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Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)

Oncogenic Function of a KIF5B-MET Fusion Variant in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.


PMID 30015159

Abstract

A kinesin family member 5b (KIF5B)-MET proto-oncogene, receptor tyrosine kinase (MET) rearrangement was reported in patients with lung adenocarcinoma but its oncogenic function was not fully evaluated. We used one-step reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for RNA samples to screen for the KIF5B-MET fusion in 206 lung adenocarcinoma and 28 pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma patients. Genomic breakpoints of KIF5B-MET were determined by targeted next-generation sequencing. Soft agar colony formation assays, proliferation assays, and a xenograft mouse model were used to investigate its oncogenic activity. In addition, specific MET inhibitors were administered to evaluate their anti-tumor activities. A KIF5B-MET fusion variant in a patient with a mixed-type adenocarcinoma and sarcomatoid tumor was identified, and another case was found in a pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma patient. Both cases carried the same chimeric gene, a fusion between exons 1-24 of KIF5B and exons 15-21 of MET. KIF5B-MET-overexpressing cells exhibited significantly increased proliferation and colony-forming ability. Xenograft tumors harboring the fusion gene demonstrated significantly elevated tumor growth. Ectopic expression of the fusion gene stimulated the phosphorylation of KIF5B-MET as well as downstream STAT3, AKT, and ERK1/2 signaling pathways. The MET inhibitors significantly repressed cell proliferation; phosphorylation of downstream STAT3, AKT, and ERK1/2; and xenograft tumorigenicity. In conclusion, the KIF5B-MET variant was demonstrated to have an oncogenic function in cancer cells. These findings have immediate clinical implications for the targeted therapy of subgroups of non-small cell lung cancer patients.