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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 143  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 112-119

PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling & its regulator tumour suppressor genes PTEN & LKB1 in human uterine leiomyomas


1 Post-Graduate Department of Pathology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India
3 Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Mati Goel
Department of Pathology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-5916.191808

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Background & objectives: Despite their high occurrence and associated significant level of morbidity manifesting as spectrum of clinical symptoms, the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyomas (ULs) remains unclear. We investigated expression profile of tumour suppressor genes PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten) and LKB1 (liver kinase B1), and key signaling components of P13K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase)/Akt (protein kinase B)/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway in leiomyomas and adjacent normal myometrium in women of reproductive age, to explore the possibility of targeting this pathway for future therapeutic implications. Methods: Real time PCR (qPCR) was used to quantify relative gene expression levels of PTEN, Akt1, Akt2, mTOR, LKB1 and VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor A) in leiomyoma as compared to adjacent normal myometrium. Immunohistochemistry was subsequently performed to analyze expression of PTEN, phospho-Akt, phospho-mTOR, phospho-S6, LKB1 and VEGFA in leiomyoma and adjacent normal myometrium. Results: Significant upregulation of PTEN (2.52 fold; P=0.03) and LKB1 (3.93 fold; P0.01), and downregulation of VEGFA (2.95 fold; P=0.01) genes were observed in leiomyoma as compared to normal myometrium. Transcript levels of Akt1, Akt2 and mTOR did not vary significantly between leiomyoma and myometrium. An increased immunoexpression of PTEN (P=0.015) and LKB1 (P<0.001) and decreased expression of VEGFA (P=0.01) was observed in leiomyoma as compared to myometrium. Immunostaining for activated (phosphorylated) Akt, mTOR and S6 was absent or low in majority of leiomyoma and myometrium. Interpretation & conclusions: Upregulation of PTEN and LKB1 in concert with negative or low levels of activated Akt, mTOR and S6 indicates that PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway may not play a significant role in pathogenesis of leiomyoma.


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