Alternative NHEJ pathway proteins as components of MYCN oncogenic activity in human neural crest stem cell differentiation: implications for neuroblastoma initiation

Cell Death Dis. 2017 Dec 13;8(12):3208. doi: 10.1038/s41419-017-0004-9.

Abstract

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of neural crest stem cell (NCSC) lineage. Signaling pathways that regulate NCSC differentiation have been implicated in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis. This is exemplified by MYCN oncogene targets that balance proliferation, differentiation, and cell death similarly in normal NCSC and in high-risk neuroblastoma. Our previous work discovered a survival mechanism by which MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma circumvents cell death by upregulating components of the error-prone non-canonical alternative nonhomologous end-joining (alt-NHEJ) DNA repair pathway. Similar to proliferating stem cells, high-risk neuroblastoma cells have enhanced DNA repair capacity, overcoming DNA damage with higher repair efficiency than somatic cells. Adequate DNA maintenance is required for lineage protection as stem cells proliferate and during tumor progression to overcome oncogene-induced replication stress. On this basis, we hypothesized that alt-NHEJ overexpression in neuroblastoma is a cancer cell survival mechanism that originates from DNA repair systems of NCSC, the presumed progenitor cell of origin. A human NCSC model was generated in which inducible MYCN triggered an immortalized phenotype capable of forming metastatic neuroectodermal tumors in mice, resembling human neuroblastoma. Critical alt-NHEJ components (DNA Ligase III, DNA Ligase I, and Poly [ADP-ribose polymerase 1]) were highly expressed in normal early NCSC, and decreased as cells became terminally differentiated. Constitutive MYCN expression maintained high alt-NHEJ protein expression, preserving the expression pattern of the immature neural phenotype. siRNA knockdown of alt-NHEJ components reversed MYCN effects on NCSC proliferation, invasion, and migration. DNA Ligase III, Ligase I, and PARP1 silencing significantly decreased neuroblastoma markers expression (TH, Phox2b, and TRKB). These results utilized the first human NCSC model of neuroblastoma to uncover an important link between MYCN and alt-NHEJ expression in developmental tumor initiation, setting precedence to investigate alt-NHEJ repair mechanics in neuroblastoma DNA maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • DNA End-Joining Repair*
  • DNA Ligase ATP / antagonists & inhibitors
  • DNA Ligase ATP / genetics
  • DNA Ligase ATP / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein / genetics*
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein / metabolism
  • Neural Crest / metabolism
  • Neural Crest / pathology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neural Stem Cells / pathology
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma / metabolism
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 / genetics
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Receptor, trkB / genetics
  • Receptor, trkB / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transgenes

Substances

  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • MYCN protein, human
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • N-Myc Proto-Oncogene Protein
  • NBPhox protein
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Transcription Factors
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Receptor, trkB
  • tropomyosin-related kinase-B, human
  • DNA Ligase ATP