The human tumor antigen PRAME is a dominant repressor of retinoic acid receptor signaling

Cell. 2005 Sep 23;122(6):835-47. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2005.07.003.


Retinoic acid (RA) induces proliferation arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis, and defects in retinoic acid receptor (RAR) signaling have been implicated in cancer. The human tumor antigen PRAME is overexpressed in a variety of cancers, but its function has remained unclear. We identify here PRAME as a dominant repressor of RAR signaling. PRAME binds to RAR in the presence of RA, preventing ligand-induced receptor activation and target gene transcription through recruitment of Polycomb proteins. PRAME is present at RAR target promoters and inhibits RA-induced differentiation, growth arrest, and apoptosis. Conversely, knockdown of PRAME expression by RNA interference in RA-resistant human melanoma restores RAR signaling and reinstates sensitivity to the antiproliferative effects of RA in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest that overexpression of PRAME frequently observed in human cancers confers growth or survival advantages by antagonizing RAR signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA Interference / physiology
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / pharmacology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tretinoin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tretinoin / metabolism


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ligands
  • PRAME protein, human
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tretinoin
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2