PP2A and E3 ubiquitin ligase deficiencies: Seminal biological drivers in endometrial cancer

Jesus Gonzalez-Bosquet, Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, Amy L. Weaver, Michaela E. McGree, Sean C. Dowdy, Abimbola O. Famuyide, Benjamin R. Kipp, Kevin C. Halling, Fergus J. Couch, Karl C. Podratz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: PI3K-AKT pathway mutations initiate a kinase cascade that characterizes endometrial cancer (EC). As kinases seldom cause oncogenic transformation without dysregulation of antagonistic phosphatases, pivotal interactions governing this pathway were explored and correlated with clinical outcomes. Methods: After exclusion of patients with POLE mutations from The Cancer Genome Atlas EC cohort with endometrioid or serous EC, the study population was 209 patients with DNA sequencing, quantitative gene-specific RNA expression, copy number variation (CNV), and surveillance data available. Extracted data were annotated and integrated. Results: A PIK3CA, PTEN, or PIK3R1 mutant (−mu) was present in 83% of patients; 57% harbored more than 1 mutation without adversely impacting progression-free survival (PFS) (P =.10). PIK3CA CNV of at least 1.1 (CNV high [-H]) was detected in 26% and linked to TP53-mu and CIP2A expression (P <.001) but was not associated with PFS (P =.24). PIK3CA expression was significantly different between those with CIP2A-H and CIP2A low (−L) expression (the endogenous inhibitor of protein phosphatase 2A [PP2A]), when stratified by PIK3CA mutational status or by PIK3CA CNV-H and CNV-L (all P <.01). CIP2A-H or PPP2R1A-mu mitigates PP2A kinase dephosphorylation, and FBXW7-mu nullifies E3 ubiquitin ligase (E3UL) oncoprotein degradation. CIP2A-H and PPP2R1A-mu (PP2A impairment) and FBXW7-mu (E3UL impairment) were associated with compromised PFS (P <.001) and were prognostically discriminatory for PIK3CA-mu and PIK3CA CNV-H tumors (P <.001). Among documented recurrences, 84% were associated with impaired PP2A (75%) and/or E3UL (20%). Conclusion: PP2A and E3UL deficiencies are seminal biological drivers in EC independent of PIK3CA-mu, PTEN-mu, and PIK3R1-mu and PIK3CA CNV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • CIP2A
  • FBXW7
  • PIK3CA
  • PIK3R1A
  • PP2A
  • PPP2R1A
  • PTEN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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