Background: Neuroblastoma is a deadly childhood cancer, and MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma (MNA-NB) patients have the worst prognoses and are therapy-resistant. While retinoic acid (RA) is beneficial for some neuroblastoma patients, the cause of RA resistance is unknown. Thus, there remains a need for new therapies to treat neuroblastoma. Here we explored the possibility of combining a MYCN-specific antigene oligonucleotide BGA002 and RA as therapeutic approach to restore sensitivity to RA in NB. Methods: By molecular and cellular biology techniques, we assessed the combined effect of the two compounds in NB cell lines and in a xenograft mouse model MNA-NB. Results: We found that MYCN-specific inhibition by BGA002 in combination with RA (BGA002-RA) act synergistically and overcame resistance in NB cell lines. BGA002-RA also reactivated neuron differentiation (or led to apoptosis) and inhibited invasiveness capacity in MNA-NB. Moreover, we found that neuroblastoma had the highest level of mRNA expression of mTOR pathway genes, and that BGA002 led to mTOR pathway inhibition followed by autophagy reactivation in MNA-NB cells, which was strengthened by BGA002-RA. BGA002-RA in vivo treatment also eliminated tumor vascularization in a MNA-NB mouse model and significantly increased survival. Conclusion: Taken together, MYCN modulation mediates the therapeutic efficacy of RA and the development of RA resistance in MNA-NB. Furthermore, by targeting MYCN, a cancer-specific mTOR pathway inhibition occurs only in MNA-NB, thus avoiding the side effects of targeting mTOR in normal cells. These findings warrant clinical testing of BGA002-RA as a strategy for overcoming RA resistance in MNA-NB.

The MYCN inhibitor BGA002 restores the retinoic acid response leading to differentiation or apoptosis by the mTOR block in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma

Lampis S.;Montemurro L.;Bortolotti S.;Cerisoli L.;Paganelli F.;Valente S.;Martelli A. M.;Pasquinelli G.;Pession A.;Hrelia P.;Tonelli R.
2022

Abstract

Background: Neuroblastoma is a deadly childhood cancer, and MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma (MNA-NB) patients have the worst prognoses and are therapy-resistant. While retinoic acid (RA) is beneficial for some neuroblastoma patients, the cause of RA resistance is unknown. Thus, there remains a need for new therapies to treat neuroblastoma. Here we explored the possibility of combining a MYCN-specific antigene oligonucleotide BGA002 and RA as therapeutic approach to restore sensitivity to RA in NB. Methods: By molecular and cellular biology techniques, we assessed the combined effect of the two compounds in NB cell lines and in a xenograft mouse model MNA-NB. Results: We found that MYCN-specific inhibition by BGA002 in combination with RA (BGA002-RA) act synergistically and overcame resistance in NB cell lines. BGA002-RA also reactivated neuron differentiation (or led to apoptosis) and inhibited invasiveness capacity in MNA-NB. Moreover, we found that neuroblastoma had the highest level of mRNA expression of mTOR pathway genes, and that BGA002 led to mTOR pathway inhibition followed by autophagy reactivation in MNA-NB cells, which was strengthened by BGA002-RA. BGA002-RA in vivo treatment also eliminated tumor vascularization in a MNA-NB mouse model and significantly increased survival. Conclusion: Taken together, MYCN modulation mediates the therapeutic efficacy of RA and the development of RA resistance in MNA-NB. Furthermore, by targeting MYCN, a cancer-specific mTOR pathway inhibition occurs only in MNA-NB, thus avoiding the side effects of targeting mTOR in normal cells. These findings warrant clinical testing of BGA002-RA as a strategy for overcoming RA resistance in MNA-NB.
Lampis S.; Raieli S.; Montemurro L.; Bartolucci D.; Amadesi C.; Bortolotti S.; Angelucci S.; Scardovi A.L.; Nieddu G.; Cerisoli L.; Paganelli F.; Valente S.; Fischer M.; Martelli A.M.; Pasquinelli G.; Pession A.; Hrelia P.; Tonelli R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/887608
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