Regulatory landscape fusion in rhabdomyosarcoma by interactions between the PAX3 promoter and FOXO1 regulatory elements
ABSTRACT: Results: Using a combination of 4C-seq datasets, we were able to model the three-dimensional organisation of the translocated chromosome in a PAX3:FOXO1 fusion-positive alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cell line. We show that PAX3 and FOXO1 regulatory landscapes fuse into a novel TAD, allowing the PAX3 promoter to interact ectopically with FOXO1 sequences with potential enhancer function. The borders of this novel TAD correspond to the original 5'- and 3'- borders of the PAX3 and FOXO1 TADs, respectively, suggesting that TAD organisation precedes the formation of regulatory long-range interactions. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the chromosomal translocation that leads to ARMS development generates a novel TAD that favours ectopic PAX3:FOXO1 oncogene activation in non-PAX3 territories, which may be an essential step in the tumorigenic process, as expression in a particular cell type, the often elusive cell-of-origin, may be required for disease development.
Project description:The organisation of vertebrate genomes into topologically associating domains (TADs) is believed to facilitate the regulation of the genes located within them. A remaining question is whether TAD organisation is achieved through the interactions of the regulatory elements within them or if these interactions are favoured by the pre-existence of TADs. If the latter is true, the fusion of two independent TADs should result in the rewiring of the transcriptional landscape and the generation of ectopic contacts.We show that interactions within the PAX3 and FOXO1 domains are restricted to their respective TADs in normal conditions, while in a patient-derived alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cell line, harbouring the diagnostic t(2;13)(q35;q14) translocation that brings together the PAX3 and FOXO1 genes, the PAX3 promoter interacts ectopically with FOXO1 sequences. Using a combination of 4C-seq datasets, we have modelled the three-dimensional organisation of the fused landscape in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.The chromosomal translocation that leads to alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma development generates a novel TAD that is likely to favour ectopic PAX3:FOXO1 oncogene activation in non-PAX3 territories. Rhabdomyosarcomas may therefore arise from cells which do not normally express PAX3. The borders of this novel TAD correspond to the original 5'- and 3'- borders of the PAX3 and FOXO1 TADs, respectively, suggesting that TAD organisation precedes the formation of regulatory long-range interactions. Our results demonstrate that, upon translocation, novel regulatory landscapes are formed allowing new intra-TAD interactions between the original loci involved.
Project description:Many recurrent chromosome translocations in cancer result in the generation of fusion genes that are directly implicated in the tumorigenic process. Precise modeling of the effects of cancer fusion genes in mice has been inaccurate, as constructs of fusion genes often completely or partially lack the correct regulatory sequences. The reciprocal t(2;13)(q36.1;q14.1) in human alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (A-RMS) creates a pathognomonic PAX3-FOXO1 fusion gene. In vivo mimicking of this translocation in mice is complicated by the fact that Pax3 and Foxo1 are in opposite orientation on their respective chromosomes, precluding formation of a functional Pax3-Foxo1 fusion via a simple translocation. To circumvent this problem, we irreversibly inverted the orientation of a 4.9 Mb syntenic fragment on chromosome 3, encompassing Foxo1, by using Cre-mediated recombination of two pairs of unrelated oppositely oriented LoxP sites situated at the borders of the syntenic region. We tested if spatial proximity of the Pax3 and Foxo1 loci in myoblasts of mice homozygous for the inversion facilitated Pax3-Foxo1 fusion gene formation upon induction of targeted CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease-induced DNA double strand breaks in Pax3 and Foxo1. Fluorescent in situ hybridization indicated that fore limb myoblasts show a higher frequency of Pax3/Foxo1 co-localization than hind limb myoblasts. Indeed, more fusion genes were generated in fore limb myoblasts via a reciprocal t(1;3), which expressed correctly spliced Pax3-Foxo1 mRNA encoding Pax3-Foxo1 fusion protein. We conclude that locus proximity facilitates chromosome translocation upon induction of DNA double strand breaks. Given that the Pax3-Foxo1 fusion gene will contain all the regulatory sequences necessary for precise regulation of its expression, we propose that CRISPR-Cas9 provides a novel means to faithfully model human diseases caused by chromosome translocation in mice.
Project description:The fusion oncoproteins PAX3-FOXO1 [t(2;13)(q35;q14)] and PAX7-FOXO1 [t(1;13)(p36;q14)] typify alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS); however, 20-30% of cases lack these specific translocations. In this study, cytogenetic and/or molecular characterization to include FISH, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and sequencing analyses of five rhabdomyosarcomas [four ARMS and one embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS)] with novel, recurrent t(2;2)(p23;q35) or t(2;8)(q35;q13) revealed that these noncanonical translocations fuse PAX3 to NCOA1 or NCOA2, respectively. The PAX3-NCOA1 and PAX3-NCOA2 transcripts encode chimeric proteins composed of the paired-box and homeodomain DNA-binding domains of PAX3, and the CID domain, the Q-rich region, and the activation domain 2 (AD2) domain of NCOA1 or NCOA2. To investigate the biological function of these recurrent variant translocations, the coding regions of PAX3-NCOA1 and PAX3-NCOA2 cDNA constructs were introduced into expression vectors with tetracycline-regulated expression. Both fusion proteins showed transforming activity in the soft-agar assay. Deletion of the AD2 portion of the PAX3-NCOA fusion proteins reduced the transforming activity of each chimeric protein. Similarly, but with greater impact, CID domain deletion fully abrogated the transforming activity of the chimeric protein. These studies (1) expand our knowledge of PAX3 variant translocations in RMS with identification of a novel PAX3-NCOA2 fusion, (2) show that both PAX3-NCOA1 and PAX3-NCOA2 represent recurrent RMS rearrangements, (3) confirm the transforming activity of both translocation events and demonstrate the essentiality of intact AD2 and CID domains for optimal transforming activity, and (4) provide alternative approaches (FISH and RT-PCR) for detecting PAX-NCOA fusions in nondividing cells of RMS. The latter could potentially be used as aids in diagnostically challenging cases.
Project description:Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) is an aggressive sarcoma of skeletal muscle characterized by expression of the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion gene. Despite its discovery over almost 20 years ago, PAX3-FOXO1 remains an enigmatic tumor driver. Previously, we reported that PAX3-FOXO1 supports aRMS initiation by enabling bypass of cellular senescence. Here, we show that bypass occurs in part by PAX3-FOXO1-mediated upregulation of RASSF4, a Ras-association domain family (RASSF) member, which then suppresses the evolutionarily conserved mammalian Hippo/Mst1 pathway. RASSF4 loss-of-function activates Hippo/Mst1 and inhibits downstream YAP, causing aRMS cell cycle arrest and senescence. This is the first evidence for an oncogenic role for RASSF4, and a novel mechanism for Hippo signaling suppression in human cancer. Human skeletal muscle myoblasts (HSMMs) were retrovirally transduced with either an empty vector (Vp, pK1) or PAX3-FOXO1 (PFp, pK1-PAX3-FOXO1) and selected on puromycin. Presenescent (presen) cells were harvested before the senescence checkpoint. Since cells expressing PAX3-FOXO1 can bypass the senescence checkpoint, postsenescent (postsen) cells expressing PAX3-FOXO1 were also harvested. the gene expression affected by the introduction of PAX3-FOXO1
Project description:Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a family of soft tissue cancers that are related to the skeletal muscle lineage and predominantly occur in children and young adults. A specific chromosomal translocation t(2;13)(q35;q14) that gives rise to the chimeric oncogenic transcription factor PAX3-FOXO1 has been identified as a hallmark of the aggressive alveolar subtype of RMS. PAX3-FOXO1 cooperates with additional molecular changes to promote oncogenic transformation and tumorigenesis in various human and murine models. Its expression is generally restricted to RMS tumor cells, thus providing a very specific target for therapeutic approaches for these RMS tumors. In this article, we review the recent understanding of PAX3-FOXO1 as a transcription factor in the pathogenesis of this cancer and discuss recent developments to target this oncoprotein for treatment of RMS.
Project description:Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma caused by PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion oncogenes and is characterized by impaired skeletal muscle development. We developed human PAX3-FOXO1 -driven zebrafish models of tumorigenesis and found that PAX3-FOXO1 exhibits discrete cell lineage susceptibility and transformation. Tumors developed by 1.6-19 months and were primitive neuroectodermal tumors or rhabdomyosarcoma. We applied this PAX3-FOXO1 transgenic zebrafish model to study how PAX3-FOXO1 leverages early developmental pathways for oncogenesis and found that her3 is a unique target. Ectopic expression of the her3 human ortholog, HES3, inhibits myogenesis in zebrafish and mammalian cells, recapitulating the arrested muscle development characteristic of rhabdomyosarcoma. In patients, HES3 is overexpressed in fusion-positive versus fusion-negative tumors. Finally, HES3 overexpression is associated with reduced survival in patients in the context of the fusion. Our novel zebrafish rhabdomyosarcoma model identifies a new PAX3-FOXO1 target, her3/HES3, that contributes to impaired myogenic differentiation and has prognostic significance in human disease.
Project description:Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in childhood and histologically resembles developing skeletal muscle. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is an aggressive subtype with a higher rate of metastasis and poorer prognosis. The majority of ARMS tumors (80%) harbor a PAX3-FOXO1 or less commonly a PAX7-FOXO1 fusion gene. The presence of either the PAX3-FOXO1 or PAX7-FOXO1 fusion gene foretells a poorer prognosis resulting in clinical re-classification as either fusion-positive (FP-RMS) or fusion-negative RMS (FN-RMS). The PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion genes result in the production of a rogue transcription factors that drive FP-RMS pathogenesis and block myogenic differentiation. Despite knowing the molecular driver of FP-RMS, targeted therapies have yet to make an impact for patients, highlighting the need for a greater understanding of the molecular consequences of PAX3-FOXO1 and its target genes including microRNAs. Here we show FP-RMS patient-derived xenografts and cell lines display a distinct microRNA expression pattern. We utilized both loss- and gain-of function approaches in human cell lines with knockdown of PAX3-FOXO1 in FP-RMS cell lines and expression of PAX3-FOXO1 in human myoblasts and identified microRNAs both positively and negatively regulated by the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein. We demonstrate PAX3-FOXO1 represses miR-221/222 that functions as a tumor suppressing microRNA through the negative regulation of CCND2, CDK6, and ERBB3. In contrast, miR-486-5p is transcriptionally activated by PAX3-FOXO1 and promotes FP-RMS proliferation, invasion, and clonogenic growth. Inhibition of miR-486-5p in FP-RMS xenografts decreased tumor growth, illustrating a proof of principle for future therapeutic intervention. Therefore, PAX3-FOXO1 regulates key microRNAs that may represent novel therapeutic vulnerabilities in FP-RMS.
Project description:To better characterize the oncogenic role of the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein in the acquisition of aggressive behavior in ARMS, we employed a proteomic approach using a PAX3-FOXO1 knockdown system in ARMS cell lines. This approach revealed a protein list consisting of 107 consistently upregulated and 114 consistently downregulated proteins that were expected to be regulated by PAX3-FOXO1 fusion protein. Furthermore, we identified 16 upregulated and 17 downregulated critical proteins based on a data-mining analysis. We also evaluated the function of PPP2R1A in ARMS cells. The PPP2R1A expression was upregulated at both the mRNA and protein levels by PAX3-FOXO1 silencing. The silencing of PPP2R1A significantly increased the cell growth of all four ARMS cells, suggesting that PPP2R1A still has a tumor suppressive function in ARMS cells; however, the native expression of PPP2R1A was low in the presence of PAX3-FOXO1. In addition, the activation of PP2A-part of which was encoded by PPP2R1A-by FTY720 treatment in ARMS cell lines inhibited cell growth. On the human phospho-kinase array analysis of 46 specific Ser/Thr or Tyr phosphorylation sites on 39 selected proteins, eNOS, AKT1/2/3, RSK1/2/3 and STAT3 phosphorylation were decreased by FTY-720 treatment. These findings suggest that PPP2R1A is a negatively regulated by PAX3-FOXO1 in ARMS. The activation of PP2A-probably in combination with kinase inhibitors-may represent a therapeutic target in ARMS. We believe that the protein expression profile associated with PAX3-FOXO1 would be valuable for discovering new therapeutic targets in ARMS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The most frequent histological types of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) in children are embryonal (ERMS) and alveolar (ARMS) tumours. The majority of ARMS are characterized by the presence of PAX3/7-FOXO1 gene fusion and have a worse prognosis than fusion gene-negative ARMS. However, identification of PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion status is challenging when using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) material. Microarray analyses revealed that high expression of several genes is associated with PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion status. Therefore, we investigated if immunohistochemical approach may detect surrogate marker genes as indicators of fusion gene-positive RMS. METHODS:Forty five RMS patients were included in the analysis and immunohistochemistry was applied to FFPE tissues collected at diagnosis. Protein expression of OLIG2, a novel marker in RMS, was investigated using antibody EP112 (Cell Marque). In addition already known two markers were also analyzed: TFAP2B using rabbit anti-TFAP2? antibody (Santa Cruz Biotechnology) and ALK using anti-ALK antibody clone D5F3 #3633 (Cell Signalling). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed on FFPE sections with FOXO1/PAX3 and/or FOXO1/PAX7 probes (Dual Colour Single Fusion Probe, Zytovision). RESULTS:Our analysis revealed that all three immunohistochemical markers are associated with the presence of PAX3/7-FOXO1 fusion: TFAP2B (p <?0.00001), OLIG2 (p =?0.0001) and ALK (p =?0.0007). Four ARMS had negative PAX3/7-FOXO1 status and none of them displayed positive reaction with the analysed markers. Positive reaction with OLIG2 (6 tumours) was always associated with the presence of PAX3/7-FOXO1 rearrangement. Two additional OLIG2 positive cases showed inconclusive FISH results, but were positive for TFAP2B and ALK, what suggests that these tumours expressed fusion positive signature. CONCLUSION:Our results indicate that TFAP2B, ALK and a novel marker OLIG2 may serve as surrogate markers for PAX3/7-FOXO1 status what is especially beneficial in cases where poor quality tumour tissue is not suitable for reliable genetic analyses or shows inconclusive result.