Pathogenesis of cancer is a multi-step process containing a number of cellular alterations such as post-translational dysregulation of intracellular signaling proteins. These alterations control several functions in carcinogenesis such as angiogenesis, metastasis, evading growth suppressors, and sustaining proliferative signaling. Data of various studies has demonstrated that Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K/AKT) and Mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK/MAPK) pathways are both abnormally activated in many cancer types, including neuroblastoma. ERK/MAPK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways that are regulated by sequential phosphorylation upon extracellular stimulation have many important functions in cell cycle, migration, proliferation and apoptosis. Besides their aberrant phosphorylation/activation, there is a crosstalk between these two pathways resulting in an anti-apoptotic effect. In this chapter, carcinogenetic abnormalities in post-translational regulation of the activity of ERK/MAPK and PI3K/AKT pathways in neuroblastoma and other cancers will be summarized. In addition, several crosstalk nodes between two pathways will be briefly explained. All these concepts are not only crucial for thoroughly understanding the molecular basis of carcinogenesis but also choosing the appropriate molecular targets for effective diagnosis and treatment.
Part of the book: Post-Translational Modifications in Cellular Functions and Diseases