Myxofibrosarcoma is a common mesenchymal malignancy with complex genomics and heterogeneous clinical outcomes. Through gene-expression profiling of 64 primary high-grade myxofibrosarcomas, we defined an expression signature associated with clinical outcome. The gene most significantly associated with disease-specific death and distant metastasis was ITGA10 (integrin-α10). Functional studies revealed that myxofibrosarcoma cells strongly depended on integrin-α10, whereas normal mesenchymal cells did not. Integrin-α10 transmitted its tumor-specific signal via TRIO and RICTOR, two oncoproteins that are frequently co-overexpressed through gene amplification on chromosome 5p. TRIO and RICTOR activated RAC/PAK and AKT/mTOR to promote sarcoma cell survival. Inhibition of these proteins with EHop-016 (RAC inhibitor) and INK128 (mTOR inhibitor) had antitumor effects in tumor-derived cell lines and mouse xenografts, and combining the drugs enhanced the effects. Our results demonstrate the importance of integrin-α10/TRIO/RICTOR signaling for driving myxofibrosarcoma progression and provide the basis for promising targeted treatment strategies for patients with high-risk disease.
Significance: Identifying the molecular pathogenesis for myxofibrosarcoma progression has proven challenging given the highly complex genomic alterations in this tumor type. We found that integrin-α10 promotes tumor cell survival through activation of TRIO-RAC-RICTOR-mTOR signaling, and that inhibitors of RAC and mTOR have antitumor effects in vivo, thus identifying a potential treatment strategy for patients with high-risk myxofibrosarcoma. Cancer Discov; 6(10); 1148-65. ©2016 AACR.This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1069.
©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.