26
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the IRS1-like multisubstrate docking protein family. It is an important mediator of branching tubulogenesis and plays a central role in cellular growth response, transformation and apoptosis. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:GRB2-associated-binding protein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (19)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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.

  • Mutation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • IGF1R
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Adolescents
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Chromosome 4
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Movement
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Apoptosis
  • Down-Regulation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Substrate Specificity
  • MicroRNAs
  • c-MET
  • Xenograft Models
  • Drug Resistance
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Signal Transduction
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 11
  • Transfection
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • AKT1
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Western Blotting
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Phosphorylation
  • Risk Factors
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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).

Latest Publications: GAB1 (cancer-related)

Wang X, Peng J, Yang Z, et al.
Elevated expression of Gab1 promotes breast cancer metastasis by dissociating the PAR complex.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):27 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BCa) remains as the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. The majority of the deaths are due to its progression to metastatic BCa. Although Grb2-associated binding protein 1 (Gab1) has been implicated in tumor proliferation and metastasis in multiple tumors including colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and ovarian cancer, whether and how it regulates BCa metastasis are still poorly understood.
METHODS: Western blot assay and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining were performed to assess expression of Gab1 in primary and metastatic BCa clinical samples. Biological function assay studies in vitro and in vivo were employed to investigate the functions of Gab1 during BCa metastasis. Co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) assessment, western blot assay and immunofluorescence (IF) staining were carried out to investigate the underlying mechanism for the function of Gab1 on BCa metastasis.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that expression level of Gab1 was increased significantly in BCa tissue samples compared to that in benign mammary hyperplastic tissues. Furthermore, elevated expression of Gab1 was positively associated with metastasis in HER2 and TNBC subtypes of BCa. In BCa cell line MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR3 cells, stable overexpression of Gab1 promoted, while knockdown of Gab1 inhibited cell migration in vitro and metastasis in vivo. Mechanistically, overexpression of Gab1 enhanced its interaction with Par3, a key component of the polarity-associated partitioning defective (PAR) complex, leading to a dissociation of the PAR complex. Consequently, dissociated PAR complex induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) for breast tumor metastasis. By restoration assessment, we found that only re-expression of a fully functional Gab1, but not a mutant Gab1 that harbors either Par3 binding-deficiency or Par1b binding-deficiency, could reverse the repressive phenotype of cell migration in vitro and metastasis in vivo due to Gab1 knockdown.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that elevated expression of Gab1 promotes BCa metastasis by dissociating the PAR complex that leads to EMT, implicating a role of Gab1 as a potential biomarker of metastatic BCa. Moreover, inhibition of Gab1 expression might be a promising therapeutic strategy for BCa metastasis.

Shao NY, Wang DX, Wang Y, et al.
MicroRNA-29a-3p Downregulation Causes Gab1 Upregulation to Promote Glioma Cell Proliferation.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(2):450-460 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Glioma causes significant human mortalities annually. Molecularly-targeted therapy is a focus of glioma research.
METHODS: Grb2-associated binding 1 (Gab1) expression and microRNA-29a-3p ("miR-29a-3p") expression in human glioma cells and tissues were tested by Western blotting assay and qRT-PCR assay. shRNA/siRNA strategy was applied to silence Gab1 in human glioma cells. miR-29a or anti-sense miR-29a construct was transfected to human glioma cells. Cell proliferation was tested by BrdU ELISA assay and cell counting assay.
RESULTS: We show that expression of Gab1 was significantly elevated in human glioma tissues and cells, which correlated with downregulation of its putative microRNA: miR-29a-3p. In A172 glioma cells and primary human glioma cells, Gab1 shRNA/siRNA inhibited Akt-Erk activation and cell proliferation. Forced-expression of miR-29a-3p downregulated Gab1, inhibiting glioma cell proliferation, whereas miR-29a-3p was in-effective on cell proliferation in Gab1-silenced A172 cells. Furthermore, introduction of a 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) mutant Gab1 (UTR-G160A) blocked miR-29a-3p-induced inhibition on Akt signaling and A172 cell proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-29a-3p downregulation leads to Gab1 upregulation to promote glioma cell proliferation.

Liu YY, Chen MB, Cheng L, et al.
microRNA-200a downregulation in human glioma leads to Gαi1 over-expression, Akt activation, and cell proliferation.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(21):2890-2902 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously identified a pivotal role for G protein α inhibitory subunit 1 (Gαi1) in mediating PI3K-Akt signaling by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Here, we examined the expression and biological function of Gαi1 in human glioma. Gαi1 mRNA and protein expression were significantly upregulated in human glioma tissues, which correlated with downregulation of an anti-Gαi1 miRNA: microRNA-200a ("miR-200a"). Forced-expression of miR-200a in established (A172/U251MG lines) and primary (patient-derived) human glioma cells resulted in Gαi1 downregulation, Akt inactivation and proliferation inhibition. Reduction of Gαi1 expression by shRNA, dominant negative mutant interference, or complete Gαi1 depletion inhibited Akt activation and cell proliferation. Notably, miR-200a was unable to inhibit glioma cell proliferation when Gαi1 was silenced or mutated. Co-immunoprecipitation studies, in human glioma cells and tissues, show that Gαi1 forms a complex with multiple RTKs (EGFR, PDGFRα, and FGFR) and the adapter protein Gab1. In vivo, the growth of subcutaneous and orthotopic glioma xenografts in nude mice was largely inhibited by expression of Gαi1 shRNA or miRNA-200a. Collectively, miR-200a downregulation in human glioma leads to Gαi1 over-expression, Akt activation and glioma cell proliferation.

Wang YC, Wu DW, Wu TC, et al.
Dioscin overcome TKI resistance in EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma cells via down-regulation of tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 expression.
Int J Biol Sci. 2018; 14(1):47-56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) results in tumor relapse and poor prognosis in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. TKI resistance caused by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations at T790M and c-Met amplification occurs through persistent activation of the MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. We therefore expected that dual inhibitors of both signaling pathways could overcome TKI resistance in lung adenocarcinoma. Here, dioscin was selected from a product library of Chinese naturally occurring compounds and overcame TKI resistance in EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinoma cells. Mechanistically, dioscin may down-regulate the expression of SH2 domain-containing phosphatase-2 (SHP2) at the transcription level by increasing p53 binding to the SHP2 promoter due to reactive oxygen species (ROS). Simultaneous inhibition of MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT activation via decreased SHP2 expression and its interaction with GAB1 may be responsible for dioscin-mediated TKI sensitivity. A higher unfavorable response to TKI therapy occurred more commonly in patients with high SHP2 mRNA expression than in patients with low SHP2 mRNA expression. Therefore, we suggest that dioscin may act as a dual inhibitor of the MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways to overcome TKI resistance via dysregulation of SHP2 expression in lung adenocarcinoma.

Adachi Y, Watanabe K, Kita K, et al.
Resistance mediated by alternative receptor tyrosine kinases in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2017; 38(11):1063-1072 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) amplification has been identified in 10-20% of patients with squamous non-small-cell lung cancer. Preclinical models showed promising activity of specific FGFR inhibitors, but early clinical trials showed that only a small fraction of patients with FGFR1-amplified lung cancer responded to FGFR inhibitors. These unsatisfactory results were partly explained by heterogeneous amplicons around the 8p11 genomic region, leading to false-positive amplification results. Furthermore, discrepancies in the gene amplification and protein expression of FGFR1 were also reported. In this study, we identified the roles of alternative receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer. These alternative RTKs dominantly activate phosphoinositide 3-kinase-AKT signaling and also mitigate sustained inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling by FGFR inhibitors. The rebound activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation was associated with sensitivity to the drugs. Combinatorial inhibition of alternative RTKs and FGFR1 was required to suppress both AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation and to induce key pro-apoptotic proteins BIM and p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA). Furthermore, even in FGFR inhibitor-sensitive NCI-H1581 lung cancer cells, MET-expressing clones were already detectable at a very low frequency before resistance induction. Selection of these pre-existing subclones resulted in FGFR inhibitor resistance because of the activation of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase by MET signaling that was mediated by GRB2 associated binding protein 1 (GAB1). These results suggest that incomplete suppression of key survival signals led to intrinsic and acquired resistance to FGFR inhibitors. Our results may help explain the low clinical response rates to FGFR inhibitors in FGFR1-amplified lung cancer.

Xu L, Li J, Kuang Z, et al.
Knockdown of Gab1 Inhibits Cellular Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion in Human Oral Squamous Carcinoma Cells.
Oncol Res. 2018; 26(4):617-624 [PubMed] Related Publications
Grb2-associated binder 1 (Gab1) is often aberrant in cancerous cells and tissues, whose alteration is responsible for aggressive phenotypes. In this study, we examined the Gab1 expression in human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) tissues and investigated the cellular and molecular effect of Gab1 on migration, invasion, and cell growth of the OSCC cell lines SCC15 and SCC25. We found that Gab1 was overexpressed in OSCC tissues and cells, which is related to the protein levels of various molecules associated with cellular proliferation, migration, and invasion. Functional assays identified that Gab1 overexpression promoted cell proliferation and invasion of OSCC cells and inhibited cell apoptosis in the SCC15 and SCC25 cell lines. On the other hand, Gab1 silencing affected the proliferation and invasion of OSCC cells and induced cell apoptosis. Western blot assay identified that Gab1 overexpression suppressed the expression of Cdc20 homolog 1 (Cdh1) and then promoted cell invasion in OSCC cells. Furthermore, Gab1-mediated Cdh1 downregulation was significantly reversed when the cells were subjected to an inhibitor of p-Akt. In conclusion, these results suggested that Gab1 induced malignant progression of OSCC cells probably via activation of the Akt/Cdh1 signaling pathway. Thus, Gab1 may be a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of OSCC patients.

Bekers EM, Groenen PJTA, Verdijk MAJ, et al.
Soft tissue angiofibroma: Clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical and molecular analysis of 14 cases.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2017; 56(10):750-757 [PubMed] Related Publications
Soft tissue angiofibroma is rare and has characteristic histomorphological and genetic features. For diagnostic purposes, there are no specific antibodies available. Fourteen lesions (6 females, 8 males; age range 7-67 years) of the lower extremities (12) and trunk (2) were investigated by immunohistochemistry, including for the first time NCOA2. NCOA2 was also tested in a control group of other spindle cell lesions. The known fusion-genes (AHRR-NCOA2 and GTF2I-NCOA2) were examined using RT-PCR in order to evaluate their diagnostic value. Cases in which no fusion gene was detected were additionally analysed by RNA sequencing. All cases tested showed nuclear expression of NCOA2. However, this was not specific since other spindle cell neoplasms also expressed this marker in a high percentage of cases. Other variably positive markers were EMA, SMA, desmin and CD34. STAT6 was negative in the cases tested. By RT-PCR for the most frequently observed fusions, an AHRR-NCOA2 fusion transcript was found in 9/14 cases. GTF2I-NCOA2 was not detected in the remaining cases (n = 3). RNA sequencing revealed three additional positive cases; two harbored a AHRR-NCOA2 fusion and one case a novel GAB1-ABL1 fusion. Two cases failed molecular analysis due to poor RNA quality. In conclusion, the AHRR-NCOA2 fusion is a frequent finding in soft tissue angiofibroma, while GTF2I-NCOA2 seems to be a rare genetic event. For the first time, we report a GAB1-ABL1 fusion in a soft tissue angiofibroma of a child. Nuclear expression of NCOA2 is not discriminating when compared with other spindle cell neoplasms.

Kang HJ, Chung DH, Sung CO, et al.
SHP2 is induced by the HBx-NF-κB pathway and contributes to fibrosis during human early hepatocellular carcinoma development.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(16):27263-27276 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The non-receptor tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 has scaffolding functions in signal transduction cascades downstream of growth receptors. A recent study suggested that SHP2 acts as a tumor suppressor during hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Herein we examined whether SHP2 links the HBx-NF-κB pathway to EGFR signaling during HCC development. The overexpression of HBx or NF-κB led to increased SHP2 expression via NF-κB binding to the Shp2 promoter. EGF treatment induced ERK activation as well as the rapid assembly of SHP2, EGFR, and Gab1. Upon LPS stimulation, NF-κB-SHP2-ERK activation and phosphorylated STAT3 levels exhibited a negative correlation in vitro. By contrast, in patients with HBV-associated HCC, NF-κB-SHP2-ERK and IL-6-JAK-STAT3 pathway activity levels were concomitantly higher in adjacent non-neoplastic tissues than in HCC tissues. The immunohistochemical analysis of 162 tissues of patients with HCC revealed that SHP2 levels were significantly higher in non-neoplastic background tissues than in corresponding HCC tissues and considerably increased in background liver tissues with advanced fibrosis (P < 0.001). SHP2 expression increased gradually from normal liver to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and background liver with a dysplastic nodule, but was decreased or lost in dysplastic nodules and HCC. This is the first report to describe the existence of the HBx-NF-κB-SHP2 pathway, linking HBV infection to the EGFR-RAS-RAF-MAPK pathway in the liver. SHP2 depletion from the negative crosstalk between NF-κB and STAT3 accelerates HCC development.

Bongartz H, Hessenkemper W, Müller C, et al.
The multi-site docking protein Gab1 is constitutively phosphorylated independent from its recruitment to the plasma membrane in Jak2-V617F-positive cells and mediates proliferation of human erythroleukaemia cells.
Cell Signal. 2017; 35:37-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
The constitutively active Janus kinase 2 mutant Jak2-V617F is responsible for cytokine-independent growth of hematopoietic cells and the development of myeloproliferative neoplasms, such as polycythaemia vera and essential thrombocythaemia. Cells expressing Jak2-V617F exhibit constitutive STAT, MAPK, and PI3K signalling, and constitutive association of the multi-site docking protein Gab1 to PIP3 at the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate the crucial role of Gab1 for the proliferation of Jak2-V617F-positive human erythroleukaemia (HEL) cells. In Jak2-V617F-expressing cells Gab1 is constitutively phosphorylated by Erk1/2 on serine residue 552, which regulates binding to PIP3. Additionally, Gab1 is constitutively phosphorylated on tyrosine residue 627. Tyrosine 627 is a SHP2 binding site and required for Gab1-dependent Erk1/2 activation. As previously shown, Jak2-V617F-dependent Erk1/2 and PI3K activation act synergistically on the proliferation of Jak2-V617F-positive cells. Here, we examined whether constitutive membrane association of Gab1 explains cytokine-independent Gab1 phosphorylation in Jak2-V617F-expressing cells. Although we could demonstrate Jak2-V617F-dependent constitutive serine 552 and tyrosine 627 phosphorylation of Gab1, interestingly, both phosphorylations do not require binding of Gab1 to PIP3 at the plasma membrane. Instead, we observed a constitutive interaction of Gab1 with the erythropoietin receptor in Jak2-V617F-expressing cells, which depends on Janus kinase activity. Thus, constitutive Gab1-dependent signalling in Jak2-V617F-expressing cells does not occur due to the constitutive association of Gab1 with PIP3 at the plasma membrane.

Wang J, Song W, Shen W, et al.
MicroRNA-200a Suppresses Cell Invasion and Migration by Directly Targeting GAB1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Oncol Res. 2017; 25(1):1-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-200a (miR-200a) is frequently downregulated in most cancer types and plays an important role in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. In this study, we determined that miR-200a was downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and cell lines, consistent with the results of our previous study. Because a previous study suggested that downregulation of miR-200a is correlated with HCC metastasis, we aimed to elucidate the mechanism underlying the role of miR-200a in metastasis in HCC. Here we observed that overexpression of miR-200a resulted in suppression of HCC metastatic ability, including HCC cell migration, invasion, and metastasis, in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, bioinformatics and luciferase reporter assays indicated that GAB1 is a direct target of miR-200a. Inhibition of GAB1 resulted in substantially decreased cell invasion and migration similar to that observed with overexpression of miR-200a in HCC cell lines, whereas restoration of GAB1 partially rescued the inhibitory effects of miR-200a. Taken together, these data provide novel information for comprehending the tumor-suppressive role of miR-200a in HCC pathogenesis through inhibition of GAB1 translation.

Kaur K, Kakkar A, Kumar A, et al.
Clinicopathological characteristics, molecular subgrouping, and expression of miR-379/miR-656 cluster (C14MC) in adult medulloblastomas.
J Neurooncol. 2016; 130(3):423-430 [PubMed] Related Publications
Medulloblastoma (MB) is a childhood tumor comprising four molecular subgroups: WNT, SHH, group 3 and group 4, with diagnostic and prognostic connotations. Very few studies are available on molecular subgrouping of adult MBs due to their rarity. Recently, loss of chromosome14q has been reported in SHH MBs, with downregulation of miR-379/miR-656 cluster (C14MC) in pediatric SHH MBs. Hence, the present study on adult MBs was undertaken to enumerate clinicopathological characteristics and molecular subgroups, and to analyze expression of C14MC and its transcriptional regulators, MEF2, JUN and ESRRG. Immunohistochemistry for β-catenin, GAB1 and YAP1 was performed to identify molecular subgroups. MYC amplification was evaluated by FISH. Expression profiling of 47 miRNAs from C14MC was performed using customized Taqman low-density array. Expression of transcriptional regulators was examined using RT-PCR. Seventy-one adult MBs were analyzed. They had male predominance and majority were located laterally (52 %). A significant proportion of cases were of Desmoplastic/nodular histology (32 %); MBEN was not seen. WNT tumors constituted 4.2 %, SHH 62 %, and non-WNT/non-SHH 33.8 %. MYC amplification was identified in 11.1 % cases. Patient outcome was worse in adults. Significant downregulation of C14MC was observed in all MB subgroups, and MEF-2 expression was downregulated. Adult MBs are distinct from childhood MBs in terms of location, histopathological subtypes, molecular subgroups, as well as prognosis. Silencing of C14MC in all MB subgroups suggests its role as a tumor suppressor locus in tumorigenesis. Deregulation of C14MC can possibly be attributed to repression of MEF2.

An HJ, Kwak SY, Yoo JO, et al.
Novel miR-5582-5p functions as a tumor suppressor by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in cancer cells through direct targeting of GAB1, SHC1, and CDK2.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1862(10):1926-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play pivotal roles in tumorigenesis as either tumor suppressors or oncogenes. In the present study, we discovered and demonstrated the tumor suppressive function of a novel miRNA miR-5582-5p. miR-5582-5p induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in cancer cells, but not in normal cells. GAB1, SHC1, and CDK2 were identified as direct targets of miR-5582-5p. Knockdown of GAB1/SHC1 or CDK2 phenocopied the apoptotic or cell cycle arrest-inducing function of miR-5582-5p, respectively. The expression of miR-5582-5p was lower in tumor tissues than in adjacent normal tissues of colorectal cancer patients, while the expression of the target proteins exhibited patterns opposite to that of miR-5582-5p. Intratumoral injection of a miR-5582-5p mimic or induced expression of miR-5582-5p in tumor cells suppressed tumor growth in HCT116 xenografts. Collectively, our results suggest a novel tumor suppressive function for miR-5582-5p and its potential applicability for tumor control.

Fan G, Zhang S, Gao Y, et al.
HGF-independent regulation of MET and GAB1 by nonreceptor tyrosine kinase FER potentiates metastasis in ovarian cancer.
Genes Dev. 2016; 30(13):1542-57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Ovarian cancer cells disseminate readily within the peritoneal cavity, which promotes metastasis, and are often resistant to chemotherapy. Ovarian cancer patients tend to present with advanced disease, which also limits treatment options; consequently, new therapies are required. The oncoprotein tyrosine kinase MET, which is the receptor for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), has been implicated in ovarian tumorigenesis and has been the subject of extensive drug development efforts. Here, we report a novel ligand- and autophosphorylation-independent activation of MET through the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase feline sarcoma-related (FER). We demonstrated that the levels of FER were elevated in ovarian cancer cell lines relative to those in immortalized normal surface epithelial cells and that suppression of FER attenuated the motility and invasive properties of these cancer cells. Furthermore, loss of FER impaired the metastasis of ovarian cancer cells in vivo. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that FER phosphorylated a signaling site in MET: Tyr1349. This enhanced activation of RAC1/PAK1 and promoted a kinase-independent scaffolding function that led to recruitment and phosphorylation of GAB1 and the specific activation of the SHP2-ERK signaling pathway. Overall, this analysis provides new insights into signaling events that underlie metastasis in ovarian cancer cells, consistent with a prometastatic role of FER and highlighting its potential as a novel therapeutic target for metastatic ovarian cancer.

Hu L, Liu R
Expression of Gab1 Is Associated with Poor Prognosis of Patients with Epithelial Ovarian Cancer.
Tohoku J Exp Med. 2016; 239(3):177-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Growth factor receptor-bound protein-2 (Grb2) can act as the scaffold protein recruiting other molecules to the stimulated receptors. Grb2-associated binding protein 1 (Gab1) is involved in cell proliferation, and its expression may enhance the carcinogenesis and cancer progression. However, the function of Gab1 remains to be investigated. Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal malignancy in the female reproductive system with increasing incidence and unsatisfied overall survival (OS). We investigated the expression of Gab1 in EOC tissues and the correlations between Gab1 expression and the clinicopathological characteristics of patients with EOC using Spearman rank test. The staining results were evaluated based on both the percentage of Gab1-positive tumor cells and the staining intensity for Gab1 expression. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards analysis were used to compare the postoperative OS between EOC patients with high Gab1 expression and those with low Gab1 expression. The high expression of Gab1 was positively correlated with advanced FIGO stage and lymph node metastasis of EOC. Univariate analysis showed that advanced FIGO stage, pathological grade, lymph node metastasis or Gab1 expression were associated with poor OS. Moreover, multivariate analysis revealed that Gab1 expression could be an independent prognostic factor for the poor OS of EOC patients (P = 0.042). We propose that Gab1 expression is correlated with poor prognosis of EOC patients and may act as an independent prognostic indicator.

Du Z, Caenepeel S, Shen Y, et al.
Preclinical Evaluation of AMG 337, a Highly Selective Small Molecule MET Inhibitor, in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2016; 15(6):1227-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/MET signaling has been implicated in hepatocarcinogenesis, suggesting that MET may serve as an attractive therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma. We sought to investigate the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of AMG 337, a potent and highly selective small molecule MET kinase inhibitor, in preclinical models of hepatocellular carcinoma. The antiproliferative activity of AMG 337 was evaluated across a panel of hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines in a viability assay. Daily oral administration was used to evaluate the in vivo antitumor activity of AMG 337 in two patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of hepatocellular carcinoma (LI0612 and LI1078). AMG 337 exerted potent antiproliferative activity against 2 of 40 hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, namely, MHCC97H (IC50, 0.015 μmol/L) and HCCLM3 (IC50, 0.025 μmol/L). Both sensitive cell lines showed MET amplification (MET/CEN-7 >2.0) assessed by FISH, and high MET expression (3+ IHC) assessed by IHC. AMG 337 potently inhibited p-MET in all cell lines with detectable levels of total MET. However, the dose-dependent inhibition of downstream effectors of HGF/MET signaling, including p-GAB1, p-AKT, and p-ERK, was limited to those cell lines sensitive to AMG 337 in a viability assay (MHCC97H and HCCLM3). AMG 337 significantly inhibited tumor growth at all doses tested in the MET-amplified and MET-high-expressing hepatocellular carcinoma PDX model LI0612 and had no effect on tumor growth in the non-MET-amplified and MET-low-expressing hepatocellular carcinoma PDX model LI1078. AMG 337 represents a promising and novel therapeutic strategy for targeting hepatocellular carcinomas with a dependence on HGF/MET signaling. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(6); 1227-37. ©2016 AACR.

He Q, Jing H, Liaw L, et al.
Suppression of Spry1 inhibits triple-negative breast cancer malignancy by decreasing EGF/EGFR mediated mesenchymal phenotype.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:23216 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sprouty (Spry) proteins have been implicated in cancer progression, but their role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a subtype of lethal and aggressive breast cancer, is unknown. Here, we reported that Spry1 is significantly expressed in TNBC specimen and MDA-MB-231 cells. To understand Spry1 regulation of signaling events controlling breast cancer phenotype, we used lentiviral delivery of human Spry1 shRNAs to suppress Spry1 expression in MDA-MB-231, an established TNBC cell line. Spry1 knockdown MDA-MB-231 cells displayed an epithelial phenotype with increased membrane E-cadherin expression. Knockdown of Spry1 impaired MDA-MB-231 cell migration, Matrigel invasion, and anchorage-dependent and -independent growth. Tumor xenografts originating from Spry1 knockdown MDA-MB-231 cells grew slower, had increased E-cadherin expression, and yielded fewer lung metastases compared to control. Furthermore, suppressing Spry1 in MDA-MB-231 cells impaired the induction of Snail and Slug expression by EGF, and this effect was associated with increased EGFR degradation and decreased EGFR/Grb2/Shp2/Gab1 signaling complex formation. The same phenotype was also observed in the TNBC cell line MDA-MB-157. Together, our results show that unlike in some tumors, where Spry may mediate tumor suppression, Spry1 plays a selective role in at least a subset of TNBC to promote the malignant phenotype via enhancing EGF-mediated mesenchymal phenotype.

Fan Y, Yang F, Cao X, et al.
Gab1 regulates SDF-1-induced progression via inhibition of apoptosis pathway induced by PI3K/AKT/Bcl-2/BAX pathway in human chondrosarcoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):1141-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
In recent decades, the stromal cell-derived factor-l (SDF-1) and Gab1 have been investigated to be involved in oncogenesis. However, it is scarcely reported that SDF-1-Gab1 pathway mediates proliferation and apoptosis in human chondrosarcoma (CS). In this study, we assessed the expression of Gab1 in 90 CS solid tumors by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting, and qRT-PCR, and then, some in vitro assays were also applied to CS cells treated with SDF-1. We observed that the overexpression of Gab1 was positively correlated with lung metastasis and recurrence, and acts as an independent prognostic factor for CS patients. Gab1 expression was up-regulated in response to SDF-1 stimulation in CS cell line JJ012, SW1353, L3252. Overexpression of Gab1 increased Bcl-2/BAX ratio to promote cell growth via PI3K/AKT. On the other hand, silencing of Gab1 accelerated apoptosis and repressed the growth of CS cells, which further caused the inhibition of G1/S phase transition and decreased invasion capacity in CS cell lines. In vivo assay identified that the knockdown of Gab1 interfered with the tumor mass formation. In conclusion, our data identified overexpression of Gab1 in CS tissues, and Gab1 can be recommended as a novel biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis in patients with CS. Additionally, PI3K/AKT/Bcl-2/BAX axis was involved in Gab1-induced CS progression, indicating Gab1 might act as a new target for the treatment of CS patients.

Sang H, Li T, Li H, Liu J
Gab1 regulates proliferation and migration through the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(11):8367-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is the second most common primary malignant tumor of the liver, and it originates from the intrahepatic biliary duct epithelium. Prognosis is poor due to lack of effective comprehensive treatments. In this study, we assessed the expression of Gab1, VEGFR-2, and MMP-9 in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma solid tumors by immunohistochemistry and determined whether their expression was associated with clinical and pathological features. We found that expression of Gab1, VEGFR-2, and MMP-9 was highly and positively correlated with each other and with lymph node metastasis and TNM stage in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma tissues. Interference of Gab1 and VEGFR-2 expression via siRNA in the intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cell line RBE resulted in decreased PI3K/Akt pathway activity. Inhibition of Gab1 and VEGFR-2 expression also caused decreased cell proliferation, cell cycle arrested in G1 phase, increased apoptosis, and decreased invasion in RBE cells. These results suggest that Gab1, VEGFR-2, and MMP-9 contribute significantly to the highly malignant behavior of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. The regulation of growth, apoptosis, and invasion by Gab1 through the VEGFR-2/Gab1/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway may represent potential targets for improving the treatment of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Bai R, Weng C, Dong H, et al.
MicroRNA-409-3p suppresses colorectal cancer invasion and metastasis partly by targeting GAB1 expression.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 137(10):2310-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide and its metastasis accounts for the majority of deaths. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying CRC progression are not well characterized. In this study, we identified miR-409-3p as a tumor suppressor of CRC. MiR-409-3p expression was significantly downregulated in CRC tissue compared to adjacent non-tumor tissue, and reduced miR-409-3p expression was correlated with CRC metastasis. In vitro and in vivo studies revealed that miR-409-3p negatively regulated CRC metastatic capacities, including suppressing cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis. To explore the mechanism of action of miR-409-3p, we adopted a pathway and pathophysiological event-based target screening and validation approach, and found nine known metastasis-related genes as potential targets. The 3'-UTR binding assays between the candidates and miR-409-3p suggested that only GAB1, NR4A2 and LMO4 were directly regulated by the miRNA. However, endogenous expression analysis revealed that only GAB1 was modulated by miR-409-3p in CRC cells at both the mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, we provided evidence to conclude that GAB1 was partially responsible for miR-409-3p-mediated metastasis. Taken together, our data demonstrate that miR-409-3p is a metastatic suppressor, and post-transcriptional inhibition of the oncoprotein GAB1 is one of the mechanisms of action of this miRNA. Our finding suggests miR-409-3p might be a novel target for CRC metastasis treatment.

Deng R, Zhao X, Qu Y, et al.
Shp2 SUMOylation promotes ERK activation and hepatocellular carcinoma development.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(11):9355-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Shp2, an ubiquitously expressed protein tyrosine phosphatase, is essential for regulation of Ras/ERK signaling pathway and tumorigenesis. Here we report that Shp2 is modified by SUMO1 at lysine residue 590 (K590) in its C-terminus, which is reduced by SUMO1-specific protease SENP1. Analysis of wild-type Shp2 and SUMOylation-defective Shp2(K590R) mutant reveals that SUMOylation of Shp2 promotes EGF-stimulated ERK signaling pathway and increases anchorage-independent cell growth and xenografted tumor growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines. Furthermore, we find that mutant Shp2(K590R) reduces its binding with the scaffolding protein Gab1, and consistent with this, knockdown of SENP1 increased the interaction between Shp2 and Gab1. More surprisingly, we show that human Shp2 (hShp2) and mouse Shp2 (mShp2) have differential effects on ERK activation as a result of different SUMOylation level, which is due to the event of K590 at hShp2 substituted by R594 at mShp2. In summary, our data demonstrate that SUMOylation of Shp2 promotes ERK activation via facilitating the formation of Shp2-Gab1 complex and thereby accelerates HCC cell and tumor growth, which presents a novel regulatory mechanism underlying Shp2 in regulation of HCC development.

Musilova K, Mraz M
MicroRNAs in B-cell lymphomas: how a complex biology gets more complex.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(5):1004-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent important regulators of gene expression besides transcriptional control. miRNA regulation can be involved in the cell developmental fate decisions, but can also have more subtle roles in buffering stochastic fluctuations in gene expression. They participate in pathways fundamental to B-cell development like B-cell receptor (BCR) signalling, B-cell migration/adhesion, cell-cell interactions in immune niches, and the production and class-switching of immunoglobulins. miRNAs influence B-cell maturation, generation of pre-, marginal zone, follicular, B1, plasma and memory B cells. In this review, we discuss miRNAs with essential functions in malignant B-cell development (such as miR-150, miR-155, miR-21, miR-34a, miR-17-92 and miR-15-16). We also put these miRNAs in the context of normal B-cell differentiation, as this is intimately connected to neoplastic B-cell development. We review miRNAs' role in the most common B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma (FL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). We focus on miR-contribution to the regulation of important signalling pathways (such as NF-κB, PI3K/AKT and TGF-β), BCR signalling and its modulators (such as PTEN, SHIP-1, ZAP-70, GAB1 and BTK), anti- and pro-apoptotic proteins (such as BCL2, MCL1, TCL1, BIM, p53 and SIRT1) and transcription factors (such as MYC, MYB, PU.1, FOXP1 and BCL6). We also discuss the association of miRNAs' expression levels with the patients' survival and response to therapy, summarizing their potential use as predictive and prognostic markers. Importantly, the targeting of miRNAs (like use of anti-miR-155 or miR-34a mimic) could provide a novel therapeutic approach as evidenced by tumour regression in xenograft mouse models and initial promising data from clinical trials.

Meng LQ
Essential role of polymorphism of Gab1, EGFR, and EGF for the susceptibility of biliary tract cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12497-508 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholangiocarcinoma is a malignant neoplasm arising from the epithelial cells lining the biliary ducts and its occurrence can be anatomically classified as within the liver (intrahepatic) or outside the liver (extrahepatic). Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which can be called as biliary tract cancer (BTC), is the most common form of this malignancy, and its etiology is still unclear. In this study, we tried to elucidate the complicated association between receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) gene polymorphisms and susceptibility of BTC by analyzing frequency distribution of genotypes and alleles of GRB2-associated-binding protein 1 (Gab1), endothelial growth factor receptor (EGFR), and endothelial growth factor (EGF) and identified potential risk of BTC for people carrying specific genotype of Gab1 and EGFR. Two hundred twenty-five and 300 patients with BTC and cholelithiasis (gallstone (GS)), respectively, and 300 controls matched by age, sex, and ethnicity with patients were recruited from Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University from January 2008 to July 2011 with informed consents. Genomic DNA of BTC group was extracted and purified from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue sections using QiAamp DNA FFPE Tissue kit. For GS group and controls, DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using genomic DNA extraction kit from Aid Lab. Target genes of RTK family were identified from National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) SNP database and Japanese Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (JSNP) database. Frequency distribution of genotypes and alleles was analyzed using HapMap Project database. All of the statistical analysis was conducted with SPSS 13.0 software. Eight loci were identified for Gab1 (4), EGFR (3), and EGF (1) as the target single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the association of gene polymorphisms and BTC. A/A genotype and A allele of rs3805246 in Gab1 and G/G genotype and G allele of rs2017000 in EGFR were significantly higher in BTC group than in GS group or controls. After controlling for BMI, age, gender, and smoking habit, patients with "A/A + G/A" had 2.154 times odds to have BTC; as for patients with "A/A" only, they still had 1.976 times odds to have BTC. In the rs2017000 of EGFR, patients with "G/G + G/A" had 1.772 times odds to have BTC, and patients with "G/G" only had 1.530 times odds to have BTC. Furthermore, patients with A/A in rs3805246 and G/G in rs2017000 simultaneously had 1.620 times chance to have BTC than people with other genotypes. This study explored the independent potential effect of EGFR signaling transduction pathway and its downstream element Gab1 and the gene-gene interaction on the disease mechanism of BTC in the perspective of genetics and molecular epidemiology.

Veeraraghavan J, Tan Y, Cao XX, et al.
Recurrent ESR1-CCDC170 rearrangements in an aggressive subset of oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancers.
Nat Commun. 2014; 5:4577 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Characterizing the genetic alterations leading to the more aggressive forms of oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers is of critical significance in breast cancer management. Here we identify recurrent rearrangements between the oestrogen receptor gene ESR1 and its neighbour CCDC170, which are enriched in the more aggressive and endocrine-resistant luminal B tumours, through large-scale analyses of breast cancer transcriptome and copy number alterations. Further screening of 200 ER+ breast cancers identifies eight ESR1-CCDC170-positive tumours. These fusions encode amino-terminally truncated CCDC170 proteins (ΔCCDC170). When introduced into ER+ breast cancer cells, ΔCCDC170 leads to markedly increased cell motility and anchorage-independent growth, reduced endocrine sensitivity and enhanced xenograft tumour formation. Mechanistic studies suggest that ΔCCDC170 engages Gab1 signalosome to potentiate growth factor signalling and enhance cell motility. Together, this study identifies neoplastic ESR1-CCDC170 fusions in a more aggressive subset of ER+ breast cancer, which suggests a new concept of ER pathobiology in breast cancer.

Seda V, Mraz M
B-cell receptor signalling and its crosstalk with other pathways in normal and malignant cells.
Eur J Haematol. 2015; 94(3):193-205 [PubMed] Related Publications
The physiology of B cells is intimately connected with the function of their B-cell receptor (BCR). B-cell lymphomas frequently (dys)regulate BCR signalling and thus take advantage of this pre-existing pathway for B-cell proliferation and survival. This has recently been underscored by clinical trials demonstrating that small molecules (fosfamatinib, ibrutinib, idelalisib) inhibiting BCR-associated kinases (SYK, BTK, PI3K) have an encouraging clinical effect. Here we describe the current knowledge of the specific aspects of BCR signalling in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and normal B cells. Multiple factors can contribute to BCR pathway (dys)regulation in these malignancies and the activation of 'chronic' or 'tonic' BCR signalling. In lymphoma B cells, the balance of initiation, amplitude and duration of BCR activation can be influenced by a specific immunoglobulin structure, the expression and mutations of adaptor molecules (like GAB1, BLNK, GRB2, CARD11), the activity of kinases (like LYN, SYK, PI3K) or phosphatases (like SHIP-1, SHP-1 and PTEN) and levels of microRNAs. We also discuss the crosstalk of BCR with other signalling pathways (NF-κB, adhesion through integrins, migration and chemokine signalling) to emphasise that the 'BCR inhibitors' target multiple pathways interconnected with BCR, which might explain some of their clinical activity.

Kater AP, Eldering E
miR in CLL: more than mere markers of prognosis?
Blood. 2014; 124(1):2-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this issue of Blood, Mraz et al show that microRNA-150 (miR-150) is the most abundantly expressed miR in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and affects the threshold for B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling by repressing expression levels of GAB1 and FOXP1. This functional link might explain the described association between expression levels of miR-150 and prognosis.

Mraz M, Chen L, Rassenti LZ, et al.
miR-150 influences B-cell receptor signaling in chronic lymphocytic leukemia by regulating expression of GAB1 and FOXP1.
Blood. 2014; 124(1):84-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We examined the microRNAs (miRNAs) expressed in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and identified miR-150 as the most abundant, but with leukemia cell expression levels that varied among patients. CLL cells that expressed ζ-chain-associated protein of 70 kDa (ZAP-70) or that used unmutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) genes, each had a median expression level of miR-150 that was significantly lower than that of ZAP-70-negative CLL cells or those that used mutated IGHV genes. In samples stratified for expression of miR-150, CLL cells with low-level miR-150 expressed relatively higher levels of forkhead box P1 (FOXP1) and GRB2-associated binding protein 1 (GAB1), genes with 3' untranslated regions having evolutionary-conserved binding sites for miR-150. High-level expression of miR-150 could repress expression of these genes, which encode proteins that enhance B-cell receptor signaling, a putative CLL-growth/survival signal. Also, high-level expression of miR-150 was a significant independent predictor of longer treatment-free survival or overall survival, whereas an inverse association was observed for high-level expression of GAB1 or FOXP1 for overall survival. This study demonstrates that expression of miR-150 can influence the relative expression of GAB1 and FOXP1 and the signaling potential of the B-cell receptor, thereby possibly accounting for the noted association of expression of miR-150 and disease outcome.

Zhang Y, Li Z, Yang M, et al.
Identification of GRB2 and GAB1 coexpression as an unfavorable prognostic factor for hepatocellular carcinoma by a combination of expression profile and network analysis.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e85170 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To screen novel markers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by a combination of expression profile, interaction network analysis and clinical validation.
METHODS: HCC significant molecules which are differentially expressed or had genetic variations in HCC tissues were obtained from five existing HCC related databases (OncoDB.HCC,, dbHCCvar, EHCO and Liverome). Then, the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of these molecules was constructed. Three topological features of the network ('Degree', 'Betweenness', and 'Closeness') and the k-core algorithm were used to screen candidate HCC markers which play crucial roles in tumorigenesis of HCC. Furthermore, the clinical significance of two candidate HCC markers growth factor receptor-bound 2 (GRB2) and GRB2-associated-binding protein 1 (GAB1) was validated.
RESULTS: In total, 6179 HCC significant genes and 977 HCC significant proteins were collected from existing HCC related databases. After network analysis, 331 candidate HCC markers were identified. Especially, GAB1 has the highest k-coreness suggesting its central localization in HCC related network, and the interaction between GRB2 and GAB1 has the largest edge-betweenness implying it may be biologically important to the function of HCC related network. As the results of clinical validation, the expression levels of both GRB2 and GAB1 proteins were significantly higher in HCC tissues than those in their adjacent nonneoplastic tissues. More importantly, the combined GRB2 and GAB1 protein expression was significantly associated with aggressive tumor progression and poor prognosis in patients with HCC.
CONCLUSION: This study provided an integrative analysis by combining expression profile and interaction network analysis to identify a list of biologically significant HCC related markers and pathways. Further experimental validation indicated that the aberrant expression of GRB2 and GAB1 proteins may be strongly related to tumor progression and prognosis in patients with HCC. The overexpression of GRB2 in combination with upregulation of GAB1 may be an unfavorable prognostic factor for HCC.

Sang H, Li T, Li H, Liu J
Down-regulation of Gab1 inhibits cell proliferation and migration in hilar cholangiocarcinoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e81347 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hilar cholangiocarcinoma is a highly aggressive malignancy originating from the hilar biliary duct epithelium. Due to few effective comprehensive treatments, the prognosis of hilar cholangiocarcinoma is poor. In this study, immunohistochemistry was first used to detect and analyze the expression of Gab1, VEGFR-2, and MMP-9 in hilar cholangiocarcinoma solid tumors and the relationships to the clinical pathological features. Furthermore, Gab1 and VEGFR-2 siRNA were used to interfere the hilar cholangiocarcinoma cell line ICBD-1 and then detect the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway, MMP-9 levels and malignant biological behaviors of tumor cells. The data showed that 1. Gab1, VEGFR-2, and MMP-9 were highly expressed and positively correlated with each other in hilar cholangiocarcinoma tissues, which were related to lymph node metastasis and differentiation. 2. After Gab1 or VEGFR-2 siRNA interference, PI3K/Akt pathway activity and MMP-9 levels were decreased in ICBD-1 cells. At the same time, cell proliferation decreased, cell cycle arrested in G1 phase, apoptosis increased and invasion decreased. These results suggest that the expression of Gab1, VEGFR-2, and MMP-9 are significantly related to the malignant biological behavior of hilar cholangiocarcinoma. Gab1 regulates growth, apoptosis and invasion through the VEGFR-2/Gab1/PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in hilar cholangiocarcinoma cells and influences the invasion of tumor cells via MMP-9.

Furcht CM, Muñoz Rojas AR, Nihalani D, Lazzara MJ
Diminished functional role and altered localization of SHP2 in non-small cell lung cancer cells with EGFR-activating mutations.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(18):2346-55, 2355.e1-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells harboring activating mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tend to display elevated activity of several survival signaling pathways. Surprisingly, these mutations also correlate with reduced phosphorylation of ERK and SHP2, a protein tyrosine phosphatase required for complete ERK activation downstream of most receptor tyrosine kinases. As ERK activity influences cellular response to EGFR inhibition, altered SHP2 function could have a role in the striking response to gefitinib witnessed with EGFR mutation. Here, we demonstrate that impaired SHP2 phosphorylation correlates with diminished SHP2 function in NSCLC cells expressing mutant, versus wild-type, EGFR. In NSCLC cells expressing wild-type EGFR, SHP2 knockdown decreased ERK phosphorylation, basally and in response to gefitinib, and increased cellular sensitivity to gefitinib. In cells expressing EGFR mutants, these effects of SHP2 knockdown were less substantial, but the expression of constitutively active SHP2 reduced cellular sensitivity to gefitinib. In cells expressing EGFR mutants, which do not undergo efficient ligand-mediated endocytosis, SHP2 was basally associated with GRB2-associated binder 1 (GAB1) and EGFR, and SHP2's presence in membrane fractions was dependent on EGFR activity. Whereas EGF promoted a more uniform intracellular distribution of initially centrally localized SHP2 in cells expressing wild-type EGFR, SHP2 was basally evenly distributed and did not redistribute in response to EGF in cells with EGFR mutation. Thus, EGFR mutation may promote association of a fraction of SHP2 at the plasma membrane with adapters that promote SHP2 activity. Consistent with this, SHP2 immunoprecipitated from cells with EGFR mutation was active, and EGF treatment did not change this activity. Overall, our data suggest that a fraction of SHP2 is sequestered at the plasma membrane in cells with EGFR mutation in a way that impedes SHP2's ability to promote ERK activity and identify SHP2 as a potential target for co-inhibition with EGFR in NSCLC.

Ortiz-Padilla C, Gallego-Ortega D, Browne BC, et al.
Functional characterization of cancer-associated Gab1 mutations.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(21):2696-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
Grb2-associated binder 1 (Gab1) is a docking protein that transduces signals from a variety of tyrosine kinases, including Met and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Although the related protein Gab2 is strongly implicated in human cancer, a role for Gab1 has been less clear. However, a screen for gene mutations in breast cancer identified two somatic mutations in Gab1, Y83C and T387N. In this paper we describe the functional characterization of these Gab1 mutants. MCF-10A immortalized mammary epithelial cells overexpressing Gab1 Y83C and T387N exhibited a more elongated, fibroblastic phenotype compared with wild-type Gab1 controls. Expression of Gab1 or the mutants promoted epidermal growth factor (EGF)-independent proliferation in monolayer culture to a similar degree. However, in Matrigel culture, both mutants enhanced the formation of acini exhibiting an aberrant, branched morphology. In addition, expression of the mutants modestly increased Erk activation. The two mutants also enhanced branching morphogenesis in a different mammary epithelial cell line, HC11. To gain further insights into the mechanism of action of these mutations, we mapped Gab1 phosphorylation sites by mass spectrometry. This detected phosphorylation of T387 but ;not Y83. Cellular stimulation with EGF or hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) led to a transient, or sustained, induction of T387 phosphorylation, respectively. As T387 corresponds in position to Gab2 T391, which suppresses Gab2 signaling in a phosphorylation-dependent manner, these data support a model in which the T387N mutation abrogates negative-feedback regulation of Gab1. Interrogation of publically-available databases revealed additional cancer-associated mutations at, or in close proximity to, identified serine/threonine phosphorylation sites in other docking proteins. These data indicate that aberrant Gab1 signaling can directly contribute to breast cancer progression, and that negative feedback sites in docking proteins can be targeted by oncogenic mutations.

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