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  • Author: Yvonne Arvidsson x
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Yvonne Arvidsson, Anders Bergström, Linda Arvidsson, Erik Kristiansson, Håkan Ahlman and Ola Nilsson

Tumour hypoxia is associated with increased metastatic potential and resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Ileal carcinoids are usually metastatic at the time of diagnosis and respond poorly to chemotherapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of hypoxia in ileal carcinoids and the response of tumour cells to induced hypoxia. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), carbonic anhydrase (CA-IX), hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and HIF-2α were studied by immunohistochemistry in biopsies from 24 patients with ileal carcinoids. All hypoxic markers were shown to be highly expressed in localized areas of the tumours irrespective of tumour location or stage. However, HIF-2α expression was significantly higher in distant metastases compared to primary tumours in the same patient. Global gene expression profiling of GOT1 carcinoid cells revealed a marked response to hypoxia. Expression of genes related to epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and development was altered including increased expression of the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4), an important regulator of invasive growth and metastasis formation. High expression of CXCR4 was confirmed by immunohistochemistry in tumour biopsies. Stimulation of GOT1 cells by the CXCR4 ligand, CXCL12 (stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1)), activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p42/44 signalling pathway and increased tumour cell migration. We conclude that ileal carcinoids contain hypoxic areas expressing HIF-1α, HIF-2α and CXCR4. Signalling through the CXCL12–CXCR4 axis may contribute to the metastatic potential of ileal carcinoids. Targeting of HIFs and/or the CXCR4 signalling pathway may offer new therapeutic strategies for carcinoid tumour disease.

Open access

Tobias Hofving, Yvonne Arvidsson, Bilal Almobarak, Linda Inge, Roswitha Pfragner, Marta Persson, Göran Stenman, Erik Kristiansson, Viktor Johanson and Ola Nilsson

Experimental models of neuroendocrine tumour disease are scarce, and no comprehensive characterisation of existing gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (GEPNET) cell lines has been reported. In this study, we aimed to define the molecular characteristics and therapeutic sensitivity of these cell lines. We therefore performed immunophenotyping, copy number profiling, whole-exome sequencing and a large-scale inhibitor screening of seven GEPNET cell lines. Four cell lines, GOT1, P-STS, BON-1 and QGP-1, displayed a neuroendocrine phenotype while three others, KRJ-I, L-STS and H-STS, did not. Instead, these three cell lines were identified as lymphoblastoid. Characterisation of remaining authentic GEPNET cell lines by copy number profiling showed that GOT1, among other chromosomal alterations, harboured losses on chromosome 18 encompassing the SMAD4 gene, while P-STS had a loss on 11q. BON-1 had a homozygous loss of CDKN2A and CDKN2B, and QGP-1 harboured amplifications of MDM2 and HMGA2. Whole-exome sequencing revealed both disease-characteristic mutations (e.g. ATRX mutation in QGP-1) and, for patient tumours, rare genetic events (e.g. TP53 mutation in P-STS, BON-1 and QGP-1). A large-scale inhibitor screening showed that cell lines from pancreatic NETs to a greater extent, when compared to small intestinal NETs, were sensitive to inhibitors of MEK. Similarly, neuroendocrine NET cells originating from the small intestine were considerably more sensitive to a group of HDAC inhibitors. Taken together, our results provide a comprehensive characterisation of GEPNET cell lines, demonstrate their relevance as neuroendocrine tumour models and explore their therapeutic sensitivity to a broad range of inhibitors.

Free access

Tobias Hofving, Yvonne Arvidsson, Bilal Almobarak, Linda Inge, Roswitha Pfragner, Marta Persson, Göran Stenman, Erik Kristiansson, Viktor Johanson and Ola Nilsson

Free access

Yvonne Arvidsson, Ellinor Andersson, Anders Bergström, Mattias K Andersson, Gülay Altiparmak, Ann-Christin Illerskog, Håkan Ahlman, Darima Lamazhapova and Ola Nilsson

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.

Open access

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 1224 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.