NBL1

Gene Summary

Gene:NBL1; neuroblastoma 1, DAN family BMP antagonist
Aliases: NB, DAN, NO3, DAND1, D1S1733E
Location:1p36.13
Summary:This gene product is the founding member of the evolutionarily conserved CAN (Cerberus and DAN) family of proteins, which contain a domain resembling the CTCK (C-terminal cystine knot-like) motif found in a number of signaling molecules. These proteins are secreted, and act as BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) antagonists by binding to BMPs and preventing them from interacting with their receptors. They may thus play an important role during growth and development. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been identified for this gene. Read-through transcripts between this locus and the upstream mitochondrial inner membrane organizing system 1 gene (GeneID 440574) have been observed. [provided by RefSeq, May 2013]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:neuroblastoma suppressor of tumorigenicity 1
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (9)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • RTPCR
  • Down-Regulation
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Genetic Markers
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Gene Expression
  • Messenger RNA
  • Tobacco
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Sequence Homology
  • Transcription
  • Nucleic Acid Regulatory Sequences
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Utrophin
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Chromosome 1
  • NBL1
  • Proteins
  • Vincristine
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Tumor Markers
  • Up-Regulation
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cancer DNA
  • Restriction Mapping
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: NBL1 (cancer-related)

Maywald RL, Doerner SK, Pastorelli L, et al.
IL-33 activates tumor stroma to promote intestinal polyposis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(19):E2487-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/11/2015 Related Publications
Tumor epithelial cells develop within a microenvironment consisting of extracellular matrix, growth factors, and cytokines produced by nonepithelial stromal cells. In response to paracrine signals from tumor epithelia, stromal cells modify the microenvironment to promote tumor growth and metastasis. Here, we identify interleukin 33 (IL-33) as a regulator of tumor stromal cell activation and mediator of intestinal polyposis. In human colorectal cancer, IL-33 expression was induced in the tumor epithelium of adenomas and carcinomas, and expression of the IL-33 receptor, IL1RL1 (also referred to as IL1-R4 or ST2), localized predominantly to the stroma of adenoma and both the stroma and epithelium of carcinoma. Genetic and antibody abrogation of responsiveness to IL-33 in the Apc(Min/+) mouse model of intestinal tumorigenesis inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and suppressed angiogenesis in adenomatous polyps, which reduced both tumor number and size. Similar to human adenomas, IL-33 expression localized to tumor epithelial cells and expression of IL1RL1 associated with two stromal cell types, subepithelial myofibroblasts and mast cells, in Apc(Min/+) polyps. In vitro, IL-33 stimulation of human subepithelial myofibroblasts induced the expression of extracellular matrix components and growth factors associated with intestinal tumor progression. IL-33 deficiency reduced mast cell accumulation in Apc(Min/+) polyps and suppressed the expression of mast cell-derived proteases and cytokines known to promote polyposis. Based on these findings, we propose that IL-33 derived from the tumor epithelium promotes polyposis through the coordinated activation of stromal cells and the formation of a protumorigenic microenvironment.

Kreuzinger C, Gamperl M, Wolf A, et al.
Molecular characterization of 7 new established cell lines from high grade serous ovarian cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 362(2):218-28 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer cell lines are good in vitro models to study molecular mechanisms underlying chemoresistance and cancer recurrence. Recent works have demonstrated that most of the available ovarian cancer cell lines are most unlikely high grade serous (HGSOC), the major type of epithelial ovarian cancer. We aimed at establishing well characterized HGSOC cell lines, which can be used as optimal models for ovarian cancer research. We successfully established seven cell lines from HGSOC and provided the major genomic alterations and the transcriptomic landscapes of them. They exhibited different gene expression patterns in the key pathways involved in cancer resistance. Each cell line harbored a unique TP53 mutation as their corresponding tumors and expressed cytokeratins 8/18/19 and EpCAM. Two matched lines were established from the same patient, one at diagnosis and being sensitive to carboplatin and the other during chemotherapy and being resistant. Two cell lines presented respective BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. To conclude, we have established seven cell lines and well characterized them at genomic and transcriptomic levels. They are optimal models to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression, chemo resistance and recurrence of HGSOC.

Caruana I, Savoldo B, Hoyos V, et al.
Heparanase promotes tumor infiltration and antitumor activity of CAR-redirected T lymphocytes.
Nat Med. 2015; 21(5):524-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2015 Related Publications
Adoptive transfer of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-redirected T lymphocytes (CAR-T cells) has had less striking therapeutic effects in solid tumors than in lymphoid malignancies. Although active tumor-mediated immunosuppression may have a role in limiting the efficacy of CAR-T cells, functional changes in T lymphocytes after their ex vivo manipulation may also account for the reduced ability of cultured CAR-T cells to penetrate stroma-rich solid tumors compared with lymphoid tissues. We therefore studied the capacity of human in vitro-cultured CAR-T cells to degrade components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). In contrast to freshly isolated T lymphocytes, we found that in vitro-cultured T lymphocytes lack expression of the enzyme heparanase (HPSE), which degrades heparan sulfate proteoglycans, the main components of ECM. We found that HPSE mRNA is downregulated in in vitro-expanded T cells, which may be a consequence of p53 (officially known as TP53, encoding tumor protein 53) binding to the HPSE gene promoter. We therefore engineered CAR-T cells to express HPSE and showed their improved capacity to degrade the ECM, which promoted tumor T cell infiltration and antitumor activity. The use of this strategy may enhance the activity of CAR-T cells in individuals with stroma-rich solid tumors.

Kolla V, Naraparaju K, Zhuang T, et al.
The tumour suppressor CHD5 forms a NuRD-type chromatin remodelling complex.
Biochem J. 2015; 468(2):345-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2015 Related Publications
Eukaryotic gene expression is developmentally regulated, in part by chromatin remodelling, and its dysregulation has been linked to cancer. CHD5 (chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 5) is a tumour suppressor gene (TSG) that maps to a region of consistent deletion on 1p36.31 in neuroblastomas (NBs) and other tumour types. CHD5 encodes a protein with chromatin remodelling, helicase and DNA-binding motifs that is preferentially expressed in neural and testicular tissues. CHD5 is highly homologous to CHD3 and CHD4, which are the core subunits of nucleosome remodelling and deacetylation (NuRD) complexes. To determine if CHD5 forms a similar complex, we performed studies on nuclear extracts from NBLS, SY5Y (both with endogenous CHD5 expression), NLF (CHD5 null) and NLF cells stably transfected with CHD5 cDNA (wild-type and V5-histidine-tagged). Immunoprecipitation (IP) was performed with either CHD5 antibody or antibody to V5/histidine-tagged protein. We identified NuRD components both by GST-FOG1 (Friend Of GATA1) pull-down and by IP. We also performed MS/MS analysis to confirm the presence of CHD5 or other protein components of the NuRD complex, as well as to identify other novel proteins. CHD5 was clearly associated with all canonical NuRD components, including metastasis-associated protein (MTA)1/2, GATA zinc finger domain containing 2A (GATAD2A), histone deacetylase (HDAC)1/2, retinoblastoma-binding protein (RBBP)4/7 and methyl DNA-binding domain protein (MBD)2/3, as determined by Western blotting and MS/MS. Our data suggest CHD5 forms a NuRD complex similar to CHD4. However, CHD5-NuRD may also have unique protein associations that confer functional specificity and may contribute to normal development and to tumour suppression in NB and other cancers.

Yu B, Swatkoski S, Holly A, et al.
Oncogenesis driven by the Ras/Raf pathway requires the SUMO E2 ligase Ubc9.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(14):E1724-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 07/10/2015 Related Publications
The small GTPase KRAS is frequently mutated in human cancer and currently there are no targeted therapies for KRAS mutant tumors. Here, we show that the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) pathway is required for KRAS-driven transformation. RNAi depletion of the SUMO E2 ligase Ubc9 suppresses 3D growth of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cells in vitro and attenuates tumor growth in vivo. In KRAS mutant cells, a subset of proteins exhibit elevated levels of SUMOylation. Among these proteins, KAP1, CHD1, and EIF3L collectively support anchorage-independent growth, and the SUMOylation of KAP1 is necessary for its activity in this context. Thus, the SUMO pathway critically contributes to the transformed phenotype of KRAS mutant cells and Ubc9 presents a potential target for the treatment of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer.

Kannan K, Coarfa C, Chao PW, et al.
Recurrent BCAM-AKT2 fusion gene leads to a constitutively activated AKT2 fusion kinase in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(11):E1272-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 17/09/2015 Related Publications
High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) is among the most lethal forms of cancer in women. Excessive genomic rearrangements, which are expected to create fusion oncogenes, are the hallmark of this cancer. Here we report a cancer-specific gene fusion between BCAM, a membrane adhesion molecule, and AKT2, a key kinase in the PI3K signaling pathway. This fusion is present in 7% of the 60 patient cancers tested, a significant frequency considering the highly heterogeneous nature of this malignancy. Further, we provide direct evidence that BCAM-AKT2 is translated into an in-frame fusion protein in the patient's tumor. The resulting AKT2 fusion kinase is membrane-associated, constitutively phosphorylated, and activated as a functional kinase in cells. Unlike endogenous AKT2, whose activity is tightly regulated by external stimuli, BCAM-AKT2 escapes the regulation from external stimuli. Moreover, a BCAM-AKT2 fusion gene generated via chromosomal translocation using the CRISPR/Cas9 system leads to focus formation in both OVCAR8 and HEK-293T cell lines, suggesting that BCAM-AKT2 is oncogenic. Together, the results indicate that BCAM-AKT2 expression is a new mechanism of AKT2 kinase activation in HGSC. BCAM-AKT2 is the only fusion gene in HGSC that is proven to translate an aberrant yet functional kinase fusion protein with oncogenic properties. This recurrent genomic alteration is a potential therapeutic target and marker of a clinically relevant subtype for tailored therapy of HGSC.

Mishra DK, Creighton CJ, Zhang Y, et al.
Ex vivo four-dimensional lung cancer model mimics metastasis.
Ann Thorac Surg. 2015; 99(4):1149-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have developed a four-dimensional (4D) lung cancer model that forms perfusable tumor nodules. We determined if the model could be modified to mimic metastasis.
METHODS: We modified the 4D lung cancer model by seeding H1299, A549, or H460 cells through the trachea only to the left lobes of the acellular lung matrix. The model was modified so that the tumor cells can reach the right lobes of the acellular lung matrix only through the pulmonary artery as circulating tumor cells (CTC). We determined the gene expressions of the primary tumor, CTCs, and metastatic lesions using the Human OneArray chip.
RESULTS: All cell lines formed a primary tumor in the left lobe of the ex vivo 4D lung cancer model. The CTCs were identified in the media and increased over time. All cell lines formed metastatic lesions with H460 forming significantly more metastatic lesions than H1299 and A549 cells. The CTC gene signature predicted poor survival in lung cancer patients. Unique genes were significantly expressed in CTC compared with the primary tumor and metastatic lesion.
CONCLUSIONS: The 4D lung cancer model can isolate tumor cells in 3 phases of tumor progression. This 4D lung cancer model may mimic the biology of lung cancer metastasis and may be used to determine its mechanism and potential therapy in the future.

Russo A, Okur MN, Bosland M, O'Bryan JP
Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, class 2 beta (PI3KC2β) isoform contributes to neuroblastoma tumorigenesis.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 359(2):262-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/04/2016 Related Publications
Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) play important roles in human tumorigenesis. Activation of the PI3K target AKT is frequent in neuroblastoma (NB) and correlates with poor prognosis. PI3K pan-inhibitors reduce NB tumor formation but present severe toxicity, which limits their therapeutic potential. Therefore, defining the importance of specific PI3K isoforms may aid in developing more effective therapeutic strategies. We previously demonstrated that PI3K Class IIβ (PI3KC2β) and its regulator intersectin 1 (ITSN1) are highly expressed in primary NB tumors and cell lines. Silencing ITSN1 dramatically reduced the tumorigenic potential of NB cells. Interestingly, overexpression of PI3KC2β rescued the anchorage-independent growth of ITSN1-silenced cells suggesting that PI3KC2β mediates ITSN1's function in NB cells. To address the importance of PI3KC2β in NBs, we generated PI3KC2β-silenced lines and examined their biologic activity. Herein, we demonstrate that PI3KC2β-silencing inhibits early stages of NB tumorigenic growth. We also show that loss of endogenous PI3KC2β or ITSN1 reduces AKT activation but does not impact ERK-MAPK activation. These data reveal a novel role for PI3KC2β in human NB tumorigenesis.

Richards EJ, Zhang G, Li ZP, et al.
Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNA) regulated by transforming growth factor (TGF) β: LncRNA-hit-mediated TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition in mammary epithelia.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(11):6857-67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 13/03/2016 Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key regulators in various biological processes. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a developmental process hijacked by tumor cells to depart from the primary tumor site, invade surrounding tissue, and establish distant metastases. Transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling has been shown to be a major inducer of EMT and to facilitate breast cancer metastasis. However, the role of lncRNAs in this process remains largely unknown. Here we report a genome-wide lncRNA profile in mouse mammary epithelial NMuMG cells upon TGFβ induction of EMT. Among 10,802 lncRNAs profiled, over 600 were up-regulated and down-regulated during the EMT, respectively. Furthermore, we identify that lncRNA-HIT (HOXA transcript induced by TGFβ) mediates TGFβ function, i.e. depletion of lncRNA-HIT inhibits TGFβ-induced migration, invasion, and EMT in NMuMG. LncRNA-HIT is also significantly elevated in the highly metastatic 4T1 cells. Knockdown of lncRNA-HIT in 4T1 results in decrease of cell migration, invasion, tumor growth, and metastasis. E-cadherin was identified as a major target of lncRNA-HIT. Moreover, lncRNA-HIT is conserved in humans and elevated expression associates with more invasive human primary breast carcinoma. Collectively, these data suggest that a subset of lncRNAs such as lncRNA-HIT play a significant role in regulation of EMT and breast cancer invasion and metastasis, and could be potential therapeutic targets in breast cancers.

Xiang X, Zhao X, Qu H, et al.
Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha promotes the invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis of neuroblastoma cells via targeting matrix metalloproteinase 14.
Cancer Lett. 2015; 359(2):187-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Matrix metalloproteinase 14 (MMP-14) is the only membrane-anchored MMP that plays critical roles in tumorigenesis and aggressiveness. However, the regulatory mechanisms underlying the high MMP-14 expression in neuroblastoma (NB), a highly malignant tumor in childhood, still remain unclear. Herein, we applied an integrative approach to analyze the public datasets, and identified hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4α) as a crucial transcription factor facilitating the MMP-14 expression in NB. In clinical NB tissues, HNF4α was up-regulated and positively correlated with MMP-14 expression, and was an independent prognostic factor for unfavorable outcome of patients. Luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicated that HNF4α directly targeted the binding site within the MMP-14 promoter to facilitate its transcription. Knockdown of HNF4α suppressed the invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis of NB cells in vitro and in vivo. Conversely, ectopic expression of HNF4α promoted the invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis of NB cells. Importantly, restoration of MMP-14 expression prevented the tumor cells from HNF4α-mediated changes in these biological features. Taken together, HNF4α exhibits oncogenic activity that affects the aggressiveness and angiogenesis of NB through activating the transcription of MMP-14.

Peng G, Dan W, Jun W, et al.
Transcriptome profiling of the cancer and adjacent nontumor tissues from cervical squamous cell carcinoma patients by RNA sequencing.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3309-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the world. The discovery of vital diagnostic and therapeutic markers against cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) would broaden our understanding on the molecular basis of CSCC. In this study, we thoroughly analyzed the transcriptome of CSCC and matched adjacent nontumor (ATN) tissue. RNA sequencing was performed to screen the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of three pairs of CSCC and ATN tissues. Functional enrichment analysis was used to uncover the biological functions of DEGs. Protein interaction network was carried out to reveal interaction of DEGs. Quantitative real-time PCR was conducted to validate the expression of DEGs. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the relationship between clinicopathological parameters of CSCC and DEGs. There were a total of 347 significantly common DEGs in the three paired examples, including 104 consistent upregulated and 148 consistent downregulated DEGs. The 347 DEGs were categorized into 73 functional categories by Gene Ontology (GO) analysis. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis suggested six significantly signal pathways. The protein interaction network uncovered three important DEGs, including retinol dehydrogenase 12 (RDH12), ubiquitin D (UBD), and serum amyloid A1 (SAA1). We found that RDH12 expression was decreased in 74.5 % of CSCC tissues. RDH12 expression was negatively associated with tumor size and depth of cervical invasion. The UBD was overexpressed in 61.7 % of CSCC tissues and was positively related with tumor size and lymphatic metastasis. The SAA1 protein was overexpressed in 57.4 % of CSCC tissues and was positively related with clinicopathological parameters of tumor size, lymphatic metastasis, and depth of cervical invasion. The RDH12, UBD, and SAA1 genes might participate in the progression of CSCC.

Sidarovich V, Adami V, Gatto P, et al.
Translational downregulation of HSP90 expression by iron chelators in neuroblastoma cells.
Mol Pharmacol. 2015; 87(3):513-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Iron is an essential cellular nutrient, being a critical cofactor of several proteins involved in cell growth and replication. Compared with normal cells, neoplastic cells have been shown to require a greater amount of iron, thus laying the basis for the promising anticancer activity of iron chelators. In this work, we evaluated the effects of molecules with iron chelation activity on neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines. Of the 17 iron chelators tested, six reduced cell viability of two NB cell lines with an inhibition of growth of 50% below 10 µM; four of the six molecules-ciclopirox olamine (CPX), piroctone, 8-hydroxyquinoline, and deferasirox-were also shown to efficiently chelate intracellular iron within minutes after addition. Effects on cell viability of one of the compounds, CPX, were indeed dependent on chelation of intracellular iron and mediated by both G0/G1 cell cycle block and induction of apoptosis. By combined transcriptome and translatome profiling we identified early translational downregulation of several members of the heat shock protein group as a specific effect of CPX treatment. We functionally confirmed iron-dependent depletion of HSP90 and its client proteins at pharmacologically achievable concentrations of CPX, and we extended this effect to piroctone, 8-hydroxyquinoline, and deferasirox. Given the documented sensitivity of NB cells to HSP90 inhibition, we propose CPX and other iron chelators as investigational antitumor agents in NB therapy.

Rwigemera A, Mamelona J, Martin LJ
Comparative effects between fucoxanthinol and its precursor fucoxanthin on viability and apoptosis of breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(1):207-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: We evaluated whether low doses of the natural carotenoid fucoxanthin and/or of its metabolite fucoxanthinol are effective against proliferation of estrogen-sensitive MCF-7 and estrogen-resistant MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: These cell lines were stimulated with 10 to 20 μM fucoxanthin and/or fucoxanthinol, followed by cell viability assays, Annexin V immunofluorescence to evaluate apoptosis, as well as mRNA and protein extractions for changes in nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) members' expressions and nuclear translocations.
RESULTS: Fucoxanthin and fucoxanthinol reduced the viability of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in a time-dependent manner as a result of increased apoptosis. In both cell lines, modulatory actions of fucoxanthinol on members of the NF-κB pathway were more pronounced than that of fucoxanthin.
CONCLUSION: In MDA-MB-231 cells, fucoxanthinol reduced nuclear levels of NF-κB members' p65, p52 and RelB. Fucoxanthinol and fucoxanthin could be effective for the treatment and/or prevention of breast cancer.

Chen Z, Lan X, Thomas-Ahner JM, et al.
Agonist and antagonist switch DNA motifs recognized by human androgen receptor in prostate cancer.
EMBO J. 2015; 34(4):502-16 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/02/2016 Related Publications
Human transcription factors recognize specific DNA sequence motifs to regulate transcription. It is unknown whether a single transcription factor is able to bind to distinctly different motifs on chromatin, and if so, what determines the usage of specific motifs. By using a motif-resolution chromatin immunoprecipitation-exonuclease (ChIP-exo) approach, we find that agonist-liganded human androgen receptor (AR) and antagonist-liganded AR bind to two distinctly different motifs, leading to distinct transcriptional outcomes in prostate cancer cells. Further analysis on clinical prostate tissues reveals that the binding of AR to these two distinct motifs is involved in prostate carcinogenesis. Together, these results suggest that unique ligands may switch DNA motifs recognized by ligand-dependent transcription factors in vivo. Our findings also provide a broad mechanistic foundation for understanding ligand-specific induction of gene expression profiles.

Qiu JJ, Zeisig BB, Li S, et al.
Critical role of retinoid/rexinoid signaling in mediating transformation and therapeutic response of NUP98-RARG leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(5):1153-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
While the nucleoporin 98-retinoic acid receptor gamma (NUP98-RARG) is the first RARG fusion protein found in acute leukemia, its roles and the molecular basis in oncogenic transformation are currently unknown. Here, we showed that homodimeric NUP98-RARG not only acquired unique nuclear localization pattern and ability of recruiting both RXRA and wild-type NUP98, but also exhibited similar transcriptional properties as RARA fusions found in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Using murine bone marrow retroviral transduction/transformation assay, we further demonstrated that NUP98-RARG fusion protein had gained transformation ability of primary hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, which was critically dependent on the C-terminal GLFG domain of NUP98 and the DNA binding domain (DBD) of RARG. In contrast to other NUP98 fusions, cells transformed by the NUP98-RARG fusion were extremely sensitive to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) treatment. Interestingly, while pan-RXR agonists, SR11237 and LGD1069 could specifically inhibit NUP98-RARG transformed cells, mutation of the RXR interaction domain in NUP98-RARG had little effect on its transformation, revealing that therapeutic functions of rexinoid can be independent of the direct biochemical interaction between RXR and the fusion. Together, these results indicate that deregulation of the retinoid/rexinoid signaling pathway has a major role and may represent a potential therapeutic target for NUP98-RARG-mediated transformation.

Bainbridge MN, Armstrong GN, Gramatges MM, et al.
Germline mutations in shelterin complex genes are associated with familial glioma.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(1):384 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
Gliomas are the most common brain tumor, with several histological subtypes of various malignancy grade. The genetic contribution to familial glioma is not well understood. Using whole exome sequencing of 90 individuals from 55 families, we identified two families with mutations in POT1 (p.G95C, p.E450X), a member of the telomere shelterin complex, shared by both affected individuals in each family and predicted to impact DNA binding and TPP1 binding, respectively. Validation in a separate cohort of 264 individuals from 246 families identified an additional mutation in POT1 (p.D617Efs), also predicted to disrupt TPP1 binding. All families with POT1 mutations had affected members with oligodendroglioma, a specific subtype of glioma more sensitive to irradiation. These findings are important for understanding the origin of glioma and could have importance for the future diagnostics and treatment of glioma.

Kurtova AV, Xiao J, Mo Q, et al.
Blocking PGE2-induced tumour repopulation abrogates bladder cancer chemoresistance.
Nature. 2015; 517(7533):209-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/01/2016 Related Publications
Cytotoxic chemotherapy is effective in debulking tumour masses initially; however, in some patients tumours become progressively unresponsive after multiple treatment cycles. Previous studies have demonstrated that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are selectively enriched after chemotherapy through enhanced survival. Here we reveal a new mechanism by which bladder CSCs actively contribute to therapeutic resistance via an unexpected proliferative response to repopulate residual tumours between chemotherapy cycles, using human bladder cancer xenografts. Further analyses demonstrate the recruitment of a quiescent label-retaining pool of CSCs into cell division in response to chemotherapy-induced damages, similar to mobilization of normal stem cells during wound repair. While chemotherapy effectively induces apoptosis, associated prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release paradoxically promotes neighbouring CSC repopulation. This repopulation can be abrogated by a PGE2-neutralizing antibody and celecoxib drug-mediated blockade of PGE2 signalling. In vivo administration of the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitor celecoxib effectively abolishes a PGE2- and COX2-mediated wound response gene signature, and attenuates progressive manifestation of chemoresistance in xenograft tumours, including primary xenografts derived from a patient who was resistant to chemotherapy. Collectively, these findings uncover a new underlying mechanism that models the progressive development of clinical chemoresistance, and implicate an adjunctive therapy to enhance chemotherapeutic response of bladder urothelial carcinomas by abrogating early tumour repopulation.

Karlin KL, Mondal G, Hartman JK, et al.
The oncogenic STP axis promotes triple-negative breast cancer via degradation of the REST tumor suppressor.
Cell Rep. 2014; 9(4):1318-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Defining the molecular networks that drive breast cancer has led to therapeutic interventions and improved patient survival. However, the aggressive triple-negative breast cancer subtype (TNBC) remains recalcitrant to targeted therapies because its molecular etiology is poorly defined. In this study, we used a forward genetic screen to discover an oncogenic network driving human TNBC. SCYL1, TEX14, and PLK1 ("STP axis") cooperatively trigger degradation of the REST tumor suppressor protein, a frequent event in human TNBC. The STP axis induces REST degradation by phosphorylating a conserved REST phospho-degron and bridging REST interaction with the ubiquitin-ligase βTRCP. Inhibition of the STP axis leads to increased REST protein levels and impairs TNBC transformation, tumor progression, and metastasis. Expression of the STP axis correlates with low REST protein levels in human TNBCs and poor clinical outcome for TNBC patients. Our findings demonstrate that the STP-REST axis is a molecular driver of human TNBC.

Manchanda R, Loggenberg K, Sanderson S, et al.
Population testing for cancer predisposing BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations in the Ashkenazi-Jewish community: a randomized controlled trial.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(1):379 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Technological advances raise the possibility of systematic population-based genetic testing for cancer-predisposing mutations, but it is uncertain whether benefits outweigh disadvantages. We directly compared the psychological/quality-of-life consequences of such an approach to family history (FH)-based testing.
METHODS: In a randomized controlled trial of BRCA1/2 gene-mutation testing in the Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population, we compared testing all participants in the population screening (PS) arm with testing those fulfilling standard FH-based clinical criteria (FH arm). Following a targeted community campaign, AJ participants older than 18 years were recruited by self-referral after pretest genetic counseling. The effects of BRCA1/2 genetic testing on acceptability, psychological impact, and quality-of-life measures were assessed by random effects regression analysis. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: One thousand, one hundred sixty-eight AJ individuals were counseled, 1042 consented, 1034 were randomly assigned (691 women, 343 men), and 1017 were eligible for analysis. Mean age was 54.3 (SD = 14.66) years. Thirteen BRCA1/2 carriers were identified in the PS arm, nine in the FH arm. Five more carriers were detected among FH-negative FH-arm participants following study completion. There were no statistically significant differences between the FH and PS arms at seven days or three months on measures of anxiety, depression, health anxiety, distress, uncertainty, and quality-of-life. Contrast tests indicated that overall anxiety (P = .0001) and uncertainty (P = .005) associated with genetic testing decreased; positive experience scores increased (P = .0001); quality-of-life and health anxiety did not change with time. Overall, 56% of carriers did not fulfill clinical criteria for genetic testing, and the BRCA1/2 prevalence was 2.45%.
CONCLUSION: Compared with FH-based testing, population-based genetic testing in Ashkenazi Jews doesn't adversely affect short-term psychological/quality-of-life outcomes and may detect 56% additional BRCA carriers.

Addison JB, Koontz C, Fugett JH, et al.
KAP1 promotes proliferation and metastatic progression of breast cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(2):344-55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/01/2016 Related Publications
KAP1 (TRIM28) is a transcriptional regulator in embryonic development that controls stem cell self-renewal, chromatin organization, and the DNA damage response, acting as an essential corepressor for KRAB family zinc finger proteins (KRAB-ZNF). To gain insight into the function of this large gene family, we developed an antibody that recognizes the conserved zinc fingers linker region (ZnFL) in multiple KRAB-ZNF. Here, we report that the expression of many KRAB-ZNF along with active SUMOlyated KAP1 is elevated widely in human breast cancers. KAP1 silencing in breast cancer cells reduced proliferation and inhibited the growth and metastasis of tumor xenografts. Conversely, KAP1 overexpression stimulated cell proliferation and tumor growth. In cells where KAP1 was silenced, we identified multiple downregulated genes linked to tumor progression and metastasis, including EREG/epiregulin, PTGS2/COX2, MMP1, MMP2, and CD44, along with downregulation of multiple KRAB-ZNF proteins. KAP1-dependent stabilization of KRAB-ZNF required direct interactions with KAP1. Together, our results show that KAP1-mediated stimulation of multiple KRAB-ZNF contributes to the growth and metastasis of breast cancer.

Lozier AM, Rich ME, Grawe AP, et al.
Targeting ornithine decarboxylase reverses the LIN28/Let-7 axis and inhibits glycolytic metabolism in neuroblastoma.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(1):196-206 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/01/2016 Related Publications
LIN28 has emerged as an oncogenic driver in a number of cancers, including neuroblastoma (NB). Overexpression of LIN28 correlates with poor outcome in NB, therefore drugs that impact the LIN28/Let-7 pathway could be beneficial in treating NB patients. The LIN28/Let-7 pathway affects many cellular processes including the regulation of cancer stem cells and glycolytic metabolism. Polyamines, regulated by ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) modulate eIF-5A which is a direct regulator of the LIN28/Let-7 axis. We propose that therapy inhibiting ODC will restore balance to the LIN28/Let-7 axis, suppress glycolytic metabolism, and decrease MYCN protein expression in NB. Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) is an inhibitor of ODC in clinical trials for children with NB. In vitro experiments using NB cell lines, BE(2)-C, SMS-KCNR, and CHLA90 show that DFMO treatment reduced LIN28B and MYCN protein levels and increased Let-7 miRNA and decreased neurosphere formation. Glycolytic metabolic activity decreased with DFMO treatment in vivo. Additionally, sensitivity to DFMO treatment correlated with LIN28B overexpression (BE(2)-C>SMS-KCNR>CHLA90). This is the first study to demonstrate that DFMO treatment restores balance to the LIN28/Let-7 axis and inhibits glycolytic metabolism and neurosphere formation in NB and that PET scans may be a meaningful imaging tool to evaluate the therapeutic effects of DFMO treatment.

Avram S, Milac A, Mernea M, et al.
Structure-biological function relationship extended to mitotic arrest-deficient 2-like protein Mad2 native and mutants-new opportunity for genetic disorder control.
Int J Mol Sci. 2014; 15(11):21381-400 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/01/2016 Related Publications
Overexpression of mitotic arrest-deficient proteins Mad1 and Mad2, two components of spindle assembly checkpoint, is a risk factor for chromosomal instability (CIN) and a trigger of many genetic disorders. Mad2 transition from inactive open (O-Mad2) to active closed (C-Mad2) conformations or Mad2 binding to specific partners (cell-division cycle protein 20 (Cdc20) or Mad1) were targets of previous pharmacogenomics studies. Here, Mad2 binding to Cdc20 and the interconversion rate from open to closed Mad2 were predicted and the molecular features with a critical contribution to these processes were determined by extending the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) method to large-size proteins such as Mad2. QSAR models were built based on available published data on 23 Mad2 mutants inducing CIN-related functional changes. The most relevant descriptors identified for predicting Mad2 native and mutants action mechanism and their involvement in genetic disorders are the steric (van der Waals area and solvent accessible area and their subdivided) and energetic van der Waals energy descriptors. The reliability of our QSAR models is indicated by significant values of statistical coefficients: Cross-validated correlation q2 (0.53-0.65) and fitted correlation r2 (0.82-0.90). Moreover, based on established QSAR equations, we rationally design and analyze nine de novo Mad2 mutants as possible promoters of CIN.

Dassouki Z, Sahin U, El Hajj H, et al.
ATL response to arsenic/interferon therapy is triggered by SUMO/PML/RNF4-dependent Tax degradation.
Blood. 2015; 125(3):474-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) Tax transactivator initiates transformation in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), a highly aggressive chemotherapy-resistant malignancy. The arsenic/interferon combination, which triggers degradation of the Tax oncoprotein, selectively induces apoptosis of ATL cell lines and has significant clinical activity in Tax-driven murine ATL or human patients. However, the role of Tax loss in ATL response is disputed, and the molecular mechanisms driving degradation remain elusive. Here we demonstrate that ATL-derived or HTLV-1-transformed cells are dependent on continuous Tax expression, suggesting that Tax degradation underlies clinical responses to the arsenic/interferon combination. The latter enforces promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) nuclear body (NB) formation and partner protein recruitment. In arsenic/interferon-treated HTLV-1 transformed or ATL cells, Tax is recruited onto NBs and undergoes PML-dependent hyper-sumoylation by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)2/3 but not SUMO1, ubiquitination by RNF4, and proteasome-dependent degradation. Thus, the arsenic/interferon combination clears ATL through degradation of its Tax driver, and this regimen could have broader therapeutic value by promoting degradation of other pathogenic sumoylated proteins.

Darwish MH, Farah RA, Farhat GN, et al.
Association of CYP3A4/5 genotypes and expression with the survival of patients with neuroblastoma.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 11(2):1462-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a rare pediatric disease in Lebanon for which poor prognosis remains a major challenge. Genetic polymorphism of genes coding for drug‑metabolizing enzymes may influence the response of a patient to chemotherapy. This study investigates a possible association between CYP3A4/5 polymorphism and expression levels and survival in NB patients. All patients with stage III and IV NB diagnosed between 1993 and 2012 in three major hospitals in Beirut were included (n=27). Demographic information and survival time were obtained from medical records. CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 genotypes and expression levels were determined in archival tumors by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism and quantitative PCR, respectively. Additionally, MYCN amplification was assessed. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to evaluate potential associations, adjusting for MYCN amplification. A statistically significant increase in the risk of mortality was observed in patients with MYCN amplification [hazard ratio (HR) 4.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.14‑14.80]. Patients with CYP3A5 expression levels above the median had a lower risk of mortality (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.21‑1.74) and patients with CYP3A4 expression levels above the median had a higher risk of mortality (HR 2.00, 95% CI 0.67‑5.90). CYP3A5*3/*3 homozygote mutants had a 4.3‑fold increase in the risk of mortality compared with that of homozygote wild‑type or heterozygote mutants (HR 4.30, 95% CI 0.56‑33.30). Carriers of the CYP3A4*1B mutant allele had a 52% lower risk of mortality compared with that of non‑carriers (HR 0.48, 95% CI 0.06‑3.76). Although the results of the present study did not achieve statistical significance, associations were observed, which indicates that CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 may modulate the clinical outcome of NB. Further studies with larger sample sizes are required to characterize the effects of the polymorphism and expression levels of CYP3A4/5 on the survival of patients with NB.

Zhu HC, Qiu T, Dan C, et al.
Blockage of RelB expression by gene silencing enhances the radiosensitivity of androgen‑independent prostate cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 11(2):1167-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Levels of the nuclear factor‑kappa B (NF‑κB) alternative pathway member RelB have been shown to correlate with the effect of radiation therapy in prostate cancer. RelB expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in normal prostate, benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer specimens. RM‑1 cells were pretreated with RelB siRNA prior to radiation therapy, and RelB expression in cytoplasmic and nuclear extracts was detected by real‑time polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. The apoptotic rates of experimental RM‑1 cell groups were assessed by flow cytometry. A clonogenic growth array was used to evaluate the radiosensitivity of RM‑1 cell groups. The NF‑κB family member RelB was expressed at a high level in prostate cancer specimens. Compared with irradiated control cells, RM‑1 cells transfected with RelB siRNA and treated with radiation therapy demonstrated a significant downregulation of RelB expression in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Notably, flow cytometry revealed that pretreatment of RM‑1 cells with RelB siRNA enhanced the apoptotic rate in response to radiation therapy compared with controls. Clonogenic growth assay results revealed enhanced radiosensitivity of RelB siRNA cells at various dosage points compared with control groups. Blockage of the alternative NF‑κB pathway via RelB silencing is a promising approach to enhance the radiosensitivity of prostate cancer.

Pezzolo A, Marimpietri D, Raffaghello L, et al.
Failure of anti tumor-derived endothelial cell immunotherapy depends on augmentation of tumor hypoxia.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(21):10368-81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/01/2016 Related Publications
We have previously demonstrated that Tenascin-C (TNC)(+) human neuroblastoma (NB) cells transdifferentiate into tumor-derived endothelial cells (TDEC), which have been detected both in primary tumors and in tumors formed by human NB cell lines in immunodeficient mice. TDEC are genetically unstable and may favor tumor progression, suggesting that their elimination could reduce tumor growth and dissemination. So far, TDEC have never been targeted by antibody-mediated immunotherapy in any of the tumor models investigated. To address this issue, immunodeficient mice carrying orthotopic NB formed by the HTLA-230 human cell line were treated with TDEC-targeting cytotoxic human (h)CD31, that spares host-derived endothelial cells, or isotype-matched mAbs. hCD31 mAb treatment did not affect survival of NB-bearing mice, but increased significantly hypoxia in tumor microenvironment, where apoptotic and proliferating TDEC coexisted, indicating the occurrence of vascular remodeling. Tumor cells from hCD31 mAb treated mice showed i) up-regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related and vascular mimicry (VM)-related gene expression, ii) expression of endothelial (i.e. CD31 and VE-cadherin) and EMT-associated (i.e. Twist-1, N-cadherin and TNC) immunophenotypic markers, and iii) up-regulation of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1) expression. In vitro experiments with two NB cell lines showed that hypoxia was the common driver of all the above phenomena and that human recombinant HMGB-1 amplified EMT and TDEC trans-differentiation. In conclusion, TDEC targeting with hCD31 mAb increases tumor hypoxia, setting the stage for the occurrence of EMT and of new waves of TDEC trans-differentiation. These adaptive responses to the changes induced by immunotherapy in the tumor microenvironment allow tumor cells to escape from the effects of hCD31 mAb.

Chavali PL, Saini RK, Zhai Q, et al.
TLX activates MMP-2, promotes self-renewal of tumor spheres in neuroblastoma and correlates with poor patient survival.
Cell Death Dis. 2014; 5:e1502 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/01/2016 Related Publications
Nuclear orphan receptor TLX (Drosophila tailless homolog) is essential for the maintenance of neural stem/progenitor cell self-renewal, but its role in neuroblastoma (NB) is not well understood. Here, we show that TLX is essential for the formation of tumor spheres in three different NB cell lines, when grown in neural stem cell media. We demonstrate that the knock down of TLX in IMR-32 cells diminishes its tumor sphere-forming capacity. In tumor spheres, TLX is coexpressed with the neural progenitor markers Nestin, CD133 and Oct-4. In addition, TLX is coexpressed with the migratory neural progenitor markers CD15 and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in xenografts of primary NB cells from patients. Subsequently, we show the effect of TLX on the proliferative, invasive and migratory properties of IMR-32 cells. We attribute this to the recruitment of TLX to both MMP-2 and Oct-4 gene promoters, which resulted in the respective gene activation. In support of our findings, we found that TLX expression was high in NB patient tissues when compared with normal peripheral nervous system tissues. Further, the Kaplan-Meier estimator indicated a negative correlation between TLX expression and survival in 88 NB patients. Therefore, our results point at TLX being a crucial player in progression of NB, by promoting self-renewal of NB tumor-initiating cells and altering their migratory and invasive properties.

Defferrari R, Mazzocco K, Ambros IM, et al.
Influence of segmental chromosome abnormalities on survival in children over the age of 12 months with unresectable localised peripheral neuroblastic tumours without MYCN amplification.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(2):290-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The prognostic impact of segmental chromosome alterations (SCAs) in children older than 1 year, diagnosed with localised unresectable neuroblastoma (NB) without MYCN amplification enrolled in the European Unresectable Neuroblastoma (EUNB) protocol is still to be clarified, while, for other group of patients, the presence of SCAs is associated with poor prognosis.
METHODS: To understand the role of SCAs we performed multilocus/pangenomic analysis of 98 tumour samples from patients enrolled in the EUNB protocol.
RESULTS: Age at diagnosis was categorised into two groups using 18 months as the age cutoff. Significant difference in the presence of SCAs was seen in tumours of patients between 12 and 18 months and over 18 months of age at diagnosis, respectively (P=0.04). A significant correlation (P=0.03) was observed between number of SCAs per tumour and age. Event-free (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated in both age groups, according to both the presence and number of SCAs. In older patients, a poorer survival was associated with the presence of SCAs (EFS=46% vs 75%, P=0.023; OS=66.8% vs 100%, P=0.003). Moreover, OS of older patients inversely correlated with number of SCAs (P=0.002). Finally, SCAs provided additional prognostic information beyond histoprognosis, as their presence was associated with poorer OS in patients over 18 months with unfavourable International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification (INPC) histopathology (P=0.018).
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of SCAs is a negative prognostic marker that impairs outcome of patients over the age of 18 months with localised unresectable NB without MYCN amplification, especially when more than one SCA is present. Moreover, in older patients with unfavourable INPC tumour histoprognosis, the presence of SCAs significantly affects OS.

Ding D, Song T, Jun W, et al.
Decreased expression of the SPOP gene is associated with poor prognosis in glioma.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 46(1):333-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study suggests that speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) may be a tumor suppressor gene and its prognostic value in human glioma. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT‑PCR), western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining were used to examine SPOP expression in glioma tissues and normal brain (NB) tissues. The relationships between the SPOP expression levels, the clinicopathological factors, and patient survival were investigated. The molecular mechanisms of SPOP expression and its effects on cell viability, migration and invasion were also explored by MTT assay, wound-healing assays and Transwell assay. SPOP mRNA and protein levels were downregulated in glioma tissues compared to NB. Immunohistochemical staining results showed low expression in 62.2% (61/98) of glioma samples, while high expression in 75% (9/12) of NB samples, and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.014). In addition, decreased SPOP was associated disease progression in glioma samples, the expression level of SPOP was positively correlated with mean tumor diameter (MTD) (P=0.021) and the status of tumor grade and histological type (WHO I, II, III and IV) (P=0.032) in glioma patients. Additionally, the overall survival of patients with low SPOP expression was significantly worse than that of SPOP-high patients (P=0.001). In vitro overexpression of SPOP markedly inhibited cell viability, migration and invasion in vitro. These findings suggest that SPOP has potential use as novel biomarker of glioma and may serve as an independent predictive factor for prognosis of glioma patients.

Wang J, Gu S, Huang J, et al.
Inhibition of autophagy potentiates the efficacy of Gli inhibitor GANT-61 in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:768 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is often associated with neuroblastoma (NB), a childhood malignancy with varying clinical outcomes due to different molecular characteristics. Inhibition of Hh signaling with small molecule inhibitors, particularly with GANT-61, significantly suppresses NB growth. However, NB with MYCN amplification is less sensitive to GANT-61 than those without MYCN amplification.
METHODS: Autophagic process was examined in two MYCN amplified and two MYCN non-amplified NB cells treated with GANT-61. Subsequently, chemical and genetic approaches were applied with GANT-61 together to evaluate the role of autophagy in GANT-61 induced cell death.
RESULTS: Here we show that GANT-61 enhanced autophagy in MYCN amplified NB cells. Both an autophagic inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and genetic disruption of ATG5 or ATG7 expression suppressed GANT-61 induced autophagy and significantly increased apoptotic cell death, whereas pre-treatment with an apoptotic inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK, rescued GANT-61 induced cell death and had no effect on the autophagic process. In the other hand, GANT-61 barely induced autophagy in MYCN non-amplified NB cells, but overexpression of MYCN in MYCN non-amplified NB cells recapitulated GANT-61 induced autophagy seen in MYCN amplified NB cells, suggesting that the level of GANT-61 induced autophagy in NB cells is related to MYCN expression level in cells.
CONCLUSION: Aberrant Hh signaling activation as an oncogenic driver in NB renders inhibition of Hh signaling an effective measure to suppress NB growth. However, our data suggest that enhanced autophagy concomitant with Hh signaling inhibition acts as a pro-survival factor to maintain cell viability, which reduces GANT-61 efficacy. Besides, MYCN amplification is likely involved in the induction of the pro-survival autophagy. Overall, simultaneous inhibition of both Hh signaling and autophagy could be a better way to treat MYCN amplified NB.

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