Gene Summary

Gene:NTRK2; neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase 2
Aliases: OBHD, TRKB, trk-B, EIEE58, GP145-TrkB
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) family. This kinase is a membrane-bound receptor that, upon neurotrophin binding, phosphorylates itself and members of the MAPK pathway. Signalling through this kinase leads to cell differentiation. Mutations in this gene have been associated with obesity and mood disorders. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, May 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:BDNF/NT-3 growth factors receptor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (48)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (1)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: NTRK2 (cancer-related)

Pastor ER, Mousa SA
Current management of neuroblastoma and future direction.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2019; 138:38-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid extracranial tumor in pediatrics and can regress spontaneously or grow and metastasize with resistance to multiple therapeutic approaches. The prognosis and approach to treatment depends on the tumor presentation and whether it expresses certain drivers such as MYCN, ALK, and TrkB. Expression or mutation of these genes and kinases correlates with high-risk and poor prognosis. Multiple therapeutic approaches are being used to target MYCN, ALK, and TrkB, as well as GD2, a surface antigen present on the surface of neuroblastoma tumor cells. This review discusses the nature of these targets and several current therapies for neuroblastoma. A focus is placed on recent therapeutic developments including targeted delivery of chemotherapy, novel radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

Penault-Llorca F, Rudzinski ER, Sepulveda AR
Testing algorithm for identification of patients with TRK fusion cancer.
J Clin Pathol. 2019; 72(7):460-467 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (

Antunes LCM, Cartell A, de Farias CB, et al.
Tropomyosin-Related Kinase Receptor and Neurotrophin Expression in Cutaneous Melanoma Is Associated with a Poor Prognosis and Decreased Survival.
Oncology. 2019; 97(1):26-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Normally, activation of tropomyosin-related kinase (TRK) receptors by neurotrophins (NTs) stimulates intracellular pathways involved in cell survival and proliferation. Dysregulation of NT/TRK signaling may affect neoplasm prognosis. Data on NT and TRK expression in melanomas are limited, and it is unclear whether NT/TRK signaling pathways are involved in the origin and progression of this neoplasm.
METHODS: We examined whether NT/TRK expression differs across different cutaneous melanoma grades and subtypes, and whether it is associated with melanoma prognosis and survival. A cross-sectional study was performed in which the expression of TrkA, TrkB, nerve growth factor (NGF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was analyzed by immunohistochemistry of 154 melanoma samples. We investigated NT/TRK expression associations with prognostic factors for melanoma, relapse-free survival (RFS), and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: Of the 154 melanoma samples, 77 (55.4%) were TrkA immunopositive, 81 (58.3%) were TrkB immunopositive, 113 (81.3%) were BDNF immunopositive, and 104 (75.4%) were NGF immunopositive. We found NT/TRK expression associated strongly with several clinical prognostic factors, including the tumor-node-metastasis stage (p < 0.001), histological subtype (p < 0.001), and Clark level (p < 0.05), as well as with a worse OS (p < 0.05 for all, except TrkB) and RFS (p < 0.05 for all).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show strong associations of NT/TRK expression with melanoma stage progression and a poor prognosis.

Bai L, Zhang S, Zhou X, et al.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor induces thioredoxin-1 expression through TrkB/Akt/CREB pathway in SH-SY5Y cells.
Biochimie. 2019; 160:55-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the neurotrophic factors that are vital to the survival and proliferation of neuron. Thioredoxin-1 (Trx-1) is a redox regulating protein and plays various roles in regulating transcript factors and inhibiting apoptosis. It has been reported that Trx-1 is required for nerve growth factor-mediated signal transduction and neurite outgrowth, and is involved in synaptic protein expression induced by BDNF. However, the molecular mechanism on BDNF inducing Trx-1 expression has not been fully verified. The present study investigated the expression of Trx-1 after treatment with BDNF in SH-SY5Y cells. We first demonstrated that cell viability and the expression of Trx-1 were increased by BDNF in SH-SY5Y cells, which were inhibited by the tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) inhibitor, K252a, and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor, LY294002. Moreover, BDNF increased the activity of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) through TrkB/PI3-K/Akt pathway. Whereas the expression of Trx-1 induced by BDNF was suppressed by CREB siRNA. Thus, our data suggest that BDNF induces the expression of Trx-1 through the TrkB/Akt/CREB pathway.

Quaas A, Heydt C, Waldschmidt D, et al.
Alterations in ERBB2 and BRCA and microsatellite instability as new personalized treatment options in small bowel carcinoma.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2019; 19(1):21 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Carcinomas of the small bowel are rare tumors usually with dismal prognosis. Most recently, some potentially treatable molecular alterations were described. We emphasize the growing evidence of individualized treatment options in small bowel carcinoma.
METHODS: We performed a DNA- based multi-gene panel using ultra-deep sequencing analysis (including 14 genes with up to 452 amplicons in total; KRAS, NRAS, HRAS, BRAF, DDR2, ERBB2, KEAP1, NFE2L2, PIK3CA, PTEN, RHOA, BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53) as well as an RNA-based gene fusion panel including ALK, BRAF, FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, MET, NRG1, NTRK1, NTRK2, NTRK3, RET and ROS1 on eleven formalin fixed and paraffin embedded small bowel carcinomas. Additionally, mismatch-repair-deficiency was analyzed by checking the microsatellite status using the five different mononucleotide markers BAT25, BAT26, NR-21, NR-22 and NR-27 and loss of mismatch repair proteins using four different markers (MLH1, MSH6, MSH2, PMS2).
RESULTS: In five out of eleven small bowel carcinomas we found potentially treatable genetic alterations. Three patients demonstrated pathogenic (class 5) BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations - one germline-related in a mixed neuroendocrine-non neuroendocrine neoplasm (MiNEN). Two additional patients revealed an activating ERBB2 mutation or PIK3CA mutation. Furthermore two tumors were highly microsatellite-instable (MSI-high), in one case associated to Lynch-syndrome. We did not find any gene fusions.
CONCLUSION: Our results underscore, in particular, the relevance of potentially treatable molecular alterations (like ERBB2, BRCA and MSI) in small bowel carcinomas. Further studies are needed to proof the efficacy of these targeted therapies in small bowel carcinomas.

Remoué A, Conan-Charlet V, Bourhis A, et al.
Non-secretory breast carcinomas lack NTRK rearrangements and TRK protein expression.
Pathol Int. 2019; 69(2):94-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Anti-TRK targeted therapies offer opportunities to treat patients with advanced NTRK1/2/3-rearranged cancers. Beyond NTRK-rearranged secretory breast carcinomas, little is known about NTRK rearrangements and the expression of TRK proteins in non-secretory breast carcinomas. We search for TRK proteins expressions using pan-TRK immunohistochemistry and NTRK1, NTRK2 and NTRK3 rearrangements using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) tests in a set of tissue microarray included breast carcinomas. Only 1/339 invasive breast carcinomas, the only example of secretory subtype, was positive using pan-TRK immunohistochemistry and harboured a NTRK-rearrangement (NTRK1 positive FISH test). According to our results, druggable NTRK rearrangements and related-TRK proteins expression are not encountered in non-secretory breast carcinomas.

Dudás J, Riml A, Tuertscher R, et al.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophin and TrkB in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(2) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We hypothesized that in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high affinity receptor TrkB regulate tumor cell survival, invasion, and therapy resistance. We used in situ hybridization for

Naarmann-de Vries IS, Sackmann Y, Klein F, et al.
Characterization of acute myeloid leukemia with del(9q) - Impact of the genes in the minimally deleted region.
Leuk Res. 2019; 76:15-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia is an aggressive disease that arises from clonal expansion of malignant hematopoietic precursor cells of the bone marrow. Deletions on the long arm of chromosome 9 (del(9q)) are observed in 2% of acute myeloid leukemia patients. Our deletion analysis in a cohort of 31 del(9q) acute myeloid leukemia patients further supports the importance of a minimally deleted region composed of seven genes potentially involved in leukemogenesis: GKAP1, KIF27, C9ORF64, HNRNPK, RMI1, SLC28A3 and NTRK2. Importantly, among them HNRNPK, encoding heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K is proposed to function in leukemogenesis. We show that expression of HNRNPK and the other genes of the minimally deleted region is significantly reduced in patients with del(9q) compared with normal karyotype acute myeloid leukemia. Also, two mRNAs interacting with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K, namely CDKN1A and CEBPA are significantly downregulated. While the deletion size is not correlated with outcome, associated genetic aberrations are important. Patients with an additional t(8;21) show a good prognosis. RUNX1-RUNX1T1, which emerges from the t(8;21) leads to transcriptional down-regulation of CEBPA. Acute myeloid leukemia patients with mutations in CEBPA have a good prognosis as well. Interestingly, in del(9q) patients with CEBPA mutation mRNA levels of HNRNPK and the other genes located in the minimally deleted region is restored to normal karyotype level. Our data indicate that a link between CEBPA and the genes of the minimally deleted region, among them HNRNPK contributes to leukemogenesis in acute myeloid leukemia with del(9q).

Cocco E, Scaltriti M, Drilon A
NTRK fusion-positive cancers and TRK inhibitor therapy.
Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2018; 15(12):731-747 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
NTRK gene fusions involving either NTRK1, NTRK2 or NTRK3 (encoding the neurotrophin receptors TRKA, TRKB and TRKC, respectively) are oncogenic drivers of various adult and paediatric tumour types. These fusions can be detected in the clinic using a variety of methods, including tumour DNA and RNA sequencing and plasma cell-free DNA profiling. The treatment of patients with NTRK fusion-positive cancers with a first-generation TRK inhibitor, such as larotrectinib or entrectinib, is associated with high response rates (>75%), regardless of tumour histology. First-generation TRK inhibitors are well tolerated by most patients, with toxicity profiles characterized by occasional off-tumour, on-target adverse events (attributable to TRK inhibition in non-malignant tissues). Despite durable disease control in many patients, advanced-stage NTRK fusion-positive cancers eventually become refractory to TRK inhibition; resistance can be mediated by the acquisition of NTRK kinase domain mutations. Fortunately, certain resistance mutations can be overcome by second-generation TRK inhibitors, including LOXO-195 and TPX-0005 that are being explored in clinical trials. In this Review, we discuss the biology of NTRK fusions, strategies to target these drivers in the treatment-naive and acquired-resistance disease settings, and the unique safety profile of TRK inhibitors.

Suurmeijer AJH, Dickson BC, Swanson D, et al.
A novel group of spindle cell tumors defined by S100 and CD34 co-expression shows recurrent fusions involving RAF1, BRAF, and NTRK1/2 genes.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018; 57(12):611-621 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumors characterized by co-expression of S100 and CD34, in the absence of SOX10, remain difficult to classify. Triggered by a few index cases with monomorphic cytomorphology and distinctive stromal and perivascular hyalinization, immunopositivity for S100 and CD34, and RAF1 and NTRK1 fusions, the authors undertook a systematic review of tumors with similar features. Most of the cases selected were previously diagnosed as low-grade malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, while others were deemed unclassified. The tumors were studied with targeted RNA sequencing and/or FISH. A total of 25 cases (15 adults and 10 children) with kinase fusions were identified, including 8 cases involving RAF1, 2 BRAF, 14 NTRK1, and 1 NTRK2 gene rearrangements. Most tumors showed a monomorphic spindle cell proliferation with stromal and perivascular keloidal collagen, in a patternless architecture, with only occasional scattered pleomorphic or multinucleated cells. Most cases showed low cellularity, a low mitotic count, and absence of necrosis. Although a subset showed overlap with lipofibromatosis-like neural tumors, the study group showed distinctive hyalinization and overt malignant features, such as highly cellular fascicular growth and primitive appearance. All tumors showed co-expression of S100 and CD34, ranging from focal to diffuse. SOX10 was negative in all cases. NTRK1 immunohistochemistry showed high levels of expression in all tumors with NTRK1 gene rearrangements. H3K27me3 expression performed in a subset of cases was retained. These findings together with the recurrent gene fusions in RAF1, BRAF, and NTRK1/2 kinases suggest a distinct molecular tumor subtype with consistent S100 and CD34 immunoreactivity.

Vaughn CP, Costa JL, Feilotter HE, et al.
Simultaneous detection of lung fusions using a multiplex RT-PCR next generation sequencing-based approach: a multi-institutional research study.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):828 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene fusion events resulting from chromosomal rearrangements play an important role in initiation of lung adenocarcinoma. The recent association of four oncogenic driver genes, ALK, ROS1, RET, and NTRK1, as lung tumor predictive biomarkers has increased the need for development of up-to-date technologies for detection of these biomarkers in limited amounts of material.
METHODS: We describe here a multi-institutional study using the Ion AmpliSeq™ RNA Fusion Lung Cancer Research Panel to interrogate previously characterized lung tumor samples.
RESULTS: Reproducibility between laboratories using diluted fusion-positive cell lines was 100%. A cohort of lung clinical research samples from different origins (tissue biopsies, tissue resections, lymph nodes and pleural fluid samples) were used to evaluate the panel. We observed 97% concordance for ALK (28/30 positive; 71/70 negative samples), 95% for ROS1 (3/4 positive; 19/18 negative samples), and 93% for RET (2/1 positive; 13/14 negative samples) between the AmpliSeq assay and other methodologies.
CONCLUSION: This methodology enables simultaneous detection of multiple ALK, ROS1, RET, and NTRK1 gene fusion transcripts in a single panel, enhanced by an integrated analysis solution. The assay performs well on limited amounts of input RNA (10 ng) and offers an integrated single assay solution for detection of actionable fusions in lung adenocarcinoma, with potential savings in both cost and turn-around-time compared to the combination of all four assays by other methods.

Jiang L, Chen S, Zhao D, et al.
MNX1 reduces sensitivity to anoikis by activating TrkB in human glioma cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(3):3271-3279 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Glioma is the most common type of malignant intracranial tumor in adults and is associated with the highest mortality rate. Although surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and other treatment methods have progressed, the median survival of patients with glioma is only 14‑15 months. Glioma cells are able to penetrate along blood vessels and invade into the surrounding normal brain tissue so that an overall resection of the tumor cannot be performed. In the process of metastasis, the resistance of cancer cells to anoikis has an important role. When tumor cells escape from their original environment, anoikis resistance aids their survival. In the present study, reverse transcription‑semi‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT‑sqPCR), RT‑quantitative PCR and western blotting demonstrated that the transcription factor, motor neuron and pancreas homeobox 1 (MNX1), was ectopically expressed in glioma cells compared with normal HUVEC‑C human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Furthermore, its expression was higher in more malignant glioma cell lines (T98G and M059K) compared with the less malignant glioma cell line (U‑87 MG) and normal HUVEC‑C cells. An adhesion assay using fibronectin demonstrated that MNX1 and tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) overexpression in HUVEC‑C and U‑87 MG cells reduced adhesion and forced them to suspend. Additionally, MNX1 and TrkB overexpression was demonstrated to increase the ability of cells to bypass anoikis. MNX1 and TrkB knockdown increased adhesion and promoted apoptosis after suspension. It was further demonstrated that MNX1 functioned as a transcription factor binding in the upstream regulatory region of TrkB to activate its expression. The results of the present study suggested that MNX1 may suppress the adhesion and apoptosis rates of tumor cells by activating TrkB. The results of the present study suggest that MNX1 may represent a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of gliomas.

Li D, Mullinax JE, Aiken T, et al.
Loss of PDPK1 abrogates resistance to gemcitabine in label-retaining pancreatic cancer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):772 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Label-retaining cancer cells (LRCC) have been proposed as a model of slowly cycling cancer stem cells (CSC) which mediate resistance to chemotherapy, tumor recurrence, and metastasis. The molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in LRCC remain to-date incompletely understood. This study aims to identify molecular targets in LRCC that can be exploited to overcome resistance to gemcitabine, a standard chemotherapy agent for the treatment of pancreas cancer.
METHODS: LRCC were isolated following Cy5-dUTP staining by flow cytometry from pancreatic cancer cell lines. Gene expression profiles obtained from LRCC, non-LRCC (NLRCC), and bulk tumor cells were used to generate differentially regulated pathway networks. Loss of upregulated targets in LRCC on gemcitabine sensitivity was assessed via RNAi experiments and pharmacological inhibition. Expression patterns of PDPK1, one of the upregulated targets in LRCC, was studied in patients' tumor samples and correlated with pathological variables and clinical outcome.
RESULTS: LRCC are significantly more resistant to gemcitabine than the bulk tumor cell population. Non-canonical EGF (epidermal growth factor)-mediated signal transduction emerged as the top upregulated network in LRCC compared to non-LRCC, and knock down of EGF signaling effectors PDPK1 (3-phosphoinositide dependent protein kinase-1), BMX (BMX non-receptor tyrosine kinase), and NTRK2 (neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase 2) or treatment with PDPK1 inhibitors increased growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis in response to gemcitabine. Knockdown of PDPK1 preferentially increased growth inhibition and reduced resistance to induction of apoptosis upon gemcitabine treatment in the LRCC vs non-LRCC population. These findings are accompanied by lower expression levels of PDPK1 in tumors compared to matched uninvolved pancreas in surgical resection specimens and a negative association of membranous localization on IHC with high nuclear grade (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Pancreatic cancer cell-derived LRCC are relatively resistant to gemcitabine and harbor a unique transcriptomic profile compared to bulk tumor cells. PDPK1, one of the members of an upregulated EGF-signaling network in LRCC, mediates resistance to gemcitabine, is found to be dysregulated in pancreas cancer specimens, and might be an attractive molecular target for combination therapy studies.

Yuan Y, Ye HQ, Ren QC
Proliferative role of BDNF/TrkB signaling is associated with anoikis resistance in cervical cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(2):621-634 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Brain‑derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is known as one of the members of the neurotropin family. BDNF‑induced activation of its receptor tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) is associated with anoikis tolerance, tumor progression and poor prognosis in many types of malignancy. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no reports describing the contribution of the BDNF/TrkB axis to cervical cancer. BDNF and TrKB expression in cervical cancer (CC) tissues and adjacent normal tissues from 87 patients were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis and quantitative PCR assays and the results showed that they were significantly higher in cancer tissues than that in normal adjacent tissues, respectively. Higher expression rates of BDNF and TrKB were observed in stage IIB or higher and BDNF expression was positively associated with lymph node metastasis. Notably, a high expression of TrKB may be contributed to poor survival time, which confirmed by Kaplan‑Meier analysis. Compared to the corresponding CC cell lines, HeLa, SiHa, CASKI, C4‑1 and C‑33a, BDNF and TrKB expression was enhanced in anoikis‑like apoptotic tolerance (AAT), a cell model established from cervical cancer cell lines. AAT cells showed a higher proliferation activity compared with CC cell lines, which was confirmed by a shorter G0/G1 phase, elevated cyclin A, cyclin D1 and c‑myc, decreased caspase‑3 and Bax, and increased Bcl‑2. By contrast, the knockdown of TrKB expression reversed these changes in AAT cells, induced G0/G1 arrest and suppressed proliferation activity. The results of the present study show that PI3K/Akt signaling is involved in the BDNF/TrKB‑induced proliferation of AAT cells in cervical cancer. These findings indicate that BDNF/TrKB pathway is a potential target for the treatment of cervical cancer.

Xiong X, Li Y, Liu L, et al.
Arsenic trioxide induces cell cycle arrest and affects Trk receptor expression in human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells.
Biol Res. 2018; 51(1):18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Arsenic trioxide (As
METHODS: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of As
RESULTS: Immunohistochemical and real-time PCR analyses indicated that TrkA and TrkC were over-expressed in NB, and specifically during stages 1, 2 and 4S of the disease progression. TrkB expression was increased in stage 3 and 4 NB. As
CONCLUSION: The present findings suggested that As

Kimura S, Harada T, Ijichi K, et al.
Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its receptor TrkB is associated with poor prognosis and a malignant phenotype in small cell lung cancer.
Lung Cancer. 2018; 120:98-107 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: TrkB is a receptor for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and is highly expressed in various cancers, with BDNF-TrkB signaling having been implicated in tumor progression and metastasis. The role of the BDNF-TrkB system in small cell lung cancer (SCLC), a neuroendocrine cancer, has remained unclear, however. We examined BDNF and TrkB expression in SCLC patients as well as the function of BDNF-TrkB signaling in SCLC cell lines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: BDNF and TrkB expression in tumor specimens of 58 SCLC patients and 20 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients was examined by immunohistochemistry and was scored on the basis of the distribution and intensity of staining. TrkB-overexpressing SCLC (SBC5
RESULTS: The staining score for TrkB in NSCLC and SCLC specimens was 2.80 ± 0.19 and 3.60 ± 0.15, respectively, whereas that for BDNF was 1.95 ± 0.32 and 2.76 ± 0.14, respectively. High levels of both TrkB and BDNF expression in SCLC tumors were significantly associated with poor overall survival in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio = 1.821, P = 0.036). BDNF activated AKT and ERK signaling pathways in and promoted the migration of SBC5
CONCLUSION: Coexpression of BDNF and TrkB was associated with poor prognosis in SCLC patients, and BDNF promoted the migration of TrkB-overexpressing SCLC cells. TrkB is thus a potential therapeutic target for SCLC.

Kasemeier-Kulesa JC, Schnell S, Woolley T, et al.
Predicting neuroblastoma using developmental signals and a logic-based model.
Biophys Chem. 2018; 238:30-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Genomic information from human patient samples of pediatric neuroblastoma cancers and known outcomes have led to specific gene lists put forward as high risk for disease progression. However, the reliance on gene expression correlations rather than mechanistic insight has shown limited potential and suggests a critical need for molecular network models that better predict neuroblastoma progression. In this study, we construct and simulate a molecular network of developmental genes and downstream signals in a 6-gene input logic model that predicts a favorable/unfavorable outcome based on the outcome of the four cell states including cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. We simulate the mis-expression of the tyrosine receptor kinases, trkA and trkB, two prognostic indicators of neuroblastoma, and find differences in the number and probability distribution of steady state outcomes. We validate the mechanistic model assumptions using RNAseq of the SHSY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line to define the input states and confirm the predicted outcome with antibody staining. Lastly, we apply input gene signatures from 77 published human patient samples and show that our model makes more accurate disease outcome predictions for early stage disease than any current neuroblastoma gene list. These findings highlight the predictive strength of a logic-based model based on developmental genes and offer a better understanding of the molecular network interactions during neuroblastoma disease progression.

Azoulay D, Herishanu Y, Shapiro M, et al.
Elevated serum BDNF levels are associated with favorable outcome in CLL patients: Possible link to CXCR4 downregulation.
Exp Hematol. 2018; 63:17-21.e1 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increased chemokine C-X-C receptor 4 (CXCR4) expression is related to unfavorable outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neuronal growth factor that has been shown previously to interact with CXCR4 in neuronal cells. Here, we studied the in vitro effect of BDNF on CXCR4 expression and chemotaxis toward stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1) in freshly isolated CLL cells. We also explored the correlations between serum BDNF levels in CLL patients and disease characteristics and clinical course. Incubation of CLL cells with recombinant BDNF (50 ng/mL) resulted in a downregulation of CXCR4 surface expression and atenuated chemotaxis toward SDF-1. Higher serum BDNF levels were associated with a mutated immunoglobulin heavy chain variable (IGHV) gene, an early clinical stage, and a stable clinical course. Our findings suggest that increased circulating blood BDNF may be associated with a favorable effect in CLL. However, the exact mechanism of this favorable effect should be investigated further.

Lezcano C, Shoushtari AN, Ariyan C, et al.
Primary and Metastatic Melanoma With NTRK Fusions.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(8):1052-1058 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
A number of oncogenic driver mutations have been identified in melanocytic nevi and melanoma, but translocations also play a role in tumorigenesis and provide potential therapeutic targets for malignant lesions. Various translocations, such as those involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase 1 (NTRK1), and NTRK3 have been reported in spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms leading to kinase-fusion proteins that result in immunohistochemically detectable ALK or NTRK expression. We have previously reported that ALK expression can be found in nonspitzoid primary and metastatic cutaneous melanomas. In this study we report that nonspitzoid metastasizing melanomas of adults may also harbor NTRK fusions and that NTRK expression can be immunohistochemically detected in these tumors. Of 751 melanomas analyzed by next-generation sequencing, 4 metastatic melanomas were identified with NTRK fusions, 3 involving NTRK1, 1 involving NTRK2. They occurred in 3 women and 1 man. Two of the corresponding primary tumors were from the trunk, 1 from an extremity and 1 tumor arose in anal skin. One primary tumor displayed features of superficial spreading melanoma and 3 were nodular melanomas. All tumors were cytologically characterized by the presence of large epithelioid melanocytes. All tumors were immunoreactive with anti-Trk antibody. Next-generation sequencing documented that the NTRK1 fusion partners included TRIM63, DDR2, and GON4L. One tumor harbored an NTRK2-TRAF2 fusion. Thus, our findings document that NTRK kinase fusions can occur in nonspitzoid metastasizing melanomas of adults. The presence of an NTRK family fusion in these tumors may provide a therapeutic opportunity in a small subset of patients with metastatic melanoma.

Rudzinski ER, Lockwood CM, Stohr BA, et al.
Pan-Trk Immunohistochemistry Identifies NTRK Rearrangements in Pediatric Mesenchymal Tumors.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2018; 42(7):927-935 [PubMed] Related Publications
Activating neurotrophic receptor kinase (NTRK) fusions define certain pediatric mesenchymal tumors, including infantile fibrosarcoma and cellular mesoblastic nephroma. Traditionally, molecular confirmation of these fusions has included either fluorescent in situ hybridization for ETV6 rearrangements or reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for the classic ETV6-NTRK3 fusion. However, these methods overlook variant NTRK rearrangements, which are increasingly appreciated as recurrent events in a subset of pediatric mesenchymal tumors. New therapeutic agents successfully target these fusions and may prevent morbid surgeries in very young children, making recognition of tumors harboring NTRK rearrangements of increasing importance. We evaluated the performance of immunohistochemical (IHC) staining using pan-Trk and TrkA antibodies in 79 pediatric mesenchymal tumors. Negative controls included pediatric mesenchymal tumors not harboring (n=28) or not expected to harbor (n=22) NTRK fusions. NTRK rearrangements were detected predominantly by DNA-based next-generation sequencing assays, specifically UW OncoPlex and UCSF500 Cancer Gene Panel. Pan-Trk IHC (EPR17341) was 97% sensitive and 98% specific for the presence of an NTRK rearrangement, and TrkA IHC (EP1058Y) was 100% sensitive and 63% specific for the presence of an NTRK rearrangement. Tumors with NTRK1 or NTRK2 rearrangements showed cytoplasmic staining, whereas tumors with NTRK3 rearrangements showed nuclear +/- cytoplasmic staining. We conclude that pan-Trk IHC is a highly sensitive and specific marker for NTRK rearrangements in pediatric mesenchymal tumors.

Laetsch TW, DuBois SG, Mascarenhas L, et al.
Larotrectinib for paediatric solid tumours harbouring NTRK gene fusions: phase 1 results from a multicentre, open-label, phase 1/2 study.
Lancet Oncol. 2018; 19(5):705-714 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene fusions involving NTRK1, NTRK2, or NTRK3 (TRK fusions) are found in a broad range of paediatric and adult malignancies. Larotrectinib, a highly selective small-molecule inhibitor of the TRK kinases, had shown activity in preclinical models and in adults with tumours harbouring TRK fusions. This study aimed to assess the safety of larotrectinib in paediatric patients.
METHODS: This multicentre, open-label, phase 1/2 study was done at eight sites in the USA and enrolled infants, children, and adolescents aged 1 month to 21 years with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumours or CNS tumours that had relapsed, progressed, or were non-responsive to available therapies regardless of TRK fusion status; had a Karnofsky (≥16 years of age) or Lansky (<16 years of age) performance status score of 50 or more, adequate organ function, and full recovery from the acute toxic effects of all previous anticancer therapy. Following a protocol amendment on Sept 12, 2016, patients with locally advanced infantile fibrosarcoma who would require disfiguring surgery to achieve a complete surgical resection were also eligible. Patients were enrolled to three dose cohorts according to a rolling six design. Larotrectinib was administered orally (capsule or liquid formulation), twice daily, on a continuous 28-day schedule, in increasing doses adjusted for age and bodyweight. The primary endpoint of the phase 1 dose escalation component was the safety of larotrectinib, including dose-limiting toxicity. All patients who received at least one dose of larotrectinib were included in the safety analyses. Reported here are results of the phase 1 dose escalation cohort. Phase 1 follow-up and phase 2 are ongoing. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02637687.
FINDINGS: Between Dec 21, 2015, and April 13, 2017, 24 patients (n=17 with tumours harbouring TRK fusions, n=7 without a documented TRK fusion) with a median age of 4·5 years (IQR 1·3-13·3) were enrolled to three dose cohorts: cohorts 1 and 2 were assigned doses on the basis of both age and bodyweight predicted by use of SimCyp modelling to achieve an area under the curve equivalent to the adult doses of 100 mg twice daily (cohort 1) and 150 mg twice daily (cohort 2); and cohort 3 was assigned to receive a dose of 100 mg/m
INTERPRETATION: The TRK inhibitor larotrectinib was well tolerated in paediatric patients and showed encouraging antitumour activity in all patients with TRK fusion-positive tumours. The recommended phase 2 dose was defined as 100mg/m
FUNDING: Loxo Oncology Inc.

Batzke K, Büchel G, Hansen W, Schramm A
TrkB-Target Galectin-1 Impairs Immune Activation and Radiation Responses in Neuroblastoma: Implications for Tumour Therapy.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(3) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Galectin-1 (Gal-1) has been described to promote tumour growth by inducing angiogenesis and to contribute to the tumour immune escape. We had previously identified up-regulation of Gal-1 in preclinical models of aggressive neuroblastoma (NB), the most common extracranial tumour of childhood. While Gal-1 did not confer a survival advantage in the absence of exogenous stressors, Gal-1 contributed to enhanced cell migratory and invasive properties. Here, we review these findings and extend them by analyzing Gal-1 mediated effects on immune cell regulation and radiation resistance. In line with previous results, cell autonomous effects as well as paracrine functions contribute to Gal-1 mediated pro-tumourigenic functions. Interfering with Gal-1 functions in vivo will add to a better understanding of the role of the Gal-1 axis in the complex tumour-host interaction during immune-, chemo- and radiotherapy of neuroblastoma.

Gao L, Yan P, Guo FF, et al.
MiR-1-3p inhibits cell proliferation and invasion by regulating BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway in bladder cancer.
Neoplasma. 2018; 65(1):89-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have confirmed the existence of BDNF and tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) in normal and cancerous urothelium. However, the corresponding mechanisms and upstream signal pathways of BDNF/TrkB have not been fully discovered. This study aimed to investigate the effects of miR-1-3p on bladder cancer (BC) by regulating BDNF-TrkB signal pathway. The expression of miR-1-3p and BDNF in BC tissues and cell lines were detected by Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) microarray analysis, RT-qPCR and western blot. Cell transfection was done using Lipofectamine 2000. Then cell viability, proliferation, migration and apoptosis were measured by MTT, colony formation assay, Transwell assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The relationship between miR-1-3p and BDNF was confirmed by luciferase reporter gene assay. MiR-1-3p was significantly down-regulated in BC tissues and cell lines, while BDNF was significantly up-regulated compared to normal samples. MiR-1-3p targeted BDNF and suppressed its expression. Transfections of miR-1-3p mimics and BDNF siRNAs can suppress BC cell proliferation, invasion and induce cell apoptosis. In addition, miR-1-3p can inhibit phosphorylation of the TrkB by regulating BDNF.In conclusion, MiR-1-3p has significant effects on viability, proliferation, invasion and apoptosis of BC cells by regulating BDNF-TrkB pathway.

Newman EA, Chukkapalli S, Bashllari D, et al.
Alternative NHEJ pathway proteins as components of MYCN oncogenic activity in human neural crest stem cell differentiation: implications for neuroblastoma initiation.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(12):3208 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is a cancer of neural crest stem cell (NCSC) lineage. Signaling pathways that regulate NCSC differentiation have been implicated in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis. This is exemplified by MYCN oncogene targets that balance proliferation, differentiation, and cell death similarly in normal NCSC and in high-risk neuroblastoma. Our previous work discovered a survival mechanism by which MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma circumvents cell death by upregulating components of the error-prone non-canonical alternative nonhomologous end-joining (alt-NHEJ) DNA repair pathway. Similar to proliferating stem cells, high-risk neuroblastoma cells have enhanced DNA repair capacity, overcoming DNA damage with higher repair efficiency than somatic cells. Adequate DNA maintenance is required for lineage protection as stem cells proliferate and during tumor progression to overcome oncogene-induced replication stress. On this basis, we hypothesized that alt-NHEJ overexpression in neuroblastoma is a cancer cell survival mechanism that originates from DNA repair systems of NCSC, the presumed progenitor cell of origin. A human NCSC model was generated in which inducible MYCN triggered an immortalized phenotype capable of forming metastatic neuroectodermal tumors in mice, resembling human neuroblastoma. Critical alt-NHEJ components (DNA Ligase III, DNA Ligase I, and Poly [ADP-ribose polymerase 1]) were highly expressed in normal early NCSC, and decreased as cells became terminally differentiated. Constitutive MYCN expression maintained high alt-NHEJ protein expression, preserving the expression pattern of the immature neural phenotype. siRNA knockdown of alt-NHEJ components reversed MYCN effects on NCSC proliferation, invasion, and migration. DNA Ligase III, Ligase I, and PARP1 silencing significantly decreased neuroblastoma markers expression (TH, Phox2b, and TRKB). These results utilized the first human NCSC model of neuroblastoma to uncover an important link between MYCN and alt-NHEJ expression in developmental tumor initiation, setting precedence to investigate alt-NHEJ repair mechanics in neuroblastoma DNA maintenance.

Sigal D, Tartar M, Xavier M, et al.
Activity of Entrectinib in a Patient With the First Reported
J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017; 15(11):1317-1322 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite advances in genomic analysis, the molecular origin of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is complex and poorly explained by described oncogenes. The neurotrophic TRK family, including

Rolfo C, Raez L
New targets bring hope in squamous cell lung cancer: neurotrophic tyrosine kinase gene fusions.
Lab Invest. 2017; 97(11):1268-1270 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neurotrophic tyrosine kinase genes encode for the Trk-family proteins TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC, which have an important role in the development of the nervous system; however, they have been identified as oncogenic fusions in solid tumors (NTK-1, NTRK-2, and NTRK-3) and are associated with poor survival in lung cancer. These three new fusions can be detected by fluorescent in situ hybridization or next-generation sequencing in less than 5% of the lung tumors. There are several ongoing clinical trials of NTRK oncogenes in lung cancer and other tumors. The agents entrectinib (RXDX-101), a multi-kinase small molecule inhibitor that selectively inhibits NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3, ROS1 and ALK, and LOXO-101, an ATP-competitive pan-NTRK inhibitor, have shown responses in patients with lung cancer with an acceptable toxicity profile. Although these oncogenic fusions are not very prevalent, the high prevalence of lung cancer makes these findings very relevant and suggests the feasibility of these oncogenes as targets in lung cancer. New data from Ozono and collaborators presented in this issue suggest that BDNF/TrkB signal promotes proliferating migratory and invasive phenotypes and cellular plasticity in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung but that it also represents a druggable target that may bring hope to squamous lung cancer patients.

Wan Q, Tang J, Han Y, Wang D
Co-expression modules construction by WGCNA and identify potential prognostic markers of uveal melanoma.
Exp Eye Res. 2018; 166:13-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Uveal melanoma is an aggressive cancer which has a high percentage recurrence and with a worse prognosis. Identify the potential prognostic markers of uveal melanoma may provide information for early detection of recurrence and treatment. RNA sequence data of uveal melanoma and patient clinic traits were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Co-expression modules were built by weighted gene co -expression network analysis (WGCNA) and applied to investigate the relationship underlying modules and clinic traits. Besides, functional enrichment analysis was performed on these co-expression genes from interested modules. First, using WGCNA, identified 21 co-expression modules were constructed by the 10975 genes from the 80 human uveal melanoma samples. The number of genes in these modules ranged from 42 to 5091. Found four co -expression modules significantly correlated with three clinic traits (status, recurrence and recurrence Time). Module red, and purple positively correlated with patient's life status and recurrence Time. Module green positively correlates with recurrence. The result of functional enrichment analysis showed that the module magenta was mainly enriched genetic material assemble processes, the purple module was mainly enriched in tissue homeostasis and melanosome membrane and the module red was mainly enriched metastasis of cell, suggesting its critical role in the recurrence and development of the disease. Additionally, identified the hug gene (top connectivity with other genes) in each module. The hub gene SLC17A7, NTRK2, ABTB1 and ADPRHL1 might play a vital role in recurrence of uveal melanoma. Our findings provided the framework of co-expression gene modules of uveal melanoma and identified some prognostic markers might be detection of recurrence and treatment for uveal melanoma.

Meldolesi J
Neurotrophin Trk Receptors: New Targets for Cancer Therapy.
Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol. 2018; 174:67-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the last few years, exciting reports have emerged regarding the role of the two types of neurotrophin receptors, p75

Boltaev U, Meyer Y, Tolibzoda F, et al.
Multiplex quantitative assays indicate a need for reevaluating reported small-molecule TrkB agonists.
Sci Signal. 2017; 10(493) [PubMed] Related Publications
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor, tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB), have emerged as key regulators of brain plasticity and represent disease-modifying targets for several brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and major depressive disorder. Because of poor pharmacokinetic properties of BDNF, the interest in small-molecule TrkB agonists and modulators is high. Several compounds have been reported to act as TrkB agonists, and their increasing use in various nervous system disorder models creates the perception that these are reliable probes. To examine key pharmacological parameters of these compounds in detail, we have developed and optimized a series of complementary quantitative assays that measure TrkB receptor activation, TrkB-dependent downstream signaling, and gene expression in different cellular contexts. Although BDNF and other neurotrophic factors elicited robust and dose-dependent receptor activation and downstream signaling, we were unable to reproduce these activities using the reported small-molecule TrkB agonists. Our findings indicate that experimental results obtained with these compounds must be carefully interpreted and highlight the challenge of developing reliable pharmacological activators of this key molecular target.

Chiu JH, Chen FP, Tsai YF, et al.
Effects of Chinese medicinal herbs on expression of brain-derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its interaction with human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells and endothelial HUVECs.
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017; 17(1):401 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Our previous study demonstrated that an up-regulation of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) signaling pathway is involved the mechanism causing the recurrence of triple negative breast cancer. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of commonly used Chinese medicinal herbs on MDA-MB-231 and HUVEC cells and how they interact with BDNF.
METHODS: Human TNBC MDA-MB-231 cells and human endothelial HUVEC cells were used to explore the effect of commonly used Chinese herbal medicines on cancer cells alone, on endothelial cells alone and on cancer cell/endothelial cell interactions; this was done via functional studies, including migration and invasion assays. Furthermore, Western blot analysis and real-time PCR investigations were also used to investigate migration signal transduction, invasion signal transduction, and angiogenic signal transduction in these systems. Finally, the effect of the Chinese medicinal herbs on cancer cell/endothelial cell interactions was assessed using co-culture and ELISA.
RESULTS: In terms of autoregulation, BDNF up-regulated TrkB gene expression in both MDA-MB-231 and HUVEC cells. Furthermore, BDNF enhanced migration by MDA-MB-231 cells via Rac, Cdc42 and MMP, while also increasing the migration of HUVEC cells via MMP and COX-2 expression. As measured by ELISA, the Chinese herbal medicinal herbs A. membranaceus, P. lactiflora, L. chuanxiong, P. suffruticosa and L. lucidum increased BDNF secretion by MDA-MB-231 cells. Similarly, using a co-culture system with MDA-MB-231 cells, A. membranaceus and L. lucidum modulated BDNF-TrkB signaling by HUVEC cells.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that BDNF plays an important role in the metastatic interaction between MDA-MB-231 and HUVEC cells. Some Chinese medicinal herbs are able to enhance the BDNF-related metastatic potential of the interaction between cancer cells and endothelial cells. These findings provide important information that should help with the development of integrated medical therapies for breast cancer patients.

Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes only; it can not be used in diagnosis or treatment.

Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. NTRK2, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancer-genetics.org/NTRK2.htm Accessed:

Creative Commons License
This page in Cancer Genetics Web by Simon Cotterill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Note: content of abstracts copyright of respective publishers - seek permission where appropriate.

 [Home]    Page last revised: 31 August, 2019     Cancer Genetics Web, Established 1999