Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its receptor TrkB is associated with poor prognosis and a malignant phenotype in small cell lung cancer

Shinichi Kimura, Taishi Harada, Kayo Ijichi, Kentaro Tanaka, Renpeng Liu, Daisuke Shibahara, Yuko Kawano, Kohei Otsubo, Yasuto Yoneshima, Eiji Iwama, Yoichi Nakanishi, Isamu Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: TrkB is a receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and is highly expressed in various cancers, with BDNF-TrkB signaling having been implicated in tumor progression and metastasis. The role of the BDNF-TrkB system in small cell lung cancer (SCLC), a neuroendocrine cancer, has remained unclear, however. We examined BDNF and TrkB expression in SCLC patients as well as the function of BDNF-TrkB signaling in SCLC cell lines. Materials and methods: BDNF and TrkB expression in tumor specimens of 58 SCLC patients and 20 non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients was examined by immunohistochemistry and was scored on the basis of the distribution and intensity of staining. TrkB-overexpressing SCLC (SBC5 TrkB ) cells were established by retrovirus transduction and were examined for the effects of BDNF on intracellular signaling, cell proliferation, and cell migration in vitro. Results: The staining score for TrkB in NSCLC and SCLC specimens was 2.80 ± 0.19 and 3.60 ± 0.15, respectively, whereas that for BDNF was 1.95 ± 0.32 and 2.76 ± 0.14, respectively. High levels of both TrkB and BDNF expression in SCLC tumors were significantly associated with poor overall survival in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio = 1.821, P = 0.036). BDNF activated AKT and ERK signaling pathways in and promoted the migration of SBC5 TrkB cells, and these effects were attenuated by the pan-Trk inhibitor GNF-5837. GNF-5837 also inhibited the proliferation of SBC5 TrkB cells in the presence of BDNF. Conclusion: Coexpression of BDNF and TrkB was associated with poor prognosis in SCLC patients, and BDNF promoted the migration of TrkB-overexpressing SCLC cells. TrkB is thus a potential therapeutic target for SCLC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalLung Cancer
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research

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