Cancer Cell 2017 06 18;31(6):820-832.e3. Epub 2017 May 18.
Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:
Molecular alterations involving the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway (including mutation, copy number, protein, or RNA) were examined across 11,219 human cancers representing 32 major types. Within specific mutated genes, frequency, mutation hotspot residues, in silico predictions, and functional assays were all informative in distinguishing the subset of genetic variants more likely to have functional relevance. Multiple oncogenic pathways including PI3K/AKT/mTOR converged on similar sets of downstream transcriptional targets. In addition to mutation, structural variations and partial copy losses involving PTEN and STK11 showed evidence for having functional relevance. A substantial fraction of cancers showed high mTOR pathway activity without an associated canonical genetic or genomic alteration, including cancers harboring IDH1 or VHL mutations, suggesting multiple mechanisms for pathway activation.