Gene Summary

Gene:NTRK1; neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 1
Aliases: MTC, TRK, TRK1, TRKA, Trk-A, p140-TrkA
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor (NTKR) family. This kinase is a membrane-bound receptor that, upon neurotrophin binding, phosphorylates itself and members of the MAPK pathway. The presence of this kinase leads to cell differentiation and may play a role in specifying sensory neuron subtypes. Mutations in this gene have been associated with congenital insensitivity to pain, anhidrosis, self-mutilating behavior, mental retardation and cancer. Alternate transcriptional splice variants of this gene have been found, but only three have been characterized to date. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:high affinity nerve growth factor receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 06 August, 2015


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 06 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 06 August, 2015 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.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
NeuroblastomaNTRK1 expression in NeuroblastomaPrognostic
Expression of TRKA in neuroblastoma is associated with low stage and age < 1yr at diagnosis. It is negatively correlated with unfavourable genetic features such as MYCN amplification and 1p deletion.
View Publications17
Thyroid CancerRET-NTRK1 Rearangements in Papillary Thyroid Cancer View Publications36
Lung CancerCD74-NTRK1 fusion in Lung Cancer View Publications1

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

Latest Publications: NTRK1 (cancer-related)

Ito Y, Ishibashi K, Masaki A, et al.
Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma of salivary glands: a clinicopathologic and molecular study including 2 cases harboring ETV6-X fusion.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2015; 39(5):602-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma (MASC) is a recently described low-grade carcinoma with morphologic and genetic similarity, including ETV6-NTRK3 fusion, to secretory carcinoma of the breast. ETV6 is frequently involved in other epithelial and nonepithelial tumors, and many fusion partners of ETV6 have been reported. In the present study, 14 Japanese MASC cases were clinicopathologically and molecularly analyzed. The median age of the patients was 39 years, and the male:female ratio was 6:8. All cases showed histopathologic findings compatible with those previously described for MASC and harbored an ETV6 split as visualized by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Two cases showed thick fibrous septa and invasive features including vascular or perineural tumor involvement, findings that are rare in MASC. In addition, in these 2 cases, non-NTRK3 genes appeared to fuse with ETV6 (ETV6-X fusion). NTRK1 and NTRK2, both members of the NTRK family, were not involved. Of the 14 MASC cases, the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion transcript was positive in 6 cases, and the relative expression level of the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion transcript was variable, ranging from 1 to 5.8. Results of the present study of MASC suggest that (1) ETV6 occasionally fuses with unknown non-NTRK3 genes, (2) ETV6-X cases might have an invasive histology, (3) for molecular diagnosis of MASC, fluorescence in situ hybridization to detect ETV6 splits is the method of choice, and (4) the expression level of the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion transcript is considerably variable. These findings provide a novel insight into the oncogenesis, histopathology, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of this newly recognized carcinoma.

Skvarova Kramarzova K, Fiser K, Mejstrikova E, et al.
Homeobox gene expression in acute myeloid leukemia is linked to typical underlying molecular aberrations.
J Hematol Oncol. 2014; 7:94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although distinct patterns of homeobox (HOX) gene expression have been described in defined cytogenetic and molecular subsets of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), it is unknown whether these patterns are the direct result of transcriptional alterations or rather represent the differentiation stage of the leukemic cell.
METHOD: To address this question, we used qPCR to analyze mRNA expression of HOXA and HOXB genes in bone marrow (BM) samples of 46 patients with AML and sorted subpopulations of healthy BM cells. These various stages of myeloid differentiation represent matched counterparts of morphological subgroups of AML. To further study the transcriptional alterations of HOX genes in hematopoiesis, we also analyzed gene expression of epigenetic modifiers in the subpopluations of healthy BM and leukemic cells.
RESULTS: Unsupervised hierarchical clustering divided the AMLs into five clusters characterized by the presence of prevalent molecular genetic aberrations. Notably, the impact of genotype on HOX gene expression was significantly more pronounced than that of the differentiation stage of the blasts. This driving role of molecular aberrations was best exemplified by the repressive effect of the PML-RARa fusion gene on HOX gene expression, regardless of the presence of the FLT3/ITD mutation. Furthermore, HOX gene expression was positively correlated with mRNA levels of histone demethylases (JMJD3 and UTX) and negatively correlated with gene expression of DNA methyltranferases. No such relationships were observed in subpopulations of healthy BM cells.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that specific molecular genetic aberrations, rather than differentiation per se, underlie the observed differences in HOX gene expression in AML. Moreover, the observed correlations between epigenetic modifiers and HOX expression that are specific to malignant hematopoiesis, suggest their potential causal relationships.

Sharifnia T, Rusu V, Piccioni F, et al.
Genetic modifiers of EGFR dependence in non-small cell lung cancer.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(52):18661-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung adenocarcinomas harboring activating mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) represent a common molecular subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cases. EGFR mutations predict sensitivity to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and thus represent a dependency in NSCLCs harboring these alterations, but the genetic basis of EGFR dependence is not fully understood. Here, we applied an unbiased, ORF-based screen to identify genetic modifiers of EGFR dependence in EGFR-mutant NSCLC cells. This approach identified 18 kinase and kinase-related genes whose overexpression can substitute for EGFR in EGFR-dependent PC9 cells, and these genes include seven of nine Src family kinase genes, FGFR1, FGFR2, ITK, NTRK1, NTRK2, MOS, MST1R, and RAF1. A subset of these genes can complement loss of EGFR activity across multiple EGFR-dependent models. Unbiased gene-expression profiling of cells overexpressing EGFR bypass genes, together with targeted validation studies, reveals EGFR-independent activation of the MEK-ERK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathways. Combined inhibition of PI3K-mTOR and MEK restores EGFR dependence in cells expressing each of the 18 EGFR bypass genes. Together, these data uncover a broad spectrum of kinases capable of overcoming dependence on EGFR and underscore their convergence on the PI3K-AKT and MEK-ERK signaling axes in sustaining EGFR-independent survival.

Zheng Z, Liebers M, Zhelyazkova B, et al.
Anchored multiplex PCR for targeted next-generation sequencing.
Nat Med. 2014; 20(12):1479-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a rapid target enrichment method for next-generation sequencing, termed anchored multiplex PCR (AMP), that is compatible with low nucleic acid input from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimens. AMP is effective in detecting gene rearrangements (without prior knowledge of the fusion partners), single nucleotide variants, insertions, deletions and copy number changes. Validation of a gene rearrangement panel using 319 FFPE samples showed 100% sensitivity (95% confidence limit: 96.5-100%) and 100% specificity (95% confidence limit: 99.3-100%) compared with reference assays. On the basis of our experience with performing AMP on 986 clinical FFPE samples, we show its potential as both a robust clinical assay and a powerful discovery tool, which we used to identify new therapeutically important gene fusions: ARHGEF2-NTRK1 and CHTOP-NTRK1 in glioblastoma, MSN-ROS1, TRIM4-BRAF, VAMP2-NRG1, TPM3-NTRK1 and RUFY2-RET in lung cancer, FGFR2-CREB5 in cholangiocarcinoma and PPL-NTRK1 in thyroid carcinoma. AMP is a scalable and efficient next-generation sequencing target enrichment method for research and clinical applications.

Vera C, Tapia V, Vega M, Romero C
Role of nerve growth factor and its TRKA receptor in normal ovarian and epithelial ovarian cancer angiogenesis.
J Ovarian Res. 2014; 7:82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In normal ovarian function a controlled angiogenesis is essential. Several growth factors are involved in this process, such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and nerve growth factor (NGF). The angiogenesis process in the normal ovary is a tightly controlled process that occurs in each ovarian cycle. Also, angiogenesis is critical for ovarian cancer development and it is responsible for tumor spread, metastasis and its peritoneal dissemination. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women and it is distinguished as the most lethal gynecologic cancer. In recent years angiogenesis has been given considerable attention in order to identify targets for developing effective anti-tumor therapies. Several molecules have been reported to promote angiogenesis, such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and its receptors, the angiopoietin/Tie ligand/receptor system and fibroblast growth factor (FGF). Primarily, VEGF has been identified to play key roles in driving angiogenesis. The above-mentioned molecules are candidate drug targets. Used in combination with other treatments, anti-angiogenic therapies have managed to reduce disease progression. The present review is focused in NGF and its high affinity receptor tyrosine kinase A (TRKA). The expression of VEGF, proliferation and the angiogenesis process in ovarian cancer is importantly induced by NGF, among other molecules.

Nobusawa S, Hirato J, Yokoo H
Molecular genetics of ependymomas and pediatric diffuse gliomas: a short review.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2014; 31(4):229-33 [PubMed] Related Publications
Here, we review the recent literature on molecular discoveries in ependymomas and pediatric diffuse gliomas. Ependymomas can now be categorized into three location-related subgroups according to their biological profile: posterior fossa ependymomas, group A (PFA) and B (PFB), and supratentorial ependymomas. Although no recurrently mutated genes were found throughout these groups of ependymomas, PFA exhibited a CpG island methylator phenotype, PFB was associated with extensive chromosomal aberrations, and the C11orf95-RELA fusion gene was frequently observed in supratentorial ependymomas. Meanwhile, it has now become apparent that pediatric diffuse gliomas have a distinct genetic status from their adult counterparts, even though they share an indistinguishable histology. In pediatric low-grade diffuse gliomas, an intragenic duplication of the portion of FGFR1 encoding the tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) and rearrangements of MYB/MYBL1 were found recurrently and mutually exclusively. As for non-brainstem high-grade tumors, in addition to H3F3A, TP53, and ATRX mutations, which were frequently observed in older children, recurrent fusions involving NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3 were reported in infants younger than 3 years of age. Moreover, in diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), recurrent somatic mutations of ACVR1 were found in association with HIST1H3B mutations.

Dreidax D, Bannert S, Henrich KO, et al.
p19-INK4d inhibits neuroblastoma cell growth, induces differentiation and is hypermethylated and downregulated in MYCN-amplified neuroblastomas.
Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(25):6826-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uncontrolled cell cycle entry, resulting from deregulated CDK-RB1-E2F pathway activity, is a crucial determinant of neuroblastoma cell malignancy. Here we identify neuroblastoma-suppressive functions of the p19-INK4d CDK inhibitor and uncover mechanisms of its repression in high-risk neuroblastomas. Reduced p19-INK4d expression was associated with poor event-free and overall survival and neuroblastoma risk factors including amplified MYCN in a set of 478 primary neuroblastomas. High MYCN expression repressed p19-INK4d mRNA and protein levels in different neuroblastoma cell models with conditional MYCN expression. MassARRAY and 450K methylation analyses of 105 primary neuroblastomas uncovered a differentially methylated region within p19-INK4d. Hypermethylation of this region was associated with reduced p19-INK4d expression. In accordance, p19-INK4d expression was activated upon treatment with the demethylating agent, 2'-deoxy-5-azacytidine, in neuroblastoma cell lines. Ectopic p19-INK4d expression decreased viability, clonogenicity and the capacity for anchorage-independent growth of neuroblastoma cells, and shifted the cell cycle towards the G1/0 phase. p19-INK4d also induced neurite-like processes and markers of neuronal differentiation. Moreover, neuroblastoma cell differentiation, induced by all-trans retinoic acid or NGF-NTRK1-signaling, activated p19-INK4d expression. Our findings pinpoint p19-INK4d as a neuroblastoma suppressor and provide evidence for MYCN-mediated repression and for epigenetic silencing of p19-INK4d by DNA hypermethylation in high-risk neuroblastomas.

Derwahl M, Nicula D
Estrogen and its role in thyroid cancer.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014; 21(5):T273-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Proliferative thyroid diseases are more prevalent in females than in males. Upon the onset of puberty, the incidence of thyroid cancer increases in females only and declines again after menopause. Estrogen is a potent growth factor both for benign and malignant thyroid cells that may explain the sex difference in the prevalence of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. It exerts its growth-promoting effect through a classical genomic and a non-genomic pathway, mediated via a membrane-bound estrogen receptor. This receptor is linked to the tyrosine kinase signaling pathways MAPK and PI3K. In papillary thyroid carcinomas, these pathways may be activated either by a chromosomal rearrangement of the tyrosine receptor kinase TRKA, by RET/PTC genes, or by a BRAF mutation and, in addition, in females they may be stimulated by high levels of estrogen. Furthermore, estrogen is involved in the regulation of angiogenesis and metastasis that are critical for the outcome of thyroid cancer. In contrast to other carcinomas, however, detailed knowledge on this regulation is still missing for thyroid cancer.

Miranda C, Mazzoni M, Sensi M, et al.
Functional characterization of NTRK1 mutations identified in melanoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(10):875-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cutaneous melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, with a complex and heterogeneous aetiology. Deregulation of the mitogen activated protein kinase cascade is common in melanoma, due to activating mutations in the BRAF and NRAS genes. Genetic studies and high-throughput screening technologies have recently identified several somatic mutations affecting different receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) genes. For the majority of these, however, the contribution to the complexity of melanoma biology has not been assessed. Among these, two novel missense somatic mutations (M379I and R577G) have recently been identified in the gene encoding the neurotrophic RTK NTRK1. The NTRK1 melanoma-associated point mutations were introduced in a NTRK1 expression plasmid. Functional characterization of mutants was assessed after transient and stable transfection in HeLa and NIH3T3 cells, respectively. We showed that M379I and R577G NTRK1 receptors do not display the kinase as constitutively activated and are functionally indistinguishable from the wild-type NTRK1 receptor. Our results indicate that a causative role for M379I and R577G NTRK1 mutations in melanoma development is highly unlikely. This supports the issue that, in parallel to systematic large scale cancer genome screening, functional studies are required to distinguish between mutations that play a causative role in tumor development and others that may only be passenger changes.

Yang XQ, Xu YF, Guo S, et al.
Clinical significance of nerve growth factor and tropomyosin-receptor-kinase signaling pathway in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(14):4076-84 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the correlation between nerve growth factor-tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (NGF-TrkA) signaling pathway and prognosis in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (IHCC).
METHODS: NGF and TrkA expression in 83 samples of IHCC was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Correlations between NGF-TrkA expression and clinicopathological features were analyzed by χ² test. Moreover, we evaluated the association between NGF-TrkA and overall survival by univariate and multivariate analysis. With experiments in vitro, we investigated the crucial role of NGF-TrkA on proliferation and invasion of IHCC cells with recombinant NGF-β stimulation.
RESULTS: We found that NGF and TrkA expression was significantly related with differentiation (P = 0.024) and intraneural invasion (P = 0.003), respectively. Additionally, double higher expression of NGF and TrkA was identified as an independent prognostic factor in IHCC (P = 0.003). Moreover, we demonstrated that NGF-TrkA signaling pathway can promote IHCC proliferation and invasion.
CONCLUSION: NGF-TrkA double higher expression is an independent prognostic factor in IHCC. NGF-TrkA pathway can promote IHCC progression, indicating that NGF-TrkA may become a potential drug target.

Ruggeri P, Farina AR, Di Ianni N, et al.
The TrkAIII oncoprotein inhibits mitochondrial free radical ROS-induced death of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells by augmenting SOD2 expression and activity at the mitochondria, within the context of a tumour stem cell-like phenotype.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e94568 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The developmental and stress-regulated alternative TrkAIII splice variant of the NGF receptor TrkA is expressed by advanced stage human neuroblastomas (NBs), correlates with worse outcome in high TrkA expressing unfavourable tumours and exhibits oncogenic activity in NB models. In the present study, we report that constitutive TrkAIII expression in human SH-SY5Y NB cells inhibits Rotenone, Paraquat and LY83583-induced mitochondrial free radical reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated death by stimulating SOD2 expression, increasing mitochondrial SOD2 activity and attenuating mitochondrial free radical ROS production, in association with increased mitochondrial capacity to produce H2O2, within the context of a more tumour stem cell-like phenotype. This effect can be reversed by the specific TrkA tyrosine kinase inhibitor GW441756, by the multi-kinase TrkA inhibitors K252a, CEP-701 and Gö6976, which inhibit SOD2 expression, and by siRNA knockdown of SOD2 expression, which restores the sensitivity of TrkAIII expressing SH-SY5Y cells to Rotenone, Paraquat and LY83583-induced mitochondrial free radical ROS production and ROS-mediated death. The data implicate the novel TrkAIII/SOD2 axis in promoting NB resistance to mitochondrial free radical-mediated death and staminality, and suggest that the combined use of TrkAIII and/or SOD2 inhibitors together with agents that induce mitochondrial free radical ROS-mediated death could provide a therapeutic advantage that may also target the stem cell niche in high TrkA expressing unfavourable NB.

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

Ross JS, Wang K, Gay L, et al.
New routes to targeted therapy of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas revealed by next-generation sequencing.
Oncologist. 2014; 19(3):235-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is a subtype of primary liver cancer that is rarely curable by surgery and is rapidly increasing in incidence. Relapsed ICC has a poor prognosis, and current systemic nontargeted therapies are commonly extrapolated from those used in other gastrointestinal malignancies. We hypothesized that genomic profiling of clinical ICC samples would identify genomic alterations that are linked to targeted therapies and that could facilitate a personalized approach to therapy.
METHODS: DNA sequencing of hybridization-captured libraries was performed for 3,320 exons of 182 cancer-related genes and 36 introns of 14 genes frequently rearranged in cancer. Sample DNA was isolated from 40 μm of 28 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded ICC specimens and sequenced to high coverage.
RESULTS: The most commonly observed alterations were within ARID1A (36%), IDH1/2 (36%), and TP53 (36%) as well as amplification of MCL1 (21%). Twenty cases (71%) harbored at least one potentially actionable alteration, including FGFR2 (14%), KRAS (11%), PTEN (11%), CDKN2A (7%), CDK6 (7%), ERBB3 (7%), MET (7%), NRAS (7%), BRCA1 (4%), BRCA2 (4%), NF1 (4%), PIK3CA (4%), PTCH1 (4%), and TSC1 (4%). Four (14%) of the ICC cases featured novel gene fusions involving the tyrosine kinases FGFR2 and NTRK1 (FGFR2-KIAA1598, FGFR2-BICC1, FGFR2-TACC3, and RABGAP1L-NTRK1).
CONCLUSION: Two thirds of patients in this study harbored genomic alterations that are associated with targeted therapies and that have the potential to personalize therapy selection for to individual patients.

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

Cornils K, Thielecke L, Hüser S, et al.
Multiplexing clonality: combining RGB marking and genetic barcoding.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2014; 42(7):e56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
RGB marking and DNA barcoding are two cutting-edge technologies in the field of clonal cell marking. To combine the virtues of both approaches, we equipped LeGO vectors encoding red, green or blue fluorescent proteins with complex DNA barcodes carrying color-specific signatures. For these vectors, we generated highly complex plasmid libraries that were used for the production of barcoded lentiviral vector particles. In proof-of-principle experiments, we used barcoded vectors for RGB marking of cell lines and primary murine hepatocytes. We applied single-cell polymerase chain reaction to decipher barcode signatures of individual RGB-marked cells expressing defined color hues. This enabled us to prove clonal identity of cells with one and the same RGB color. Also, we made use of barcoded vectors to investigate clonal development of leukemia induced by ectopic oncogene expression in murine hematopoietic cells. In conclusion, by combining RGB marking and DNA barcoding, we have established a novel technique for the unambiguous genetic marking of individual cells in the context of normal regeneration as well as malignant outgrowth. Moreover, the introduction of color-specific signatures in barcodes will facilitate studies on the impact of different variables (e.g. vector type, transgenes, culture conditions) in the context of competitive repopulation studies.

Narayanan R, Yepuru M, Coss CC, et al.
Discovery and preclinical characterization of novel small molecule TRK and ROS1 tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer and inflammation.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83380 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), in response to their growth factor ligands, phosphorylate and activate downstream signals important for physiological development and pathological transformation. Increased expression, activating mutations and rearrangement fusions of RTKs lead to cancer, inflammation, pain, neurodegenerative diseases, and other disorders. Activation or over-expression of ALK, ROS1, TRK (A, B, and C), and RET are associated with oncogenic phenotypes of their respective tissues, making them attractive therapeutic targets. Cancer cDNA array studies demonstrated over-expression of TRK-A and ROS1 in a variety of cancers, compared to their respective normal tissue controls. We synthesized a library of small molecules that inhibit the above indicated RTKs with picomolar to nanomolar potency. The lead molecule GTx-186 inhibited RTK-dependent cancer cell and tumor growth. In vitro and in vivo growth of TRK-A-dependent IMR-32 neuroblastoma cells and ROS1-overexpressing NIH3T3 cells were inhibited by GTx-186. GTx-186 also inhibited inflammatory signals mediated by NFκB, AP-1, and TRK-A and potently reduced atopic dermatitis and air-pouch inflammation in mice and rats. Moreover, GTx-186 effectively inhibited ALK phosphorylation and ALK-dependent cancer cell growth. Collectively, the RTK inhibitor GTx-186 has a unique kinase profile with potential to treat cancer, inflammation, and neuropathic pain.

Slamova L, Starkova J, Fronkova E, et al.
CD2-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia with an early switch to the monocytic lineage.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(3):609-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Switches from the lymphoid to myeloid lineage during B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL) treatment are considered rare and thus far have been detected in MLL-rearranged leukemia. Here, we describe a novel BCP-ALL subset, switching BCP-ALL or swALL, which demonstrated monocytosis early during treatment. Despite their monocytic phenotype, 'monocytoids' share immunoreceptor gene rearrangements with leukemic B lymphoblasts. All swALLs demonstrated BCP-ALL with CD2 positivity and no MLL alterations, and the proportion of swALLs cases among BCP-ALLs was unexpectedly high (4%). The upregulation of CEBPα and demethylation of the CEBPA gene were significant in blasts at diagnosis, prior to the time when most of the switching occurs. Intermediate stages between CD14(neg)CD19(pos)CD34(pos) B lymphoblasts and CD14(pos)CD19(neg)CD34(neg) 'monocytoids' were detected, and changes in the expression of PAX5, PU1, M-CSFR, GM-CSFR and other genes accompanied the switch. Alterations in the Ikaros and ERG genes were more frequent in swALL patients; however, both were altered in only a minority of swALLs. Moreover, switching could be recapitulated in vitro and in mouse xenografts. Although children with swALL respond slowly to initial therapy, risk-based ALL therapy appears the treatment of choice for swALL. SwALL shows that transdifferentiating into monocytic lineage is specifically associated with CEBPα changes and CD2 expression.

Skoda J, Neradil J, Zitterbart K, et al.
EGFR signaling in the HGG-02 glioblastoma cell line with an unusual loss of EGFR gene copy.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 31(1):480-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene amplification and the overexpression of EGFR are described as common features of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Nevertheless, we previously reported the loss of EGFR gene copy in a GBM specimen from a patient with an unusually favorable course of the disease, and the HGG-02 cell line with this aberration was successfully derived from this tumor. Here, we present a detailed analysis of changes in gene expression and cell signaling in the HGG-02 cell line; the GM7 reference cell line with a standard EGFR gene copy number derived from a very aggressive GBM was used as a control. We confirmed the downregulation of EGFR expression and signaling in HGG-02 cells using different methods (RTK analysis, gene profiling and RT-PCR). Other changes that may have contributed to the non-aggressive phenotype of the primary tumor were identified, including the downregulated phosphorylation of the Axl and Trk receptors, as well as increased activity of JNK and p38 kinases. Notably, differences in PDGF signaling were detected in both of these cell lines; HGG-02 cells preferentially expressed and signaled through PDGFRα, and PDGFRβ was strongly overexpressed and phosphorylated in the GM7 reference cell line. Using expression profiling of cancer-related genes, we revealed the specific profile of HGG-02 cells that included upregulated tumor-suppressors as well as downregulated genes associated with the extracellular matrix. This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of gene expression and cell signaling in glioblastoma cells with lower EGFR gene dosage. As indicated by our results, the TAM receptors, Trk receptors and PDGFRs need to be investigated further since their regulation appears to be important for glioblastoma biological features as well as the clinical course of the disease.

Hutchinson L
Lung cancer: drug-sensitivity--time for a rearrangement?
Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2013; 10(12):670 [PubMed] Related Publications

Wang SS, Hsiao R, Limpar MM, et al.
Destabilization of MYC/MYCN by the mitochondrial inhibitors, metaiodobenzylguanidine, metformin and phenformin.
Int J Mol Med. 2014; 33(1):35-42 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the present study, we investigated the anticancer effects of the mitochondrial inhibitors, metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), metformin and phenformin. 131I-MIBG has been used for scintigraphic detection and the targeted radiotherapy of neuroblastoma (NB), a pediatric malignancy. Non-radiolabeled MIBG has been reported to be cytotoxic to NB cells in vitro and in vivo. However, the mechanisms behind its growth suppressive effects have not yet been fully elucidated. Metformin and phenformin are diabetes medications that are being considered in anticancer therapeutics. We investigated the anticancer mechanisms of action of MIBG and metformin in NB. Our data revealed that both drugs suppressed NB cell growth and that the combination drug treatment was more potent. MIBG reduced MYCN and MYC expression in MYCN-amplified and non-MYCN-amplified NB cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Metformin was less effective than MIBG in destabilizing MYC/MYCN. The treatment of NB cells with metformin or MIBG resulted in an increased expression of genes encoding biomarkers for favorable outcome in NB [(ephrin (EFN)B2, EFNB3, EPH receptor B6 (EPHB6), neurotrophic tyrosine kinase, receptor, type 1 (NTRK1), CD44 and Myc-interacting zinc finger protein (MIZ-1)] and tumor suppressor genes [(early growth response 1 (EGR1), EPH receptor A2 (EPHA2), growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible, beta (GADD45B), neuregulin 1 (NRG1), TP53 apoptosis effector (PERP) and sel-1 suppressor of lin-12-like (C. elegans) (SEL1L)]. Accordingly, metformin and MIBG augmented histone H3 acetylation in these cells. Phenformin also exhibited histone modification and was more effective than metformin in destabilizing MYC/MYCN in NB cells. Our data suggest that the destabilization of MYC/MYCN by MIBG, metformin and phenformin and their effects on histone modification are important mechanisms underlying their anticancer effects.

Boublikova L, Buchler T, Stary J, et al.
Molecular biology of testicular germ cell tumors: unique features awaiting clinical application.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2014; 89(3):366-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) are the most common solid tumors in young adult men characterized by distinct biologic features and clinical behavior. Both genetic predispositions and environmental factors probably play a substantial role in their etiology. TGTCs arise from a malignant transformation of primordial germ cells in a process that starts prenatally, is often associated with a certain degree of gonadal dysgenesis, and involves the acquirement of several specific aberrations, including activation of SCF-CKIT, amplification of 12p with up-regulation of stem cell genes, and subsequent genetic and epigenetic alterations. Their embryonic and germ origin determines the unique sensitivity of TGCTs to platinum-based chemotherapy. Contrary to the vast majority of other malignancies, no molecular prognostic/predictive factors nor targeted therapy is available for patients with these tumors. This review summarizes the principal molecular characteristics of TGCTs that could represent a potential basis for development of novel diagnostic and treatment approaches.

Vaishnavi A, Capelletti M, Le AT, et al.
Oncogenic and drug-sensitive NTRK1 rearrangements in lung cancer.
Nat Med. 2013; 19(11):1469-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We identified new gene fusions in patients with lung cancer harboring the kinase domain of the NTRK1 gene that encodes the high-affinity nerve growth factor receptor (TRKA protein). Both the MPRIP-NTRK1 and CD74-NTRK1 fusions lead to constitutive TRKA kinase activity and are oncogenic. Treatment of cells expressing NTRK1 fusions with inhibitors of TRKA kinase activity inhibited autophosphorylation of TRKA and cell growth. Tumor samples from 3 of 91 patients with lung cancer (3.3%) without known oncogenic alterations assayed by next-generation sequencing or fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated evidence of NTRK1 gene fusions.

Yamazaki F, Nakazawa A, Osumi T, et al.
Two cases of neuroblastoma comprising two distinct clones.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014; 61(4):760-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report two cases of high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma, comprising two biologically distinct components in the adrenal primary tumor, which showed clear differences not only histologically but also in MYCN amplification and HA-RAS/TRKA immunoreactivity (Case 1), anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) immunoreactivity (Case 2). These two cases with multiple separated components were similar to cases classified as ganglioneuroblastoma, nodular subtype (GNBn), in terms of composite tumor. Comparable to the GNBn category, the prognosis of the patients described here may depend on the components with unfavorable histology according to International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification. Further analyses of such composite neuroblastoma cases are important for assessing disease prognosis.

Meissner B, Bartram T, Eckert C, et al.
Frequent and sex-biased deletion of SLX4IP by illegitimate V(D)J-mediated recombination in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Hum Mol Genet. 2014; 23(3):590-601 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) accounts for ∼25% of pediatric malignancies. Of interest, the incidence of ALL is observed ∼20% higher in males relative to females. The mechanism behind the phenomenon of sex-specific differences is presently not understood. Employing genome-wide genetic aberration screening in 19 ALL samples, one of the most recurrent lesions identified was monoallelic deletion of the 5' region of SLX4IP. We characterized this deletion by conventional molecular genetic techniques and analyzed its interrelationships with biological and clinical characteristics using specimens and data from 993 pediatric patients enrolled into trial AIEOP-BFM ALL 2000. Deletion of SLX4IP was detected in ∼30% of patients. Breakpoints within SLX4IP were defined to recurrent positions and revealed junctions with typical characteristics of illegitimate V(D)J-mediated recombination. In initial and validation analyses, SLX4IP deletions were significantly associated with male gender and ETV6/RUNX1-rearranged ALL (both overall P < 0.0001). For mechanistic validation, a second recurrent deletion affecting TAL1 and caused by the same molecular mechanism was analyzed in 1149 T-cell ALL patients. Validating a differential role by sex of illegitimate V(D)J-mediated recombination at the TAL1 locus, 128 out of 1149 T-cell ALL samples bore a deletion and males were significantly more often affected (P = 0.002). The repeatedly detected association of SLX4IP deletion with male sex and the extension of the sex bias to deletion of the TAL1 locus suggest that differential illegitimate V(D)J-mediated recombination events at specific loci may contribute to the consistent observation of higher incidence rates of childhood ALL in boys compared with girls.

Youssef G, Gillett C, Agbaje O, et al.
Phosphorylation of NTRK1 at Y674/Y675 induced by TP53-dependent repression of PTPN6 expression: a potential novel prognostic marker for breast cancer.
Mod Pathol. 2014; 27(3):361-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have identified a ligand-independent mechanism whereby the tumor suppressor, TP53, induces nerve growth factor receptor, NTRK1, phosphorylation at Y674/Y675 (NTRK1-pY674/pY675), via the repression of the NTRK1-phosphatase, PTPN6. This results in suppression of breast cancer cell proliferation. In this investigation, we aimed to establish whether perturbation of the wild-type TP53-NTRK1-pY674/pY675-PTPN6 pathway has an impact on disease-free survival of breast cancer patients without neo-adjuvant treatment. A total of 308 tumor samples were stained for NTRK1, NTRK1-pY674/pY675, PTPN6, and TP53 expression. Association between expression levels and disease-free survival was determined by the univariate/multivariate and Kaplan-Meir methods of analysis. DNA from tumors was sequenced to identify mutant or wild-type TP53. Tumors expressing NTRK1-pY674/pY675 but with undetectable or low levels of PTPN6 and TP53 were associated with prolonged 5, 10, and 15 years' disease-free survival by 48%, 36%, and 37%, respectively, in the multivariate analysis (P<0.05). A similar result was observed in tumors expressing wild-type TP53, NTRK1-pY674/pY675, and low or undetectable levels of PTPN6. Given that estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers encode wild-type TP53, we analyzed this expression pattern in these tumors. Multivariate analysis showed that it was significantly and independently predictive of prolonged survival by 66%, 70%, and 84%, respectively, (P<0.05). The Kaplan-Meir method demonstrated that NTRK1-pY674/pY675 together with undetectable or low levels of PTPN6 correlated with 59% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 15 years), compared with 7% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 4.5 years) when absent. In luminal A tumors, the presence of this pattern was estimated to have a 61% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 15 years), compared with 6% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 3 years) when it was absent. These results strongly suggest that expression of NTRK1-pY674/pY675 together with wild-type TP53 and low levels of PTPN6 expression are predictors of improved disease-free survival and that they could be useful biomarkers to predict clinical outcome.

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

Farina AR, Di Ianni N, Cappabianca L, et al.
TrkAIII promotes microtubule nucleation and assembly at the centrosome in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, contributing to an undifferentiated anaplastic phenotype.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:740187 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The alternative TrkAIII splice variant is expressed by advanced stage human neuroblastomas (NBs) and exhibits oncogenic activity in NB models. In the present study, employing stable transfected cell lines and assays of indirect immunofluorescence, immunoprecipitation, Western blotting, microtubule regrowth, tubulin kinase, and tubulin polymerisation, we report that TrkAIII binds α -tubulin and promotes MT nucleation and assembly at the centrosome. This effect depends upon spontaneous TrkAIII activity, TrkAIII localisation to the centrosome and pericentrosomal area, and the capacity of TrkAIII to bind, phosphorylate, and polymerise tubulin. We propose that this novel role for TrkAIII contributes to MT involvement in the promotion and maintenance of an undifferentiated anaplastic NB cell morphology by restricting and augmenting MT nucleation and assembly at the centrosomal MTOC.

Zhu Y, Li Y, Haraguchi S, et al.
Dependence receptor UNC5D mediates nerve growth factor depletion-induced neuroblastoma regression.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(7):2935-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Spontaneous regression of neuroblastoma (NB) resembles the developmentally regulated programmed cell death (PCD) of sympathetic neurons. Regressing tumor cells express high levels of the nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors TRKA and p75NTR and are dependent on NGF for survival; however, the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive. Here, we show that UNC5D, a dependence receptor that is directly targeted by p53 family members, is highly expressed in favorable NBs. NGF withdrawal strongly upregulated UNC5D, E2F1, and p53 in human primary favorable NBs. The induced UNC5D was cleaved by caspases 2/3, and the released intracellular fragment translocated into the nucleus and interacted with E2F1 to selectively transactivate the proapoptotic target gene. The cleavage of UNC5D and its induction of apoptosis were strongly inhibited by addition of netrin-1. Unc5d(-/-) mice consistently exhibited a significant increase in dorsal root ganglia neurons and resistance to NGF depletion-induced apoptosis in sympathetic neurons compared with wild-type cells. Our data suggest that UNC5D forms a positive feedback loop with p53 and E2F1 to promote NGF dependence-mediated PCD during NB regression.

Chmelařová M, Dvořáková E, Špaček J, et al.
Promoter methylation of GATA4, WIF1, NTRK1 and other selected tumour suppressor genes in ovarian cancer.
Folia Biol (Praha). 2013; 59(2):87-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecologic tumours, but the molecular and especially epigenetic events underlying the transformation are poorly understood. Various methylation changes have been identified and show promise as potential cancer biomarkers. The aim of this study was to investigate promoter methylation of selected tumour suppressor genes in ovarian cancer by comparison with normal ovarian tissue. To search for epigenetic events we used methylation-specific multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification to compare the methylation status of 44 tissue samples of ovarian cancer with 30 control samples. Using a 20% cut-off for methylation, we observed significantly higher methylation in genes NTKR1, GATA4 and WIF1 in the ovarian cancer group compared with the control group. These findings could potentially be used in screening of ovarian cancer, and may have implications for future chemotherapy based on epigenetic changes.

Katoh M
Functional proteomics, human genetics and cancer biology of GIPC family members.
Exp Mol Med. 2013; 45:e26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GIPC1, GIPC2 and GIPC3 consist of GIPC homology 1 (GH1) domain, PDZ domain and GH2 domain. The regions around the GH1 and GH2 domains of GIPC1 are involved in dimerization and interaction with myosin VI (MYO6), respectively. The PDZ domain of GIPC1 is involved in interactions with transmembrane proteins [IGF1R, NTRK1, ADRB1, DRD2, TGFβR3 (transforming growth factorβ receptor type III), SDC4, SEMA4C, LRP1, NRP1, GLUT1, integrin α5 and VANGL2], cytosolic signaling regulators (APPL1 and RGS19) and viral proteins (HBc and HPV-18 E6). GIPC1 is an adaptor protein with dimerizing ability that loads PDZ ligands as cargoes for MYO6-dependent endosomal trafficking. GIPC1 is required for cell-surface expression of IGF1R and TGFβR3. GIPC1 is also required for integrin recycling during cell migration, angiogenesis and cytokinesis. On early endosomes, GIPC1 assembles receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and APPL1 for activation of PI3K-AKT signaling, and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and RGS19 for attenuation of inhibitory Gα signaling. GIPC1 upregulation in breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancers promotes tumor proliferation and invasion, whereas GIPC1 downregulation in cervical cancer with human papillomavirus type 18 infection leads to resistance to cytostatic transforming growth factorβ signaling. GIPC2 is downregulated in acute lymphocytic leukemia owing to epigenetic silencing, while Gipc2 is upregulated in estrogen-induced mammary tumors. Somatic mutations of GIPC2 occur in malignant melanoma, and colorectal and ovarian cancers. Germ-line mutations of the GIPC3 or MYO6 gene cause nonsyndromic hearing loss. As GIPC proteins are involved in trafficking, signaling and recycling of RTKs, GPCRs, integrins and other transmembrane proteins, dysregulation of GIPCs results in human pathologies, such as cancer and hereditary deafness.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. NTRK1 gene, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancer-genetics.org/NTRK1.htm Accessed:

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