Stage-dependent expression of PI3K/Akt‑pathway genes in neuroblastoma.
Journal article, 2013
The phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) pathway plays a critical role in cancer cell growth and survival and has also been implicated in the development of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. In neuroblastoma high mRNA expression of the PI3K catalytic isoform PIK3CD is associated to favorable disease. Yet, activation of Akt is associated with poor prognosis. Since the contribution of the numerous members of this pathway to neuroblastoma pathogenesis is mainly unknown, genes of the PI3K/Akt pathway were analyzed at the mRNA level through microarrays and quantitative real-time RT-PCR (TaqMan) and at the protein level using western blot analysis. Five genes showed lower mRNA expression in aggressive compared to more favorable neuroblastomas (PRKCZ, PRKCB1, EIF4EBP1, PIK3RI and PIK3CD) while the opposite was seen for PDGFRA. Clustering analysis shows that the expression levels of these six genes can predict aggressive disease. At the protein level, p110δ (encoded by PIK3CD) and p85α isomers (encoded by PIK3R1) were more highly expressed in favorable compared to aggressive neuroblastoma. Evaluation of the expression of these PI3K genes can predict aggressive disease, and indicates stage-dependent involvement of PI3K-pathway members in neuroblastoma.