Full-Length TrkB Variant in NSCLC Is Associated with Brain Metastasis

Mariangela Lombardi, Michela D'Ascanio, Stefania Scarpino, Davide Scozzi, Marco Giordano, Leopoldo Costarelli, Enrico Rathina Raj, Rita Mancini, Giuseppe Cardillo, Vittorio Cardaci, Marta Innammorato, Andrea Vecchione, Alberto Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite remarkable therapeutic advances have been made in the last few decades, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is still one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Brain metastases are a common complication of a wide range of human malignancies and in particular NSCLC. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), binding its high-affinity tyrosine kinase B receptor, has been shown to promote cancer progression and metastasis. We hereby investigated the expression of the BDNF and its TrkB receptor in its full-length and truncated isoform T1, in samples from primary adenocarcinomas (ADKs) of the lung and in their metastasis to evaluate if their expression was related to preferential tumor entry into the central nervous system (CNS). By immunohistochemistry, 80% of the ADKs that metastasize to central nervous system expressed TrkB receptor compared to 33% expressing of ADKs without CNS metastasis. Moreover, ADKs with CNS metastasis showed an elevated expression of the full-length TrkB receptor. The TrkB receptor FL/T1 ratio was statistically higher in primary ADKs with brain metastasis compared to ADKs without brain metastasis. Our data indicate that TrkB full-length isoform expression in primary ADK cells may be associated with higher risk to develop brain metastasis. Therefore, TrkB receptor may possess prognostic and therapeutic implications in lung ADK.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4193541
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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