Project description:Purpose: Our experimental results demonstrate an essential role for the lncRNA HOTAIR in Ewing sarcoma. We have repressed HOTAIR expression in three Ewing sarcoma cell lines and overexpressed HOTAIR, alone and with EWS-FLI1, in htert-immortalized human mesenchymal stem cells to evaluate its effects on gene expression in this cancer. Methods: RNA-Seq of Ewing sarcoma cell lines with HOTAIR represssed by GapmeR or treated with nonsilencing control, and hTERT-immortalized hMSCs with expression of control GFP, HOTAIR, or HOTAIR and EWS-FLI1, was used for gene expression analysis. Results: Defined gene expression signatures were defined as driven by HOTAIR in each cell line model, with a consensus set of gene identified in the Ewing sarcoma cell lines. Additionally, a set of genes regulated by HOTAIR independently of EWS-FLI1 was identified in the hTERT-hMSC models. Conclusions: HOTAIR expression regulates a set of genes critical to viability, cell adhesion, cell motility, and other markers of EMT and metastasis in Ewing sarcoma, independently of EWS-FLI1. Overall design: Ewing sarcoma cell lines SKES, ES2, and A673 were treated with locked nucleic acic antisense oligonucleotides (GapmeR, Exiqon) against either HOTAIR or a nonsilencing control for 48 hours, then had RNA isolated using the Nucleospin RNA isolation kit. hTERT-immortalized human mesenchymal stem cells were obtained from Applied Biological Materials and infected with lentivirus expressing GFP and PuroR with or without HOTAIR, then subsequently with lentivirus expressing either BFP and PuroR with or without EWS-FLI1, and stable clones were selected by puromycin treatment. RNA was isolated as above and used for RT-qPCR, by which expression of HOTAIR and EWS-FLI1 was confirmed. RNA from these samples was then used for quality assessment, then for RNA-Seq in quadruplicate for each sample, using the Illumina HiSeq4000.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ewing sarcoma is a cancer of bone and soft tissue. Despite aggressive treatment, survival remains poor, particularly in patients with metastatic disease. Failure to treat Ewing sarcoma is due to the lack of understanding of the molecular pathways that regulate metastasis. In addition, no molecular prognostic markers have been identified for Ewing sarcoma to risk stratify patients. PROCEDURE:Ewing sarcoma patients were divided into high or low Twist1 gene expression and survival curves were generated using the R2 microarray-based Genomic Analysis platform (http://r2.amc.nl). Tumors from Ewing sarcoma patients were also evaluated for TWIST1 expression by immunohistochemistry. Ewing sarcoma xenografts were established to evaluate the role of TWIST1 in metastasis. The effects of Twist1 on migration and invasion were evaluated using migration and invasion assays in A673 and RDES cells. RESULTS:Twist1 expression was a negative prognostic marker for overall survival in a public Ewing sarcoma patient data set based on Twist1 mRNA levels and in patient tumor samples based on Twist1 immunohistochemistry. TWIST1 is detected in significantly higher percentage of patients with metastatic diseases than localized disease. Using Ewing sarcoma tumor xenografts in mice, we found that suppressing TWIST1 levels suppressed metastasis without affecting primary tumor development. Knockdown of Twist1 inhibited the migration and invasion capability, while overexpression of Twist1 promoted migration and invasion in Ewing sarcoma cells. CONCLUSION:These results suggest that TWIST1 promotes metastasis in Ewing sarcoma and could be used as a prognostic marker for treatment stratification; however, further validation is required in a larger cohort of patients.
Project description:Altered cellular metabolism, including an increased dependence on aerobic glycolysis, is a hallmark of cancer. Despite the fact that this observation was first made nearly a century ago, effective therapeutic targeting of glycolysis in cancer has remained elusive. One potentially promising approach involves targeting the glycolytic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), which is overexpressed and plays a critical role in several cancers. Here, we used a novel class of LDH inhibitors to demonstrate, for the first time, that Ewing sarcoma cells are exquisitely sensitive to inhibition of LDH. EWS-FLI1, the oncogenic driver of Ewing sarcoma, regulated LDH A (LDHA) expression. Genetic depletion of LDHA inhibited proliferation of Ewing sarcoma cells and induced apoptosis, phenocopying pharmacologic inhibition of LDH. LDH inhibitors affected Ewing sarcoma cell viability both in vitro and in vivo by reducing glycolysis. Intravenous administration of LDH inhibitors resulted in the greatest intratumoral drug accumulation, inducing tumor cell death and reducing tumor growth. The major dose-limiting toxicity observed was hemolysis, indicating that a narrow therapeutic window exists for these compounds. Taken together, these data suggest that targeting glycolysis through inhibition of LDH should be further investigated as a potential therapeutic approach for cancers such as Ewing sarcoma that exhibit oncogene-dependent expression of LDH and increased glycolysis. SIGNIFICANCE: LDHA is a pharmacologically tractable EWS-FLI1 transcriptional target that regulates the glycolytic dependence of Ewing sarcoma.
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is the second most frequent pediatric bone tumor. In most of the patients, a chromosomal translocation leads to the expression of the EWS-FLI1 chimeric transcription factor that is the major oncogene in this pathology. Relative genetic simplicity of Ewing sarcoma makes it particularly attractive for studying cancer in a systemic manner. Silencing EWS-FLI1 induces cell cycle alteration and ultimately leads to apoptosis, but the exact molecular mechanisms underlying this phenotype are unclear. In this study, a network linking EWS-FLI1 to cell cycle and apoptosis phenotypes was constructed through an original method of network reconstruction. Transcriptome time-series after EWS-FLI1 silencing were used to identify core modulated genes by an original scoring method based on fitting expression profile dynamics curves. Literature data mining was then used to connect these modulated genes into a network. The validity of a subpart of this network was assessed by siRNA/RT-QPCR experiments on four additional Ewing cell lines and confirmed most of the links. Based on the network and the transcriptome data, CUL1 was identified as a new potential target of EWS-FLI1. Altogether, using an original methodology of data integration, we provide the first version of EWS-FLI1 network model of cell cycle and apoptosis regulation.
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is a tumor of the bone and soft tissue characterized by diffuse cell membrane expression of CD99 (MIC2). Single-site, surgically resectable disease is associated with an excellent 5-year event-free survival; conversely, patients with distant metastases have a poor prognosis. Noninvasive imaging is the standard approach to identifying sites of metastatic disease. We sought to develop a CD99-targeted imaging agent for staging Ewing sarcoma and other CD99-expressing tumors.We identified a CD99 antibody with highly specific binding in vitro and labeled this antibody with (64)Cu. Mice with either subcutaneous Ewing sarcoma xenograft tumors or micrometastases were imaged with the (64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody and these results were compared with conventional MRI and 2[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging.(64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody demonstrated high avidity for the CD99-positive subcutaneous tumors, with a high tumor-to-background ratio, greater than that demonstrated with FDG-PET. Micrometastases, measuring 1 to 2 mm on MRI, were not detected with FDG-PET but were readily visualized with the (64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody. Probe biodistribution studies demonstrated high specificity of the probe for CD99-positive tumors.(64)Cu-labeled anti-CD99 antibody can detect subcutaneous Ewing sarcoma tumors and metastatic sites with high sensitivity, outperforming FDG-PET in preclinical studies. This targeted radiotracer may have important implications for the diagnosis, surveillance, and treatment of Ewing sarcoma. Similarly, it may impact the management of other CD99 positive tumors.
Project description:Ewing Family Tumors (Ewing Sarcoma and peripheral Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor) are common bone and soft tissue malignancies of childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. Chromosomal translocation in these tumors produces fusion oncogenes of the EWS/ETS class, with EWS/FLI1 being by far the most common. EWS/ETS chimera are the only well established driver mutations in these tumors and they function as aberrant transcription factors. Understanding the downstream genes whose expression is modified has been a central approach to the study of these tumors. FOXM1 is a proliferation associated transcription factor which has increasingly been found to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of human cancers. Here we demonstrate that FOXM1 is expressed in Ewing primary tumors and cell lines. Reduction in FOXM1 expression in Ewing cell lines results in diminished potential for anchorage independent growth. FOXM1 expression is enhanced by EWS/FLI1, though, unlike other tumor systems, it is not driven by expression of the EWS/FLI1 target GLI1. Thiostrepton is a compound known to inhibit FOXM1 by direct binding. We show that Thiostrepton diminishes FOXM1 expression in Ewing cell lines and this reduction reduces cell viability through an apoptotic mechanism. FOXM1 is involved in Ewing tumor pathogenesis and may prove to be a useful therapeutic target in Ewing tumors.
Project description:Interleukin-2 (IL-2) transgenic Ewing sarcoma cells can induce tumor specific T and NK cell responses and reduce tumor growth in vivo and in vitro. Nevertheless, the efficiency of this stimulation is not high enough to inhibit tumor growth completely. In addition to recognition of the cognate antigen, optimal T-cell stimulation requires signals from so-called co-stimulatory molecules. Several members of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily have been identified as co-stimulatory molecules that can augment antitumor immune responses. OX40 (CD134) and OX40 ligand (OX40L = CD252; also known as tumor necrosis factor ligand family member 4) is one example of such receptor/ligand pair with co-stimulatory function. In the present investigation, we generated OX40L transgenic Ewing sarcoma cells and tested their immunostimulatory activity in vitro. OX40L transgenic Ewing sarcoma cells showed preserved expression of Ewing sarcoma-associated (anti)gens including lipase member I, cyclin D1 (CCND1), cytochrome P450 family member 26B1 (CYP26B1), and the Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1-friend leukemia virus integration 1 (EWSR1-FLI1) oncogene. OX40L-expressing tumor cells showed a trend for enhanced immune stimulation against Ewing sarcoma cells in combination with IL-2 and stimulation of CD137. Our data suggest that inclusion of the OX40/OX40L pathway of co-stimulation might improve immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma.
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive, poorly differentiated neoplasm of solid bone that disproportionally afflicts the young. Despite intensive multi-modal therapy and valiant efforts, 70% of patients with relapsed and metastatic Ewing sarcoma will succumb to their disease. The persistent failure to improve overall survival for this subset of patients highlights the urgent need for rapid translation of novel therapeutic strategies. As Ewing sarcoma is associated with a paucity of mutations in readily targetable signal transduction pathways, targeting the key genetic aberration and master regulator of Ewing sarcoma, the EWS/ETS fusion, remains an important goal.
Project description:PURPOSE OF REVIEW:In 2012, two publications revealed a particular sensitivity of Ewing sarcoma cells to the inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). This review updates the reader on PARP function, the development of PARP inhibitors (PARPi) and the evidence for targeting PARP in Ewing sarcoma. It concludes with a description of ongoing/emerging PARPi clinical trials in patients with Ewing sarcoma. RECENT FINDINGS:PARP has a major role in DNA repair, and is a transcription regulator. The oncoprotein in Ewing sarcoma, EWS-FLI1, is proposed to interact with PARP-1, driving PARP-1 expression, which further promotes transcriptional activation by EWS-FLI1. Thus, there are two rationales for PARPi in the treatment of Ewing sarcoma: to disrupt the interaction between EWS-FLI1 and PARP, and for chemo-potentiation or radio-potentiation. The first clinical trial with a single agent PARPi failed to show significant responses, but preclinical evidence for combinations of PARPi with chemotherapy or radiotherapy is very promising. SUMMARY:Despite initial excitement for the potential of PARPi as single agent therapy in Ewing sarcoma, the emerging preclinical data now strongly support testing PARPi in combination with chemo/radiotherapy clinically.
Project description:Ewing sarcoma is a malignant pediatric bone and soft tissue tumor. Although the 5-year survival rate of localized disease approaches 75%, the prognosis of metastatic and/or therapy-resistant disease remains dismal despite the wide use of aggressive therapeutic strategies. We previously reported that high expression of glutathione S-transferase M4 (GSTM4) in primary tumors correlates with poor patient outcomes. GSTM4 is required for oncogenic transformation and mediates resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs in Ewing sarcoma cells. Here, we performed RNA-sequencing analyses of Ewing sarcoma cells and combined our results with publicly available datasets to demonstrate that GSTM4 is a major GST specifically expressed in Ewing sarcoma. Pharmacological inhibition of GSTM4 activity using a pan GST inhibitor, 6-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-ylthio) hexanol (NBDHEX), significantly limited cellular proliferation and oncogenic transformation of Ewing sarcoma cells. Moreover, combined use of NBDHEX and etoposide synergistically increased cytotoxicity, suggesting a role for GSTM4 as an inhibitor of apoptosis. Mechanistic studies revealed that GSTM4 limits apoptosis owing to its ability to interact with Apoptosis Signal-regulating Kinase 1 (ASK1) and inhibit signaling via the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase axis. To exploit our observation that GSTM4 expression is specifically up-regulated in Ewing sarcoma, we tested the effect of a GSTM4-activated anti-cancer agent, O(2)-(2,4-dinitrophenyl) 1-[(4-ethoxycarbonyl)piperazin-1-yl]diazen-1-ium-1,2-diolate or JS-K, on tumor growth and survival. We found that JS-K robustly decreased Ewing sarcoma cell viability and xenograft tumor growth and improved overall survival of xenograft mice. Our data suggest that GSTM4 is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of high GSTM4-expressing Ewing sarcoma. Strategies that combine standard chemotherapy with agents that inhibit GSTM4, that are activated by GSTM4, or that block GSTM4/ASK1 interactions, can potentially be more specific and/or efficacious than standard therapeutic approaches.