We have examined the global gene expression profile of small intestinal carcinoids by microarray analysis. High expression of a number of genes was found including amyloid precursor-like protein 1 (APLP1). Quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analysis demonstrated higher expression of APLP1 in carcinoid metastases relative to primary tumours indicating a role of APLP1 in tumour dissemination. Tissue microarray analysis of gastroentero-pancreatic tumours demonstrated a high frequency of APLP1 expression and a low frequency of APLP2 expression in neuroendocrine (NE) tumours when compared with non-NE tumours at the same sites. Meta-analysis of gene expression data from a large number of tumours outside the gastrointestinal tract confirmed a correlation between APLP1 expression and NE phenotype where high expression of APLP1 was accompanied by downregulation of APLP2 in NE tumours. Cellular localization of APLP1, APLP2 and amyloid precursor protein (APP) in carcinoid cells (GOT1) by confocal microscopy demonstrated partial co-localization with synaptophysin. This suggests that the APP family of proteins is transported to the cell membrane by synaptic microvesicles and that they may influence tumour cell adhesion and invasiveness. We conclude that APLP1 is differentially upregulated in gastrointestinal NE tumours and that APLP1 may be important for the dissemination of small intestinal carcinoids. Identification of APLP1 in NE tumours offers a novel target for treatment and may also serve as a tumour-specific marker.
Yvonne Arvidsson, Ellinor Andersson, Anders Bergström, Mattias K Andersson, Gülay Altiparmak, Ann-Christin Illerskog, Håkan Ahlman, Darima Lamazhapova and Ola Nilsson
Tobias Hofving, Viktor Sandblom, Yvonne Arvidsson, Emman Shubbar, Gülay Altiparmak, John Swanpalmer, Bilal Almobarak, Anna-Karin Elf, Viktor Johanson, Erik Elias, Erik Kristiansson, Eva Forssell-Aronsson and Ola Nilsson
177Lu-octreotate is an FDA-approved radionuclide therapy for patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) expressing somatostatin receptors. The 177Lu-octreotate therapy has shown promising results in clinical trials by prolonging progression-free survival, but complete responses are still uncommon. The aim of this study was to improve the 177Lu-octreotate therapy by means of combination therapy. To identify radiosensitising inhibitors, two cell lines, GOT1 and P-STS, derived from small intestinal neuroendocrine tumours (SINETs), were screened with 1,224 inhibitors alone or in combination with external radiation. The screening revealed that inhibitors of Hsp90 can potentiate the tumour cell-killing effect of radiation in a synergistic fashion (GOT1; false discovery rate <3.2×10-11). The potential for Hsp90 inhibitor ganetespib to enhance the anti-tumour effect of 177Lu-octreotate in an in vivo setting was studied in the somatostatin receptor-expressing GOT1 xenograft model. The combination led to a larger decrease in tumour volume relative to monotherapies and the tumour-reducing effect was shown to be synergistic. Using patient-derived tumour cells from eight metastatic SINETs, we could show that ganetespib enhanced the effect of 177Lu-octreotate therapy for all investigated patient tumours. Levels of Hsp90 protein expression were evaluated in 767 SINETs from 379 patients. We found that Hsp90 expression was upregulated in tumour cells relative to tumour stroma in the vast majority of SINETs. We conclude that Hsp90 inhibitors enhance the tumour-killing effect of 177Lu-octreotate therapy synergistically in SINET tumour models and suggest that this potentially promising combination should be further evaluated.