In vivo multiplexed interrogation of amplified genes identifies GAB2 as an ovarian cancer oncogene

Micrograph of ovarian clear cell carcinoma from Wikimedia Commons

Micrograph of ovarian clear cell carcinoma (by Nephron, via Wikimedia Commons)

Dunn GP, Cheung HW, Agarwalla PK, Thomas S, Zektser Y, Karst AM, Boehm JS, Weir BA, Berlin AM, Zou L, Getz G, Liu JF, Hirsch M, Vazquez F, Root DE, Beroukhim R, Drapkin R, Hahn WC

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

January 21, 2014

High-grade serous ovarian cancers are characterized by widespread recurrent copy number alterations. Although some regions of copy number change harbor known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, the genes targeted by the majority of amplified or deleted regions in ovarian cancer remain undefined. Here we systematically tested amplified genes for their ability to promote tumor formation using an in vivo multiplexed transformation assay. We identified the GRB2-associated binding protein 2 (GAB2) as a recurrently amplified gene that potently transforms immortalized ovarian and fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells. Cancer cell lines overexpressing GAB2 require GAB2 for survival and show evidence of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway activation, which was required for GAB2-induced transformation. Cell lines overexpressing GAB2 were as sensitive to PI3K inhibition as cell lines harboring mutant PIK3CA. Together, these observations nominate GAB2 as an ovarian cancer oncogene, identify an alternative mechanism to activate PI3K signaling, and underscore the importance of PI3K signaling in this cancer.

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Last updated: June 28, 2020