Phosphorylation of NTRK1 at Y674/Y675 induced by TP53-dependent repression of PTPN6 expression : A potential novel prognostic marker for breast cancer
We have identified a ligand-independent mechanism whereby the tumor suppressor, TP53, induces nerve growth factor receptor, NTRK1, phosphorylation at Y674/Y675 (NTRK1-pY674/pY675), via the repression of the NTRK1-phosphatase, PTPN6. This results in suppression of breast cancer cell proliferation. In this investigation, we aimed to establish whether perturbation of the wild-type TP53-NTRK1-pY674/pY675-PTPN6 pathway has an impact on disease-free survival of breast cancer patients without neo-adjuvant treatment. A total of 308 tumor samples were stained for NTRK1, NTRK1-pY674/pY675, PTPN6, and TP53 expression. Association between expression levels and disease-free survival was determined by the univariate/multivariate and Kaplan–Meir methods of analysis. DNA from tumors was sequenced to identify mutant or wild-type TP53. Tumors expressing NTRK1-pY674/pY675 but with undetectable or low levels of PTPN6 and TP53 were associated with prolonged 5, 10, and 15 years’ disease-free survival by 48%, 36%, and 37%, respectively, in the multivariate analysis (P<0.05). A similar result was observed in tumors expressing wild-type TP53, NTRK1-pY674/pY675, and low or undetectable levels of PTPN6. Given that estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers encode wild-type TP53, we analyzed this expression pattern in these tumors. Multivariate analysis showed that it was significantly and independently predictive of prolonged survival by 66%, 70%, and 84%, respectively, (P<0.05). The Kaplan–Meir method demonstrated that NTRK1-pY674/pY675 together with undetectable or low levels of PTPN6 correlated with 59% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 15 years), compared with 7% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 4.5 years) when absent. In luminal A tumors, the presence of this pattern was estimated to have a 61% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 15 years), compared with 6% probability of disease-free survival (median survival 3 years) when it was absent. These results strongly suggest that expression of NTRK1-pY674/pY675 together with wild-type TP53 and low levels of PTPN6 expression are predictors of improved disease-free survival and that they could be useful biomarkers to predict clinical outcome.