Altertoxin II, a Highly Effective and Specific Compound against Ewing Sarcoma.
ABSTRACT: A screening program designed to identify natural products with selective cytotoxic effects against cell lines representing different types of pediatric solid tumors led to the identification of altertoxin II as a highly potent and selective cytotoxin against Ewing sarcoma cell lines. Altertoxin II, but not the related compounds altertoxin I and alteichin, was highly effective against every Ewing sarcoma cell line tested, with an average 25-fold selectivity for these cells as compared to cells representing other pediatric and adult cancers. Mechanism of action studies revealed that altertoxin II causes DNA double-strand breaks, a rapid DNA damage response, and cell cycle accumulation in the S phase. Our studies also demonstrate that the potent effects of altertoxin II are partially dependent on the progression through the cell cycle, because the G1 arrest initiated by a CDK4/6 inhibitor decreased antiproliferative potency more than 10 times. Importantly, the cell-type-selective DNA-damaging effects of altertoxin II in Ewing sarcoma cells occur independently of its ability to bind directly to DNA. Ultimately, we found that altertoxin II has a dose-dependent in vivo antitumor efficacy against a Ewing sarcoma xenograft, suggesting that it has potential as a therapeutic drug lead and will be useful to identify novel targets for Ewing-sarcoma-specific therapies.
Project description:More knowledge is needed regarding germline predisposition to Ewing sarcoma to inform biological investigation and clinical practice. Here, we evaluated the enrichment of pathogenic germline variants in Ewing sarcoma relative to other pediatric sarcoma subtypes, as well as patterns of inheritance of these variants. We carried out European-focused and pan-ancestry case-control analyses to screen for enrichment of pathogenic germline variants in 141 established cancer predisposition genes in 1,147 individuals with pediatric sarcoma diagnoses (226 Ewing sarcoma, 438 osteosarcoma, 180 rhabdomyosarcoma, and 303 other sarcoma) relative to identically processed cancer-free control individuals. Findings in Ewing sarcoma were validated with an additional cohort of 430 individuals, and a subset of 301 Ewing sarcoma parent-proband trios was analyzed for inheritance patterns of identified pathogenic variants. A distinct pattern of pathogenic germline variants was seen in Ewing sarcoma relative to other sarcoma subtypes. FANCC was the only gene with an enrichment signal for heterozygous pathogenic variants in the European Ewing sarcoma discovery cohort (three individuals, OR 12.6, 95% CI 3.0-43.2, p = 0.003, FDR = 0.40). This enrichment in FANCC heterozygous pathogenic variants was again observed in the European Ewing sarcoma validation cohort (three individuals, OR 7.0, 95% CI 1.7-23.6, p = 0.014), representing a broader importance of genes involved in DNA damage repair, which were also nominally enriched in individuals with Ewing sarcoma. Pathogenic variants in DNA damage repair genes were acquired through autosomal inheritance. Our study provides new insight into germline risk factors contributing to Ewing sarcoma pathogenesis.
Project description:Treatment with the nucleoside analog cytarabine has been shown to mimic changes in gene expression associated with downregulation of the EWS-FLI1 oncogene in Ewing sarcoma cell lines, selectively inhibit their growth in vitro, and cause tumor regression in athymic nude mice. For this report cytarabine was studied in vitro against a panel of 23 pediatric cancer cell lines and in vivo against 6 Ewing sarcoma xenografts. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia cell lines were the most sensitive to cytarabine in vitro (median IC(50) 9 nM), while Ewing sarcoma cell lines showed intermediate sensitivity (median IC(50) 232 nM). Cytarabine at a dose of 150 mg/kg administered daily 5× failed to significantly inhibit growth of five xenograft models, but reduced growth rate of the A673 xenograft by 50%. Cytarabine shows no differential in vitro activity against Ewing sarcoma cell lines and is ineffective in vivo against Ewing sarcoma xenografts at the dose and schedule studied.
Project description:PURPOSE:Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) inhibitors potentiate the DNA-damaging effects of cytotoxic therapies and/or promote elevated levels of replication stress, leading to tumor cell death. Prexasertib (LY2606368) is a CHK1 small-molecule inhibitor under clinical evaluation in multiple adult and pediatric cancers. In this study, prexasertib was tested in a large panel of preclinical models of pediatric solid malignancies alone or in combination with chemotherapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:DNA damage and changes in cell signaling following in vitro prexasertib treatment in pediatric sarcoma cell lines were analyzed by Western blot and high content imaging. Antitumor activity of prexasertib as a single agent or in combination with different chemotherapies was explored in cell line-derived (CDX) and patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models representing nine different pediatric cancer histologies. RESULTS:Pediatric sarcoma cell lines were highly sensitive to prexasertib treatment in vitro, resulting in activation of the DNA damage response. Two PDX models of desmoplastic small round cell tumor and one malignant rhabdoid tumor CDX model responded to prexasertib with complete regression. Prexasertib monotherapy also elicited robust responses in mouse models of rhabdomyosarcoma. Concurrent administration with chemotherapy was sufficient to overcome innate resistance or prevent acquired resistance to prexasertib in preclinical models of neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, and Ewing sarcoma, or alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Prexasertib has significant antitumor effects as a monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy in multiple preclinical models of pediatric cancer. These findings support further investigation of prexasertib in pediatric malignancies.
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive pediatric cancer of the bone and soft tissue, in which patients whose tumors have a poor histologic response to initial chemotherapy have a poor overall prognosis. Therefore, it is important to identify molecules involved in resistance to chemotherapy. Herein, we show that the DNA repair protein and transcriptional cofactor, EYA3, is highly expressed in Ewing sarcoma tumor samples and cell lines compared with mesenchymal stem cells, the presumed cell-of-origin of Ewing sarcoma, and that it is regulated by the EWS/FLI1 fusion protein transcription factor. We further show that EWS/FLI1 mediates upregulation of EYA3 via repression of miR-708, a miRNA that targets the EYA3 3'-untranslated region, rather than by binding the EYA3 promoter directly. Importantly, we show that high levels of EYA3 significantly correlate with low levels of miR-708 in Ewing sarcoma samples, suggesting that this miR-mediated mechanism of EYA3 regulation holds true in human cancers. Because EYA proteins are important for cell survival during development, we examine, and show, that loss of EYA3 decreases survival of Ewing sarcoma cells. Most importantly, knockdown of EYA3 in Ewing sarcoma cells leads to sensitization to DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics used in the treatment of Ewing sarcoma, and as expected, after chemotherapeutic treatment, EYA3 knockdown cells repair DNA damage less effectively than their control counterparts. These studies identify EYA3 as a novel mediator of chemoresistance in Ewing sarcoma and define the molecular mechanisms of both EYA3 overexpression and of EYA3-mediated chemoresistance.
Project description:Identification of druggable targets is a prerequisite for developing targeted therapies against Ewing sarcoma. We report the identification of Protein Kinase C Beta (PRKCB) as a protein specifically and highly expressed in Ewing sarcoma as compared to other pediatric cancers. Its transcriptional activation is directly regulated by the EWSR1-FLI1 oncogene. Getting insights in PRKCB activity we show that, together with PRKCA, it is responsible for the phosphorylation of histone H3T6, allowing global maintenance of H3K4 trimethylation on a variety of gene promoters. In the long term, PRKCB RNA interference induces apoptosis in vitro. More importantly, in xenograft mice models, complete impairment of tumor engraftment and even tumor regression were observed upon PRKCB inhibition, highlighting PRKCB as a most valuable therapeutic target. Deciphering PRKCB roles in Ewing sarcoma using expression profiling, we found a strong overlap with genes modulated by EWSR1-FLI1 and an involvement of RPKCB in regulating crucial signaling pathways. Altogether, we show that PRKCB may have two important independent functions and should be considered as highly valuable for understanding Ewing sarcoma biology and as a promising target for new therapeutic approaches in Ewing sarcoma. A673 Ewing cell line was treated for 72 hours by either control siRNA or siRNA directed against PRKCB or EWSR1-FLI1. Total RNAs were extracted and hybridized on HuGene1.1STv1 Affymetrix Arrays. Normalisation was performed using specific Brainarray Enrtez gene CDF file (v14.1).
Project description:PURPOSE:Inhibitors of PARP, an enzyme involved in base excision repair, have demonstrated single-agent activity against tumors deficient in homologous repair processes. Ewing sarcoma cells are also sensitive to PARP inhibitors, although the mechanism is not understood. Here, we evaluated the stereo-selective PARP inhibitor, talazoparib (BMN 673), combined with temozolomide or topotecan. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Talazoparib was tested in vitro in combination with temozolomide (0.3-1,000 ?mol/L) or topotecan (0.03-100 nmol/L) and in vivo at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg administered twice daily for 5 days combined with temozolomide (30 mg/kg/daily x 5; combination A) or 0.25 mg/kg administered twice daily for 5 days combined with temozolomide (12 mg/kg/daily x 5; combination B). Pharmacodynamic studies were undertaken after 1 or 5 days of treatment. RESULTS:In vitro talazoparib potentiated the toxicity of temozolomide up to 85-fold, with marked potentiation in Ewing sarcoma and leukemia lines (30-50-fold). There was less potentiation for topotecan. In vivo, talazoparib potentiated the toxicity of temozolomide, and combination A and combination B represent the MTDs when combined with low-dose or high-dose talazoparib, respectively. Both combinations demonstrated significant synergism against 5 of 10 Ewing sarcoma xenografts. The combination demonstrated modest activity against most other xenograft models. Pharmacodynamic studies showed a treatment-induced complete loss of PARP only in tumor models sensitive to either talazoparib alone or talazoparib plus temozolomide. CONCLUSIONS:The high level of activity observed for talazoparib plus temozolomide in Ewing sarcoma xenografts makes this an interesting combination to consider for pediatric evaluation.
Project description:In contrast to the numerous broad screens for oncogene mutations in adult cancers, few such screens have been conducted in pediatric solid tumors. To identify novel mutations and potential therapeutic targets in pediatric cancers, we conducted a high-throughput Sequenom-based analysis in large sets of several major pediatric solid cancers, including neuroblastoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), and desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT).We designed a highly multiplexed Sequenom-based assay to interrogate 275 recurrent mutations across 29 genes. Genomic DNA was extracted from 192 neuroblastoma, 75 Ewing sarcoma, 89 RMS, and 24 DSRCT samples. All mutations were verified by Sanger sequencing.Mutations were identified in 13% of neuroblastoma samples, 4% of Ewing sarcoma samples, 21.1% of RMS samples, and no DSRCT samples. ALK mutations were present in 10.4% of neuroblastoma samples. The remainder of neuroblastoma mutations involved the BRAF, RAS, and MAP2K1 genes and were absent in samples harboring ALK mutations. Mutations were more common in embryonal RMS (ERMS) samples (28.3%) than alveolar RMS (3.5%). In addition to previously identified RAS and FGFR4 mutations, we report for the first time PIK3CA and CTNNB1 (?-catenin) mutations in 5% and 3.3% of ERMS, respectively.In ERMS, Ewing sarcoma, and neuroblastoma, we identified novel occurrences of several oncogene mutations recognized as drivers in other cancers. Overall, neuroblastoma and ERMS contain significant subsets of cases with nonoverlapping mutated genes in growth signaling pathways. Tumor profiling can identify a subset of pediatric solid tumor patients as candidates for kinase inhibitors or RAS-targeted therapies.
Project description:Cancer cells must overcome anoikis (detachment-induced death) to successfully metastasize. Using proteomic screens, we found that distinct oncoproteins upregulate IL1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP) to suppress anoikis. IL1RAP is directly induced by oncogenic fusions of Ewing sarcoma, a highly metastatic childhood sarcoma. IL1RAP inactivation triggers anoikis and impedes metastatic dissemination of Ewing sarcoma cells. Mechanistically, IL1RAP binds the cell-surface system X<sub>c</sub> <sup>-</sup> transporter to enhance exogenous cystine uptake, thereby replenishing cysteine and the glutathione antioxidant. Under cystine depletion, IL1RAP induces cystathionine gamma lyase (CTH) to activate the transsulfuration pathway for <i>de novo</i> cysteine synthesis. Therefore, IL1RAP maintains cyst(e)ine and glutathione pools, which are vital for redox homeostasis and anoikis resistance. IL1RAP is minimally expressed in pediatric and adult normal tissues, and human anti-IL1RAP antibodies induce potent antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity of Ewing sarcoma cells. Therefore, we define IL1RAP as a new cell-surface target in Ewing sarcoma, which is potentially exploitable for immunotherapy. SIGNIFICANCE: Here, we identify cell-surface protein IL1RAP as a key driver of metastasis in Ewing sarcoma, a highly aggressive childhood sarcoma. Minimal expression in pediatric and adult normal tissues nominates IL1RAP as a promising target for immunotherapy.<i>See related commentary by Yoon and DeNicola, p. 2679.</i>
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive bone and soft tissue tumor in children and adolescents, with treatment remaining a clinical challenge. This disease is mediated by somatic chromosomal translocations of the EWS gene and a gene encoding an ETS transcription factor, most commonly, FLI1. While direct targeting of aberrant transcription factors remains a pharmacological challenge, identification of dependencies incurred by EWS/FLI1 expression would offer a new therapeutic avenue. We used a combination of super-enhancer profiling, near-whole genome shRNA-based and small-molecule screening to identify cyclin D1 and CDK4 as Ewing sarcoma-selective dependencies. We revealed that super-enhancers mark Ewing sarcoma specific expression signatures and EWS/FLI1 target genes in human Ewing sarcoma cell lines. Particularly, a super-enhancer regulates cyclin D1 and promotes its expression in Ewing sarcoma. We demonstrated that Ewing sarcoma cells require CDK4 and cyclin D1 for survival and anchorage-independent growth. Additionally, pharmacologic inhibition of CDK4 with selective CDK4/6 inhibitors led to cytostasis and cell death of Ewing sarcoma cell lines in vitro and growth delay in an in vivo Ewing sarcoma xenograft model. These results demonstrated a dependency in Ewing sarcoma on CDK4 and cyclin D1 and support exploration of CDK4/6 inhibitors as a therapeutic approach for patients with this disease.
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is a rare pediatric tumor characterized by chromosomal translocations that give rise to aberrant chimeric transcription factors (e.g., EWSR1-FLI1). EWSR1-FLI1 promotes a specific cellular transcriptional program. Therefore, the study of EWSR1-FLI1 target genes is important to identify critical pathways involved in Ewing sarcoma tumorigenesis. In this work, we focused on the transcription factors regulated by EWSR1-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma. Transcriptomic analysis of the Ewing sarcoma cell line A673 indicated that one of the genes more strongly upregulated by EWSR1-FLI1 was FEZF1 (FEZ family zinc finger protein 1), a transcriptional repressor involved in neural cell identity. The functional characterization of FEZF1 was performed in three Ewing sarcoma cell lines (A673, SK-N-MC, SK-ES-1) through an shRNA-directed silencing approach. FEZF1 knockdown inhibited clonogenicity and cell proliferation. Finally, the analysis of the FEZF1-dependent expression profile in A673 cells showed several neural genes regulated by FEZF1 and concomitantly regulated by EWSR1-FLI1. In summary, FEZF1 is transcriptionally regulated by EWSR1-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells and is involved in the regulation of neural-specific genes, which could explain the neural-like phenotype observed in several Ewing sarcoma tumors and cell lines.