We previously showed that TSA (an HDAC inhibitor) and Epoxomycin (a proteasome inhibitor) as single agents and in combination significantly suppressed growth of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma cells. However, these compounds had contrasting effects on MYCN expression. TSA down-regulated MYCN expression, but Epoxomycin and the TSA/Epoxomycin combination led to MYCN hyper-expression (defined as markedly increased expression beyond that observed in the untreated cells). The expression of p53 was also increased in MYCN-amplified cells treated with Epoxomycin or the TSA/Epoxomycin combination. In an independent study, we also found that treatment of neuroblastoma cells (MYCN-amplified or non-MYCN amplified) with 17-DMAG and S(+) Ibuprofen resulted in an increase in p53 expression and a reduction in MYCN or MYC expression. In this study, we examined (i) the pattern of gene expression induced by MYCN hyper-expression in MYCN-amplified cells, and (ii) a potential functional relationship between p53 and MYCN/MYC in neuroblastoma. Transient transfection of MYCN and TP53 into neuroblastoma cells was done by electroporation. Gene expression profiling, TaqMan real-time PCR, and Western blot assays were used to detect expression patterns of genes and proteins. It was observed that ectopic over MYCN expression in MYCN-amplified IMR5 cells resulted in growth suppression. Gene expression profiling analysis revealed that the hyper-expression of MYCN in the MYCN-transfected IMR5 cells led to an increased expression of genes involved in growth suppression and apoptosis, including EGR1, EPHA2, KLF2, PERP and SEL1L. The expression of PERP and EPHA2 was confirmed by TaqMan real-time PCR and Western blot assay, respectively. Interestingly, co-transfection of TP53 and MYCN in IMR5 cells led to high p53 expression but a reduction in MYCN expression (below the levels of endogenous MYCN). Transfection of TP53 into IMR5, SY5Y, and SKNAS reduced endogenous MYCN and MYC expression in these cells. Consistent with these observations, treatment of IMR5 and SY5Y cells with known p53-inducers, Doxorubicin and CoCl2, resulted in an increased p53 expression and a reduction of MYCN and MYC expression. Although high MYCN expression sustains growth of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma, the hyper-expression of MYCN is deleterious to survival of these cells. In addition, augmented p53 expression may elicit a negative feedback regulation of MYCN/MYC expression in neuroblastoma.

Citation Format: Naohiko Ikegaki, Xao Tang. A biological crosstalk between p53 and MYCN/MYC in neuroblastoma. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2015 Apr 18-22; Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2015;75(15 Suppl):Abstract nr 1218. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2015-1218