Molecular characterization of synovial sarcoma in children and adolescents: Evidence of Akt activation

Fabio Bozzi, Andrea Ferrari, Tiziana Negri, Elena Conca, Da Riva Luca, Marco Losa, Paola Casieri, Marta Orsenigo, Andrea Lampis, Cristina Meazza, Michela Casanova, Marco A. Pierotti, Elena Tamborini, Silvana Pilotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synovial sarcoma (SS) is the most frequent nonrhabdomyosarcomatous soft tissue sarcoma encountered in adolescents and young adults, and despite advances in the treatment of local disease, metastases remain the main cause of death. The aim of this study was to characterize a single-center series of pediatric SS molecularly to seek any biomarkers or pathways that might make suitable targets for new agents. Seventeen cases of pediatric SS showing the SYT-SSX fusion transcript were screened immunohistochemically, biochemically, molecularly, and cytogenetically (depending on the available material) to investigate any expression/activation of epidermal growth factor receptor, platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα), PDGFRβ, Akt, and deregulated Wnt pathway. The most relevant outcome was the finding of activated epidermal growth factor receptor, PDGFRα, and PDGFRβ, which activated Akt in both the monophasic and biphasic histologic subtypes. Consistently, Akt activation was completely abolished in an SS cell line assay when stimulated by PDGF-AA and treated with the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002. Our results also showed the nuclear localization of β-catenin and cyclin D1 gene products in monophasic SS and the movement of β-catenin into the cytoplasm in the glandular component of the biphasic subtype. Although they need to be confirmed in larger series, these preliminary data suggest that therapeutic strategies including specific inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway might be exploited in SS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalTranslational Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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