MYCN-regulated microRNAs repress estrogen receptor-alpha (ESR1) expression and neuronal differentiation in human neuroblastoma.
ABSTRACT MYCN, a proto-oncogene normally expressed in the migrating neural crest, is in its amplified state a key factor in the genesis of human neuroblastoma (NB). However, the mechanisms underlying MYCN-mediated NB progression are poorly understood. Here, we present a MYCN-induced miRNA signature in human NB involving the activation and transrepression of several miRNA genes from paralogous clusters. Several family members derived from the miR-17 approximately 92 cluster, including miR-18a and miR-19a, were among the up-regulated miRNAs. Expression analysis of these miRNAs in NB tumors confirmed increased levels in MYCN-amplified samples. Specifically, we show that miR-18a and miR-19a target and repress the expression of estrogen receptor-alpha (ESR1), a ligand-inducible transcription factor implicated in neuronal differentiation. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated ESR1 expression in human fetal sympathetic ganglia, suggesting a role for ESR1 during sympathetic nervous system development. Concordantly, lentiviral restoration of ESR1 in NB cells resulted in growth arrest and neuronal differentiation. Moreover, lentiviral-mediated inhibition of miR-18a in NB cells led to severe growth retardation, outgrowth of varicosity-containing neurites, and induction of neuronal sympathetic differentiation markers. Bioinformatic analyses of microarray data from NB tumors revealed that high ESR1 expression correlates with increased event-free survival in NB patients and favorable disease outcome. Thus, MYCN amplification may disrupt estrogen signaling sensitivity in primitive sympathetic cells through deregulation of ESR1, thereby preventing the normal induction of neuroblast differentiation. Collectively, our findings demonstrate the molecular consequences of abnormal miRNA transcription in a MYCN-driven tumor and offer unique insights into the pathology underlying MYCN-amplified NB.
Article: Common variation at BARD1 results in the expression of an oncogenic isoform that influences neuroblastoma susceptibility and oncogenicity.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying genetic susceptibility at loci discovered by genome-wide association study (GWAS) approaches in human cancer remain largely undefined. In this study, we characterized the high-risk neuroblastoma association at the BRCA1-related locus, BARD1, showing that disease-associated variations correlate with increased expression of the oncogenically activated isoform, BARD1β. In neuroblastoma cells, silencing of BARD1β showed genotype-specific cytotoxic effects, including decreased substrate-adherence, anchorage-independence, and foci growth. In established murine fibroblasts, overexpression of BARD1β was sufficient for neoplastic transformation. BARD1β stabilized the Aurora family of kinases in neuroblastoma cells, suggesting both a mechanism for the observed effect and a potential therapeutic strategy. Together, our findings identify BARD1β as an oncogenic driver of high-risk neuroblastoma tumorigenesis, and more generally, they illustrate how robust GWAS signals offer genomic landmarks to identify molecular mechanisms involved in both tumor initiation and malignant progression. The interaction of BARD1β with the Aurora family of kinases lends strong support to the ongoing work to develop Aurora kinase inhibitors for clinically aggressive neuroblastoma.Cancer Research 02/2012; 72(8):2068-78. · 7.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Neuroblastoma is an embryonic tumor arising from immature sympathetic nervous system cells. Recurrent genomic alterations include MYCN and ALK amplification as well as recurrent patterns of gains and losses of whole or large partial chromosome segments. A recent whole genome sequencing effort yielded no frequently recurring mutations in genes other than those affecting ALK. However, the study further stresses the importance of DNA copy number alterations in this disease, in particular for genes implicated in neuritogenesis. Here we provide additional evidence for the importance of focal DNA copy number gains and losses, which are predominantly observed in MYCN amplified tumors. A focal 5 kb gain encompassing the MYCN regulated miR-17∼92 cluster as sole gene was detected in a neuroblastoma cell line and further analyses of the array CGH data set demonstrated enrichment for other MYCN target genes in focal gains and amplifications. Next we applied an integrated genomics analysis to prioritize MYCN down regulated genes mediated by MYCN driven miRNAs within regions of focal heterozygous or homozygous deletion. We identified RGS5, a negative regulator of G-protein signaling implicated in vascular normalization, invasion and metastasis, targeted by a focal homozygous deletion, as a new MYCN target gene, down regulated through MYCN activated miRNAs. In addition, we expand the miR-17∼92 regulatory network controlling TGFß signaling in neuroblastoma with the ring finger protein 11 encoding gene RNF11, which was previously shown to be targeted by the miR-17∼92 member miR-19b. Taken together, our data indicate that focal DNA copy number imbalances in neuroblastoma (1) target genes that are implicated in MYCN signaling, possibly selected to reinforce MYCN oncogene addiction and (2) serve as a resource for identifying new molecular targets for treatment.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e52321. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Dataset: The MYCNot database at work