Pancreatic endocrine tumours (PETs) are rare and heterogeneous neoplasms, often diagnosed at metastatic stage, for which no cure is currently available. Recently, activation of two pathways that support proliferation and invasiveness of cancer cells, the Src family kinase (SFK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways, was demonstrated in PETs. Since both pathways represent suitable targets for therapeutic intervention, we investigated their possible interaction in PETs. Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses indicated that SFK and mTOR activity correlate in PET cell lines. We also found that SFKs coordinate cell adhesion and spreading with activation of the mTOR pathway in PET cells. Live cell metabolic labelling and biochemical studies demonstrated that SFK activity enhance mTOR-dependent translation initiation. Furthermore, microarray analysis of the mRNAs associated with polyribosomes revealed that SFKs regulate mTOR-dependent translation of specific transcripts, with an enrichment in mRNAs encoding cell cycle proteins. Importantly, a synergic inhibition of proliferation was observed in PET cells concomitantly treated with SFK and mTOR inhibitors, without activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pro-survival pathway. Tissue microarray analysis revealed activation of Src and mTOR in some PET samples, and identified phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 as an independent marker of poor prognosis in PETs. Thus, our work highlights a novel link between the SFK and mTOR pathways, which regulate the translation of mRNAs for cell cycle regulators, and suggest that crosstalk between these pathways promotes PET cell proliferation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism