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Accession IconGSE22771

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor response in neuroblastoma is highly correlated with ALK mutation status, ALK mRNA and protein levels.

Organism Icon Homo sapiens
Sample Icon 15 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Array (hgu133plus2)

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High anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) protein levels may be correlated with an unfavorable prognosis in neuroblastoma (NBL) patients, regardless of ALK mutation status. We therefore examined the correlation between levels of ALK, phosphorylated ALK (pALK) and downstream signaling proteins and response to ALK inhibition in a large panel of both ALK mutated (MUT) and wild type (WT) NBL cell lines. Six of the nineteen NBL cell lines had a point mutation and four an amplification of the ALK gene. ALK amplified cell lines showed similar ALK levels and ALK inhibitor sensitivity as WT cell lines and were therefore co-analyzed. The ALK mRNA (p=0.043), ALK 220 kDa (p=0.009) and ALK 140 kDa (p=0.025) protein levels were higher in ALK mutant (n=6) than WT cell lines (n=13). ALK mRNA and protein levels significantly correlated with ERK1 and ERK2 protein levels, and also with PHOX2B mRNA levels, a neural differentiation marker which is mutated in NBL. Response to ALK inhibitor TAE684 was also significantly correlated with ALK levels. ALK mutant cell lines (n=4) demonstrated a higher sensitivity towards ALK inhibitor TAE684 (14.9 fold more sensitive, p=0.004) than eight WT cell lines. These results underline the importance of ALK mutations but also ALK levels for response to ALK inhibitors in NBL cell lines. Furthermore, the strong correlation of PHOX2B and ALK suggests that neural differentiation stage may be correlated with ALK levels in neuroblastoma. These data will enhance understanding of ALK inhibitor response in future patient trials.
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