Deregulated integrin signaling is common in cancers, including glioblastoma. Integrin binding and growth factor receptor signaling activate focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and subsequently up-regulate extracellular regelated kinases (ERK-1/2), leading to cell-cycle progression and cell migration. Most studies of this pathway have used in vitro systems or tumor lysate-based approaches. We examined these pathways primarily in situ using a panel of 30 glioblastomas and gene expression arrays, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescence in situ hybridization, emphasizing the histological distribution of molecular changes. Within individual tumors, increased expression of FAK, p-FAK, paxillin, ERK-1/2, and p-ERK-1/2 occurred in regions of elevated EGFK and/or PDGFRA expression. Moreover, FAK activation levels correlated with EGFR and PDGFRA expression, and p-FAK and EGFR expression co-localized at the single-cell level. In addition, integrin expression was enriched in EGFR/PDGFRA-overexpressing areas but was more regionally confined than FAK, p-FAK, and paxillin. Integrins β8 and α5β1 were most commonly expressed, often in a perinecrotic or perivascular pattern. Taken together, our data suggest that growth factor receptor overexpression facilitates alterations in the integrin signaling pathway. Thus, FAK may act in gliobiastoma as a downstream target of growth factor signaling, with integrals enhancing the impact of such signaling in the tumor microenvironment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine