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  • 1
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; CELL-PROLIFERATION ; GENES ; PROTEIN ; IDENTIFICATION ; REVEALS ; MicroRNAs ; RELATIVE QUANTIFICATION ; FEEDBACK LOOP
    Abstract: LIN28B has been identified as an oncogene in various tumor entities, including neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer that originates from neural crest-derived cells, and is characterized by amplification of the MYCN oncogene. Recently, elevated LIN28B expression levels were shown to contribute to neuroblastoma tumorigenesis via let-7 dependent de-repression of MYCN. However, additional insight in the regulation of LIN28B in neuroblastoma is lacking. Therefore, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the regulation of LIN28B in neuroblastoma, with a specific focus on the contribution of miRNAs. We show that MYCN regulates LIN28B expression in neuroblastoma tumors via two distinct parallel mechanisms. First, through an unbiased LIN28B-3'UTR reporter screen, we found that miR-26a-5p and miR-26b-5p regulate LIN28B expression. Next, we demonstrated that MYCN indirectly affects the expression of miR-26a-5p, and hence regulates LIN28B, therefore establishing an MYCN-miR-26a-5p-LIN28B regulatory axis. Second, we provide evidence that MYCN regulates LIN28B expression via interaction with the LIN28B promoter, establishing a direct MYCN-LIN28B regulatory axis. We believe that these findings mark LIN28B as an important effector of the MYCN oncogenic phenotype and underline the importance of MYCN-regulated miRNAs in establishing the MYCN-driven oncogenic process.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26123663
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  • 2
    Abstract: The systemic and resistant nature of metastatic neuroblastoma renders it largely incurable with current multimodal treatment. Clinical progression stems mainly from the increasing burden of metastatic colonization. Therapeutically inhibiting the migration-invasion-metastasis cascade would be of great benefit, but the mechanisms driving this cycle are as yet poorly understood. In-depth transcriptome analyses and ChIP-qPCR identified the cell surface glycoprotein, CD9, as a major downstream player and direct target of the recently described GRHL1 tumor suppressor. CD9 is known to block or facilitate cancer cell motility and metastasis dependent upon entity. High-level CD9 expression in primary neuroblastomas correlated with patient survival and established markers for favorable disease. Low-level CD9 expression was an independent risk factor for adverse outcome. MYCN and HDAC5 colocalized to the CD9 promoter and repressed transcription. CD9 expression diminished with progressive tumor development in the TH-MYCN transgenic mouse model for neuroblastoma, and CD9 expression in neuroblastic tumors was far below that in ganglia from wildtype mice. Primary neuroblastomas lacking MYCN amplifications displayed differential CD9 promoter methylation in methyl-CpG-binding domain sequencing analyses, and high-level methylation was associated with advanced stage disease, supporting epigenetic regulation. Inducing CD9 expression in a SH-EP cell model inhibited migration and invasion in Boyden chamber assays. Enforced CD9 expression in neuroblastoma cells transplanted onto chicken chorioallantoic membranes strongly reduced metastasis to embryonic bone marrow. Combined treatment of neuroblastoma cells with HDAC/DNA methyltransferase inhibitors synergistically induced CD9 expression despite hypoxic, metabolic or cytotoxic stress. Our results show CD9 is a critical and indirectly druggable suppressor of the invasion-metastasis cycle in neuroblastoma.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27572323
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; GENE ; transcription ; DIFFERENTIATION ; AMPLIFICATION ; ONCOGENE ; REVEALS ; genomics ; MicroRNAs
    Abstract: MYCN is a transcription factor that plays key roles in both normal development and cancer. In neuroblastoma, MYCN acts as a major oncogenic driver through pleiotropic effects regulated by multiple protein encoding genes as well as microRNAs (miRNAs). MYCN activity is tightly controlled at the level of transcription and protein stability through various mechanisms. Like most genes, MYCN is further controlled by miRNAs, but the full complement of all miRNAs implicated in this process has not been determined through an unbiased approach. To elucidate the role of miRNAs in regulation of MYCN, we thus explored the MYCN-miRNA interactome to establish miRNAs controlling MYCN expression levels. We combined results from an unbiased and genome-wide high-throughput miRNA target reporter screen with miRNA and mRNA expression data from patients and a murine neuroblastoma progression model. We identified 29 miRNAs targeting MYCN, of which 12 miRNAs are inversely correlated with MYCN expression or activity in neuroblastoma tumor tissue. The majority of MYCN-targeting miRNAs in neuroblastoma showed a decrease in expression during murine MYCN-driven neuroblastoma tumor development. Therefore, we provide evidence that MYCN-targeting miRNAs are preferentially downregulated in MYCN-driven neuroblastoma, suggesting that MYCN negatively controls the expression of these miRNAs, to safeguard its expression.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25294817
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  • 4
    Keywords: CANCER ; PATHWAY ; ENZYMES ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; BIOLOGY ; resistance ; C-MYC ; N-MYC ; CARRIER ; ORNITHINE-DECARBOXYLASE
    Abstract: MYCN amplification occurs in 20% of neuroblastomas and is strongly related to poor clinical outcome. We have identified folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism as highly upregulated in neuroblastoma tumors with MYCN amplification and have validated this finding experimentally by showing that MYCN amplified neuroblastoma cell lines have a higher requirement for folate and are significantly more sensitive to the antifolate methotrexate than cell lines without MYCN amplification. We have demonstrated that methotrexate uptake in neuroblastoma cells is mediated principally by the reduced folate carrier (RFC; SLC19A1), that SLC19A1 and MYCN expression are highly correlated in both patient tumors and cell lines, and that SLC19A1 is a direct transcriptional target of N-Myc. Finally, we assessed the relationship between SLC19A1 expression and patient survival in two independent primary tumor cohorts and found that SLC19A1 expression was associated with increased risk of relapse or death, and that SLC19A1 expression retained prognostic significance independent of age, disease stage and MYCN amplification. This study adds upregulation of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism to the known consequences of MYCN amplification, and suggests that this pathway might be targeted in poor outcome tumors with MYCN amplification and high SLC19A1 expression.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25860940
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  • 5
    Abstract: MYCN gene amplification in neuroblastoma drives a gene expression program that correlates strongly with aggressive disease. Mechanistically, trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) at target gene promoters is a strict prerequisite for this transcriptional program to be enacted. WDR5 is a histone H3K4 presenter that has been found to have an essential role in H3K4 trimethylation. For this reason, in this study, we investigated the relationship between WDR5-mediated H3K4 trimethylation and N-Myc transcriptional programs in neuroblastoma cells. N-Myc upregulated WDR5 expression in neuroblastoma cells. Gene expression analysis revealed that WDR5 target genes included those with MYC-binding elements at promoters such as MDM2. We showed that WDR5 could form a protein complex at the MDM2 promoter with N-Myc, but not p53, leading to histone H3K4 trimethylation and activation of MDM2 transcription. RNAi-mediated attenuation of WDR5 upregulated expression of wild-type but not mutant p53, an effect associated with growth inhibition and apoptosis. Similarly, a small-molecule antagonist of WDR5 reduced N-Myc/WDR5 complex formation, N-Myc target gene expression, and cell growth in neuroblastoma cells. In MYCN-transgenic mice, WDR5 was overexpressed in precancerous ganglion and neuroblastoma cells compared with normal ganglion cells. Clinically, elevated levels of WDR5 in neuroblastoma specimens were an independent predictor of poor overall survival. Overall, our results identify WDR5 as a key cofactor for N-Myc-regulated transcriptional activation and tumorigenesis and as a novel therapeutic target for MYCN-amplified neuroblastomas. Cancer Res; 75(23); 5143-54. (c)2015 AACR.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26471359
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