Oncogenomics | Published:

Differential association of STK11 and TP53 with KRAS mutation-associated gene expression, proliferation and immune surveillance in lung adenocarcinoma

Oncogene volume 35, pages 32093216 (16 June 2016) | Download Citation

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Abstract

While mutations in the KRAS oncogene are among the most prevalent in human cancer, there are few successful treatments to target these tumors. It is also likely that heterogeneity in KRAS-mutant tumor biology significantly contributes to the response to therapy. We hypothesized that the presence of commonly co-occurring mutations in STK11 and TP53 tumor suppressors may represent a significant source of heterogeneity in KRAS-mutant tumors. To address this, we utilized a large cohort of resected tumors from 442 lung adenocarcinoma patients with data including annotation of prevalent driver mutations (KRAS and EGFR) and tumor suppressor mutations (STK11 and TP53), microarray-based gene expression and clinical covariates, including overall survival (OS). Specifically, we determined impact of STK11 and TP53 mutations on a new KRAS mutation-associated gene expression signature as well as previously defined signatures of tumor cell proliferation and immune surveillance responses. Interestingly, STK11, but not TP53 mutations, were associated with highly elevated expression of KRAS mutation-associated genes. Mutations in TP53 and STK11 also impacted tumor biology regardless of KRAS status, with TP53 strongly associated with enhanced proliferation and STK11 with suppression of immune surveillance. These findings illustrate the remarkably distinct ways through which tumor suppressor mutations may contribute to heterogeneity in KRAS-mutant tumor biology. In addition, these studies point to novel associations between gene mutations and immune surveillance that could impact the response to immunotherapy.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health SPORE Grant (P50 CA119997). We would also like to thank Mr Andrew ‘Ross’ Myers, Anastasia Belock, Mercedes Rodriguez, Edward T Chwieseni, Marek Wloch, Hiba Gohar, and Moffitt’s Tissue Core facility, Moffitt’s Cancer Registry (Director: Karen A Coyne), Research Information Technology (IT) group, and the Data Management and Integration Technology (DMIT) group. Total Cancer Care® is enabled, in part, by the generous support of the DeBartolo Family, and we thank the many patients who provided data and tissue to the Total Cancer Care Consortium. Our study also received valuable assistance from the following Core Facilities at the Moffitt Cancer Center: Biostatistics and Cancer Informatics, Tissue, and Molecular Genomics. This work has been supported in part by a Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG grant P30-CA76292) at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Cancer Epidemiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • M B Schabath
  2. Department of Bioinformatics, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • E A Welsh
    • , J K Teer
    • , A E Berglund
    •  & S A Eschrich
  3. Department of Biostatisics, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • W J Fulp
    • , L Chen
    • , Z J Thompson
    •  & D-T Chen
  4. Cancer Biology Graduate Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • B E Engel
    •  & M Xie
  5. Department of Thoracic Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • B C Creelan
    • , S J Antonia
    • , J E Gray
    •  & E B Haura
  6. Department of Molecular Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • W D Cress
  7. Department of Immunology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA

    • A A Beg

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Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to M B Schabath or A A Beg.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/onc.2015.375

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on the Oncogene website (http://www.nature.com/onc)

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