P53 is a direct transcriptional target of MYCN in neuroblastoma.
ABSTRACT: MYCN amplification occurs in approximately 25% of neuroblastomas, where it is associated with rapid tumor progression and poor prognosis. MYCN plays a paradoxical role in driving cellular proliferation and inducing apoptosis. Based on observations of nuclear p53 accumulation in neuroblastoma, we hypothesized that MYCN may regulate p53 in this setting. Immunohistochemical analysis of 82 neuroblastoma tumors showed an association of high p53 expression with MYCN expression and amplification. In a panel of 5 MYCN-amplified and 5 nonamplified neuroblastoma cell lines, and also in the Tet21N-regulatable MYCN expression system, we further documented a correlation between the expression of MYCN and p53. In MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines, MYCN knockdown decreased p53 expression. In Tet21N MYCN+ cells, higher levels of p53 transcription, mRNA, and protein were observed relative to Tet21N MYCN- cells. In chromatin immunoprecipitation and reporter gene assays, MYCN bound directly to a Myc E-Box DNA binding motif located close to the transcriptional start site within the p53 promoter, where it could initiate transcription. E-Box mutation decreased MYCN-driven transcriptional activation. Microarray analysis of Tet21N MYCN+/- cells identified several p53-regulated genes that were upregulated in the presence of MYCN, including MDM2 and PUMA, the levels of which were reduced by MYCN knockdown. We concluded that MYCN transcriptionally upregulates p53 in neuroblastoma and uses p53 to mediate a key mechanism of apoptosis.
Project description:MYCN amplification is a major biomarker of poor prognosis, occurring in 25-30% of neuroblastomas. MYCN has contradictory roles in promoting cell growth and sensitizing cells to apoptosis. We have recently shown that p53 is a direct transcriptional target of MYCN in neuroblastoma and that p53-mediated apoptosis may be an important mechanism of MYCN-induced apoptosis. Although p53 mutations are rare in neuroblastoma at diagnosis, the p53/MDM2/p14(ARF) pathway is often inactivated through MDM2 amplification or p14(ARF) inactivation. We hypothesized that reactivation of p53 by inhibition of its negative regulator MDM2, using the MDM2-p53 antagonists Nutlin-3 and MI-63, will result in p53-mediated growth arrest and apoptosis especially in MYCN-amplified cells. Using the SHEP Tet21N MYCN-regulatable system, MYCN(-) cells were more resistant to both Nutlin-3 and MI-63 mediated growth inhibition and apoptosis compared with MYCN(+) cells and siRNA-mediated knockdown of MYCN in four MYCN-amplified cell lines resulted in decreased p53 expression and activation, as well as decreased levels of apoptosis following treatment with MDM2-p53 antagonists. In a panel of 18 neuroblastoma cell lines treated with Nutlin-3 and MI-63, the subset amplified for MYCN had a significantly lower mean GI(50) value (50% growth inhibition) and increased caspase 3/7 activity compared with the non-MYCN-amplified group of cell lines, but p53 mutant cell lines were resistant to the antagonists regardless of MYCN status. We conclude that amplification or overexpression of MYCN sensitizes neuroblastoma cell lines with wild-type p53 to MDM2-p53 antagonists and that these compounds may therefore be particularly effective in treating high-risk MYCN-amplified disease.
Project description:Neuroblastoma is a predominantly p53 wild-type (wt) tumour and MDM2-p53 antagonists offer a novel therapeutic strategy for neuroblastoma patients. RG7388 (Roche) is currently undergoing early phase clinical evaluation in adults. This study assessed the efficacy of RG7388 as a single-agent and in combination with chemotherapies currently used to treat neuroblastoma in a panel of neuroblastoma cell lines. RG7388 GI50 concentrations were determined in 21 p53-wt and mutant neuroblastoma cell lines of varying MYCN, MDM2 and p14(ARF) status, together with MYCN-regulatable Tet21N cells. The primary determinant of response was the presence of wt p53, and overall there was a >200-fold difference in RG7388 GI50 concentrations for p53-wt versus mutant cell lines. Tet21N MYCN+ cells were significantly more sensitive to RG7388 compared with MYCN- cells. Using median-effect analysis in 5 p53-wt neuroblastoma cell lines, selected combinations of RG7388 with cisplatin, doxorubicin, topotecan, temozolomide and busulfan were synergistic. Furthermore, combination treatments led to increased apoptosis, as evident by higher caspase-3/7 activity compared to either agent alone. These data show that RG7388 is highly potent against p53-wt neuroblastoma cells, and strongly supports its further evaluation as a novel therapy for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma and wt p53 to potentially improve survival and/or reduce toxicity.
Project description:To investigate genetic predispositions for MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, we performed a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies totaling 615 MYCN-amplified high-risk neuroblastoma cases and 1869 MYCN-nonamplified non-high-risk neuroblastoma cases as controls using a fixed-effects model with inverse variance weighting. All statistical tests were two-sided. We identified a novel locus at 3p21.31 indexed by the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs80059929 (odds ratio [OR] = 2.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.17 to 4.02, Pmeta = 6.47?×?10-12) associated with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, which was replicated in 127 MYCN-amplified cases and 254 non-high-risk controls (OR?=?2.30, 95% CI?=?1.12 to 4.69, Preplication = .02). To confirm this signal is exclusive to MYCN-amplified tumors, we performed a second meta-analysis comparing 728 MYCN-nonamplified high-risk patients to identical controls. rs80059929 was not statistically significant in MYCN-nonamplified high-risk patients (OR?=?1.24, 95% CI?=?0.90 to 1.71, Pmeta = .19). SNP rs80059929 is within intron 16 in the KIF15 gene. Additionally, the previously reported LMO1 neuroblastoma risk locus was statistically significant only in patients with MYCN-nonamplified high-risk tumors (OR?=?0.63, 95% CI?=?0.53 to 0.75, Pmeta = 1.51?×?10-8; Pmeta = .95). Our results indicate that common genetic variation predisposes to different neuroblastoma genotypes, including the likelihood of somatic MYCN-amplification.
Project description:Although MYCN amplification has been associated with aggressive neuroblastoma, the molecular mechanisms that differentiate low-risk, MYCN-nonamplified neuroblastoma from high-risk, MYCN-amplified disease are largely unknown. Genomic and proteomic studies have been limited in discerning differences in signaling pathways that account for this heterogeneity. N-Linked glycosylation is a common protein modification resulting from the attachment of sugars to protein residues and is important in cell signaling and immune response. Aberrant N-linked glycosylation has been routinely linked to various cancers. In particular, glycomic markers have often proven to be useful in distinguishing cancers from precancerous conditions. Here, we perform a systematic comparison of N-linked glycomic variation between MYCN-nonamplified SY5Y and MYCN-amplified NLF cell lines with the aim of identifying changes in sugar abundance linked to high-risk neuroblastoma. Through a combination of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and bioinformatics analysis, we identified 16 glycans that show a statistically significant change in abundance between NLF and SY5Y samples. Closer examination revealed the preference for larger (in terms of total monosaccharide count) and more sialylated glycan structures in the MYCN-amplified samples in comparison to smaller, nonsialylated glycans that are more dominant in the MYCN-nonamplified samples. These results offer clues for deriving marker candidates for accurate neuroblastoma risk diagnosis.
Project description:Valpha24-invariant natural killer T (NKT) cells are potentially important for antitumor immunity. We and others have previously demonstrated positive associations between NKT cell presence in primary tumors and long-term survival in distinct human cancers. However, the mechanism by which aggressive tumors avoid infiltration with NKT and other T cells remains poorly understood. Here, we report that the v-myc myelocytomatosis viral related oncogene, neuroblastoma derived (MYCN), the hallmark of aggressive neuroblastoma, repressed expression of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1/CC chemokine ligand 2 (MCP-1/CCL2), a chemokine required for NKT cell chemoattraction. MYCN knockdown in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines restored CCL2 production and NKT cell chemoattraction. Unlike other oncogenes, MYCN repressed chemokine expression in a STAT3-independent manner, requiring an E-box element in the CCL2 promoter to mediate transcriptional repression. MYCN overexpression in neuroblastoma xenografts in NOD/SCID mice severely inhibited their ability to attract human NKT cells, T cells, and monocytes. Patients with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma metastatic to bone marrow had 4-fold fewer NKT cells in their bone marrow than did their nonamplified counterparts, indicating that the MYCN-mediated immune escape mechanism, which we believe to be novel, is operative in metastatic cancer and should be considered in tumor immunobiology and for the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Project description:The MYC oncogenes and p53 have opposing yet interrelated roles in normal development and tumorigenesis. How MYCN expression alters the biology and clinical responsiveness of pediatric neuroblastoma remains poorly defined. Neuroblastoma is p53 wild type at diagnosis and repression of p53 signaling is required for tumorigenesis. Here, we tested the hypothesis that MYCN amplification alters p53 transcriptional activity in neuroblastoma. Interestingly, we found that MYCN directly binds to the tetrameric form of p53 at its C-terminal domain, and this interaction is independent of MYCN/MAX heterodimer formation. Chromatin analysis of MYCN and p53 targets reveals dramatic changes in binding, as well as co-localization of the MYCN-p53 complex at p53-REs and E-boxes of genes critical to DNA damage responses and cell cycle progression. RNA sequencing studies show that MYCN-p53 co-localization significantly modulated the expression of p53 target genes. Furthermore, MYCN-p53 interaction leads to regulation of alternative p53 targets not regulated in the presence of low MYCN levels. These novel targets include a number of genes involved in lipid metabolism, DNA repair, and apoptosis. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a novel oncogenic role of MYCN as a transcriptional co-regulator of p53 in high-risk MYCN amplified neuroblastoma. Targeting this novel oncogenic function of MYCN may enhance p53-mediated responses and sensitize MYCN amplified tumors to chemotherapy.
Project description:The MYCN oncogene is the major negative prognostic marker in neuroblastoma with important roles in both the pathogenesis and clinical behavior of this aggressive malignancy. MYC oncogenes activate both proliferative and apoptotic cellular pathways and, accordingly, inhibition of p53-mediated apoptosis is a prerequisite for MYC-driven tumorigenesis. To identify novel transcriptional targets mediating the MYCN-dependent phenotype, we screened a MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell line by using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) cloning. We identified the essential p53 inhibitor and protooncogene MDM2 as a putative target. MDM2 has multiple p53-independent functions modulating cell cycle and transcriptional events. Standard ChIP with MYCN antibodies established the binding of MYCN to a consensus E-box within the human MDM2 promoter. Oligonucleotide pull-down assays further established the capacity of MYCN to bind to this promoter region, confirming the ChIP results. Luciferase reporter assays confirmed the E-box-specific, MYCN-dependent regulation of the MDM2 promoter in MYCN-inducible neuroblastoma cell lines. Real-time quantitative PCR and Western blot analysis demonstrated a rapid increase in endogenous MDM2 mRNA and MDM2 protein upon induction of MYCN. Targeted inhibition of MYCN in a MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell line resulted in decreased MDM2 expression levels with concomitant stabilization of p53 and induction of apoptosis. Our finding that MYCN directly modulates baseline MDM2 levels suggests a mechanism contributing to the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma and other MYC-driven malignancies through inhibition of MYC-stimulated apoptosis.
Project description:MYCN amplification occurs in about 20-25% of human neuroblastomas and characterizes the majority of the high-risk cases, which display less than 50% prolonged survival rate despite intense multimodal treatment. Somehow paradoxically, MYCN also sensitizes neuroblastoma cells to apoptosis, understanding the molecular mechanisms of which might be relevant for the therapy of MYCN amplified neuroblastoma. We recently reported that the apoptosis-sensitive phenotype induced by MYCN is linked to stabilization of p53 and its proapoptotic kinase HIPK2. In MYCN primed neuroblastoma cells, further activation of both HIPK2 and p53 by Nutlin-3 leads to massive apoptosis in vitro and to tumor shrinkage and impairment of metastasis in xenograft models. Here we report that Galectin-3 impairs MYCN-primed and HIPK2-p53-dependent apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells. Galectin-3 is broadly expressed in human neuroblastoma cell lines and tumors and is repressed by MYCN to induce the apoptosis-sensitive phenotype. Despite its reduced levels, Galectin-3 can still exert residual antiapoptotic effects in MYCN amplified neuroblastoma cells, possibly due to its specific subcellular localization. Importantly, Nutlin-3 represses Galectin-3 expression, and this is required for its potent cell killing effect on MYCN amplified cell lines. Our data further characterize the apoptosis-sensitive phenotype induced by MYCN, expand our understanding of the activity of MDM2-p53 antagonists and highlight Galectin-3 as a potential biomarker for the tailored p53 reactivation therapy in patients with high-risk neuroblastomas.
Project description:Two genes have a synthetically lethal relationship when the silencing or inhibiting of 1 gene is only lethal in the context of a mutation or activation of the second gene. This situation offers an attractive therapeutic strategy, as inhibition of such a gene will only trigger cell death in tumor cells with an activated second oncogene but spare normal cells without activation of the second oncogene. Here we present evidence that CDK2 is synthetically lethal to neuroblastoma cells with MYCN amplification and over-expression. Neuroblastomas are childhood tumors with an often lethal outcome. Twenty percent of the tumors have MYCN amplification, and these tumors are ultimately refractory to any therapy. Targeted silencing of CDK2 by 3 RNA interference techniques induced apoptosis in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines, but not in MYCN single copy cells. Silencing of MYCN abrogated this apoptotic response in MYCN-amplified cells. Inversely, silencing of CDK2 in MYCN single copy cells did not trigger apoptosis, unless a MYCN transgene was activated. The MYCN induced apoptosis after CDK2 silencing was accompanied by nuclear stabilization of P53, and mRNA profiling showed up-regulation of P53 target genes. Silencing of P53 rescued the cells from MYCN-driven apoptosis. The synthetic lethality of CDK2 silencing in MYCN activated neuroblastoma cells can also be triggered by inhibition of CDK2 with a small molecule drug. Treatment of neuroblastoma cells with roscovitine, a CDK inhibitor, at clinically achievable concentrations induced MYCN-dependent apoptosis. The synthetically lethal relationship between CDK2 and MYCN indicates CDK2 inhibitors as potential MYCN-selective cancer therapeutics.
Project description:MRE11 is a component of the MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 (MRN) complex, whose activity is essential to control faithful DNA replication and to prevent accumulation of deleterious DNA double-strand breaks. In humans, hypomorphic mutations in these genes lead to DNA damage response (DDR)-defective and cancer-prone syndromes. Moreover, MRN complex dysfunction dramatically affects the nervous system, where MRE11 is required to restrain MYCN-dependent replication stress, during the rapid expansion of progenitor cells. MYCN activation, often due to genetic amplification, represents the driving oncogenic event for a number of human tumors, conferring bad prognosis and predicting very poor responses even to the most aggressive therapeutic protocols. This is prototypically exemplified by neuroblastoma, where MYCN amplification occurs in about 25% of the cases. Intriguingly, MRE11 is highly expressed and predicts bad prognosis in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma. Due to the lack of direct means to target MYCN, we explored the possibility to trigger intolerable levels of replication stress-dependent DNA damage, by inhibiting MRE11 in MYCN-amplified preclinical models. Indeed, either MRE11 knockdown or its pharmacological inhibitor mirin induce accumulation of replication stress and DNA damage biomarkers in MYCN-amplified cells. The consequent DDR recruits p53 and promotes a p53-dependent cell death, as indicated by p53 loss- and gain-of-function experiments. Encapsulation of mirin in nanoparticles allowed its use on MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma xenografts in vivo, which resulted in a sharp impairment of tumor growth, associated with DDR activation, p53 accumulation, and cell death. Therefore, we propose that MRE11 inhibition might be an effective strategy to treat MYCN-amplified and p53 wild-type neuroblastoma, and suggest that targeting replication stress with appropriate tools should be further exploited to tackle MYCN-driven tumors.