Ewing Sarcoma (ES) is a highly aggressive bone tumor with peak incidence in the adolescent population. It has a high propensity to metastasize, which is associated with dismal survival rates of approximately 25%. To further understand mechanisms of metastasis we investigated microRNA regulatory networks in ES. Our studies focused on miR-130b due to our analysis that enhanced expression of this microRNA has clinical relevance in multiple sarcomas, including ES. Our studies provide insights into a novel positive feedback network involving the direct regulation of miR-130b and activation of downstream signaling events contributing toward sarcoma metastasis. Specifically, we demonstrated miR-130b induces proliferation, invasion, and migration in vitro and increased metastatic potential in vivo. Using microarray analysis of ES cells with differential miR-130b expression we identified alterations in downstream signaling cascades including activation of the CDC42 pathway. We identified ARHGAP1, which is a negative regulator of CDC42, as a novel, direct target of miR-130b. In turn, downstream activation of PAK1 activated the JNK and AP-1 cascades and downstream transcriptional targets including IL-8, MMP1 and CCND1. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation of endogenous AP-1 in ES cells demonstrated direct binding to an upstream consensus binding site within the miR-130b promoter. Finally, small molecule inhibition of PAK1 blocked miR-130b activation of JNK and downstream AP-1 target genes, including primary miR-130b transcripts, and miR-130b oncogenic properties, thus identifying PAK1 as a novel therapeutic target for ES. Taken together, our findings identify and characterize a novel, targetable miR-130b regulatory network that promotes ES metastasis.
Keywords: CDC42; Ewing sarcoma; PAK1; metastasis; microRNA.
© 2017 UICC.