HMGA1/E2F1 axis and NFkB pathways regulate LPS progression and trabectedin resistance

Rossella Loria, Valentina Laquintana, Giulia Bon, Daniela Trisciuoglio, Roberta Frapolli, Renato Covello, Carla Azzurra Amoreo, Virginia Ferraresi, Carmine Zoccali, Mariangela Novello, Donatella Del Bufalo, Michele Milella, Roberto Biagini, Maurizio D’Incalci, Rita Falcioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the medical treatments of sarcoma have evolved in the last years, a significant portion of patients develops recurrence after therapies suggesting the need to identify novel targets to improve the treatments. By the use of patient-derived and established cell lines from liposarcoma, as well as specimens from patient biopsies, we found that HMGA1 is involved in the progression of dedifferentiated and myxoid liposarcoma. The immunohistochemical and RT-PCR analyses of 68 liposarcoma specimens revealed a significant high expression of HMGA1, at the protein and RNA levels, both in myxoid and dedifferentiated liposarcoma subtypes compared with differentiated ones. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments by HMGA1-specific depletion and overexpression in dedifferentiated and myxoid liposarcoma cells showed the contribution of this oncogenic factor in cell proliferation, motility, invasion, and drug resistance. The in vitro and in vivo treatment of myxoid liposarcoma with trabectedin, a drug with a potent anti-tumor activity, revealed downregulation of HMGA1, E2F1, and its-downstream targets, vimentin and ZEB1, indicating a critical role of trabectedin in inhibiting the mesenchymal markers of these tumors through the HMGA1/E2F1 axis. These data were also confirmed in patients’ tumor biopsies being HMGA1, E2F1, and vimentin expression significantly reduced upon trabectedin therapy, administered as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. Furthermore, trabectedin treatment inhibits in vitro NFkB pathway in mixoyd liposarcoma sensitive but not in resistant counterparts, and the inhibition of NFkB pathway re-sensitizes the resistant cells to trabectedin treatment. These data support the rational for combining NFkB inhibitors with trabectedin in liposarcoma patients, who have become resistant to the drug.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5926-5938
Number of pages13
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Nov 8 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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