Purpose: Neuroblastoma is a childhood malignancy originating from the sympathetic nervous system with a complex biology, prone to metastasize and relapse. High-risk, metastatic cases are explained in part by amplification or mutation of oncogenes, such as MYCN and ALK, and loss of tumor suppressor genes in chromosome band 1p. However, it is fundamental to identify other pathways responsible for the large portion of neuroblastomas with no obvious molecular alterations. Experimental Design: Neuroblastoma cell lines were used for the assessment of tumor growth in vivo and in vitro. Protein expression in tissues and cells was assessed using immunofluorescence and IHC. The association of promyelocytic leukemia (PML) expression with neuroblastoma outcome and relapse was calculated using log-rank and Mann-Whitney tests, respectively. Gene expression was assessed using chip microarrays. Results: PML is detected in the developing and adult sympathetic nervous system, whereas it is not expressed or is low in metastatic neuroblastoma tumors. Reduced PML expression in patients with low-risk cancers, that is, localized and negative for the MYCN proto-oncogene, is strongly associated with tumor recurrence. PML-I, but not PML-IV, isoform suppresses angiogenesis via upregulation of thrombospondin-2 (TSP2), a key inhibitor of angiogenesis. Finally, PML-I and TSP2 expression inversely correlates with tumor angiogenesis and recurrence in localized neuroblastomas. Conclusions: Our work reveals a novel PML-I-TSP2 axis for the regulation of angiogenesis and cancer relapse, which could be used to identify patients with low-risk, localized tumors that might benefit from chemotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research