CDK4 inhibition restores G(1)-S arrest in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells in the context of doxorubicin-induced DNA damage.
ABSTRACT: Relapse with drug-resistant disease is the main cause of death in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma patients. MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells in vitro are characterized by a failure to arrest at the G(1)-S checkpoint after irradiation- or drug-induced DNA damage. We show that several MYCN-amplified cell lines harbor additional chromosomal aberrations targeting p53 and/or pRB pathway components, including CDK4/CCND1/MDM2 amplifications, p16INK4A/p14ARF deletions or TP53 mutations. Cells with these additional aberrations undergo significantly lower levels of cell death after doxorubicin treatment compared with MYCN-amplified cells, with no additional mutations in these pathways. In MYCN-amplified cells CDK4 expression is elevated, increasing the competition between CDK4 and CDK2 for binding p21. This results in insufficient p21 to inhibit CDK2, leading to high CDK4 and CDK2 kinase activity upon doxorubicin treatment. CDK4 inhibition by siRNAs, selective small compounds or p19(INK4D) overexpression partly restored G(1)-S arrest, delayed S-phase progression and reduced cell viability upon doxorubicin treatment. Our results suggest a specific function of p19(INK4D), but not p16(INK4A), in sensitizing MYCN-amplified cells with a functional p53 pathway to doxorubicin-induced cell death. In summary, the CDK4/cyclin D-pRB axis is altered in MYCN-amplified cells to evade a G(1)-S arrest after doxorubicin-induced DNA damage. Additional chromosomal aberrations affecting the p53-p21 and CDK4-pRB axes compound the effects of MYCN on the G(1) checkpoint and reduce sensitivity to cell death after doxorubicin treatment. CDK4 inhibition partly restores G(1)-S arrest and sensitizes cells to doxorubicin-mediated cell death in MYCN-amplified cells with an intact p53 pathway.
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:Chemotherapeutic agents have been the mainstay of cancer therapy for years. However, their effectiveness has been limited by toxicities they impart on normal cells. Staurosporine (ST) has been shown to arrest normal, but not breast cancer, cells in G1. Therefore, ST may become a chemoprotective agent, arresting normal cells while allowing tumor cells to enter cell cycle phases where they are sensitive to chemotherapeutic agents. Understanding the mechanism of ST-mediated G1 arrest may allow for a beneficial chemoprotective treatment strategy for patients. We utilized 76NE6 (pRb+/p53-), 76NF2V (pRb+/p53+) and 76NE7 (pRb-/P53+) non-tumorigenic human mammary epithelial cell lines to understand the role of the Rb and p53 pathways in ST-directed G1 arrest. CDK4 was downregulated by ST in Rb+ cells, but its presence could not reverse the arrest, neither did its stable downregulation alter ST-mediated cellular response. ST-mediated G1 arrest required pRb, which in turn initiated a cascade of events leading to inhibition of CDK4. Further assessment of this pathway revealed that Chk1 expression and activity were required for the Rb-dependent arrest. For example, pRb+ cells with small interfering RNA to Chk1 had approximately 60% less cells in G1 phase compared with controls and pRb- cells do not arrest upon ST. Furthermore, Chk1 expression facilitates the release of the Rb+ cells from G1 arrest. Collectively, our data suggest that pRb cooperates with Chk1 to mediate a G1 arrest only in pRb+ cells. The elucidation of this pathway can help identify novel agents to protect cancer patients against the debilitating effects of chemotherapy.
Project description:Cellular senescence, the stable cell cycle arrest elicited by various forms of stress, is an important facet of tumor suppression. Although much is known about the key players in the implementation of senescence, including the pRb and p53 axes and the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p16(INK4a) and p21(CIP1), many details remain unresolved. In studying conditional senescence in human fibroblasts that express a temperature sensitive SV40 large T-antigen (T-Ag), we uncovered an unexpected role for CDK4. At the permissive temperature, where pRb and p53 are functionally compromised by T-Ag, cyclin D-CDK4 complexes are disrupted by the high p16(INK4a) levels and reduced expression of p21(CIP1). In cells arrested at the non-permissive temperature, p21(CIP1) promotes reassembly of cyclin D-CDK4 yet pRb is in a hypo-phosphorylated state, consistent with cell cycle arrest. In exploring whether the reassembled cyclin D-CDK4-p21 complexes are functional, we found that shRNA-mediated knockdown or chemical inhibition of CDK4 prevented the increase in cell size associated with the senescent phenotype by allowing the cells to arrest in G1 rather than G2/M. The data point to a role for CDK4 kinase activity in a G2 checkpoint that contributes to senescence.
Project description:The undruggable nature of oncogenic Myc transcription factors poses a therapeutic challenge in neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer in which MYCN amplification is strongly associated with unfavorable outcome. Here, we show that CYC065 (fadraciclib), a clinical inhibitor of CDK9 and CDK2, selectively targeted MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma via multiple mechanisms. CDK9 - a component of the transcription elongation complex P-TEFb - bound to the MYCN-amplicon superenhancer, and its inhibition resulted in selective loss of nascent MYCN transcription. MYCN loss led to growth arrest, sensitizing cells for apoptosis following CDK2 inhibition. In MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, MYCN invaded active enhancers, driving a transcriptionally encoded adrenergic gene expression program that was selectively reversed by CYC065. MYCN overexpression in mesenchymal neuroblastoma was sufficient to induce adrenergic identity and sensitize cells to CYC065. CYC065, used together with temozolomide, a reference therapy for relapsed neuroblastoma, caused long-term suppression of neuroblastoma growth in vivo, highlighting the clinical potential of CDK9/2 inhibition in the treatment of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
Project description:Replicative senescence of human diploid fibroblasts (HDFs) is largely implemented by the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors p16(INK4a) and p21(CIP1). Their accumulation results in a loss of CDK2 activity, and cells arrest with the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in its hypophosphorylated state. It has become standard practice to bypass the effects of p16(INK4a) by overexpressing CDK4 or a variant form that is unable to bind to INK4 proteins. Although CDK4 and CDK6 and their INK4-insensitive variants can extend the life span of HDFs, they also cause a substantial increase in the levels of endogenous p16(INK4a). Here we show that CDK4 and CDK6 can extend the life span of HDFs that have inactivating mutations in both alleles of INK4a or in which INK4a levels are repressed, indicating that overexpression of CDK4/6 is not equivalent to ablation of p16(INK4a). However, catalytically inactive versions of these kinases are unable to extend the replicative life span, suggesting that the impact of ectopic CDK4/6 depends on their ability to phosphorylate as yet unidentified substrates rather than to sequester CDK inhibitors. Since p16(INK4a) deficiency, CDK4 expression, and p53 or p21(CIP1) ablation have additive effects on replicative life span, our results underscore the idea that senescence is an integrated response to diverse signals.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly aggressive tumor of the central nervous system with a dismal prognosis for affected patients. Aberrant protein kinase C (PKC) signaling has been implicated in gliomagenesis, and a member of the PKC-activated protein kinase D (PRKD) family, PRKD2, was identified as mediator of GBM growth in vitro and in vivo.The outcome of PRKD2 silencing and pharmacological inhibition on glioma cell proliferation was established with different glioma cell lines. Western blotting, senescence assays, co-immunoprecipitation, fluorescence activated cell sorting, quantitative PCR, and immunofluorescence microscopy were utilized to analyze downstream signaling.RNA-interference (21-mer siRNA) and pharmacological inhibition (CRT0066101) of PRKD2 profoundly inhibited proliferation of p53(wt) (U87MG, A172, and primary GBM2), and p53(mut) (GM133, T98G, U251, and primary Gli25) glioma cells. In a xenograft experiment, PRKD2 silencing significantly delayed tumor growth of U87MG cells. PRKD2 silencing in p53(wt) and p53(mut) cells was associated with typical hallmarks of senescence and cell cycle arrest in G1. Attenuated AKT/PKB phosphorylation in response to PRKD2 silencing was a common observation made in p53(wt) and p53(mut) GBM cells. PRKD2 knockdown in p53(wt) cells induced upregulation of p53, p21, and p27 expression, decreased phosphorylation of CDK2 and/or CDK4, hypophosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (pRb), and reduced transcription of E2F1. In p53(mut) GM133 and primary Gli25 cells, PRKD2 silencing increased p27 and p15 and reduced E2F1 transcription but did not affect pRb phosphorylation.PRKD2 silencing induces glioma cell senescence via p53-dependent and -independent pathways.
Project description:Estrogens are required for the proliferation of hormone dependent breast cancer cells, making estrogen receptor (ER) positive tumors amenable to endocrine therapies such as antiestrogens. However, resistance to these agents remains a significant cause of treatment failure. We previously demonstrated that inactivation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) family tumor suppressors causes antiestrogen resistance in MCF-7 cells, a widely studied model of estrogen responsive human breast cancers. In this study, we investigate the mechanism by which pRb inactivation leads to antiestrogen resistance. Cdk4 and cdk2 are two key cell cycle regulators that can phosphorylate and inactivate pRb, therefore we tested whether these kinases are required in cells lacking pRb function. pRb family members were inactivated in MCF-7 cells by expressing polyomavirus large tumor antigen (PyLT), and cdk activity was inhibited using the cdk inhibitors p16(INK4A) and p21(Waf1/Cip1). Cdk4 activity was no longer required in cells lacking functional pRb, while cdk2 activity was required for proliferation in both the presence and absence of pRb function. Using inducible PyLT cell lines, we further demonstrated that pRb inactivation leads to increased cyclin A expression, cdk2 activation and proliferation in antiestrogen arrested cells. These results demonstrate that antiestrogens do not inhibit cdk2 activity or proliferation of MCF-7 cells in the absence of pRb family function, and suggest that antiestrogen resistant breast cancer cells resulting from pRb pathway inactivation would be susceptible to therapies that target cdk2.
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:Mammalian cell division is thought to be driven by sequential activation of several Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk), mainly Cdk4, Cdk6, Cdk2 and Cdk1. Since mice lacking Cdk4, Cdk6 or Cdk2 are viable, it has been proposed that they play compensatory roles. We report here that mice lacking Cdk4 and Cdk2 complete embryonic development to die shortly thereafter presumably due to heart failure. However, conditional ablation of Cdk2 in adult mice lacking Cdk4 does not result in obvious abnormalities. Moreover, these double mutant mice recover normally after partial hepatectomy. In culture, Cdk4(-/-);Cdk2(-/-) embryonic fibroblasts become immortal, display robust pRb phosphorylation and have normal S phase kinetics. These observations indicate that Cdk4 and Cdk2 are dispensable for the mammalian cell cycle and for adult homeostasis.
Project description:Two genes have a synthetic lethal relationship when silencing or inhibition of one 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 synthetic lethal to neuroblastoma cells with MYCN amplification and overexpression. 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 three 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 synthetic lethal relation between CDK2 and MYCN indicates CDK2 inhibitors as potential MYCN-selective cancer therapeutics. CDK2 shRNA in a tet repressor system was stably transfected in the IMR32 cell line. Time course analysis was performed in triplicate after induction of CDK2 shRNA at 5 time points.