PloS one 2017 02 1312(2) e0170771 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0170771
Patients infected with HIV have a significantly increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphomas despite the widespread use of HAART. To investigate mTOR pathway activity in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) related diffuse large B-cell lymphoma AR-DLBCL, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the presence of the phosphorylated 70 ribosomal S6 protein-kinase (p70S6K), an extensively studied effector of mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) and the phosphorylated phosphatase and tensin homolog (pPTEN), a negative regulator of mTORC1 pathway.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We evaluated tissue samples from 126 patients with AR-DLBCL. Among them, 98 samples were from tissue microarrays (TMAs) supplied by the Aids and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR), the remaining 28 samples were from cases diagnosed and treated at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The presence of p70S6K was evaluated with two antibodies directed against the combined epitopes Ser235/236 and Ser240/244, respectively; and additional monoclonal anti-bodies were used to identify pPTEN and phosphorylated proline-rich Akt substrate of 40kDa (pPRAS40). The degree of intensity and percentage of cells positive for p70S6K and pPTEN were assessed in all the samples. In addition, a subgroup of 28 patients from UCSD was studied to assess the presence of pPRAS40, an insulin-regulated activator of the mTORC1. The expression of each of these markers was correlated with clinical and histopathologic features.
The majority of the patients evaluated were males (88%); only two cases (1.6%) were older than 65 years of age. We found high levels of both p70S6K-paired epitopes studied, 48% positivity against Ser235/236 (44% in ACSR and 64% in UCSD group), and 86% positivity against Ser240/244 (82% in ACSR and 100% in UCSD group). We observed more positive cells and stronger intensity with epitope Ser240/244 in comparison to Ser235/236 (p<0.0001). The degree of intensity and percentage of cells positive for pPTEN was positively correlated with p70S6K levels (p = 0.016 for 235/236 and p = 0.007 for 240/244). High levels of pPRAS40 were observed in the majority of the cases evaluated (64.3%), but no correlation was found with either pPTEN (p = 0.9) or p70S6K (p = 0.9) levels. CONCLUSION
AR-DLBCL frequently contain p70S6K, a main downstream effector of the mTOR pathway. The presence of p70S6K is positively correlated with pPTEN, an inactive form of PTEN, which makes mTORC1 activated. The presence of p70S6K was independent of HIV viral load or CD4 (+) counts. These results suggest that the mTOR pathway is active in the majority of AR-DLBCL, and p70S6K, particularly the Ser240/244 epitope immunohistochemistry is an excellent surrogate biomarker, which could be used to identify cases expected to be responsive to mTOR inhibitors.