The molecular marker of well-differentiated/de-differentiated liposarcomas is MDM2 gene amplification coupled with protein overexpression and wild-type TP53. MDMX is a recently identified MDM2 homolog and its presence in this tumor is unexplored. Our aim was to investigate the role of full-length MDM2 and MDMX proteins and their isoforms in surgical specimens of well-differentiated/de- differentiated liposarcomas in view of Nutlin-3A (a MDM2 inhibitor) treatment. Frozen and matched formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material from surgical specimens was examined by means of: (1) fluorescence in situ hybridization to determine MDM2 and MDMX gene copy numbers; (2) RT-PCR and densitometry to analyze alternative splicing forms of mdm2 and mdmx; (3) immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry to assess the corresponding translated proteins; and (4) in vitro and in silico assays to determine their affinity for Nutlin-3A. All these cases showed MDM2 gene amplification with an MDMX disomic pattern. In all cases, the full-length mdm2 transcript was associated with the mdm2-b transcript, with ratios ranging from 0.07 to 5.6, and both were translated into protein; mdmx and mdmx-s were co-transcripted, with ratios ranging from 0.1 to 5.6. MDMX-S was frequently more upregulated than MDMX at both transcriptional and protein level. Each case showed different amounts of mdm2, mdm2-b, mdmx, and mdmx-s transcripts and the corresponding proteins. In vitro assays showed that Nutlin-3A was ineffective against MDM2-B and was unable to disrupt the MDMX/TP53 and MSMX-S/TP53 complexes. Molecular simulations confirmed these in vitro findings by showing that MDM2 has high Nutlin-3A affinity, followed by MDMX-S, MDMX, and MDM2-B. Nutlin-3A is predicted to be a good therapeutic option for well-differentiated/de-differentiated liposarcomas. However, our findings predict heterogeneous responses depending on the relative expression of mdm2, mdm2-b, mdmx, and mdmx-s transcripts and proteins.
- molecular modeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology