Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p110δ expression in Merkel cell carcinoma
*Corresponding author for this work
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review
The prognosis of stage III/IV Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is very poor. The Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p110? specific inhibitor idelalisib has recently been reported to induce complete clinical remission in a stage IV MCC patient. Here we assessed the expression of p110? in primary MCC and MCC cell lines including its functionality. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed a specific cytoplasmic p110? expression in 71.4% of the tested MCCs and in all tested MCC cell lines. Compared to the B cell leukemia cell line REH all MCC cell lines, except MKL-1, revealed a lower response towards the treatment with idelalisib. MKL-1 showed a 10-fold higher IC50 compared to REH which was accompanied by a significant decrease of Akt phosphorylation. However, treating the MCC cells with the specific PI3K p110? subunit inhibitor BYL719 led to a more effective decrease of the cell viability compared to idelalisib: WaGa cells 30-fold, PeTa cells 15-fold and all other MCC cell lines 3-fold. Although PI3K p110? is expressed in the majority of MCCs and cell lines its inhibition by idelalisib alone does not suffice to effectively affect MCC cells viability.