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Bone morphogenetic protein-7 is a MYC target with prosurvival functions in childhood medulloblastoma


Fiaschetti, G; Castelletti, D; Zoller, S; Schramm, A; Schroeder, C; Nagaishi, M; Stearns, D; Mittelbronn, M; Eggert, A; Westermann, F; Ohgaki, H; Shalaby, T; Pruschy, M; Arcaro, A; Grotzer, M A (2011). Bone morphogenetic protein-7 is a MYC target with prosurvival functions in childhood medulloblastoma. Oncogene, 30(25):2823-2835.

Abstract

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. It is known that overexpression and/or amplification of the MYC oncogene is associated with poor clinical outcome, but the molecular mechanisms and the MYC downstream effectors in MB remain still elusive. Besides contributing to elucidate how progression of MB takes place, most importantly, the identification of novel MYC-target genes will suggest novel candidates for targeted therapy in MB. A group of 209 MYC-responsive genes was obtained from a complementary DNA microarray analysis of a MB-derived cell line, following MYC overexpression and silencing. Among the MYC-responsive genes, we identified the members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway, which have a crucial role during the development of the cerebellum. In particular, the gene BMP7 was identified as a direct target of MYC. A positive correlation between MYC and BMP7 expression was documented by analyzing two distinct sets of primary MB samples. Functional studies in vitro using a small-molecule inhibitor of the BMP/SMAD signaling pathway reproduced the effect of the small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of BMP7. Both approaches led to a block of proliferation in a panel of MB cells and to inhibition of SMAD phosphorylation. Altogether, our findings indicate that high MYC levels drive BMP7 overexpression, promoting cell survival in MB cells. This observation suggests the potential relevance of targeting the BMP/SMAD pathway as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of childhood MB.

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. It is known that overexpression and/or amplification of the MYC oncogene is associated with poor clinical outcome, but the molecular mechanisms and the MYC downstream effectors in MB remain still elusive. Besides contributing to elucidate how progression of MB takes place, most importantly, the identification of novel MYC-target genes will suggest novel candidates for targeted therapy in MB. A group of 209 MYC-responsive genes was obtained from a complementary DNA microarray analysis of a MB-derived cell line, following MYC overexpression and silencing. Among the MYC-responsive genes, we identified the members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway, which have a crucial role during the development of the cerebellum. In particular, the gene BMP7 was identified as a direct target of MYC. A positive correlation between MYC and BMP7 expression was documented by analyzing two distinct sets of primary MB samples. Functional studies in vitro using a small-molecule inhibitor of the BMP/SMAD signaling pathway reproduced the effect of the small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of BMP7. Both approaches led to a block of proliferation in a panel of MB cells and to inhibition of SMAD phosphorylation. Altogether, our findings indicate that high MYC levels drive BMP7 overexpression, promoting cell survival in MB cells. This observation suggests the potential relevance of targeting the BMP/SMAD pathway as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of childhood MB.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Radiation Oncology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:20 Sep 2011 12:03
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:01
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0950-9232
Publisher DOI:10.1038/onc.2011.10
PubMed ID:21317922
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-49713

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