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Open access

Linfei Yang, Xiao Yu and Yongchao Yang

Although the upregulation of autotaxin (ATX) is associated with many solid tumours, its role in pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNEN) has not been well elucidated. The expression of ATX in pNEN tissues and pNEN cell line BON1 was analysed by Western blot, PCR and immunocytochemistry upon exposure to interleukin-6 (IL-6). Additionally, pNEN cell line BON1 was transfected with siRNAs against ATX or signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and assessed by in vitro invasion assays. The following results were obtained. The expression of ATX in pNEN tissues was significantly increased compared with that in normal pancreatic tissues. High ATX expression was strongly correlated with tumour grade, lymph node metastasis and tumour-node-metastasis stage. Furthermore, ATX downregulation notably inhibited the metastatic capacity of pNEN cells, whereas STAT3 knockdown was found to downregulate the expression of ATX. ATX expression was upregulated in BON1 cells upon stimulation with IL-6, and this was accompanied by activation/phosphorylation of STAT3. Western blot analysis of human pNEN tissue extracts confirmed increased ATX expression and STAT3 phosphorylation with elevated expression levels of IL-6. In conclusion, ATX is upregulated in pNEN and is correlated with the metastatic capacity of pNEN cells, potentially via interaction with STAT3 activation.

Open access

Xiao-Ping Qi, Jian-Zhong Peng, Xiao-Wei Yang, Zhi-Lie Cao, Xiu-Hua Yu, Xu-Dong Fang, Da-Hong Zhang and Jian-Qiang Zhao

Background

Cutaneous lichen amyloidosis (CLA) has been reported in some multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) families affected by specific germline RET mutations C634F/G/R/W/Y or V804M, as a characteristic of the clinical manifestation in ‘MEN 2A with CLA’, one of four variants of MEN 2A, which was strictly located in the scapular region of the upper back.

Patient Findings

This study reports a large south-eastern Chinese pedigree with 17 individuals carrying the MEN 2A-harboring germline C611Y (c.1832G>A) RET mutation by Sanger sequencing. One individual presented MEN 2A-related clinical features, including typical CLA in the interscapular region; another individual exhibited neurological pruritus and scratching in the upper back but lacked CLA skin lesions. Both subjects presented with CLA or pruritic symptoms several years before the onset of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and/or pheochromocytoma. The remaining 15 RET mutation carriers did not exhibit CLA; of these, one presented with MTC and pheochromocytoma, nine with MTC only, two with elevated serum calcitonin and three younger subjects with normal serum calcitonin levels. This family’s clinical data revealed a later diagnosis of MTC (mean age, 45.9 (range: 23–73) years), a lower penetrance of pheochromocytoma (2/17, 11.8%) and CLA (1/17, 5.9%). However, no hyperparathyroidism and Hirschsprung disease were reported in this family.

Summary and Conclusions

This is the first description of a family with MEN 2A-related CLA due to a germline RET C611Y mutation, which might exhibit a novel and diversified genotype–phenotype spectrum in MEN 2A.