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Cancer Res. 2013 Feb 15;73(4):1298-307. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2086. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Amplification of FRS2 and activation of FGFR/FRS2 signaling pathway in high-grade liposarcoma.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR) substrate 2 (FRS2) is an adaptor protein that plays a critical role in FGFR signaling. FRS2 is located on chromosome 12q13-15 that is frequently amplified in liposarcomas. The significance of FRS2 and FGFR signaling in high-grade liposarcomas is unknown. Herein, we first comparatively examined the amplification and expression of FRS2 with CDK4 and MDM2 in dedifferentiated liposarcoma (DDLS) and undifferentiated high-grade pleomorphic sarcoma (UHGPS). Amplification and expression of the three genes were identified in 90% to 100% (9-11 of 11) of DDLS, whereas that of FRS2, CDK4, and MDM2 were observed in 55% (41 of 75), 48% (36 of 75), and 44% (33/75) of clinically diagnosed UHGPS, suggesting that these "UHGPS" may represent DDLS despite lacking histologic evidence of lipoblasts. Immunohistochemical analysis of phosphorylated FRS2 protein indicated that the FGFR/FRS2 signaling axis was generally activated in about 75% of FRS2-positive high-grade liposarcomas. Moreover, we found that FRS2 and FGFRs proteins are highly expressed and functional in three high-grade liposarcoma cell lines: FU-DDLS-1, LiSa-2, and SW872. Importantly, the FGFR selective inhibitor NVP-BGJ-398 significantly inhibited the growth of FU-DDLS-1 and LiSa-2 cells with a concomitant suppression of FGFR signal transduction. Attenuation of FRS2 protein in FU-DDLS-1 and LiSa-2 cell lines decreased the phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and AKT and repressed cell proliferation. These findings indicate that analysis of FRS2 in combination with CDK4 and MDM2 will more accurately characterize pathologic features of high-grade liposarcomas. Activated FGFR/FRS2 signaling may play a functional role in the development of high-grade liposarcomas, therefore, serve as a potential therapeutic target.

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