Modeling synovial sarcoma metastasis in the mouse: PI3'-lipid signaling and inflammation

J Exp Med. 2016 Dec 12;213(13):2989-3005. doi: 10.1084/jem.20160817. Epub 2016 Nov 9.


Solid tumor metastasis is a complex biology, impinged upon by a variety of dysregulated signaling pathways. PI3'-lipid signaling has been associated with metastasis and inflammation in many cancers, but the relationship between tumor cell-intrinsic PI3'-lipid signaling and inflammatory cell recruitment has remained enigmatic. Elevated PI3'-lipid signaling associates with progression of synovial sarcoma, a deadly soft tissue malignancy initiated by a t(X;18) chromosomal translocation that generates an SS18-SSX fusion oncoprotein. Here, we show in genetically engineered mouse models of locally induced expression of SS18-SSX1 or SS18-SSX2 that Pten silencing dramatically accelerated and enhanced sarcomagenesis without compromising synovial sarcoma characteristics. PTEN deficiency increased tumor angiogenesis, promoted inflammatory gene expression, and enabled highly penetrant spontaneous pulmonary metastasis. PTEN-deficient sarcomas revealed infiltrating myeloid-derived hematopoietic cells, particularly macrophages and neutrophils, recruited via PI3'-lipid-induced CSF1 expression in tumor cells. Moreover, in a large panel of human synovial sarcomas, enhanced PI3'-lipid signaling also correlated with increased inflammatory cell recruitment and CSF1R signal transduction in both macrophages and endothelial cells. Thus, both in the mouse model and in human synovial sarcomas, PI3'-lipid signaling drives CSF1 expression and associates with increased infiltration of the monocyte/macrophage lineage as well as neutrophils.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / genetics
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / metabolism*
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / genetics
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / metabolism*
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / pathology
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Ss18 protein, mouse
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase
  • Pten protein, mouse