Literature context: 30A375ATCCCRL-1619MDA-MB-435ATCCHTB-129SK-MEL-19Dr. Paul B. ChapmanN/AS
Aberrant signaling by the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) contributes to the devastating features of cancer cells. Thus, mTOR is a critical therapeutic target and catalytic inhibitors are being investigated as anti-cancer drugs. Although mTOR inhibitors initially block cell proliferation, cell viability and migration in some cancer cells are quickly restored. Despite sustained inhibition of mTORC1/2 signaling, Akt, a kinase regulating cell survival and migration, regains phosphorylation at its regulatory sites. Mechanistically, mTORC1/2 inhibition promotes reorganization of integrin/focal adhesion kinase-mediated adhesomes, induction of IGFR/IR-dependent PI3K activation, and Akt phosphorylation via an integrin/FAK/IGFR-dependent process. This resistance mechanism contributes to xenograft tumor cell growth, which is prevented with mTOR plus IGFR inhibitors, supporting this combination as a therapeutic approach for cancers.
Literature context: 35S (RRID:CVCL_0622)Â and NCI-H
Many lines of evidence have indicated that both genetic and non-genetic determinants can contribute to intra-tumor heterogeneity and influence cancer outcomes. Among the best described sub-population of cancer cells generated by non-genetic mechanisms are cells characterized by a CD44+/CD24- cell surface marker profile. Here, we report that human CD44+/CD24- cancer cells are genetically highly unstable because of intrinsic defects in their DNA-repair capabilities. In fact, in CD44+/CD24- cells, constitutive activation of the TGF-beta axis was both necessary and sufficient to reduce the expression of genes that are crucial in coordinating DNA damage repair mechanisms. Consequently, we observed that cancer cells that reside in a CD44+/CD24- state are characterized by increased accumulation of DNA copy number alterations, greater genetic diversity and improved adaptability to drug treatment. Together, these data suggest that the transition into a CD44+/CD24- cell state can promote intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity, spur tumor evolution and increase tumor fitness.