Cell Cycle and Beyond: Exploiting New RB1 Controlled Mechanisms for Cancer Therapy.
ABSTRACT: Recent studies highlight the importance of the RB1 tumor suppressor as a target for cancer therapy. Canonically, RB1 regulates cell cycle progression and represents the downstream target for cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitors that are in clinical use. However, newly discovered features of the RB1 pathway suggest new therapeutic strategies to counter resistance and improve precision medicine. These therapeutic strategies include deepening cell cycle exit with CDK4/6 inhibitor combinations, selectively targeting tumors that have lost RB1, and expanding therapeutic index by mitigating therapy-associated adverse effects. In addition, RB1 impacts immunological features of tumors and the microenvironment that can enhance sensitivity to immunotherapy. Lastly, RB1 specifies epigenetically determined cell lineage states that are disrupted during therapy resistance and could be re-installed through the direct use of epigenetic therapies. Thus, new opportunities are emerging to improve cancer therapy by exploiting the RB1 pathway.
Project description:Dysregulated metabolism is a hallmark of cancer cells and is driven in part by specific genetic alterations in various oncogenes or tumor suppressors. The retinoblastoma protein (pRb) is a tumor suppressor that canonically regulates cell cycle progression; however, recent studies have highlighted a functional role for pRb in controlling cellular metabolism. Here, we report that loss of the gene encoding pRb (Rb1) in a transgenic mutant Kras-driven model of lung cancer results in metabolic reprogramming. Our tracer studies using bolus dosing of [U-13C]-glucose revealed an increase in glucose carbon incorporation into select glycolytic intermediates. Consistent with this result, Rb1-depleted tumors exhibited increased expression of key glycolytic enzymes. Interestingly, loss of Rb1 did not alter mitochondrial pyruvate oxidation compared to lung tumors with intact Rb1. Additional tracer studies using [U-13C,15N]-glutamine and [U-13C]-lactate demonstrated that loss of Rb1 did not alter glutaminolysis or utilization of circulating lactate within the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) in vivo. Taken together, these data suggest that the loss of Rb1 promotes a glycolytic phenotype, while not altering pyruvate oxidative metabolism or glutamine anaplerosis in Kras-driven lung tumors.
Project description:It is well known that RB functions are regulated by posttranslational modifications such as phosphorylation and acetylation, but the significance of lysine methylation on RB has not been fully elucidated. Our expression analysis of SMYD2 by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction showed that expression levels of SMYD2 are significantly elevated in human bladder carcinomas compared with nonneoplastic bladder tissues (P < .0001), and its expression levels in tumor tissues were much higher than those of any other normal tissues. SMYD2 knockdown resulted in the suppression of cancer cell growth, and cell cycle analysis indicated that SMYD2 might play a crucial role in the G(1)/S transition. According to an in vitro methyltransferase assay, we found that SMYD2 methylates RB1 protein, and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis revealed lysine 810 of RB1 to be methylated by SMYD2. Importantly, this methylation enhanced Ser 807/811 phosphorylation of RB1 both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that methylated RB1 accelerates E2F transcriptional activity and promotes cell cycle progression. SMYD2 is an important oncoprotein in various types of cancer, and SMYD2-dependent RB1 methylation at lysine 810 promotes cell cycle progression of cancer cells. Further study may explore SMYD2-dependent RB1 methylation as a potential therapeutic target in human cancer.
Project description:Inactivation of the retinoblastoma gene (RB1) product, pRB, is common in many human cancers. Targeting downstream effectors of pRB that are central to tumorigenesis is a promising strategy to block the growth of tumors harboring loss-of-function RB1 mutations. One such effector is retinoblastoma-binding protein 2 (RBP2, also called JARID1A or KDM5A), which encodes an H3K4 demethylase. Binding of pRB to RBP2 has been linked to the ability of pRB to promote senescence and differentiation. Importantly, genetic ablation of RBP2 is sufficient to phenocopy pRB's ability to induce these cellular changes in cell culture experiments. Moreover, germline Rbp2 deletion significantly impedes tumorigenesis in Rb1+/- mice. The value of RBP2 as a therapeutic target in cancer, however, hinges on whether loss of RBP2 could block the growth of established tumors as opposed to simply delaying their onset. Here we show that conditional, systemic ablation of RBP2 in tumor-bearing Rb1+/- mice is sufficient to slow tumor growth and significantly extend survival without causing obvious toxicity to the host. These findings show that established Rb1-null tumors require RBP2 for growth and further credential RBP2 as a therapeutic target in human cancers driven by RB1 inactivation.
Project description:Rb1 is essential for normal embryonic development, as null mice die in midgestation with widespread unscheduled cell proliferation. Rb1 protein (pRb) mediates cell cycle control by binding E2F transcription factors and repressing expression from E2F-dependent promoters. An increasing amount of evidence suggests that pRb loss also compromises cellular differentiation. Since differentiation is often dependent on cell cycle exit, it is currently unclear whether the effects of pRb on differentiation are an indirect consequence of pRb/E2F-mediated cell cycle control or whether they reflect direct cell-type-specific pRb functions. We have mutated Rb1 in the mouse to express a protein (R654W) specifically deficient in binding E2F1, E2F2, and E2F3. R654W mutant embryos exhibit cell cycle defects the same as those of Rb1 null embryos, reinforcing the importance of the interactions of pRb with E2F1, E2F2, and E2F3 for cell cycle control. However, R654W embryos survive at least 2 days longer than Rb1 null embryos, and increased life span is associated with improved erythrocyte and fetal liver macrophage differentiation. In contrast, R654W pRb does not rescue differentiation defects associated with pRb-deficient retinae. These data indicate that Rb1 makes important cell-type-specific contributions to cellular differentiation that are genetically separable from its general ability to stably bind E2F1, E2F2, and E2F3 and regulate the cell cycle.
Project description:Clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) frequently exhibit inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau tumor-suppressor gene, VHL, and often harbor multiple copy-number alterations in genes that regulate cell cycle progression. We show here that modeling these genetic alterations by combined deletion of Vhl, Trp53 and Rb1 specifically in renal epithelial cells in mice caused ccRCC. These tumors arose from proximal tubule epithelial cells and shared molecular markers and mRNA expression profiles with human ccRCC. Exome sequencing revealed that mouse and human ccRCCs exhibit recurrent mutations in genes associated with the primary cilium, uncovering a mutational convergence on this organelle and implicating a subset of ccRCCs as genetic ciliopathies. Different mouse tumors responded differently to standard therapies for advanced human ccRCC, mimicking the range of clinical behaviors in the human disease. Inhibition of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-? transcription factors with acriflavine as third-line therapy had therapeutic effects in some tumors, providing preclinical evidence for further investigation of HIF-? inhibition as a ccRCC treatment. This autochthonous mouse ccRCC model represents a tool to investigate the biology of ccRCC and to identify new treatment strategies.
Project description:Prostate cancer relapsing from antiandrogen therapies can exhibit variant histology with altered lineage marker expression, suggesting that lineage plasticity facilitates therapeutic resistance. The mechanisms underlying prostate cancer lineage plasticity are incompletely understood. Studying mouse models, we demonstrate that Rb1 loss facilitates lineage plasticity and metastasis of prostate adenocarcinoma initiated by Pten mutation. Additional loss of Trp53 causes resistance to antiandrogen therapy. Gene expression profiling indicates that mouse tumors resemble human prostate cancer neuroendocrine variants; both mouse and human tumors exhibit increased expression of epigenetic reprogramming factors such as Ezh2 and Sox2. Clinically relevant Ezh2 inhibitors restore androgen receptor expression and sensitivity to antiandrogen therapy. These findings uncover genetic mutations that enable prostate cancer progression; identify mouse models for studying prostate cancer lineage plasticity; and suggest an epigenetic approach for extending clinical responses to antiandrogen therapy.
Project description:PURPOSE:In this study, we addressed the underlying mechanisms for the association between enzalutamide (ENZ) treatment and neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), and the critical involvement of MYCN, and loss of RB1 function in neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) of prostatic epithelial cells, and the development of NEPC. We further sought to determine whether PARP inhibition could suppress NEPC, and to identify molecular determinants of this therapeutic activity. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:We used a novel prostate cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) treatment model, prostatic adenocarcinoma and NEPC cell lines, an NEPC organoid line, and NEPC xenograft models to address the mechanistic basis of ENZ-induced NED, and to analyze suppression of NED and NEPC growth by PARP inhibition. RESULTS:We identified an ENZ treatment-associated glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-MYCN-CDK5-RB1-E2F1 signaling pathway that drives NED in prostatic adenocarcinoma PDX and cell line models. Mechanistically, long-term ENZ treatment transcriptionally upregulates signaling of the GR-MYCN axis, leading to CDK5R1 and CDK5R2 upregulation, Rb1 phosphorylation, and N-Myc-mediated and E2F1-mediated NED gene expression. Importantly, olaparib (OLA) or talazoparib (TALA) suppressed these activities, and the combination of OLA and dinaciclib (DINA), an inhibitor of CDK2 and CDK5, which also inhibits Rb1 phosphorylation, suppressed NED and significantly improved therapeutic efficiency in NEPC cells in vitro and in NEPC tumors in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:The results of our study indicate an important role of GR-MYCN-CDK5R1/2-RB1-NED signaling in ENZ-induced and PARP inhibitor-suppressed NEPC. We also demonstrated efficacy for OLA+DINA combination therapy in NEPC xenograft models.
Project description:Retinoblastoma is a pediatric eye tumor in which bi-allelic inactivation of the Retinoblastoma 1 (RB1) gene is the initiating genetic lesion. Although recently curative rates of retinoblastoma have increased, there are at this time no molecular targeted therapies available. This is, in part, due to the lack of highly penetrant and rapid retinoblastoma animal models that facilitate rapid identification of targets that allow therapeutic intervention. Different mouse models are available, all based on genetic deactivation of both Rb1 and Retinoblastoma-like 1 (Rbl1), and each showing different kinetics of retinoblastoma development. Here, we show by CRISPR/Cas9 techniques that similar to the mouse, neither rb1 nor rbl1 single mosaic mutant Xenopus tropicalis develop tumors, whereas rb1/rbl1 double mosaic mutant tadpoles rapidly develop retinoblastoma. Moreover, occasionally presence of pinealoblastoma (trilateral retinoblastoma) was detected. We thus present the first CRISPR/Cas9 mediated cancer model in Xenopus tropicalis and the first genuine genetic non-mammalian retinoblastoma model. The rapid kinetics of our model paves the way for use as a pre-clinical model. Additionally, this retinoblastoma model provides unique possibilities for fast elucidation of novel drug targets by triple multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 gRNA injections (rb1?+?rbl1?+?modifier gene) in order to address the clinically unmet need of targeted retinoblastoma therapy.
Project description:Satellite cells are well known as a postnatal skeletal muscle stem cell reservoir that under injury conditions participate in repair. However, mechanisms controlling satellite cell quiescence and activation are the topic of ongoing inquiry by many laboratories. In this study, we investigated whether loss of the cell cycle regulatory factor, pRb, is associated with the re-entry of quiescent satellite cells into replication and subsequent stem cell expansion. By ablation of Rb1 using a Pax7CreER,Rb1 conditional mouse line, satellite cell number was increased 5-fold over 6 months. Furthermore, myoblasts originating from satellite cells lacking Rb1 were also increased 3-fold over 6 months, while terminal differentiation was greatly diminished. Similarly, Pax7CreER,Rb1 mice exhibited muscle fiber hypotrophy in vivo under steady state conditions as well as a delay of muscle regeneration following cardiotoxin-mediated injury. These results suggest that cell cycle re-entry of quiescent satellite cells is accelerated by lack of Rb1, resulting in the expansion of both satellite cells and their progeny in adolescent muscle. Conversely, that sustained Rb1 loss in the satellite cell lineage causes a deficit of muscle fiber formation. However, we also show that pharmacological inhibition of protein phosphatase 1 activity, which will result in pRb inactivation accelerates satellite cell activation and/or expansion in a transient manner. Together, our results raise the possibility that reversible pRb inactivation in satellite cells and inhibition of protein phosphorylation may provide a new therapeutic tool for muscle atrophy by short term expansion of the muscle stem cells and myoblast pool.
Project description:Prostate cancers (PCs) with loss of the potent tumor suppressors TP53 and RB1 exhibit poor outcomes. TP53 and RB1 also influence cell plasticity and are frequently lost in PCs with neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation. Therapeutic strategies that address these aggressive variant PCs are urgently needed. Using deep genomic profiling of 410 metastatic biopsies, we determine the relationships between combined TP53 and RB1 loss and PC phenotypes. Notably, 40% of TP53/RB1-deficient tumors are classified as AR-active adenocarcinomas, indicating that NE differentiation is not an obligate consequence of TP53/RB1 inactivation. A gene expression signature reflecting TP53/RB1 loss is associated with diminished responses to AR antagonists and reduced survival. These tumors exhibit high proliferation rates and evidence of elevated DNA repair processes. While tumor cells lacking TP53/RB1 are highly resistant to all single-agent therapeutics tested, the combination of PARP and ATR inhibition is found to produce significant responses, reflecting a clinically exploitable vulnerability resulting from replication stress.