Childhood neuroblastoma, a disease of the sympathetic nervous system, is the most common solid tumour of infancy, remarkably refractory to therapeutic treatments. One of the most powerful independent prognostic indicators for this disease is the amplification of the MYCN oncogene, which occurs at high levels in approximately 25% of neuroblastomas. Interestingly, amplification and not just expression of MYCN has a strong prognostic value, although this fact appears quite surprising as MYCN is a transcription factor that requires dimerising with its partner MAX, to exert its function. This observation greatly suggests that the role of MYCN in neuroblastoma should be examined in the context of MAX expression. In this report, we show that, in contrast to what is found in normal cells, MAX expression is significantly different among primary NBs, and that its level appears to correlate with the clinical outcome of the disease. Importantly, controlled modulation of MAX expression in neuroblastoma cells with different extents of MYCN amplification, demonstrates that MAX can instruct gene transcription programs that either reinforce or weaken the oncogenic process enacted by MYCN. In general, our work illustrates that it is the MAX to MYCN ratio that can account for tumour progression and clinical outcome in neuroblastoma and proposes that such a ratio should be considered as an important criterion to the design and development of anti-MYCN therapies.

MAX to MYCN intracellular ratio drives the aggressive phenotype and clinical outcome of high risk neuroblastoma

CIACCIO, ROBERTO;Monticelli, Sara;Pigini, Paolo;di Giacomo, Simone;Purgato, Stefania;Erriquez, Daniela;Bernardoni, Roberto;Milazzo, Giorgio
;
Perini, Giovanni
2018

Abstract

Childhood neuroblastoma, a disease of the sympathetic nervous system, is the most common solid tumour of infancy, remarkably refractory to therapeutic treatments. One of the most powerful independent prognostic indicators for this disease is the amplification of the MYCN oncogene, which occurs at high levels in approximately 25% of neuroblastomas. Interestingly, amplification and not just expression of MYCN has a strong prognostic value, although this fact appears quite surprising as MYCN is a transcription factor that requires dimerising with its partner MAX, to exert its function. This observation greatly suggests that the role of MYCN in neuroblastoma should be examined in the context of MAX expression. In this report, we show that, in contrast to what is found in normal cells, MAX expression is significantly different among primary NBs, and that its level appears to correlate with the clinical outcome of the disease. Importantly, controlled modulation of MAX expression in neuroblastoma cells with different extents of MYCN amplification, demonstrates that MAX can instruct gene transcription programs that either reinforce or weaken the oncogenic process enacted by MYCN. In general, our work illustrates that it is the MAX to MYCN ratio that can account for tumour progression and clinical outcome in neuroblastoma and proposes that such a ratio should be considered as an important criterion to the design and development of anti-MYCN therapies.
Ferrucci, Francesca; Ciaccio, Roberto; Monticelli, Sara; Pigini, Paolo; di Giacomo, Simone; Purgato, Stefania; Erriquez, Daniela; Bernardoni, Roberto; Norris, Murray; Haber, Michelle; Milazzo, Giorgio; Perini, Giovanni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/634846
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