Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Elevated Rictor expression is associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer.

PMID 26159923


The rapamycin insensitive companion of mTOR (Rictor) is an essential subunit of mTOR complex 2 (mTORC2), maintains the integrity of the complex and functions as regulator of Akt full activation. Rictor has been implicated to be involved in growth and progression of malignancies, however, little is known about its expression and prognostic role in gastric cancer in particular. Therefore, we investigated the relationship of Rictor expression with clinical outcomes, together with pAktSer473 and pS6, two downstream substrates of mTORC2 and mTORC1, in 396 gastric cancer tissue samples via immunohistochemistry. The results showed that 74.0% and 55.8% of tumors were Rictor and pAktSer473 positive staining, respectively, which correlated well with each other. Patients with positive expressions had poorer overall survival and relapse-free survival compared with those negative staining. Both Rictor and pAktSer473 expression were associated with lymph node metastasis, TNM stage, and WHO grading. Rictor was also correlated with tumor size, depth of invasion, and tumor thrombus, while pAktSer473 was also correlated with distant metastasis. In spite of 67.4% expression rate was presented in gastric cancer tissues, no significant association was observed between pS6Ser235/236, representing mTORC1 activity, and clinicopathological features or prognosis. These results suggest that mTORC2/Rictor/pAkt may play a more important role than mTORC1/pS6 in tumor progression, which could act as a prognostic biomarker or potential therapeutic target in gastric cancer.