Germline mutations of the RET proto-oncogene cause multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) 2A or 2B by different mechanisms. As is the case for other receptor tyrosine kinases, mutant RET recruits a variety of signalling molecules via phosphorylated tyrosine residues present in the kinase domain and carboxy-terminal tail. As we previously reported, the signaling via phosphorylated tyrosine 1062 plays a crucial role in the transforming activities of both RET-MEN2A and RET-MEN2B mutant protein. Interestingly, this single tyrosine residue represents a binding site for several signalling molecules including SHC, Enigma, SNT/FRS2, DOK and IRS1 and is responsible for activation of the RAS/ERK, PI3-K/AKT, JNK, p38MAPK and ERK5 signalling pathways. Amongst these, the PI3-K/AKT and JNK pathways appeared to be more strongly activated in the cells expressing RET-MEN2B than in the cells expressing RET-MEN2A, suggesting the possibility that these pathways may be involved in the disease phenotype. In addition, RET is alternatively spliced to produce three isoforms and the splicing site is present just downstream of tyrosine 1062. These isoforms play different roles for the tumour development associated with MEN 2 or the development of the kidney and the enteric nervous system. Moreover, using differential display analysis, we identified several genes whose expression is highly induced by RET-MEN2B mutant proteins. The differential gene expression by RET-MEN2A and RET-MEN2B may also be important for the development of their phenotypes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine