The ALKF1174L Mutation Potentiates the Oncogenic Activity of MYCN in Neuroblastoma
Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
The ALK(F1174L) mutation is associated with intrinsic and acquired resistance to crizotinib and cosegregates with MYCN in neuroblastoma. In this study, we generated a mouse model overexpressing ALK(F1174L) in the neural crest. Compared to ALK(F1174L) and MYCN alone, co-expression of these two oncogenes led to the development of neuroblastomas with earlier onset, higher penetrance, and enhanced lethality. ALK(F1174L)/MYCN tumors exhibited increased MYCN dosage due to ALK(F1174L)-induced activation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR and MAPK pathways, coupled with suppression of MYCN pro-apoptotic effects. Combined treatment with the ATP-competitive mTOR inhibitor Torin2 overcame the resistance of ALK(F1174L)/MYCN tumors to crizotinib. Our findings demonstrate a pathogenic role for ALK(F1174L) in neuroblastomas overexpressing MYCN and suggest a strategy for improving targeted therapy for ALK-positive neuroblastoma.