Neuroblastoma is a common childhood cancer typically treated by inducing differentiation with retinoic acid (RA). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ, (PPARβ/δ) is known to promote terminal differentiation of many cell types. In the present study, PPARβ/δ was over-expressed in three human neuroblastoma cell lines, NGP, SK-N-BE(2), and IMR-32, that exhibit high, medium, and low sensitivity, respectively, to retinoic acid-induced differentiation to determine if PPARβ/δ and retinoic acid receptors (RARs) could be jointly targeted to increase the efficacy of treatment. All-trans-RA (atRA) decreased expression of SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2 (SOX2), a stem cell regulator and marker of de-differentiation, in NGP and SK-N-BE(2) cells with inactive or mutant tumor suppressor p53, respectively. However, atRA did not suppress SOX2 expression in IMR-32 cells carrying wild-type p53. Over-expression and/or ligand activation of PPARβ/δ reduced the average volume and weight of ectopic tumor xenografts from NGP, SK-N-BE(2), or IMR-32 cells compared to controls. Compared with that found with atRA, PPARβ/δ suppressed SOX2 expression in NGP and SK-N-BE(2) cells and ectopic xenografts, and was also effective in suppressing SOX2 expression in IMR-32 cells that exhibit higher p53 expression compared to the former cell lines. Combined, these observations demonstrate that activating or over-expressing PPARβ/δ induces cell differentiation through p53- and SOX2-dependent signaling pathways in neuroblastoma cells and tumors. This suggests that combinatorial activation of both RARα and PPARβ/δ may be suitable as an alternative therapeutic approach for RA-resistant neuroblastoma patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research