PTC124 Rescues Nonsense Mutation of Two Tumor Suppressor Genes NOTCH1 and FAT1 to Repress HNSCC Cell Proliferation

Biomedicines. 2022 Nov 16;10(11):2948. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10112948.


(1) Background: PTC124 (Ataluren) is an investigational drug for the treatment of nonsense mutation-mediated genetic diseases. With the exception of the TP53 tumor suppressor gene, there has been little research on cancers with nonsense mutation. By conducting a database search, we found that another two tumor suppressor genes, NOTCH1 and FAT1, have a high nonsense mutation rate in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). PTC124 may re-express the functional NOTCH1 or FAT1 in nonsense mutation NOTCH1 or FAT1 in HSNCC (2) Methods: DOK (with NOTCH1 Y550X) or HO-1-u-1 (with FAT1 E378X) HNSCC cells were treated with PTC124, and the NOTCH1 or FAT1 expression, cell viability, and NOTCH1- or FAT1-related downstream gene profiles were assayed. (3) Results: PTC124 was able to induce NOTCH1 or FAT1 expression in DOK and HO-1-u-1 cells. PTC124 was able to upregulate NOTCH downstream genes HES5, AJUBA, and ADAM10 in DOK cells. PTC124 enhanced DDIT4, which is under the control of the FAT1-YAP1 pathway, in HO-1-u-1 cells. FLI-06 (a NOTCH signaling inhibitor) reversed PTC124-mediated cell growth inhibition in DOK cells. PTC124 could reverse TT-10 (a YAP signaling activator)-mediated HO-1-u-1 cell proliferation. (4) Conclusions: PTC124 can rescue nonsense mutation of NOTCH1 and FAT1 to repress HNSCC cell proliferation.

Keywords: FAT1; HNSCC; NOTCH1; PTC124; nonsense mutation.