|Abstract: ||The eukaryotic elongation factor 1 alpha 2 (eEF1A2) is a protein normally expressed only in the brain, heart and skeletal muscle. eEF1A2 is likely to be a breast and ovarian cancer oncogene based on its high expression in these malignancies and its in vitro transforming capacity . The goal of my thesis is to understand eEF1A2’s role in oncogenesis.
In order to determine if eEF1A2 was a prognostic marker for ovarian cancer, we examined eEF1A2 expression in 500 primary human ovarian tumours. We show that eEF1A2 is highly expressed in approximately 30% of ovarian tumours. In serous cancer, high expression of eEF1A2 was associated with an increased 20-year survival probability. Expression of eEF1A2, in a clear cell carcinoma cell line, SK-OV-3, increased the cells ability to form spheroids in hanging drop culture, enhanced in vitro proliferative capacity, increased stress fiber formations, and reduced cell-cell junction spacing. Expression of eEF1A2 did not alter sensitivity to anoikis, cisplatin, or taxol.
In order to examine the role of eEF1A2 in breast cancer, we used a three-dimensional culture system. The ability to disrupt the in vitro morphogenesis of breast cells cultured on reconstituted basement membranes is a common property of breast oncogenes. I found that phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase (PI4KIIIβ), a lipid kinase that phosphorylates phosphatidylinositol (PI) to PI(4)P, disrupts in vitro mammary acinar formation. The PI4KIIIβ protein localizes to the basal surface of acini created by the human MCF10A cells and ectopic expression of PI4KIIIβ induces multi-acinar formation. Expression of the PI4KIIIβ activator, eEF1A2, also causes a multi-acinar phenotype. Ectopic expression of PI4KIIIβ or eEF1A2 alters PI(4)P and PI(4,5)P2 localization, indicating a role for these lipids in acinar development.
Therefore, eEF1A2 is highly expressed in ovarian carcinomas and its expression enhances cell growth in vitro. eEF1A2 expression is likely to be a useful ovarian cancer prognostic factor in ovarian patients with serous tumours. Furthermore, PI4KIIIβ and eEF1A2 both have an important role in the disruption of three-dimensional morphogenesis of MCF10A cells. Additionally, PI4KIIIβ and eEF1A2 likely have an important role in mammary neoplasia and development and could be anti-cancer targets.|