mTOR kinase inhibition reduces tissue factor expression and growth of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

C. S. Lewis, H. Elnakat Thomas, M. A. Orr-Asman, L. C. Green, R. E. Boody, K. Matiash, A. Karve, Y. M. Hisada, H. W. Davis, X. Qi, C. A. Mercer, F. V. Lucas, B. J. Aronow, N. Mackman, H. H. Versteeg, V. Y. Bogdanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Essentials Tissue factor (TF) isoforms are expressed in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNET). TF knockdown inhibits proliferation of human pNET cells in vitro. mTOR kinase inhibitor sapanisertib/MLN0128 suppresses TF expression in human pNET cells. Sapanisertib suppresses TF expression and activity and reduces the growth of pNET tumors in vivo. Summary: Background Full-length tissue factor (flTF) and alternatively spliced TF (asTF) contribute to growth and spread of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. It is unknown, however, if flTF and/or asTF contribute to the pathobiology of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs). Objective To assess TF expression in pNETs and the effects of mTOR complex 1/2 (mTORC1/2) inhibition on pNET growth. Methods Human pNET specimens were immunostained for TF. Human pNET cell lines QGP1 and BON were evaluated for TF expression and responsiveness to mTOR inhibition. shRNA were used to knock down TF in BON. TF cofactor activity was assessed using a two-step FXa generation assay. TF promoter activity was assessed using transient transfection of human TF promoter-driven reporter constructs into cells. Mice bearing orthotopic BON tumors were treated with the mTORC1/2 ATP site competitive inhibitor sapanisertib/MLN0128 (3 mg kg −1 , oral gavage) for 34 days. Results Immunostaining of pNET tissue revealed flTF and asTF expression. BON and QGP1 expressed both TF isoforms, with BON exhibiting higher levels. shRNA directed against TF suppressed BON proliferation in vitro. Treatment of BON with sapanisertib inhibited mTOR signaling and suppressed TF levels. BON tumors grown in mice treated with sapanisertib had significantly less TF protein and cofactor activity, and were smaller compared with tumors grown in control mice. Conclusions TF isoforms are expressed in pNETs. Sapanisertib suppresses TF mRNA and protein expression as well as TF cofactor activity in vitro and in vivo. Thus, further studies are warranted to evaluate the clinical utility of TF-suppressing mTORC1/2 inhibitor sapanisertib in pNET management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • MLN0128
  • carcinoma, neuroendocrine
  • mTOR protein, human
  • pancreatic neoplasms
  • tissue factor


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