Assessment of PI3K/AKT/PTEN signaling pathway activity in colorectal cancer using quantum dot‑conjugated antibodies
- Dariusz Waniczek
- Mirosław Śnietura
- Zbigniew Lorenc
- Ewa Nowakowska‑Zajdel
- Małgorzata Muc‑Wierzgoń
Published online on: November 10, 2017
In certain patients with advanced colorectal cancer, loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) activity is observed. PTEN is a major gatekeeper gene of the AKT serine/threonine kinase (AKT) signaling pathway responsible for the proliferative activity of cells. The assessment of AKT activity may be a prognostic factor or a predictor of response to the targeted therapies against particular signaling proteins. To precisely identify the cause and the place of the pathway deregulation, it is necessary to identify phosphorylation states and concentrations of several proteins located at different levels of the regulatory cascade. In the present study, we propose the simultaneous use of specific antibodies conjugated with different quantum dots to highlight the nature of AKT/PKB cascade deregulation in patients with colorectal cancer and the loss of PTEN expression in tumor tissue. Fifty patients with colorectal cancer of no specific location were enrolled in the study. The expression of the PTEN protein, and concentrations of phosphorylated/activated forms of 3‑Phosphoinositide‑dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) and AKT were assessed using quantum dot‑conjugated antibodies. In patients with a diminished or complete loss of the PTEN expression in the tumor tissue increased levels of activated/phosphorylated forms of PDK1 (Phospho‑PDK1‑Ser241) and AKT (Phospho‑AKT‑Thr308) proteins were found, which are responsible for the permanent activation of the phosphoinositide 3‑kinase/AKT/PTEN signaling pathway in certain cases of colorectal cancer.