FAM83B-mediated activation of PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling cooperates to promote epithelial cell transformation and resistance to targeted therapies

Oncotarget. 2013 May;4(5):729-38. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.1027.


Therapies targeting MAPK and AKT/mTOR signaling are currently being evaluated in clinical trials for several tumor types. However, recent studies suggest that these therapies may be limited due to acquired cancer cell resistance and a small therapeutic index between normal and cancer cells. The identification of novel proteins that are involved in MAPK or AKT/mTOR signaling and differentially expressed between normal and cancer cells will provide mechanistically distinct therapeutic targets with the potential to inhibit these key cancer-associated pathways. We recently identified FAM83B as a novel, previously uncharacterized oncogene capable of hyperactivating MAPK and mTOR signaling and driving the tumorigenicity of immortalized human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC). We show here that elevated FAM83B expression also activates the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and confers a decreased sensitivity to PI3K, AKT, and mTOR inhibitors. FAM83B co-precipitated with the p85α and p110α subunits of PI3K, as well as AKT, and increased p110α and AKT membrane localization, consistent with elevated PI3K/AKT signaling. In tumor-derived cells harboring elevated FAM83B expression, ablation of FAM83B decreased p110α and AKT membrane localization, suppressed AKT phosphorylation, and diminished proliferation, AIG, and tumorigenicity in vivo. We propose that the level of FAM83B expression may be an important factor to consider when combined therapies targeting MAPK and AKT/mTOR signaling are used. Moreover, the identification of FAM83B as a novel oncogene and its integral involvement in activating PI3K/AKT and MAPK provides a foundation for future therapies aimed at targeting FAM83B in order to suppress the growth of PI3K/AKT- and MAPK-driven cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism*
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism


  • FAM83A protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases