Retinoblastoma Has Properties of a Cone Precursor Tumor and Depends Upon Cone-Specific MDM2 Signaling
ABSTRACT Retinoblastomas result from the inactivation of the RB1 gene and the loss of Rb protein, yet the cell type in which Rb suppresses retinoblastoma and the circuitry that underlies the need for Rb are undefined. Here, we show that retinoblastoma cells express markers of postmitotic cone precursors but not markers of other retinal cell types. We also demonstrate that human cone precursors prominently express MDM2 and N-Myc, that retinoblastoma cells require both of these proteins for proliferation and survival, and that MDM2 is needed to suppress ARF-induced apoptosis in cultured retinoblastoma cells. Interestingly, retinoblastoma cell MDM2 expression was regulated by the cone-specific RXRgamma transcription factor and a human-specific RXRgamma consensus binding site, and proliferation required RXRgamma, as well as the cone-specific thyroid hormone receptor-beta2. These findings provide support for a cone precursor origin of retinoblastoma and suggest that human cone-specific signaling circuitry sensitizes to the oncogenic effects of RB1 mutations.
SourceAvailable from: Alice Nomura[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rb1 is the most frequently mutated gene in the pediatric cancer retinoblastoma, and its loss causes E2F transcription factors to induce proliferation related genes. However, high E2F levels following pRB loss also induce apoptosis-promoting genes as a safeguard mechanism to suppress emergent tumors. Although p53 accumulation and apoptosis induction is believed to be a primary mechanism to eliminate cells with excess E2F activity, p53 deletion doesn't suppress RB/E2F induced apoptosis in vivo in the retina. This prompted us to test the PTEN/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway on RB/E2F apoptosis suppression in vivo, to ascertain if the PI3K pathway may provide a potential avenue for retinoblastoma therapy. We developed a mouse model in which Rb1 and Pten were conditionally deleted from retinal progenitor cells using Chx10-Cre, whereas Rbl1 (p107) was constitutively deleted. Pathway components were also tested individually by in vivo electroporation into newborn retinas for an effect on apoptosis and tumor initiation. Mouse retinal tissues were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) for proliferation, apoptosis, and pathway activation. ShRNAs were used in vitro to assess effects on apoptosis and gene expression. Co-deleting Pten with Rb1 and Rbl1 in mouse retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) causes fully penetrant bilateral retinoblastomas by 30 days and strongly suppresses Rb/E2F-induced apoptosis. In vivo electroporation of constitutively active (ca)-Pik3ca, ca-Akt, or dominant-negative (dn)-Foxo1 into apoptosis prone newborn murine retina with deleted Rb/p107 eliminate Rb/E2F induced apoptosis and induce retinoblastoma emergence. Retinal deletion of Pten activates p-AKT and p-FOXO1 signaling in incipient retinoblastoma. An unbiased shRNA screen focusing on Akt phosphorylation targets identified FOXOs as critical mediators of Rb/E2F induced apoptosis and expression of Bim and p73 pro-apoptotic genes. These data indicate that we defined a key molecular trigger involving E2F/FOXO functioning to control retinal progenitor cell homeostasis and retinoblastoma tumor initiation. We anticipate that our findings could provide contextual understanding of the proliferation of other progenitor cells, considering the high frequency of co-altered signaling from RB/E2F and PTEN/PI3K/AKT pathways in a wide variety of normal and malignant settings.Molecular Cancer 04/2015; 14(1):93. DOI:10.1186/s12943-015-0360-y · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by multiple genetic events occurring in concert to drive pathogenic features of the disease. Here we interrogated the coordinate impact of p53, RB, and MYC in a genetic model of TNBC, in parallel with the analysis of clinical specimens. Primary mouse mammary epithelial cells (mMEC) with defined genetic features were used to delineate the combined action of RB and/or p53 in the genesis of TNBC. In this context, the deletion of either RB or p53 alone and in combination increased the proliferation of mMEC; however, the cells did not have the capacity to invade in matrigel. Gene expression profiling revealed that loss of each tumor suppressor has effects related to proliferation, but RB loss in particular leads to alterations in gene expression associated with the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The overexpression of MYC in combination with p53 loss or combined RB/p53 loss drove rapid cell growth. While the effects of MYC overexpression had a dominant impact on gene expression, loss of RB further enhanced the deregulation of a gene expression signature associated with invasion. Specific RB loss lead to enhanced invasion in boyden chambers assays and gave rise to tumors with minimal epithelial characteristics relative to RB-proficient models. Therapeutic screening revealed that RB-deficient cells were particularly resistant to agents targeting PI3K and MEK pathway. Consistent with the aggressive behavior of the preclinical models of MYC overexpression and RB loss, human TNBC tumors that express high levels of MYC and are devoid of RB have a particularly poor outcome. Together these results underscore the potency of tumor suppressor pathways in specifying the biology of breast cancer. Further, they demonstrate that MYC overexpression in concert with RB can promote a particularly aggressive form of TNBC.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 01/2015; 14(1):109-22. DOI:10.4161/15384101.2014.967118 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Retinoblastoma is a childhood retinal tumour that initiates in response to biallelic RB1 inactivation and loss of functional retinoblastoma (Rb) protein. Although Rb has diverse tumour-suppressor functions and is inactivated in many cancers, germline RB1 mutations predispose to retinoblastoma far more strongly than to other malignancies. This tropism suggests that retinal cell-type-specific circuitry sensitizes to Rb loss, yet the nature of the circuitry and the cell type in which it operates have been unclear. Here we show that post-mitotic human cone precursors are uniquely sensitive to Rb depletion. Rb knockdown induced cone precursor proliferation in prospectively isolated populations and in intact retina. Proliferation followed the induction of E2F-regulated genes, and depended on factors having strong expression in maturing cone precursors and crucial roles in retinoblastoma cell proliferation, including MYCN and MDM2. Proliferation of Rb-depleted cones and retinoblastoma cells also depended on the Rb-related protein p107, SKP2, and a p27 downregulation associated with cone precursor maturation. Moreover, Rb-depleted cone precursors formed tumours in orthotopic xenografts with histological features and protein expression typical of human retinoblastoma. These findings provide a compelling molecular rationale for a cone precursor origin of retinoblastoma. More generally, they demonstrate that cell-type-specific circuitry can collaborate with an initiating oncogenic mutation to enable tumorigenesis.Nature 09/2014; 514(7522). DOI:10.1038/nature13813 · 42.35 Impact Factor