Neuroblastoma - Molecular Biology


Neuroblastoma tumour cells are characterised by a wide diversity of somatic genetic mutations. Some common genetic features include:
  • Amplification of the MYCN gene is one of the most established genetic prognostic factors. Amplified tumours are mostly (though not exclusively) found in children aged over 1 year at diagnosis with advanced stage disease . Other genes, such as DDX1 are often co-amplified with MYCN.
  • Deletion of material from the chromosome 1p36 region is also associated with adverse prognosis. This is thought to be a candidate region for a suppressor gene which has yet to be identified.
  • Gain of 17q material is the most frequent genetic abnormality in neuroblastoma. Unbalanced 17q gain is an adverse prognostic factor and is strongly associated with adverse clinical features, 1p deletion, and MYCN amplification.
  • Expression of TRKA in contrast is a favourable genetic feature. This is associated with low stage and age under 1 yrear at diagnosis. TRKA is frequently supressed in MYCN amplified Tumours. Other members of the TRK neurotrophine receptor gene family, TRKB and TRKC, are also implicated in neuroblastoma.
See also: Familial Neuroblastoma and Genetic Susceptibility.

See also: Neuroblastoma - clinical resources (21)

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 29 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Mutated Genes and Abnormal Protein Expression (106)

How to use this data tableClicking on the Gene or Topic will take you to a separate more detailed page. Sort this list by clicking on a column heading e.g. 'Gene' or 'Topic'.

MYCN 2p24.3 NMYC, ODED, MODED, N-myc, bHLHe37 Amplification
-MYCN amplification in Neuroblastoma
-ABCC1 (MRP1) Overexpression in Neuroblastoma
CASP8 2q33-q34 CAP4, MACH, MCH5, FLICE, ALPS2B, Casp-8 Methylation
-CASP8 Inactivation in Neuroblastoma
ALK 2p23 CD246, NBLST3 -ALK and Neuroblastoma
-ALK mutations in Familial Neuroblastoma
PHOX2B 4p13 PMX2B, NBLST2, NBPhox -PHOX2B germline mutations in familial neuroblastoma
-PHOX2B and Neuroblastoma
-PHOX2B and Monitoring of Residual Disease
BIRC5 17q25.3 API4, EPR-1 Overexpression
-Survivin Expression in Neuroblastoma
CD44 11p13 IN, LHR, MC56, MDU2, MDU3, MIC4, Pgp1, CDW44, CSPG8, HCELL, HUTCH-I, ECMR-III -CD44 and Neuroblastoma
NTRK3 15q25.3 TRKC, GP145-TrkC, gp145(trkC) Prognostic
-NTRK3 expression in Neuroblastoma
TP53 17p13.1 P53, BCC7, LFS1, TRP53 -P53 and Neuroblastoma
ID2 2p25 GIG8, ID2A, ID2H, bHLHb26 -ID2 Expression in Neuroblastoma
BDNF 11p14.1 ANON2, BULN2 -BDNF and Neuroblastoma
NRAS 1p13.2 NS6, CMNS, NCMS, ALPS4, N-ras, NRAS1 -NRAS and Neuroblastoma
DDX1 2p24 DBP-RB, UKVH5d Amplification
-DDX1 Amplification in Neuroblastoma
ATRX Xq21.1 JMS, XH2, XNP, MRX52, RAD54, RAD54L, ZNF-HX -ATRX and Neuroblastoma
NTRK1 1q23.1 MTC, TRK, TRK1, TRKA, Trk-A, p140-TrkA Prognostic
-NTRK1 expression in Neuroblastoma
REST 4q12 WT6, XBR, NRSF -REST and Neuroblastoma
NME1 17q21.33 NB, AWD, NBS, GAAD, NDKA, NM23, NDPKA, NDPK-A, NM23-H1 -NME1 and Neuroblastoma
CASP9 1p36.21 MCH6, APAF3, APAF-3, PPP1R56, ICE-LAP6 -CASP9 and Neuroblastoma
VEGFA 6p21.1 VPF, VEGF, MVCD1 -VEGFA Expression in Neuroblastoma
PTER 10p13 HPHRP, RPR-1 -PTER and Neuroblastoma
NGFR 17q21.33 CD271, p75NTR, TNFRSF16, p75(NTR), Gp80-LNGFR -NGFR and Neuroblastoma
CHD5 1p36.31 CHD-5 -CHD5 and Neuroblastoma
ASCL1 12q23.2 ASH1, HASH1, MASH1, bHLHa46 -ASCL1 and Neuroblastoma
KIF1B 1p36.22 KLP, CMT2, CMT2A, CMT2A1, HMSNII, NBLST1 -KIF1B and Neuroblastoma
FGF2 4q28.1 BFGF, FGFB, FGF-2, HBGF-2 -FGF2 and Neuroblastoma
PRKN 6q26 PDJ, AR-JP, LPRS2, PARK2 -PARK2 and Neuroblastoma
MAX 14q23.3 bHLHd4 -MAX and Neuroblastoma
TOP1 20q12 TOPI -TOP1 and Neuroblastoma
IGF1R 15q26.3 IGFR, CD221, IGFIR, JTK13 -IGF1R Expression in Neuroblastoma
EFNB2 13q33.3 HTKL, EPLG5, Htk-L, LERK5 -EFNB2 expression in Neuroblastoma
ABCC1 16p13.11 MRP, ABCC, GS-X, MRP1, ABC29 Overexpression
-ABCC1 (MRP1) Overexpression in Neuroblastoma
BARD1 2q35 -BARD1 polymorphisms in Neuroblastoma
LIN28B 6q16.3-q21 CSDD2 GWS
-LIN28B and Neuroblastoma
VIP 6q25.2 PHM27 -VIP and Neuroblastoma
MAGEA1 Xq28 CT1.1, MAGE1 -MAGEA1 and Neuroblastoma
MAGEA3 Xq28 HIP8, HYPD, CT1.3, MAGE3, MAGEA6 -MAGEA3 and Neuroblastoma
LMO1 11p15.4 TTG1, RBTN1, RHOM1 -LMO1 and Neuroblastoma
EPHB6 7q34 HEP -EPHB6 and Neuroblastoma
VEGFC 4q34.3 VRP, Flt4-L, LMPH1D -VEGFC Expression in Neuroblastoma
NTRK2 9q21.33 TRKB, trk-B, GP145-TrkB Prognostic
-NTRK2 expression in Neuroblastoma
TGFA 2p13 TFGA -TGFA Expression in Neuroblastoma
TP73 1p36.32 P73 -TP73 and Neuroblastoma
TNFRSF10D 8p21.3 DCR2, CD264, TRUNDD, TRAILR4, TRAIL-R4 -TNFRSF10D and Neuroblastoma
NME2 17q21.33 PUF, NDKB, NDPKB, NM23B, NDPK-B, NM23-H2 -NME2 and Neuroblastoma
CAMTA1 1p36.31-p36.23 CANPMR -CAMTA1 and Neuroblastoma
BCHE 3q26.1-q26.2 E1, CHE1, CHE2 -BCHE and Neuroblastoma
EFNB3 17p13.1 EFL6, EPLG8, LERK8 -EFNB3 Expression in Neuroblastoma
BIN1 2q14 AMPH2, AMPHL, SH3P9 -Reduced BIN1 expression in MYCN amplified Neuroblastoma
DLK1 14q32.2 DLK, FA1, ZOG, pG2, DLK-1, PREF1, Delta1, Pref-1 -DLK1 and Neuroblastoma
NBL1 1p36.13 NB, DAN, NO3, DAND1, D1S1733E -NBL1 and Neuroblastoma
SOD1 21q22.11 ALS, SOD, ALS1, IPOA, hSod1, HEL-S-44, homodimer -SOD1 and Neuroblastoma
CDK5 7q36.1 LIS7, PSSALRE -CDK5 and Neuroblastoma
CHGA 14q32.12 CGA -CHGA and Neuroblastoma
EPHB2 1p36.12 DRT, EK5, ERK, CAPB, Hek5, PCBC, EPHT3, Tyro5, BDPLT22 -EPHB2 Expression in Neuroblastoma
ENO1 1p36.23 NNE, PPH, MPB1, ENO1L1, HEL-S-17 -ENO1 and Neuroblastoma
PIK3CD 1p36.22 APDS, PI3K, IMD14, p110D, P110DELTA -PIK3CD and Neuroblastoma
ZMYND10 3p21.31 BLU, FLU, CILD22 -ZMYND10 and Neuroblastoma
RBL2 16q12.2 Rb2, P130 -RBL2 and Neuroblastoma Differentiation
CNTF 11q12.1 HCNTF -CNTF and Neuroblastoma
VEGFB 11q13.1 VRF, VEGFL -VEGFB Expression in Neuroblastoma
MIR107 10q23.31 MIRN107, miR-107 -MicroRNA mir-107 and Neuroblastoma
LMO4 1p22.3 -LMO4 and Neuroblastoma
HOXC6 12q13.13 CP25, HOX3, HOX3C, HHO.C8 -HOXC6 and Neuroblastoma
SSTR2 17q25.1 -SSTR2 and Neuroblastoma
MAPKAPK2 1q32.1 MK2, MK-2, MAPKAP-K2 -MAPKAPK2 and Neuroblastoma
ODC1 2p25 ODC -ODC1 and Neuroblastoma
TNFRSF10C 8p21.3 LIT, DCR1, TRID, CD263, TRAILR3, TRAIL-R3, DCR1-TNFR -TNFRSF10C and Neuroblastoma
MIF 22q11.23 GIF, GLIF, MMIF -MIF and Neuroblastoma
CDK9 9q34.11 TAK, C-2k, CTK1, CDC2L4, PITALRE -CDK9 and Neuroblastoma
EXTL1 1p36.11 EXTL -EXTL1 and Neuroblastoma
CD81 11p15.5 S5.7, CVID6, TAPA1, TSPAN28 -CD81 and Neuroblastoma
P2RX7 12q24 P2X7 -P2RX7 and Neuroblastoma
TERC 3q26.2 TR, hTR, TRC3, DKCA1, PFBMFT2, SCARNA19 -TERC Expression in Neuroblastoma
CDK7 5q13.2 CAK, CAK1, HCAK, MO15, STK1, CDKN7, p39MO15 -CDK7 and Neuroblastoma
MYCL 1p34.2 LMYC, L-Myc, MYCL1, bHLHe38 -MYCL and Neuroblastoma
PDGFA 7p22.3 PDGF1, PDGF-A -PDGFA and Neuroblastoma
CASP2 7q34 ICH1, NEDD2, CASP-2, NEDD-2, PPP1R57 -CASP2 and Neuroblastoma
TNFRSF25 1p36.31 DR3, TR3, DDR3, LARD, APO-3, TRAMP, WSL-1, GEF720, WSL-LR, PLEKHG5, TNFRSF12 -TNFRSF25 and Neuroblastoma
RASSF5 1q32.1 RAPL, Maxp1, NORE1, NORE1A, NORE1B, RASSF3 Methylation
-RASSF5 methylation in neuroblastoma
-HACE1 and Neuroblastoma
TFAP2B 6p12.3 PDA2, AP-2B, AP2-B -TFAP2B and Neuroblastoma
GAS7 17p13.1 -GAS7 and Neuroblastoma
GAGE1 Xp11.23 CT4.1, CT4.4, GAGE4, GAGE-1, GAGE-4 -GAGE1 and Neuroblastoma
LGI1 10q23.33 EPT, ETL1, ADLTE, ADPAEF, ADPEAF, IB1099, EPITEMPIN -LGI1 and Neuroblastoma
MCF2 Xq27.1 DBL, ARHGEF21 -MCF2 and Neuroblastoma
RASSF7 11p15.5 HRC1, HRAS1, C11orf13 Methylation
-RASSF7 methylation in neuroblastoma
NEFL 8p21.2 NFL, NF-L, NF68, CMT1F, CMT2E, PPP1R110 -NEFL and Neuroblastoma
CD276 15q24.1 B7H3, B7-H3, B7RP-2, 4Ig-B7-H3 -CD276 and Neuroblastoma
POU2F2 19q13.2 OCT2, OTF2, Oct-2 -POU2F2 and Neuroblastoma
SCFV 14 -SCFV and Neuroblastoma
LRRN2 1q32.1 GAC1, LRRN5, LRANK1, FIGLER7 -LRRN2 and Neuroblastoma
RASSF6 4q13.3 Methylation
-RASSF6 methylation in neuroblastoma
ANGPT2 8p23.1 ANG2, AGPT2 -ANGPT2 Expression in Neuroblastoma
MIRLET7E 19q13.41 LET7E, let-7e, MIRNLET7E, hsa-let-7e -MicroRNA let-7e and Neuroblastoma
SRGAP3 3p25.3 WRP, MEGAP, SRGAP2, ARHGAP14 -SRGAP3 and Neuroblastoma
EPAS1 2p21-p16 HLF, MOP2, ECYT4, HIF2A, PASD2, bHLHe73 -EPAS1 and Neuroblastoma
SEPT7 7p14.2 CDC3, CDC10, SEPT7A, NBLA02942 -SEPT7 Expression in Neuroblastoma
HOXD11 2q31.1 HOX4, HOX4F -HOXD11 and Neuroblastoma
IL24 1q32.1 C49A, FISP, MDA7, MOB5, ST16, IL10B -IL24 and Neuroblastoma
CDK12 17q12 CRK7, CRKR, CRKRS -CDK12 and Neuroblastoma
CCKBR 11p15.4 GASR, CCK-B, CCK2R -CCKBR and Neuroblastoma
SSTR1 14q21.1 SS1R, SS1-R, SRIF-2, SS-1-R -SSTR1 Expression in Neuroblastoma
PNN 14q21.1 DRS, DRSP, SDK3, memA -PNN and Neuroblastoma
E2F3 6p22.3 E2F-3 -E2F3 and Neuroblastoma
PAFAH1B2 11q23.3 HEL-S-303 -PAFAH1B2 and Neuroblastoma
CHAT 10q11.23 CMS6, CMS1A, CMS1A2, CHOACTASE -CHAT and Neuroblastoma
MYBL2 20q13.12 BMYB, B-MYB Prognostic
-MYBL2 and Neuroblastoma

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

Latest Publications

Bishayee K, Habib K, Sadra A, Huh SO
Targeting the Difficult-to-Drug CD71 and MYCN with Gambogic Acid and Vorinostat in a Class of Neuroblastomas.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2019; 53(1):258-280 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Although neuroblastoma is a heterogeneous cancer, a substantial portion overexpresses CD71 (transferrin receptor 1) and MYCN. This study provides a mechanistically driven rationale for a combination therapy targeting neuroblastomas that doubly overexpress or have amplified CD71 and MYCN. For this subset, CD71 was targeted by its natural ligand, gambogic acid (GA), and MYCN was targeted with an HDAC inhibitor, vorinostat. A combination of GA and vorinostat was then tested for efficacy in cancer and non-cancer cells.
METHODS: Microarray analysis of cohorts of neuroblastoma patients indicated a subset of neuroblastomas overexpressing both CD71 and MYCN. The viability with proliferation changes were measured by MTT and colony formation assays in neuroblastoma cells. Transfection with CD71 or MYCN along with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blotting were used to detect expression changes. For pathway analysis, gene ontology (GO) and Protein-protein interaction analyses were performed to evaluate the potential mechanisms of GA and vorinostat in treated cells.
RESULTS: For both GA and vorinostat, their pathways were explored for specificity and dependence on their targets for efficacy. For GA-treated cells, the viability/proliferation loss due to GA was dependent on the expression of CD71 and involved activation of caspase-3 and degradation of EGFR. It relied on the JNK-IRE1-mTORC1 pathway. The drug vorinostat also reduced cell viability/proliferation in the treated cells and this was dependent on the presence of MYCN as MYCN siRNA transfection led to a blunting of vorinostat efficacy and conversely, MYCN overexpression improved the vorinostat potency in those cells. Vorinostat inhibition of MYCN led to an increase of the pro-apoptotic miR183 levels and this, in turn, reduced the viability/proliferation of these cells. The combination treatment with GA and vorinostat synergistically reduced cell survival in the MYCN and CD71 overexpressing tumor cells. The same treatment had no effect or minimal effect on HEK293 and HEF cells used as models of non-cancer cells.
CONCLUSION: A combination therapy with GA and vorinostat may be suitable for MYCN and CD71 overexpressing neuroblastomas.

Schmittgen TD
Exosomal miRNA Cargo as Mediator of Immune Escape Mechanisms in Neuroblastoma.
Cancer Res. 2019; 79(7):1293-1294 [PubMed] Related Publications
Both natural killer (NK) cells and exosomes released from these cells induce tumor cell cytotoxicity by way of the cell killing proteins perforin and granzyme. TGFβ1 protein in the tumor microenvironment generates an immune escape mechanism rendering NK cells inactive. The tumor-suppressive miR-186 that is downregulated in neuroblastoma and in TGFβ-treated NK cells represses oncogenic proteins in neuroblastoma (MYCN and AURKA) and components of the TGFβ pathway. Restoration of miR-186 levels in neuroblastoma through NK cell-derived exosomes or by nanoparticle delivery reduces tumor burden, promotes survival, and restores the cell-killing abilities of NK cells, demonstrating the therapeutic potential of tumor-suppressive miRNAs in neuroblastoma.

Li W, Cao J, Liu J, et al.
Downregulation of CDKL1 suppresses neuroblastoma cell proliferation, migration and invasion.
Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2019; 24:19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Cyclin-dependent kinase-like 1 (CDKL1) is a member of the cell division control protein 2-related serine-threonine protein kinase family. It is known to occur in various malignant tumors, but its role in neuroblastoma (NB) remains unclear.
Methods: We constructed a CDKL1-silenced NB cell strain (SH-SY5Y) and used real-time PCR and western blotting to confirm the silencing. Functional analyses were performed using the MTT, colony-formation, FACS, wound-healing and transwell invasion assays.
Results: The expression of CDKL1 was significantly upregulated in NB tissue as compared to the adjacent normal tissue. CDKL1 knockdown significantly suppressed cell viability and colony formation ability. It also induced cell cycle G0/G1 phase arrest and apoptosis, and suppressed the migration and invasion ability of SH-SY5Y cells. CDKL1 knockdown decreased the CDK4, cyclin D1 and vimentin expression levels, and increased the caspase-3, PARP and E-cadherin expression levels in SH-SY5Y cells.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that CDKL1 plays an important role in NB cell proliferation, migration and invasion. It might serve as a potential target for NB therapy.

Bountali A, Tonge DP, Mourtada-Maarabouni M
RNA sequencing reveals a key role for the long non-coding RNA MIAT in regulating neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell fate.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2019; 130:878-891 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myocardial Infarction Associated Transcript (MIAT) is a subnuclear lncRNA that interferes with alternative splicing and is associated with increased risk of various heart conditions and nervous system tumours. The current study aims to elucidate the role of MIAT in cell survival, apoptosis and migration in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma multiforme. To this end, MIAT was silenced by MIAT-specific siRNAs in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines, and RNA sequencing together with a series of functional assays were performed. The RNA sequencing has revealed that the expression of an outstanding number of genes is altered, including genes involved in cancer-related processes, such as cell growth and survival, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and migration. Furthermore, the functional studies have confirmed the RNA sequencing leads, with our key findings suggesting that MIAT knockdown eliminates long-term survival and migration and increases basal apoptosis in neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines. Taken together with the recent demonstration of the involvement of MIAT in glioblastoma, our observations suggest that MIAT could possess tumour-promoting properties, thereby acting as an oncogene, and has the potential to be used as a reliable biomarker for neuroblastoma and glioblastoma and be employed for prognostic, predictive and, potentially, therapeutic purposes for these cancers.

Cimmino F, Avitabile M, Lasorsa VA, et al.
HIF-1 transcription activity: HIF1A driven response in normoxia and in hypoxia.
BMC Med Genet. 2019; 20(1):37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HIF1A (Hypoxia-Inducible-Factor 1A) expression in solid tumors is relevant to establish resistance to therapeutic approaches. The use of compounds direct against hypoxia signaling and HIF1A does not show clinical efficiency because of changeable oxygen concentrations in solid tumor areas. The identification of HIF1A targets expressed in both normoxia and hypoxia and of HIF1A/hypoxia signatures might meliorate the prognostic stratification and therapeutic successes in patients with high-risk solid tumors.
METHODS: In this study, we conducted a combined analysis of RNA expression and DNA methylation of neuroblastoma cells silenced or unsilenced for HIF1A expression, grown in normoxia and hypoxia conditions.
RESULTS: The analysis of pathways highlights HIF-1 (heterodimeric transcription factor 1) activity in normoxia in metabolic process and HIF-1 activity in hypoxia in neuronal differentiation process. HIF1A driven transcriptional response in hypoxia depends on epigenetic control at DNA methylation status of gene regulatory regions. Furthermore, low oxygen levels generate HIF1A-dependent or HIF1A-independent signatures, able to stratify patients according to risk categories.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings may help to understand the molecular mechanisms by which low oxygen levels reshape gene signatures and provide new direction for hypoxia targeting in solid tumor.

Cariati F, Borrillo F, Shankar V, et al.
Dissecting Intra-Tumor Heterogeneity by the Analysis of Copy Number Variations in Single Cells: The Neuroblastoma Case Study.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(4) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumors often show intra-tumor heterogeneity because of genotypic differences between all the cells that compose it and that derive from it. Recent studies have shown significant aspects of neuroblastoma heterogeneity that may affect the diagnostic-therapeutic strategy. Therefore, we developed a laboratory protocol, based on the combination of the advanced dielectrophoresis-based array technology and next-generation sequencing to identify and sort single cells individually and carry out their copy number variants analysis. The aim was to evaluate the cellular heterogeneity, avoiding overestimation or underestimation errors, due to a bulk analysis of the sample. We tested the above-mentioned protocol on two neuroblastoma cell lines, SK-N-BE(2)-C and IMR-32. The presence of several gain or loss chromosomal regions, in both cell lines, shows a high heterogeneity of the copy number variants status of the single tumor cells, even if they belong to an immortalized cell line. This finding confirms that each cell can potentially accumulate different alterations that can modulate its behavior. The laboratory protocol proposed herein provides a tool able to identify prevalent behaviors, and at the same time highlights the presence of particular clusters that deviate from them. Finally, it could be applicable to many other types of cancer.

Soriano A, Masanas M, Boloix A, et al.
Functional high-throughput screening reveals miR-323a-5p and miR-342-5p as new tumor-suppressive microRNA for neuroblastoma.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019; 76(11):2231-2243 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Current therapies for most non-infectious diseases are directed at or affect functionality of the human translated genome, barely 2% of all genetic information. By contrast, the therapeutic potential of targeting the transcriptome, ~ 70% of the genome, remains largely unexplored. RNA therapeutics is an emerging field that widens the range of druggable targets and includes elements such as microRNA. Here, we sought to screen for microRNA with tumor-suppressive functions in neuroblastoma, an aggressive pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system that requires the development of new therapies. We found miR-323a-5p and miR-342-5p to be capable of reducing cell proliferation in multiple neuroblastoma cell lines in vitro and in vivo, thereby providing a proof of concept for miRNA-based therapies for neuroblastoma. Furthermore, the combined inhibition of the direct identified targets such as CCND1, CHAF1A, INCENP and BCL-XL could reveal new vulnerabilities of high-risk neuroblastoma.

Lee MW, Kim DS, Kim HR, et al.
Inhibition of N-myc expression sensitizes human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells expressing caspase-8 to TRAIL.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12577 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to explore the roles of N-myc and caspase-8 in TRAIL-resistant IMR-32 cells which exhibit MYCN oncogene amplification and lack caspase-8 expression.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We established N-myc-downregulated IMR-32 cells using shRNA lentiviral particles targeting N-myc and examined the effect the N-myc inhibition on TRAIL susceptibility in human neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells expressing caspase-8.
RESULTS: Cisplatin treatment in IMR-32 cells increased the expression of death receptor 5 (DR5; TRAIL-R2), but not other receptors, via downregulation of NF-κB activity. However, the cisplatin-mediated increase in DR5 failed to induce cell death following TRAIL treatment. Furthermore, interferon (IFN)-γ pretreatment increased caspase-8 expression in IMR-32 cells, but cisplatin failed to trigger TRAIL cytotoxicity. We downregulated N-myc expression in IMR-32 cells using N-myc-targeting shRNA. These cells showed decreased growth rate and Bcl-2 expression accompanied by a mild collapse in the mitochondrial membrane potential as compared with those treated with scrambled shRNA. TRAIL treatment in N-myc-negative cells expressing caspase-8 following IFN-γ treatment significantly triggered apoptotic cell death. Concurrent treatment with cisplatin enhanced TRAIL-mediated cytotoxicity, which was abrogated by an additional pretreatment with DR5:Fc chimera protein.
CONCLUSIONS: N-myc and caspase-8 expressions are involved in TRAIL susceptibility in IMR-32 cells, and the combination of treatment with cisplatin and TRAIL may serve as a promising strategy for the development of therapeutics against neuroblastoma that is controlled by N-myc and caspase-8 expression.

Cheng X, Xu Q, Zhang Y, et al.
miR-34a inhibits progression of neuroblastoma by targeting autophagy-related gene 5.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2019; 850:53-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a common pediatric malignancy with high mortality in childhood. Although many attentions have been gained, novel biomarkers for NB diagnosis and prognosis are still needed. microRNAs (miRNAs) played important roles in NB progression and miR-34a is a tumor suppressor in NB. However, the mechanism that underlies miR-34a regulating proliferation, migration, invasion and autophagy in NB remains poorly understood. In this study, cell proliferation was investigated by MTT and colony assay. Cell apoptosis was measured by caspase 3 activity assay. Cell migration and invasion were detected by trans-well analysis. Autophagy was measured via GFP-LC3 puncta fluorescence assay and western blots (WB). The expression of miR-34a was examined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The regulatory effect of miR-34a on autophagy-related gene 5 (ATG5) was detected by qRT-PCR and WB. The interaction between miR-34a and ATG5 was probed by luciferase activity and RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay. Results showed that miR-34a expression was inhibited in NB tissues and cells with low survival rate. Addition of miR-34a suppressed cell proliferation, migration, invasion and autophagy but promoted apoptosis in NB cells, whereas miR-34a deficiency played opposite roles in NB progression. Intriguingly, ATG5 was directly targeted by miR-34a. Moreover, ATG5 restoration attenuated miR-34a-mediated inhibitory effect on proliferation, apoptosis, migration, invasion and autophagy. These results indicated miR-34a suppressed proliferation, apoptosis, migration, invasion and autophagy in NB cells by targeting ATG5, providing a novel therapeutic avenue for NB treatment.

Baali I, Acar DAE, Aderinwale TW, et al.
Predicting clinical outcomes in neuroblastoma with genomic data integration.
Biol Direct. 2018; 13(1):20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroblastoma is a heterogeneous disease with diverse clinical outcomes. Current risk group models require improvement as patients within the same risk group can still show variable prognosis. Recently collected genome-wide datasets provide opportunities to infer neuroblastoma subtypes in a more unified way. Within this context, data integration is critical as different molecular characteristics can contain complementary signals. To this end, we utilized the genomic datasets available for the SEQC cohort patients to develop supervised and unsupervised models that can predict disease prognosis.
RESULTS: Our supervised model trained on the SEQC cohort can accurately predict overall survival and event-free survival profiles of patients in two independent cohorts. We also performed extensive experiments to assess the prediction accuracy of high risk patients and patients without MYCN amplification. Our results from this part suggest that clinical endpoints can be predicted accurately across multiple cohorts. To explore the data in an unsupervised manner, we used an integrative clustering strategy named multi-view kernel k-means (MVKKM) that can effectively integrate multiple high-dimensional datasets with varying weights. We observed that integrating different gene expression datasets results in a better patient stratification compared to using these datasets individually. Also, our identified subgroups provide a better Cox regression model fit compared to the existing risk group definitions.
CONCLUSION: Altogether, our results indicate that integration of multiple genomic characterizations enables the discovery of subtypes that improve over existing definitions of risk groups. Effective prediction of survival times will have a direct impact on choosing the right therapies for patients.
REVIEWERS: This article was reviewed by Susmita Datta, Wenzhong Xiao and Ziv Shkedy.

Monferrer E, Burgos-Panadero R, Blanquer-Maceiras M, et al.
High Oct4 expression: implications in the pathogenesis of neuroblastic tumours.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroblastic tumours (NBTs) are paediatric solid tumours derived from embryonic neural crest cells which harbour their own cancer stem cells (CSC). There is evidence indicating that CSC may be responsible for tumour progression, chemotherapy resistance and recurrence in NBTs. Oct4 is a transcription factor which plays a key role in mammal embryonic development and stem cell fate regulation. The aim of the study is to elucidate the clinical significance of Oct4 in NBTs.
METHODS: We studied Oct4 expression in 563 primary NBTs using digital image quantification. Chi-square test was applied to analyse the correlation between histopathology and the Oct4
RESULTS: We found that tumours with a high proportion of cells expressing Oct4 correlated statistically with undifferentiated and poorly differentiated neuroblastoma / nodular ganglioneuroblastoma, and that Oct4 expression was not present in ganglioneuroma (p < 0.05). Statistical analysis also indicated a relationship between high Oct4 expression levels, high-risk patients according to the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group pre-treatment classification parameters, larger blood vessels and low survival rates.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the Oct4 gene may regulate NBT pathogenic differentiation pathways, and should thus be considered as a target for knockdown when developing novel therapies for high-risk NBT patients.

Marin Navarro A, Day K, Kogner P, et al.
Generation of induced pluripotent stem cell lines from two Neuroblastoma patients carrying a germline ALK R1275Q mutation.
Stem Cell Res. 2019; 34:101356 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NB) is an embryonic tumor of the peripheral nervous system and one of the most common solid cancers in infants. Mutations in the Anaplastic lymphoma tyrosine kinase (ALK) gene are common in NB. To study the contribution of ALK mutations in NB initiation and progression, we reprogrammed fibroblasts from two related NB patients carrying germline mutations in ALK (R1275Q) using non-integrating Sendai virus. The iPS cells are grown in a feeder- and xeno-free conditions, have normal karyotype, retain the ALK R1275Q mutation, have been characterized by expression of pluripotency markers and differentiation to all three germ layers.

Hald ØH, Olsen L, Gallo-Oller G, et al.
Inhibitors of ribosome biogenesis repress the growth of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(15):2800-2813 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Abnormal increases in nucleolar size and number caused by dysregulation of ribosome biogenesis has emerged as a hallmark in the majority of spontaneous cancers. The observed ribosome hyperactivity can be directly induced by the MYC transcription factors controlling the expression of RNA and protein components of the ribosome. Neuroblastoma, a highly malignant childhood tumor of the sympathetic nervous system, is frequently characterized by MYCN gene amplification and high expression of MYCN and c-MYC signature genes. Here, we show a strong correlation between high-risk disease, MYCN expression, poor survival, and ribosome biogenesis in neuroblastoma patients. Treatment of neuroblastoma cells with quarfloxin or CX-5461, two small molecule inhibitors of RNA polymerase I, suppressed MycN expression, induced DNA damage, and activated p53 followed by cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. CX-5461 repressed the growth of established MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma xenograft tumors in nude mice. These findings suggest that inhibition of ribosome biogenesis represent new therapeutic opportunities for children with high-risk neuroblastomas expressing high levels of Myc.

Claeys S, Denecker G, Durinck K, et al.
ALK positively regulates MYCN activity through repression of HBP1 expression.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(15):2690-2705 [PubMed] Related Publications
ALK mutations occur in 10% of primary neuroblastomas and represent a major target for precision treatment. In combination with MYCN amplification, ALK mutations infer an ultra-high-risk phenotype resulting in very poor patient prognosis. To open up opportunities for future precision drugging, a deeper understanding of the molecular consequences of constitutive ALK signaling and its relationship to MYCN activity in this aggressive pediatric tumor entity will be essential. We show that mutant ALK downregulates the 'HMG-box transcription factor 1' (HBP1) through the PI

Aygun N, Altungoz O
MYCN is amplified during S phase, and c‑myb is involved in controlling MYCN expression and amplification in MYCN‑amplified neuroblastoma cell lines.
Mol Med Rep. 2019; 19(1):345-361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma derived from primitive sympathetic neural precursors is a common type of solid tumor in infants. MYCN proto‑oncogene bHLH transcription factor (MYCN) amplification and 1p36 deletion are important factors associated with the poor prognosis of neuroblastoma. Expression levels of MYCN and c‑MYB proto‑oncogene transcription factor (c‑myb) decline during the differentiation of neuroblastoma cells; E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) activates the MYCN promoter. However, the underlying mechanism of MYCN overexpression and amplification requires further investigation. In the present study, potential c‑Myb target genes, and the effect of c‑myb RNA interference (RNAi) on MYCN expression and amplification were investigated in MYCN‑amplified neuroblastoma cell lines. The mRNA expression levels and MYCN gene copy number in five neuroblastoma cell lines were determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. In addition, variations in potential target gene expression and MYCN gene copy number between pre‑ and post‑c‑myb RNAi treatment groups in MYCN‑amplified Kelly, IMR32, SIMA and MHH‑NB‑11 cell lines, normalized to those of non‑MYCN‑amplified SH‑SY5Y, were examined. To determine the associations between gene expression levels and chromosomal aberrations, MYCN amplification and 1p36 alterations in interphases/metaphases were analyzed using fluorescence in situ hybridization. Statistical analyses revealed correlations between 1p36 alterations and the expression of c‑myb, MYB proto‑oncogene like 2 (B‑myb) and cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (p21). Additionally, the results of the present study also demonstrated that c‑myb may be associated with E2F1 and L3MBTL1 histone methyl‑lysine binding protein (L3MBTL1) expression, and that E2F1 may contribute to MYCN, B‑myb, p21 and chromatin licensing and DNA replication factor 1 (hCdt1) expression, but to the repression of geminin (GMNN). On c‑myb RNAi treatment, L3MBTL1 expression was silenced, while GMNN was upregulated, indicating G2/M arrest. In addition, MYCN gene copy number increased following treatment with c‑myb RNAi. Notably, the present study also reported a 43.545% sequence identity between upstream of MYCN and Drosophila melanogaster amplification control element 3, suggesting that expression and/or amplification mechanisms of developmentally‑regulated genes may be evolutionarily conserved. In conclusion, c‑myb may be associated with regulating MYCN expression and amplification. c‑myb, B‑myb and p21 may also serve a role against chromosome 1p aberrations. Together, it was concluded that MYCN gene is amplified during S phase, potentially via a replication‑based mechanism.

Marx M, Zumpe M, Troschke-Meurer S, et al.
Co-expression of IL-15 enhances anti-neuroblastoma effectivity of a tyrosine hydroxylase-directed DNA vaccination in mice.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(11):e0207320 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Long-term survival of high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) patients still remains under 50%. Here, we report the generation, in vitro characterization and anti-tumor effectivity of a new bicistronic xenogenic DNA vaccine encoding tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) that is highly expressed in NB tumors, and the immune stimulating cytokine interleukin 15 (IL-15) that induces cytotoxic but not regulatory T cells. The DNA sequences of TH linked to ubiquitin and of IL-15 were integrated into the bicistronic expression vector pIRES. Successful production and bioactivity of the vaccine-derived IL-15- and TH protein were shown by ELISA, bioactivity assay and western blot analysis. Further, DNA vaccine-driven gene transfer to the antigen presenting cells of Peyer's patches using attenuated Salmonella typhimurium that served as oral delivery system was shown by immunofluorescence analysis. The anti-tumor effect of the generated vaccine was evaluated in a syngeneic mouse model (A/J mice, n = 12) after immunization with S. typhimurium (3× prior and 3× after tumor implantation). Importantly, TH-/IL-15-based DNA vaccination resulted in an enhanced tumor remission in 45.5% of mice compared to controls (TH (16.7%), IL-15 (0%)) and reduced spontaneous metastasis (30.0%) compared to controls (TH (63.6%), IL-15 (70.0%)). Interestingly, similar levels of tumor infiltrating CD8+ T cells were observed among all experimental groups. Finally, co-expression of IL-15 did not result in elevated regulatory T cell levels in tumor environment measured by flow cytometry. In conclusion, co-expression of the stimulatory cytokine IL-15 enhanced the NB-specific anti-tumor effectivity of a TH-directed vaccination in mice and may provide a novel immunological approach for NB patients.

Decaesteker B, Denecker G, Van Neste C, et al.
TBX2 is a neuroblastoma core regulatory circuitry component enhancing MYCN/FOXM1 reactivation of DREAM targets.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):4866 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromosome 17q gains are almost invariably present in high-risk neuroblastoma cases. Here, we perform an integrative epigenomics search for dosage-sensitive transcription factors on 17q marked by H3K27ac defined super-enhancers and identify TBX2 as top candidate gene. We show that TBX2 is a constituent of the recently established core regulatory circuitry in neuroblastoma with features of a cell identity transcription factor, driving proliferation through activation of p21-DREAM repressed FOXM1 target genes. Combined MYCN/TBX2 knockdown enforces cell growth arrest suggesting that TBX2 enhances MYCN sustained activation of FOXM1 targets. Targeting transcriptional addiction by combined CDK7 and BET bromodomain inhibition shows synergistic effects on cell viability with strong repressive effects on CRC gene expression and p53 pathway response as well as several genes implicated in transcriptional regulation. In conclusion, we provide insight into the role of the TBX2 CRC gene in transcriptional dependency of neuroblastoma cells warranting clinical trials using BET and CDK7 inhibitors.

Chen G, Chen W, Ye M, et al.
TRIM59 knockdown inhibits cell proliferation by down-regulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in neuroblastoma.
Biosci Rep. 2019; 39(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is the most common tumor in children, with a very poor prognosis. It is urgent to identify novel biomarkers to treat neuroblastoma, together with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Human tripartite motif 59 (TRIM59), a member of the TRIM family, has been reported to participate in several human tumors. However, the exact role of TRIM59 in neuroblastoma is unknown. In the present study, real-time PCR and Western blot were used to measure mRNA and protein levels of TRIM59 in four neuroblastoma cell lines and in neuroblastoma tissues. Lentiviruses targeting TRIM59 were used to up/down-regulate TRIM59 expression levels. Cell Counting Kit-8 and Annexin-V/PI were used to analyze cell proliferation and apoptosis in neuroblastoma cell lines. Our data showed that TRIM59 knockdown inhibits cell proliferation while inducing apoptosis in SH-SY5Y and SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cell lines. TRIM59 knockdown up-regulated expression of Bax and Bim and down-regulated levels of Survivin, β-catenin, and c-myc. Interestingly, the inhibition of cell proliferation caused by TRIM59 knockdown could be blocked by LiCl, which is an agonist of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In contrast, TRIM59 overexpression could increase cell proliferation, up-regulate Survivin, β-catenin and c-myc, down-regulate Bax and Bim, and these effects could be blocked by XAV939, which is an inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In addition, TRIM59 was up-regulated and positively related with β-catenin in neuroblastoma tissues. In conclusion, TRIM59 was up-regulated in neuroblastoma, and TRIM59 knockdown inhibited cell proliferation by down-regulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in neuroblastoma.

Depuydt P, Koster J, Boeva V, et al.
Meta-mining of copy number profiles of high-risk neuroblastoma tumors.
Sci Data. 2018; 5:180240 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma, a pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system, is predominantly driven by copy number aberrations, which predict survival outcome in global neuroblastoma cohorts and in low-risk cases. For high-risk patients there is still a need for better prognostic biomarkers. Via an international collaboration, we collected copy number profiles of 556 high-risk neuroblastomas generated on different array platforms. This manuscript describes the composition of the dataset, the methods used to process the data, including segmentation and aberration calling, and data validation. t-SNE analysis shows that samples cluster according to MYCN status, and shows a difference between array platforms. 97.3% of samples are characterized by the presence of segmental aberrations, in regions frequently affected in neuroblastoma. Focal aberrations affect genes known to be involved in neuroblastoma, such as ALK and LIN28B. To conclude, we compiled a unique large copy number dataset of high-risk neuroblastoma tumors, available via R2 and a Shiny web application. The availability of patient survival data allows to further investigate the prognostic value of copy number aberrations.

Kudo K, Ueno H, Sato T, et al.
Two siblings with familial neuroblastoma with distinct clinical phenotypes harboring an ALK germline mutation.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2018; 57(12):665-669 [PubMed] Related Publications
The authors report two siblings with familial neuroblastoma with a germline R1275Q mutation of the tyrosine kinase domain of ALK. Whole exome sequencing and copy number variation assay were performed to investigate genetic alterations in the two cases. No common somatic mutations or gene polymorphisms related to the tumorigenesis of neuroblastoma were detected. A distinct pattern involving both segmental chromosomal alteration and MYCN amplification was detected. The diversity of biological behavior of familial neuroblastoma harboring a germline ALK mutation may depend on conventional prognostic factors, such as segmental chromosomal alterations and MYCN amplification, rather than additional acquired mutations.

Liao R, Sun XF, Zhen ZZ, Huang DS
[Expression and significance of programmed cell death ligand-1 in neuroblastoma tissues].
Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2018; 56(10):735-740 [PubMed] Related Publications

Yang T, Zhang Z, Zhang J, et al.
The rs2147578 C > G polymorphism in the Inc-LAMC2-1:1 gene is associated with increased neuroblastoma risk in the Henan children.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):948 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The rs2147578 C > G polymorphism in the long non-coding RNA gene Lnc-LAMC2-1:1 is associated with increased susceptibility to a few types of cancers. However, its role in neuroblastoma has not been evaluated yet.
METHODS: We investigated the association between the lnc-LAMC2-1:1 rs2147578 C > G polymorphism and neuroblastoma susceptibility in Chinese Han populations. A total of 393 neuroblastoma cases and 812 healthy individuals from the Henan and Guangdong provinces were enrolled and subjected to genotyping. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to determine the strength of the association of interest.
RESULTS: Combined analysis revealed that the lnc-LAMC2-1:1 rs2147578 C > G polymorphism was associated with increased neuroblastoma susceptibility (CG vs. CC: adjusted OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.01-1.75, P = 0.045; CG/GG vs. CC: adjusted OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.03-1.74, P = 0.028). In stratification analysis, children under 18 months with rs2147578 CG/GG genotypes had an increased neuroblastoma risk (adjusted OR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.08-2.67, P = 0.022). Females with rs2147578 CG/GG genotypes also had increased neuroblastoma susceptibility (adjusted OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.37-3.18, P = 0.0007). In addition, children with lnc-LAMC2-1:1 rs2147578 CG/GG genotypes were prone to develop earlier stages of neuroblastoma (adjusted OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.01-2.12, P = 0.046).
CONCLUSIONS: The Lnc-LAMC2-1:1 rs2147578 C > G polymorphism may contribute to increased neuroblastoma susceptibility in children of Henan province.

Polewko-Klim A, Lesiński W, Mnich K, et al.
Integration of multiple types of genetic markers for neuroblastoma may contribute to improved prediction of the overall survival.
Biol Direct. 2018; 13(1):17 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Modern experimental techniques deliver data sets containing profiles of tens of thousands of potential molecular and genetic markers that can be used to improve medical diagnostics. Previous studies performed with three different experimental methods for the same set of neuroblastoma patients create opportunity to examine whether augmenting gene expression profiles with information on copy number variation can lead to improved predictions of patients survival. We propose methodology based on comprehensive cross-validation protocol, that includes feature selection within cross-validation loop and classification using machine learning. We also test dependence of results on the feature selection process using four different feature selection methods.
RESULTS: The models utilising features selected based on information entropy are slightly, but significantly, better than those using features obtained with t-test. The synergy between data on genetic variation and gene expression is possible, but not confirmed. A slight, but statistically significant, increase of the predictive power of machine learning models has been observed for models built on combined data sets. It was found while using both out of bag estimate and in cross-validation performed on a single set of variables. However, the improvement was smaller and non-significant when models were built within full cross-validation procedure that included feature selection within cross-validation loop. Good correlation between performance of the models in the internal and external cross-validation was observed, confirming the robustness of the proposed protocol and results.
CONCLUSIONS: We have developed a protocol for building predictive machine learning models. The protocol can provide robust estimates of the model performance on unseen data. It is particularly well-suited for small data sets. We have applied this protocol to develop prognostic models for neuroblastoma, using data on copy number variation and gene expression. We have shown that combining these two sources of information may increase the quality of the models. Nevertheless, the increase is small and larger samples are required to reduce noise and bias arising due to overfitting.
REVIEWERS: This article was reviewed by Lan Hu, Tim Beissbarth and Dimitar Vassilev.

Valind A, Öra I, Mertens F, Gisselsson D
Neuroblastoma with flat genomic profile: a question of representativity?
BMJ Case Rep. 2018; 2018 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma is one of the most common paediatric malignancies. Detection of somatic genetic alterations in this tumour is instrumental for its risk stratification and treatment. On the other hand, an absence of detected chromosomal imbalances in neuroblastoma biopsies is difficult to interpret because it is unclear whether this situation truly reflects the tumour genome or if it is due to suboptimal sampling. We here present a neuroblastoma in the left adrenal of a newborn. The tumour was subjected to single-nucleotide polymorphism array analysis of five tumour regions with >80% tumour cells in histological mirror sections. This revealed no aberrations compared with a normal reference sample from the patient. Whole exome sequencing identified two single-nucleotide variants present in most tumour regions, corroborating that the tumour resulted from monoclonal expansion. Our data provide proof-of-principle that rare cases of neuroblastoma can have a normal whole genome copy number and allelic profile.

Saeki N, Saito A, Sugaya Y, et al.
Indirect Down-regulation of Tumor-suppressive
Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2018 Sep-Oct; 15(5):413-420 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Overall survival for the high-risk group of neuroblastoma (NB) patients still remains at 40-50%, necessitating the establishment of a curable treatment. LIM domain only 1 (LMO1) gene encoding a transcriptional regulator is an NB-susceptibility gene with a tumor-promoting activity. Previously we conducted chromatin immunoprecipitation and DNA sequencing analyses on NB cell lines and identified 3 protein-coding genes regulated by LMO1. In this study, we extended our analyses to capture microRNA genes directly or indirectly regulated by LMO1.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using microarrays, we conducted a comparative gene expression analysis on an NB cell line SK-N-SH; between the cells with and without LMO1 suppression.
RESULTS: Overall, 18 microRNAs were identified to be indirectly down-regulated by LMO1 including 7 microRNAs of the let-7 family, whose cell proliferation inhibitory activity was observed.
CONCLUSION: Target genes of the LMO1-regulated microRNAs and their relevant pathways may be a potential therapeutic target.

Hidalgo MR, Amadoz A, Çubuk C, et al.
Models of cell signaling uncover molecular mechanisms of high-risk neuroblastoma and predict disease outcome.
Biol Direct. 2018; 13(1):16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite the progress in neuroblastoma therapies the mortality of high-risk patients is still high (40-50%) and the molecular basis of the disease remains poorly known. Recently, a mathematical model was used to demonstrate that the network regulating stress signaling by the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway played a crucial role in survival of patients with neuroblastoma irrespective of their MYCN amplification status. This demonstrates the enormous potential of computational models of biological modules for the discovery of underlying molecular mechanisms of diseases.
RESULTS: Since signaling is known to be highly relevant in cancer, we have used a computational model of the whole cell signaling network to understand the molecular determinants of bad prognostic in neuroblastoma. Our model produced a comprehensive view of the molecular mechanisms of neuroblastoma tumorigenesis and progression.
CONCLUSION: We have also shown how the activity of signaling circuits can be considered a reliable model-based prognostic biomarker.
REVIEWERS: This article was reviewed by Tim Beissbarth, Wenzhong Xiao and Joanna Polanska. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

Cimmino F, Avitabile M, Diskin SJ, et al.
Fine mapping of 2q35 high-risk neuroblastoma locus reveals independent functional risk variants and suggests full-length BARD1 as tumor-suppressor.
Int J Cancer. 2018; 143(11):2828-2837 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
A previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified common variation at the BARD1 locus as being highly associated with susceptibility to high-risk neuroblastoma, but the mechanisms underlying this association have been not extensively investigated. Here, we performed a fine mapping analysis of BARD1 locus (2q35) using GWAS data from 556 high-risk neuroblastoma patients and 2,575 controls of European-American ancestry, and identified two independent genome-wide neuroblastoma-associated loci. Functional single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) prioritization identified two causative variants that independently contributed to neuroblastoma risk, and each replicated robustly in multiple independent cohorts comprising 445 high-risk cases and 3,170 controls (rs17489363: combined p = 1.07 × 10

Durbin AD, Zimmerman MW, Dharia NV, et al.
Selective gene dependencies in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma include the core transcriptional regulatory circuitry.
Nat Genet. 2018; 50(9):1240-1246 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2019 Related Publications
Childhood high-risk neuroblastomas with MYCN gene amplification are difficult to treat effectively

Goudie C, Cullinan N, Villani A, et al.
Retrospective evaluation of a decision-support algorithm (MIPOGG) for genetic referrals for children with neuroblastic tumors.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2018; 65(12):e27390 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroblastoma is the most common pediatric extracranial solid tumor. Germline pathogenic variants in ALK and PHOX2B, as well as other cancer predisposition genes, are increasingly implicated in the pathogenesis of neuroblastic tumors. A challenge for clinicians is the identification of children with neuroblastoma who require genetics evaluation for underlying cancer predisposition syndromes (CPS).
PROCEDURE: We developed a decisional algorithm (MIPOGG) to identify which patients with neuroblastic tumors have an increased likelihood of an underlying CPS. This algorithm, comprising 11 Yes/No questions, evaluates features in the tumor, personal and family history that are suggestive of an underlying CPS. We assessed the algorithm's performance in a retrospective cohort.
RESULTS: Two hundred and nine of 278 consecutive patients with neuroblastic tumors at The Hospital for Sick Children (2007-2016) had sufficient clinical data for retrospective application of the decisional algorithm. Fifty-one of 209 patients had been referred to genetics for CPS evaluation; 6/51 had a genetic or clinical confirmation of a CPS. The algorithm correctly identified all six children (Beckwith-Wiedemann (n = 2), Fanconi anemia, RB1, PHOX2B, chromosome duplication involving ALK) as requiring a genetic evaluation by using clinical features present at diagnosis. The level of agreement between the algorithm and physicians was 83.9%, with 15 more patients identified by the algorithm than by physicians as requiring a genetics referral.
CONCLUSIONS: This decisional algorithm appropriately detected all patients who, following genetic evaluation, were confirmed to have a CPS and may improve the detection of CPS in patients with neuroblastic tumors compared with current practice.

Nowak I, Boratyn E, Durbas M, et al.
Exogenous expression of miRNA-3613-3p causes APAF1 downregulation and affects several proteins involved in apoptosis in BE(2)-C human neuroblastoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(4):1787-1799 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non‑coding RNAs involved in post‑transcriptional gene regulation. Furthermore, dysregulation of miRNA expression is an important factor in the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma. Our previous study identified that overexpression of monocyte chemoattractant protein‑induced protein 1 protein led to a significant downregulation of a novel miRNA molecule, miRNA‑3613‑3p. In the present study, the potential involvement of miRNA‑3613‑3p in the cell biology of neuroblastoma was investigated. It was identified that the expression of miRNA‑3613‑3p varies among a range of human neuroblastoma cell lines. As the delineation of the functions of a miRNA requires the identification of its target genes, seven putative mRNAs that may be regulated by miRNA‑3613‑3p were selected. Furthermore, it was identified that overexpression of miRNA‑3613‑3p causes significant downregulation of several genes exhibiting tumor suppressive potential [encoding apoptotic protease‑activating factor 1 (APAF1), Dicer, DNA fragmentation factor subunit β, von Hippel‑Lindau protein and neurofibromin 1] in BE(2)‑C human neuroblastoma cells. APAF1 mRNA was the most significantly decreased transcript in the cells with miRNA‑3613‑3p overexpression. In accordance with the aforementioned results, the downregulation of cleaved caspase-9 and lack of activation of executive caspases in BE(2)‑C cells following miRNA‑3613‑3p overexpression was observed. The results of the present study suggest a potential underlying molecular mechanism of apoptosis inhibition via APAF1 downregulation in human neuroblastoma BE(2)‑C cells with miRNA‑3613‑3p overexpression.

Recurrent Chromosome Abnormalities

Selected list of common recurrent structural abnormalities

This is a highly selective list aiming to capture structural abnormalies which are frequesnt and/or significant in relation to diagnosis, prognosis, and/or characterising specific cancers. For a much more extensive list see the Mitelman Database of Chromosome Aberrations and Gene Fusions in Cancer.

del(1p36) in Neuroblastoma

Enomoto H, Ozaki T, Takahashi E, et al.
Identification of human DAN gene, mapping to the putative neuroblastoma tumor suppressor locus.
Oncogene. 1994; 9(10):2785-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
The expression of DAN gene (previously designated as N03 gene) is significantly reduced in a variety of transformed rat fibroblasts, including v-src- (SR-3Y1), SV40- and v-mos-transformed 3Y1 cells, compared with that in parental 3Y1 cells. Recently, DAN gene has been shown to possess a tumor suppressive activity when it is overexpressed in SR-3Y1 cells (Ozaki & Sakiyama, 1994). To assess the involvement of DAN gene with human neoplasms, we have isolated human DAN counterpart from a normal lung cDNA library by using rat DAN cDNA as a probe, and determined its chromosomal location. Human DAN gene mapped to chromosome 1p36.11-p36.13, which is well known to show highly significant linkage with the genesis and/or progression of human neuroblastoma. Southern blot analysis on tumor DNA from 26 patients with neuroblastoma has detected three patients showing genomic rearrangement or deletion within or closely linked to the DAN gene locus. Collectively, we propose that human DAN gene is a possible candidate for a tumor suppressor gene of human neuroblastoma.

White PS, Maris JM, Beltinger C, et al.
A region of consistent deletion in neuroblastoma maps within human chromosome 1p36.2-36.3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995; 92(12):5520-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deletion of the short arm of human chromosome 1 is the most common cytogenetic abnormality observed in neuroblastoma. To characterize the region of consistent deletion, we performed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) studies on 122 neuroblastoma tumor samples with 30 distal chromosome 1p polymorphisms. LOH was detected in 32 of the 122 tumors (26%). A single region of LOH, marked distally by D1Z2 and proximally by D1S228, was detected in all tumors demonstrating loss. Also, cells from a patient with a constitutional deletion of 1p36, and from a neuroblastoma cell line with a small 1p36 deletion, were analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Cells from both sources had interstitial deletions of 1p36.2-36.3 which overlapped the consensus region of LOH defined by the tumors. Interstitial deletion in the constitutional case was confirmed by allelic loss studies using the panel of polymorphic markers. Four proposed candidate genes--DAN, ID3 (heir-1), CDC2L1 (p58), and TNFR2--were shown to lie outside of the consensus region of allelic loss, as defined by the above deletions. These results more precisely define the location of a neuroblastoma suppressor gene within 1p36.2-36.3, eliminating 33 centimorgans of proximal 1p36 from consideration. Furthermore, a consensus region of loss, which excludes the four leading candidate genes, was found in all tumors with 1p36 LOH.

Spieker N, Beitsma M, van Sluis P, et al.
An integrated 5-Mb physical, genetic, and radiation hybrid map of a 1p36.1 region implicated in neuroblastoma pathogenesis.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2000; 27(2):143-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Common genetic aberrations of neuroblastoma are deletions of the short arm of chromosome 1 (1p36) and MYCN amplification. Our deletion analysis of 25 tumor cell lines and 171 tumors strongly suggests that 1p harbors several tumor suppressor loci. Distinct loci are involved in MYCN single-copy versus MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. Deletions in MYCN single-copy tumors have a shortest region of overlap (SRO) of 20 cM at 1p36.3. MYCN-amplified tumors have large deletions with an SRO of about 60 cM, from 1p36.1 to the telomere. This SRO is defined by D1S7 (1p36.1), which was the most distal locus retained. Therefore, a suppressor gene associated with MYCN-amplified tumors probably maps within a few megabases distal of D1S7. In order to map this locus, we further refined this SRO. We mapped the breakpoint of the MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma with the smallest 1p deletion between 56.6 and 57.2 cM from 1pter. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and radiation hybrid mapping were used to construct a 5-Mb physical map of this region. The map includes the region from 82.73 till 92.89 cR from 1pter. About half of it was isolated in P1 and PAC clones. The region harbors the genes FGR, SLC9A1, HMG17, EXTL1, AML2, RH, OP18, four ESTs, and a newly identified gene with a transcript size of approximately 7 Kb. Several of the mapped genes have a putative role in cell growth, differentiation, and morphogenesis. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 27:143-152, 2000.

Maris JM, Weiss MJ, Guo C, et al.
Loss of heterozygosity at 1p36 independently predicts for disease progression but not decreased overall survival probability in neuroblastoma patients: a Children's Cancer Group study.
J Clin Oncol. 2000; 18(9):1888-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine the independent prognostic significance of 1p36 loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in a representative group of neuroblastoma patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Diagnostic tumor specimens from 238 patients registered onto the most recent Children's Cancer Group phase III clinical trials were assayed for LOH with 13 microsatellite polymorphic markers spanning chromosome band 1p36. Allelic status at 1p36 was correlated with other prognostic variables and disease outcome.
RESULTS: LOH at 1p36 was detected in 83 (35%) of 238 neuroblastomas. There was a correlation of 1p36 LOH with age at diagnosis greater than 1 year (P = .026), metastatic disease (P<.001), elevated serum ferritin level (P<.001), unfavorable histopathology (P<.001), and MYCN oncogene amplification (P<.001). LOH at 1p36 was associated with decreased event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) probabilities (P<.0001). For the 180 cases with single-copy MYCN, 1p36 LOH status was highly correlated with decreased EFS (P = .0002) but not OS (P = .1212). Entering 1p36 LOH into a multivariate regression model suggested a trend toward an independent association with decreased EFS (P = .0558) but not with decreased OS (P = .3687). Furthermore, allelic status at 1p36 was the only prognostic variable that was significantly associated with decreased EFS in low-risk neuroblastoma patients (P = .0148).
CONCLUSION: LOH at 1p36 is independently associated with decreased EFS, but not OS, in neuroblastoma patients. Determination of 1p36 allelic status may be useful for predicting which neuroblastoma patients with otherwise favorable clinical and biologic features are more likely to have disease progression.

del(9p) in Neuroblastoma

Takita J, Hayashi Y, Kohno T, et al.
Deletion map of chromosome 9 and p16 (CDKN2A) gene alterations in neuroblastoma.
Cancer Res. 1997; 57(5):907-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
We reported previously that loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on chromosomes 2q, 9p and 18q frequently occurs in neuroblastoma and that patients with 9p LOH in the tumors showed statistically significant association with an advanced stage of the disease and poor prognosis. To determine the role of chromosome 9 loss in neuroblastoma, we performed deletion mapping of chromosome 9 in 80 cases of neuroblastoma using 11 polymorphic microsatellite markers and a restriction fragment length porymorphism marker. LOH at one or more loci on chromosome 9 was detected in 33 of 80 cases (41%). Chromosome 9p was lost in 24 of 80 cases (32%), whereas chromosome 9q was lost in 18 of 80 cases (23%). There were two commonly deleted regions mapped to 9p21 between the D9S171 marker and the IFNB1 marker and 9q34-qter distal to the D9S176 marker. In addition, patients with LOH at 9p21 but not at 9q34-qter in the tumors showed statistically significant association with poor prognosis (P = 0.023). Because the commonly deleted regions at 9p21 includes the p16 (CDKN2A) gene, the status of the p16 gene was further examined in 80 fresh tumors and 19 cell lines of neuroblastoma. A missense mutation was detected at codon 52 in a fresh tumor. The p16 gene was not expressed in 13 of 19 cell lines (72%), and 5 of the 13 cell lines displayed methylation of the CpG island surrounding the first exon of the p16 gene. These results suggest that the p16 gene is a candidate tumor suppressor gene for neuroblastoma, and its inactivation may contribute to the progression of neuroblastoma.

Marshall B, Isidro G, Martins AG, Boavida MG
Loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 9p21 in primary neuroblastomas: evidence for two deleted regions.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1997; 96(2):134-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The genes responsible for the development of neuroblastoma following in vivo deletion or mutation are largely unknown. We have performed loss of heterozygosity studies on a series of 24 Portuguese primary neuroblastomas using 6 polymorphic markers located at chromosome 9p21 spanning the p16/MTS1/CDKN2, p15/MTS2/CDKN2B, and the interferon alpha and beta genes. Loss of heterozygosity was observed in 4 of the 24 tumors (17%), a somewhat lower percentage than a previous study that identified patients by a mass screening program. A correlation was also observed between 9p21 LOH and 1p36 LOH in our group of tumors. Two distinct regions of 9p21 deletion were observed: one located in the region adjacent to the markers D9S162 and D9S1747 and a second located centromerically of the p16 gene near the D9S171 marker. The latter region is exclusive of the p16 gene. This result suggests the presence of at least one other tumor suppressor gene at 9p21, apart from the p16 and p15 genes, which may be of importance to the development of neuroblastoma.

Gain of Chromosome 17q in Neuroblastoma

Gain of extra 17q material is the most frequent genetic abnormality in neuroblastoma. Unbalanced (partial) gain is associated with 1p deletion and MYCN amplification; in some cases 1p deletion can be caused by t(1;17) translocation.

Brinkschmidt C, Poremba C, Christiansen H, et al.
Comparative genomic hybridization and telomerase activity analysis identify two biologically different groups of 4s neuroblastomas.
Br J Cancer. 1998; 77(12):2223-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromosomal aberrations of 20 stage 4s neuroblastomas were analysed by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). In a subset of 13/20 tumours, telomerase activity was evaluated by the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP). The CGH data were compared with the CGH results of ten stage 1 and 2 (stage 1/2) and 22 stage 3 and 4 (stage 3/4) neuroblastomas. A total of 17/20 stage 4s neuroblastomas did not progress clinically, whereas tumour progression with lethal outcome occurred in 3/20 cases. The CGH data of clinically non-progressing stage 4s tumours revealed a high rate of whole-chromosome aberrations (73.4%) with an overrepresentation of mainly chromosomes 2, 6, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18 and an underrepresentation of mainly chromosomes 3, 4, 11, 14. MYCN amplification or 1p deletion was observed in only 1/27 or 2/17 clinically non-progressing stage 4s tumours respectively, whereas all three progressive stage 4s neuroblastomas showed MYCN amplification, 1p deletion and, in 2/3 cases, distal 17q gains. Except for one case, telomerase activity was not observed in non-progressing stage 4s neuroblastomas. In contrast, 4s tumours with lethal outcome revealed elevated telomerase activity levels. Our data suggest that stage 4s neuroblastomas belong to two biologically different groups, one of which displays the genetic features of localized stage 1/2 tumours, whereas the other mimics advanced stage 3/4 neuroblastomas.

Plantaz D, Mohapatra G, Matthay KK, et al.
Gain of chromosome 17 is the most frequent abnormality detected in neuroblastoma by comparative genomic hybridization.
Am J Pathol. 1997; 150(1):81-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma behavior is variable and outcome partially depends on genetic factors. However, tumors that lack high-risk factors such as MYCN amplification or 1p deletion may progress, possibly due to other genetic aberrations. Comparative genomic hybridization summarizes DNA copy number abnormalities in a tumor by mapping them to their positions on normal metaphase chromosomes. We analyzed 29 tumors from nearly equal proportions of children with stage I, II, III, IV, and IV-S disease by comparative genomic hybridization. We found two classes of copy number abnormalities: whole chromosome and partial chromosome. Whole chromosome losses were frequent at 11, 14, and X. The most frequent partial chromosome losses were on 1p and 11q. Gains were most frequent on chromosome 17 (72% of cases). The two patterns of gain for this chromosome were whole 17 gain and 17q gain, with 17q21-qter as a minimal common region of gain. Other common gains were on chromosomes 7, 6, and 18. High level amplifications were detected at 2p23-25 (MYCN region), at 4q33-35, and at 6p11-22. Chromosome 17q gains were associated with 1p and/or 11q deletions and advanced stage. The high frequency of chromosome 17 gain and its association with bad prognostic factors suggest an important role for this chromosome in the development of neuroblastoma.

Caron H
Allelic loss of chromosome 1 and additional chromosome 17 material are both unfavourable prognostic markers in neuroblastoma.
Med Pediatr Oncol. 1995; 24(4):215-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
In neuroblastoma, N-myc amplification and loss of heterozygosity for the short arm of chromosome 1 (LOH 1p) are common genetic abnormalities. We have recently shown that the presence of additional material of the long arm of chromosome 17 (add.17q) also occurs relatively frequently. In the present study, we analyzed a series of 55 tumors for LOH 1p, N-myc amplification and add.17q, using Southern blot analysis with polymorphic DNA probes of pairs of tumor and constitutional DNA. We determined the correlation of these parameters with clinical variables, such as age, stage, serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and ferritin and also with outcome. LOH 1p occurred in 20 out of 55 cases (36%) and was found more often in stage III/IV tumors and in the older age group, although both correlations were not statistically significant. N-myc amplification was only demonstrated in 12 tumors with concomitant LOH 1p and was not present in the 35 cases without LOH 1p. Add.17q was found in 20/53 (38%) informative cases. LOH 1p was shown to be the most significant predictor of a poor outcome (P < 0.00001), independent of age and stage. LOH 1p is also of prognostic value in those cases without N-myc amplification, indicating a stronger prognostic value for LOH 1p. Add.17q was also associated with an unfavourable prognosis, although this was less significantly then with LOH 1p (P = 0.00004).

Bown N, Cotterill S, Lastowska M, et al.
Gain of chromosome arm 17q and adverse outcome in patients with neuroblastoma.
N Engl J Med. 1999; 340(25):1954-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gain of genetic material from chromosome arm 17q (gain of segment 17q21-qter) is the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality of neuroblastoma cells. This gain has been associated with advanced disease, patients who are > or =1 year old, deletion of chromosome arm 1p, and amplification of the N-myc oncogene, all of which predict an adverse outcome. We investigated these associations and evaluated the prognostic importance of the status of chromosome 17.
METHODS: We compiled molecular cytogenetic analyses of chromosome 17 in primary neuroblastomas in 313 patients at six European centers. Clinical and survival information were collected, along with data on 1p, N-myc, and ploidy.
RESULTS: Unbalanced gain of segment 17q21-qter was found in 53.7 percent of the tumors, whereas the chromosome was normal in 46.3 percent. The gain of 17q was characteristic of advanced tumors and of tumors in children > or =1 year of age and was strongly associated with the deletion of 1p and amplification of N-myc. No tumor showed amplification of N-myc in the absence of either deletion of 1p or gain of 17q. Gain of 17q was a significant predictive factor for adverse outcome in univariate analysis. Among the patients with this abnormality, overall survival at five years was 30.6 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 21 to 40 percent), as compared with 86.0 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 78 to 91 percent) among those with normal 17q status. in multivariate analysis, gain of 17q was the most powerful prognostic factor, followed by the presence of stage 4 disease and deletion of 1p (hazard ratios, 3.4, 2.3, and 1.9, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: Gain of chromosome segment 17q21-qter is an important prognostic factor in children with neuroblastoma.

Abel F, Ejeskär K, Kogner P, Martinsson T
Gain of chromosome arm 17q is associated with unfavourable prognosis in neuroblastoma, but does not involve mutations in the somatostatin receptor 2(SSTR2) gene at 17q24.
Br J Cancer. 1999; 81(8):1402-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Deletion of chromosome arm 1p and amplification of the MYCN oncogene are well-recognized genetic alterations in neuroblastoma cells. Recently, another alteration has been reported; gain of the distal part of chromosome arm 17q. In this study 48 neuroblastoma tumours were successfully analysed for 17q status in relation to known genetic alterations. Chromosome 17 status was detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Thirty-one of the 48 neuroblastomas (65%) showed 17q gain, and this was significantly associated with poor prognosis. As previously reported, 17q gain was significantly associated with metastatic stage 4 neuroblastoma and more frequently detected than both deletion of chromosome arm 1p and MYCN amplification in tumours of all stages. 17q gain also showed a strong correlation to survival probability (P = 0.0009). However, the most significant correlation between 17q gain and survival probability was observed in children with low-stage tumours (stage 1, 2, 3 and 4S), with a survival probability of 100% at 5 years from diagnosis for children with tumours showing no 17q gain compared to 52.5% for those showing 17q gain (P = 0.0021). This suggests that 17q gain as a prognostic factor plays a more crucial role in low-stage tumours. Expression of the somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2), localized in chromosome region 17q24, has in previous studies been shown to be positively related to survival in neuroblastoma. A point mutation in the SSTR2 gene has earlier been reported in a human small-cell lung cancer. In this study, mutation screening of the SSTR2 gene in 43 neuroblastoma tumours was carried out with polymerase chain reaction-based single-stranded conformation polymorphism/heteroduplex (SSCP/HD) and DNA sequencing, and none of the tumours showed any aberrations in the SSTR2 gene. These data suggest that mutations in the SSTR2 gene are uncommon in neuroblastoma tumours and do not correlate with either the 17q gain often seen or the reason some tumours do not express SSTR2 receptors. Overall, this study indicates that gain of chromosome arm 17q is the most frequently occurring genetic alteration, and that it is associated with established prognostic factors.

Godfried MB, Veenstra M, v Sluis P, et al.
The N-myc and c-myc downstream pathways include the chromosome 17q genes nm23-H1 and nm23-H2.
Oncogene. 2002; 21(13):2097-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gain of chromosome 17q material is the most frequent genetic abnormality in neuroblastomas. The common region of gain is at least 375 cR large, which has precluded the identification of genes with a role in neuroblastoma pathogenesis. Neuroblastoma also frequently show amplification of the N-myc oncogene, which correlates closely with 17q gain. Both events are strong predictors of unfavorable prognosis. To identify genes that are part of the N-myc downstream pathway, we constructed SAGE libraries of an N-myc transfected and a control cell line. This identified the chromosome 17q genes nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 as being 6-10 times induced in the N-myc expressing cells. Northern and Western blot analysis confirmed this up-regulation. Time-course experiment shows that both genes are induced within 4 h after N-myc is switched on. Furthermore, we demonstrate also that c-myc can up-regulate nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 expression. Neuroblastoma tumor and cell line panels reveal a striking correlation between N-myc amplification and mRNA and protein expression of both nm23 genes. We show that the nm23 genes are located at the edge of the common region of chromosome 17q gain previously described in neuroblastoma cell lines. Our findings suggest that nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 expression is increased by 17q gain in neuroblastoma and can be further up-regulated by myc overexpression. These observations suggest a major role for nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 in tumorigenesis of unfavorable neuroblastomas.

14q Deletions in Neuroblastoma

Theobald M, Christiansen H, Schmidt A, et al.
Sublocalization of putative tumor suppressor gene loci on chromosome arm 14q in neuroblastoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1999; 26(1):40-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
RFLP and microsatellite analysis with 23 polymorphic markers spanning the entire long arm of chromosome 14 in 108 neuroblastomas showed allelic loss in 19 out of 107 (18%) informative tumors, placing 14q among the most frequently affected chromosomal regions in neuroblastoma. One minimal deletion region could be sublocalized in 17 of 19 cases between markers D14S1 and D14S16, and a second one between markers D14S17 and D14S23 in band 14q32. Furthermore, breakpoints in bands 14q23 and 14q12 were detected. These results suggest the presence of at least two putative tumor suppressor gene loci on chromosome 14. Survival analyses revealed no prognostic impact of allelic loss of 14q in neuroblastoma. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 26:40-46, 1999.

Hoshi M, Otagiri N, Shiwaku HO, et al.
Detailed deletion mapping of chromosome band 14q32 in human neuroblastoma defines a 1.1-Mb region of common allelic loss.
Br J Cancer. 2000; 82(11):1801-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a well-known malignant disease in infants, but its molecular mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. To investigate the genetic contribution of abnormalities on the long arm of chromosome 14 (14q) in NB, we analysed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in 54 primary NB samples using 12 microsatellite markers on 14q32. Seventeen (31%) of 54 tumours showed LOH at one or more of the markers analysed, and the smallest common region of allelic loss was identified between D14S62 and D14S987. This region was estimated to be 1-cM long from the linkage map. Fluorescence in situ hybridization also confirmed the loss. There was no statistical correlation between LOH and any clinicopathologic features, including age, stage, amplification of MYCN and ploidy. We further constructed a contig spanning the lost region using bacterial artificial chromosome and estimated this region to be approximately 1.1-Mb by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Our results will contribute to cloning and characterizing the putative tumour-associated gene(s) in 14q32 in NB.

Thompson PM, Seifried BA, Kyemba SK, et al.
Loss of heterozygosity for chromosome 14q in neuroblastoma.
Med Pediatr Oncol. 2001; 36(1):28-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuroblastoma is a genetically heterogeneous disease, with subsets of tumors demonstrating rearrangements of several genomic regions. Preliminary studies from several groups have identified loss of heterozygosity (LOH) for the long arm of chromosome 14 (14q) in 20-25% of primary neuroblastomas.
PROCEDURE: To determine precisely the frequency and extent of 14q deletions, we performed LOH analysis for a large series of primary neuroblastomas using a panel of 11 highly polymorphic markers.
RESULTS: LOH was detected in 83 of 372 tumors (22%). Although the majority of tumors with allelic loss demonstrated allelic loss for all informative markers, 13 cases showed LOH for only a portion of 14q. A single consensus region of deletion, which was shared by all tumors with 14q LOH, was defined within 14q23-q32 between D14S588 and the 14q telomere. Allelic loss for 14q was strongly correlated with the presence of 11q LOH (P < 0.001 ) and inversely correlated with MYCN amplification (P= 0.04).
CONCLUSIONS: LOH for 14q was evident in all clinical risk groups, indicating that this abnormality may be a universal feature of neuroblastoma tumor development. These findings suggest that a tumor suppressor gene involved in the initiation or progression of neuroblastoma is located within distal 14q.

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