2012-11-06Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047595
Impaired pten expression in human malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours.
Deimling, Andreas von
Heppner, Frank L.
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNST) are aggressive sarcomas that develop in about 10% of patients with the genetic disease neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Molecular alterations contributing to MPNST formation have only partially been resolved. Here we examined the role of Pten, a key regulator of the Pi3k/Akt/mTOR pathway, in human MPNST and benign neurofibromas. Immunohistochemistry showed that Pten expression was significantly lower in MPNST (n = 16) than in neurofibromas (n = 16) and normal nervous tissue. To elucidate potential mechanisms for Pten downregulation or Akt/mTOR activation in MPNST we performed further experiments. Mutation analysis revealed absence of somatic mutations in PTEN (n = 31) and PIK3CA (n = 38). However, we found frequent PTEN promotor methylation in primary MPNST (11/26) and MPNST cell lines (7/8) but not in benign nerve sheath tumours. PTEN methylation was significantly associated with early metastasis. Moreover, we detected an inverse correlation of Pten-regulating miR-21 and Pten protein levels in MPNST cell lines. The examination of NF12/2 and NF1+/+Schwann cells and fibroblasts showed that Pten expression is not regulated by NF1. To determine the significance of Pten status for treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin we treated 5 MPNST cell lines with rapamycin. All cell lines were sensitive to rapamycin without a significant correlation to Pten levels. When rapamycin was combined with simvastatin a synergistic anti-proliferative effect was achieved. Taken together we show frequent loss/reduction of Pten expression in MPNST and provide evidence for the involvement of multiple Pten regulating mechanisms.
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