mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate EMT, motility, and metastasis of colorectal cancer via RhoA and Rac1 signaling pathways

Pat Gulhati, Kanika Bowen-Jallow, Jianyu Liu, Payton D. Stevens, Piotr G. Rychahou, Min Chen, Eun Y. Lee, Heidi L. Weiss, Kathleen L. O'Connor, Tianyan Gao, B. Mark Evers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

324 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling is associated with growth and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). We have previously shown that the mTOR kinase, a downstream effector of PI3K/Akt signaling, regulates tumorigenesis of CRC. However, the contribution of mTOR and its interaction partners toward regulating CRC progression and metastasis remains poorly understood. We found that increased expression of mTOR, Raptor, and Rictor mRNA was noted with advanced stages of CRC, suggesting that mTOR signaling may be associated with CRC progression and metastasis. mTOR, Raptor, and Rictor protein levels were also significantly elevated in primary CRCs (stage IV) and their matched distant metastases compared with normal colon. Inhibition of mTOR signaling, using rapamycin or stable inhibition of mTORC1 (Raptor) and mTORC2 (Rictor), attenuated migration and invasion of CRCs. Furthermore, knockdown of mTORC1 and mTORC2 induced a mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) and enhanced chemosensitivity of CRCs to oxaliplatin. We observed increased cell-cell contact and decreased actin cytoskeletal remodeling concomitant with decreased activation of the small GTPases, RhoA and Rac1, upon inhibition of both mTORC1 and mTORC2. Finally, establishment of CRC metastasis in vivo was completely abolished with targeted inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 irrespective of the site of colonization. Our findings support a role for elevated mTORC1 and mTORC2 activity in regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), motility, and metastasis of CRCs via RhoA and Rac1 signaling. These findings provide the rationale for including mTOR kinase inhibitors, which inhibit both mTORC1 and mTORC2, as part of the therapeutic regimen for CRC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3246-3256
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Research
Volume71
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Fingerprint

Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
Colorectal Neoplasms
Neoplasm Metastasis
Raptors
oxaliplatin
1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase
Phosphotransferases
Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins
Sirolimus
TOR complex 2
mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1
Actins
Colon
Carcinogenesis
Messenger RNA
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate EMT, motility, and metastasis of colorectal cancer via RhoA and Rac1 signaling pathways. / Gulhati, Pat; Bowen-Jallow, Kanika; Liu, Jianyu; Stevens, Payton D.; Rychahou, Piotr G.; Chen, Min; Lee, Eun Y.; Weiss, Heidi L.; O'Connor, Kathleen L.; Gao, Tianyan; Evers, B. Mark.

In: Cancer Research, Vol. 71, No. 9, 01.05.2011, p. 3246-3256.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gulhati, P, Bowen-Jallow, K, Liu, J, Stevens, PD, Rychahou, PG, Chen, M, Lee, EY, Weiss, HL, O'Connor, KL, Gao, T & Evers, BM 2011, 'mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate EMT, motility, and metastasis of colorectal cancer via RhoA and Rac1 signaling pathways', Cancer Research, vol. 71, no. 9, pp. 3246-3256. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-4058
Gulhati, Pat ; Bowen-Jallow, Kanika ; Liu, Jianyu ; Stevens, Payton D. ; Rychahou, Piotr G. ; Chen, Min ; Lee, Eun Y. ; Weiss, Heidi L. ; O'Connor, Kathleen L. ; Gao, Tianyan ; Evers, B. Mark. / mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate EMT, motility, and metastasis of colorectal cancer via RhoA and Rac1 signaling pathways. In: Cancer Research. 2011 ; Vol. 71, No. 9. pp. 3246-3256.
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AU - Bowen-Jallow, Kanika

AU - Liu, Jianyu

AU - Stevens, Payton D.

AU - Rychahou, Piotr G.

AU - Chen, Min

AU - Lee, Eun Y.

AU - Weiss, Heidi L.

AU - O'Connor, Kathleen L.

AU - Gao, Tianyan

AU - Evers, B. Mark

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AB - Activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling is associated with growth and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). We have previously shown that the mTOR kinase, a downstream effector of PI3K/Akt signaling, regulates tumorigenesis of CRC. However, the contribution of mTOR and its interaction partners toward regulating CRC progression and metastasis remains poorly understood. We found that increased expression of mTOR, Raptor, and Rictor mRNA was noted with advanced stages of CRC, suggesting that mTOR signaling may be associated with CRC progression and metastasis. mTOR, Raptor, and Rictor protein levels were also significantly elevated in primary CRCs (stage IV) and their matched distant metastases compared with normal colon. Inhibition of mTOR signaling, using rapamycin or stable inhibition of mTORC1 (Raptor) and mTORC2 (Rictor), attenuated migration and invasion of CRCs. Furthermore, knockdown of mTORC1 and mTORC2 induced a mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) and enhanced chemosensitivity of CRCs to oxaliplatin. We observed increased cell-cell contact and decreased actin cytoskeletal remodeling concomitant with decreased activation of the small GTPases, RhoA and Rac1, upon inhibition of both mTORC1 and mTORC2. Finally, establishment of CRC metastasis in vivo was completely abolished with targeted inhibition of mTORC1 and mTORC2 irrespective of the site of colonization. Our findings support a role for elevated mTORC1 and mTORC2 activity in regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), motility, and metastasis of CRCs via RhoA and Rac1 signaling. These findings provide the rationale for including mTOR kinase inhibitors, which inhibit both mTORC1 and mTORC2, as part of the therapeutic regimen for CRC patients.

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