Somatic Acquisition and Signaling of TGFBR1∗6A in Cancer

Pasche, Boris; Knobloch, Thomas J.; Yansong Bian; Junjian Liu; Phukan, Sharbani; Rosman, Diana; Kaklamani, Virginia; Baddi, Lisa; Siddiqui, Farida S.; Frankel, Wendy; Prior, Thomas W.; Schuller, David E.; Agrawal, Amit; Lang, Jas; Dolan, M. Eileen; Vokes, Everett E.; Lane, William S.; Chiang-Ching Huang; Caldes, Trinidad; Di Cristofano, Antonio
October 2005
JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association;10/5/2005, Vol. 294 Issue 13, p1634
Academic Journal
Context TGFBR1*6A is a common polymorphism of the type I transforming growth factor β receptor (TGFBR1). Epidemiological studies suggest that TGFBR1*6A may act as a tumor susceptibility allele. How TGFBR1*6A contributes to cancer development is largely unknown. Objectives To determine whether TGFBR1*6A is somatically acquired by primary tumors and metastases during cancer development and whether the 3–amino acid deletion that differentiates TGFBR1*6A from TGFBR1 is part of the mature receptor or part of the signal sequence and to investigate TGFBR1*6A signaling in cancer cells. Design, Setting, and Patients Tumor and germline tissues from 531 patients with a diagnosis of head and neck, colorectal, or breast cancer recruited from 3 centers in the United States and from 1 center in Spain from June 1, 1994, through June 30, 2004. In vitro translation assays, MCF-7 breast cancer cells stably transfected with TGFBR1*6A, TGFBR1, or the vector alone, DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells that endogenously carry TGFBR1*6A, and SW48 colorectal cancer cells that do not carry TGFBR1*6A. Main Outcome Measures TGFBR1*6A somatic acquisition in cancer. Determination of the amino terminus of the mature TGFBR1*6A and TGFBR1 receptors. Determination of TGF-β–dependent cell proliferation. Results TGFBR1*6A was somatically acquired in 13 of 44 (29.5%) colorectal cancer metastases, in 4 of 157 (2.5%) of colorectal tumors, in 4 of 226 (1.8%) head and neck primary tumors, and in none of the 104 patients with breast cancer. TGFBR1*6A somatic acquisition is not associated with loss of heterozygosity, microsatellite instability, or a mutator phenotype. The signal sequences of TGFBR1 and TGFBR1*6A are cleaved at the same site resulting in identical mature receptors. TGFBR1*6A may switch TGF-β growth inhibitory signals into growth stimulatory signals in MCF-7 breast cancer cells and in DLD-1 colorectal cancer cells. Conclusions TGFBR1*6A is somatically acquired in 29.5% of liver metastases from colorectal cancer and may bestow cancer cells with a growth advantage in the presence of TGF-β. The functional consequences of this conversion appear to be mediated by the TGFBR1*6A signal sequence rather than by the mature receptor. The results highlight a new facet of TGF-β signaling in cancer and suggest that TGFBR1*6A may represent a potential therapeutic target in cancer.


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