Harmine, a dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase (DYRK) inhibitor induces caspase-mediated apoptosis in neuroblastoma.
ABSTRACT: Background:Neuroblastoma (NB) is an early childhood malignancy that arises from the developing sympathetic nervous system. Harmine is a tricyclic ?-carboline alkaloid isolated from the harmal plant that exhibits both cytostatic and cytotoxic effects. Harmine is capable of blocking the activities of dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase (DYRK) family proteins and mitogen-activated protein kinase. These kinases promote proliferation and inhibit apoptosis. Methods:Four human NB cell lines were used to study the effects of harmine treatment: SKNBE and KELLY (MYCN-amplified) as well as SKNAS and SKNFI (MYCN non-amplified). The anti-cancer properties of harmine were examined by RealTime-Glo MT cell viability assays, caspase activity assays, PARP cleavage using Western blot analysis, and flow cytometry-based Annexin V detection. A molecular interaction model of harmine bound to the DYRK2 family kinase was generated by computational docking using X-ray structures. NB tumors from human patients were profiled for DYRK mRNA expression patterns and clinical correlations using the R2 platform. Results:The IC50 values for harmine after 72 h treatment were 169.6, 170.8, and 791.7 ?M for SKNBE, KELLY, and SKNFI, respectively. Exposure of these NB cell lines to 100 ?M of harmine resulted in caspase-3/7 and caspase-9 activation as well as caspase-mediated PARP cleavage and Annexin V-positive stained cells, as early as 24 h after treatment, clearly suggesting apoptosis induction, especially in MYCN-amplified cell lines. Elevated DYRK2 mRNA levels correlated with poor prognosis in a large cohort of NB tumors. Conclusion:Harmine is a known inhibitor of DYRK family kinases. It can induce apoptosis in NB cell lines, which led us to investigate the clinical correlations of DYRK family gene expression in NB tumors. The patient results support our hypothesis that DYRK inhibition by harmine and the subsequent triggering of caspase-mediated apoptosis might present a novel approach to NB therapy.
Project description:Members of the dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase (DYRKs) subfamily possess a distinctive capacity to phosphorylate tyrosine, serine, and threonine residues. Among the DYRK class II members, DYRK2 is considered a unique protein due to its role in disease. According to the post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications, DYRK2 expression greatly differs among human tissues. Regarding its mechanism of action, this kinase performs direct phosphorylation on its substrates or acts as a priming kinase, enabling subsequent substrate phosphorylation by GSK3?. Moreover, DYRK2 acts as a scaffold for the EDVP E3 ligase complex during the G2/M phase of cell cycle. DYRK2 functions such as cell survival, cell development, cell differentiation, proteasome regulation, and microtubules were studied in complete detail in this review. We have also gathered available information from different bioinformatic resources to show DYRK2 interactome, normal and tumoral tissue expression, and recurrent cancer mutations. Then, here we present an innovative approach to clarify DYRK2 functionality and importance. DYRK2 roles in diseases have been studied in detail, highlighting this kinase as a key protein in cancer development. First, DYRK2 regulation of c-Jun, c-Myc, Rpt3, TERT, and katanin p60 reveals the implication of this kinase in cell-cycle-mediated cancer development. Additionally, depletion of this kinase correlated with reduced apoptosis, with consequences on cancer patient response to chemotherapy. Other functions like cancer stem cell formation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition regulation are also controlled by DYRK2. Furthermore, the pharmacological modulation of this protein by different inhibitors (harmine, curcumine, LDN192960, and ID-8) has enabled to clarify DYRK2 functionality.
Project description:We developed a computational pipeline designed to use RNA sequencing (n = 136) and gene expression profiling (n = 250) data from neuroblastoma tumors to identify cell surface proteins predicted to be highly expressed in MYCN amplified neuroblastomas and with little or no expression in normal human tissues. We then performed ChIP-seq in the MYCN amplified cell lines KELLY, NB-1643, and NGP to identify gene promoters that are occupied by MYCN protein to define the intersection with the differentially-expressed gene list. We initially identified 116 putative immunotherapy targets with predicted transmembrane domains, with the most significant differentially-expressed of these being the calmodulin kinase-like vesicle-associated gene (CAMKV, p = 2 × 10-6). CAMKV encodes a protein that binds calmodulin in the presence of calcium, but lacks the kinase activity of other calmodulin kinase family members. We confirmed that CAMKV is selectively expressed in 7/7 MYCN amplified neuroblastoma cell lines and showed that the transcription of CAMKV is directly controlled by MYCN. From membrane fractionation and immunohistochemistry, we verified that CAMKV is membranous in MYCN amplified neuroblastoma cell lines and patient-derived xenografts. Finally, immunohistochemistry showed that CAMKV is not expressed on normal tissues outside of the central nervous system. Together, these data demonstrate that CAMKV is a differentially-expressed cell surface protein that is transcriptionally regulated by MYCN, making it a candidate for targeting with antibodies or antibody-drug conjugates that do not cross the blood brain barrier.
Project description:The MYCN locus is amplified in about half of high-risk neuroblastoma tumors. To identify genomic loci occupied by MYCN protein in the MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cell lines NGP, Kelly and NB-1643, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with Next-Generation Sequencing (ChIP-seq) using an anti-MYCN antibody. Overall design: Identification of MYCN occupancy throughout the genome of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are plastic in nature, a characteristic that hampers cancer therapeutics. Neuroblastoma (NB) is a pediatric tumor of neural crest origin, and half of the cases are highly aggressive. By treating NB cell lines [SKNAS, SKNBE(2)C, CHP134, and SY5Y] with epigenetic modifiers for a short time, followed by sphere-forming culture conditions, we have established stem cell-like NB cells that are phenotypically stable for more than a year. These cells are characterized by their high expression of stemness factors, stem cell markers, and open chromatin structure. We referred to these cells as induced CSCs (iCSCs). SKNAS iCSC and SKNBE(2)C iCSC clones (as few as 100 cells) injected s.c. into SCID/Beige mice formed tumors, and in one case, SKNBE(2)C iCSCs metastasized to the adrenal gland, suggesting their increased metastatic potential. SKNAS iCSC xenografts showed the histologic appearance of totally undifferentiated large-cell NBs (LCNs), the most aggressive and deadly form of NB in humans. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that SKNAS iCSC xenografts expressed high levels of the stem cell marker CXCR4, whereas the SKNAS monolayer cell xenografts did not. The patterns of CXCR4 and MYC expression in SKNAS iCSC xenografts resembled those in the LCNs. The xenografts established from the NB iCSCs shared two common features: the LCN phenotype and high-level MYC/MYCN expression. These observations suggest both that NB cells with large and vesicular nuclei, representing their open chromatin structure, are indicative of stem cell-like tumor cells and that epigenetic changes may have contributed to the development of these most malignant NB cells.
Project description:MYCN-amplification in high-grade Neuroblastoma (NB) tumors correlates with increased vascularization and therapy resistance. This study combines an anti-angiogenic approach with targeting NB metabolism for treatment.Metronomic cyclophosphamide (MCP) monotherapy significantly inhibited NB growth and prolonged host survival. Growth inhibition was more pronounced in MYCN-amplified xenografts. Immunohistochemical evaluation of this subtype showed significant decrease in blood vessel density and intratumoral hemorrhage accompanied by blood vessel maturation and perivascular fibrosis. Up-regulation of VEGFA was not sufficient to compensate for the effects of the MCP regimen. Reduced Bcl-2 expression and increased caspase-3 cleavage were evident. In contrast non MYCN-amplified tumors developed resistance, which was accompanied by Bcl-2-up-regulation. Combining MCP with a ketogenic diet and/or calorie-restriction significantly enhanced the anti-tumor effect. Calorie-restricted ketogenic diet in combination with MCP resulted in tumor regression in all cases.Our data show efficacy of combining an anti-angiogenic cyclophosphamide dosing regimen with dietary intervention in a preclinical NB model. These findings might open a new front in NB treatment.
Project description:Neuroblastoma is a paediatric cancer that arises from the sympathetic ganglia (SG) or adrenal gland. Tumours that occur in patients under 18 months of age have a particularly good prognosis and frequently undergo spontaneous regression. This led to the hypothesis that developmental cues in the youngest patients may prompt belated differentiation and/or apoptosis of the tumour cells. To test our hypothesis, we have injected MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells into the extra embryonic veins of chick embryos at embryonic day 3 (E3) and E6 and analysed the response of these Kelly cells at E10 and E14. Amplification of the MYCN gene occurs in up to 30% of tumours and is normally associated with a very poor prognosis. Kelly cells injected at E3 follow neural crest pathways and integrate into neural locations such as SG and the enteric nervous system although never into the adrenal gland. Additionally they migrate to non-neural locations such as the heart, meninges, jaw regions and tail. The cells respond to their respective microenvironments and in SG, some cells differentiate, they show reduced cell division and crucially all cells have undetectable MYCN expression by E10. In non-neural locations, cells form more rapidly dividing clumps and continue to express MYCN. The downregulation of MYCN is dependent on continuous and direct interaction with the sympathetic ganglion environment. We propose that the MYCN-amplicon in the Kelly cells retains the ability to correctly interpret the environmental cues leading to downregulation of MYCN.
Project description:Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are plastic in nature, a characteristic that hampers cancer therapeutics. Neuroblastoma (NB) is a pediatric tumor of neural crest origin, and half of the cases are highly aggressive. By treating NB cell lines (SKNAS, SKNBE(2)C, CHP134, SY5Y) with epigenetic modifiers for a short time followed by sphere-forming culture conditions, we have established stem cell-like NB cells that are phenotypically stable for over a year. These cells are characterized by their high expression of stemness factors, stem cell markers, and open chromatin structure. We referred to these cells as induced CSC (iCSC). SKNAS iCSC and SKNBE(2)C iCSC clones (as few as 100 cells) injected subcutaneously into SCID/Beige mice formed tumors, and in one case, SKNBE(2)C iCSC metastasized to the adrenal gland, suggesting their increased metastatic potential. SKNAS iCSC xenografts showed the histologic appearance of totally undifferentiated “large-cell” NBs (LCNs), the most aggressive and deadly form of NB in humans. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that SKNAS iCSC xenografts expressed high levels of the stem cell marker CXCR4, while the SKNAS monolayer cell xenografts did not. The patterns of CXCR4 and MYC expression in SKNAS iCSC xenografts resembled those in the LCNs. The xenografts established from the NB iCSCs shared two common features: the LCN phenotype and high-level MYC/MYCN expression. These observations suggest that NB cells with large and vesicular nuclei, representing their open chromatin structure, are indicative of stem cell-like tumor cells, and that epigenetic changes may have contributed to the development of these most malignant NB cells. Gene expression profiles of SKNAS monolayer culture, sphere culture and iCSC culture were comparatively analyzed to examine the stem cell phenotype of each culture condition.
Project description:Aberrant Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is often associated with neuroblastoma (NB), a childhood malignancy with varying clinical outcomes due to different molecular characteristics. Inhibition of Hh signaling with small molecule inhibitors, particularly with GANT-61, significantly suppresses NB growth. However, NB with MYCN amplification is less sensitive to GANT-61 than those without MYCN amplification.Autophagic process was examined in two MYCN amplified and two MYCN non-amplified NB cells treated with GANT-61. Subsequently, chemical and genetic approaches were applied with GANT-61 together to evaluate the role of autophagy in GANT-61 induced cell death.Here we show that GANT-61 enhanced autophagy in MYCN amplified NB cells. Both an autophagic inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and genetic disruption of ATG5 or ATG7 expression suppressed GANT-61 induced autophagy and significantly increased apoptotic cell death, whereas pre-treatment with an apoptotic inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK, rescued GANT-61 induced cell death and had no effect on the autophagic process. In the other hand, GANT-61 barely induced autophagy in MYCN non-amplified NB cells, but overexpression of MYCN in MYCN non-amplified NB cells recapitulated GANT-61 induced autophagy seen in MYCN amplified NB cells, suggesting that the level of GANT-61 induced autophagy in NB cells is related to MYCN expression level in cells.Aberrant Hh signaling activation as an oncogenic driver in NB renders inhibition of Hh signaling an effective measure to suppress NB growth. However, our data suggest that enhanced autophagy concomitant with Hh signaling inhibition acts as a pro-survival factor to maintain cell viability, which reduces GANT-61 efficacy. Besides, MYCN amplification is likely involved in the induction of the pro-survival autophagy. Overall, simultaneous inhibition of both Hh signaling and autophagy could be a better way to treat MYCN amplified NB.
Project description:MYC family proteins are implicated in many human cancers, but their therapeutic targeting has proven challenging. MYCN amplification in childhood neuroblastoma (NB) is associated with aggressive disease and high mortality. Novel and effective therapeutic strategies are therefore urgently needed for these tumors. MYC-driven oncogenic transformation impairs cell survival under nutrient deprivation (ND), a characteristic stress condition within the tumor microenvironment. We recently identified eukaryotic Elongation Factor 2 Kinase (eEF2K) as a pivotal mediator of the adaptive response of tumor cells to ND. We therefore hypothesized that eEF2K facilitates the adaptation of MYCN amplified NB to ND, and that inhibiting this pathway can impair MYCN-driven NB progression. To test our hypothesis, we first analyzed publicly available genomic databases and tissue microarrays for eEF2K expression in NB, and for links between eEF2K, MYCN, and clinical outcome in NB. Effects of eEF2K inhibition were evaluated on survival of MYCN amplified versus non-amplified NB cell lines under ND. Finally, NB xenograft mouse models were used to confirm in vitro observations. Our results indicate that high eEF2K expression and activity are strongly predictive of poor outcome in NB, and correlates significantly with MYCN amplification. Inhibition of eEF2K markedly decreases survival of MYCN amplified NB cell lines in vitro under ND. Growth of MYCN amplified NB xenografts is markedly impaired by eEF2K knockdown, particularly under caloric restriction. In summary, eEF2K protects MYCN overexpressing NB cells from ND in vitro and in vivo, highlighting this kinase as a critical mediator of the adaptive response of MYCN amplified NB cells to metabolic stress.
Project description:Treatment failure in high risk neuroblastoma (NB) is largely due to the development of chemotherapy resistance. We analyzed the gene expression changes associated with exposure to chemotherapy in six high risk NB tumors with the aid of the Connectivity Map bioinformatics platform. Ten therapeutic agents were predicted to have a high probability of reversing the transcriptome changes associated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy treatment. Among these agents, initial screening showed the EWS-FLI1 and RNA helicase A interaction inhibitor YK-4-279, had obvious cytotoxic effects on NB cell lines. Using a panel of NB cell lines, including MYCN nonamplified (SK-N-AS, SH-SY5Y, and CHLA-255), and MYCN amplified (NB-19, NGP, and IMR-32) cell lines, we found that YK-4-279 had cytotoxic effects on all lines tested. In addition, YK-4-279 also inhibited cell proliferation and anchorage-independent growth and induced cell apoptosis of these cells. YK-4-279 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of doxorubicin (Dox). Moreover, YK-4-279 was able to overcome the established chemoresistance of LA-N-6 NB cells. In an orthotopic xenograft NB mouse model, YK-4-279 inhibited NB tumor growth and induced apoptosis in tumor cells through PARP and Caspase 3 cleavage in vivo. While EWS-FLI1 fusion protein is not frequently found in NB, using the R2 public database of neuroblastoma outcome and gene expression, we found that high expression of EWSR1 was associated with poor patient outcome. Knockdown of EWSR1 inhibited the oncogenic potential of neuroblastoma cell lines. Taken together, our results indicate that YK-4-279 might be a promising agent for treatment of NB that merits further exploration.