• J. Carretero
  • P.P. Medina
  • R. Blanco
  • L. Smit
  • M. Tang
  • G. Roncador
  • L. Maestre
  • E. Conde
  • F. Lopez-Rios
  • J.C. Clevers
  • M. Sanchez-Cespedes
LKB1, mutated in Peutz-Jeghers and in sporadic lung tumours, phosphorylates a group of protein kinases named AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-related kinases. Among them is included the AMPK, a sensor of cellular energy status. To investigate the relevance of LKB1 in lung carcinogenesis, we study several lung cancer cells with and without LKB1-inactivating mutations. We report that LKB1-mutant cells are deficient for AMPK activity and refractory to mTOR inhibition upon glucose depletion but not growth-factor deprivation. The requirement for wild-type LKB1 to properly activate AMPK is further demonstrated in genetically modified cancer cells. In addition, LKB1-deficient lung primary tumours had diminished AMPK activity, assessed by complete absence or low level o phosphorylation of its critical substrate, acetyl-CoA carboxylase. We also demonstrate that LKB1 wild-type cells are more resistant to cell death upon glucose withdrawal than their mutant counterparts. Finally, modulation of AMPK activity did not affect PI3K/AKT signalling, an advantage for the potential use of AMPK as a target for cancer therapy in LKB1 wild-type tumours. Thus, sustained abrogation of cell energetic checkpoint control, through alterations at key genes, appear to be an obligatory step in the development of some lung tumours.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOncogene advance online publication
Journal publication date2006

ID: 456209