Laminin-binding integrin gene copy number alterations in distinct epithelial-type cancers

William L. Harryman, Erika Pond, Parminder Singh, Andrew S. Little, Jennifer M. Eschbacher, Raymond B. Nagle, Anne E. Cress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: The laminin-binding integrin (LBI) family are cell adhesion molecules that are essential for invasion and metastasis of human epithelial cancers and cell adhesion mediated drug resistance. We investigated whether copy number alteration (CNA) or mutations of a five-gene signature (ITGB4, ITGA3, LAMB3, PLEC, and SYNE3), representing essential genes for LBI adhesion, would correlate with patient outcomes within human epithelial- type tumor data sets currently available in an open access format. Methods: We investigated the relative alteration frequency of an LBI signature panel (integrin β4 (ITGB4), integrin α3 (ITGA3), laminin β3 chain (LAMB3), plectin (PLEC), and nesprin 3 (SYNE3)), independent of the epithelial cancer type, within publically available and published data using cBioPortal and Oncomine software. We rank ordered the results using a 20% alteration frequency cut-off and limited the analysis to studies containing at least 100 samples. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were analyzed to determine if alterations in the LBI signature correlated with patient survival. The Oncomine data mining tool was used to compare the heat map expression of the LBI signature without SYNE3 (as this was not included in the Oncomine database) to drug resistance patterns. Results: Twelve different cancer types, representing 5,647 samples, contained at least a 20% alteration frequency of the five-gene LBI signature. The frequency of alteration ranged from 38.3% to 19.8%. Within the LBI signature, PLEC was the most commonly altered followed by LAMB3, ITGB4, ITGA3, and SYNE3 across all twelve cancer types. Within cancer types, there was little overlap of the individual amplified genes from each sample, suggesting different specific amplicons may alter the LBI adhesion structures. Of the twelve cancer types, overall survival was altered by CNA presence in bladder urothelial carcinoma (p=0.0143*) and cervical squamous cell carcinoma and endocervical adenocarcinoma (p=0.0432*). Querying the in vitro drug resistance profiles with the LBI signature demonstrated a positive correlation with cells resistant to inhibitors of HDAC (Vorinostat, Panobinostat) and topoisomerase II (Irinotecan). No correlation was found with the following agents: Bleomycin, Doxorubicin, Methotrexate, Gemcitabine, Docetaxel, Bortezomib, and Shikonen. Conclusions: Our work has identified epithelial-types of human cancer that have significant CNA in our selected fivegene signature, which was based on the essential and genetically-defined functions of the protein product networks (in this case, the LBI axis). CNA of the gene signature not only predicted overall survival in bladder, cervical, and endocervical adenocarcinoma but also response to chemotherapy. This work suggests that future studies designed to optimize the gene signature are warranted. General Significance: The copy number alteration of structural components of the LBI axis in epithelial-type tumors may be promising biomarkers and rational targets for personalized therapy in preventing or arresting metastatic spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-954
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Translational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016


  • CBioPortal
  • Cancer
  • Copy number alterations
  • Gene copy
  • Integrin
  • Laminin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research


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