Secreted Frizzled-Related Protein 3 (SFRP3) Is Required for Tumorigenesis of PAX3-FOXO1-Positive Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma.
PURPOSE: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a soft tissue sarcoma associated with the skeletal muscle lineage. Of the two predominant subtypes, known as embryonal (eRMS) and alveolar (aRMS), aRMS has the poorer prognosis, with a five-year survival rate of <50%. The majority of aRMS tumors express the fusion protein PAX3-FOXO1. As PAX3-FOXO1 has proven chemically intractable, this study aims to identify targetable proteins that are downstream from or cooperate with PAX3-FOXO1 to support tumorigenesis. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Microarray analysis of the transcriptomes of human skeletal muscle myoblasts expressing PAX3-FOXO1 revealed alteration of several Wnt pathway gene members, including secreted frizzled related protein 3 (SFRP3), a secreted Wnt pathway inhibitor. Loss-of-function using shRNAs against SFRP3 was used to interrogate the role of SFRP3 in human aRMS cell lines in vitro and conditional murine xenograft systems in vivo. The combination of SFRP3 genetic suppression and the chemotherapeutic agent vincristine was also examined. RESULTS: In vitro, suppression of SFRP3 inhibited aRMS cell growth, reduced proliferation accompanied by a G1 arrest and induction of p21, and induced apoptosis. In vivo, doxycycline-inducible suppression of SFRP3 reduced aRMS tumor growth and weight by more than three-fold, in addition to increasing myogenic differentiation and β-catenin signaling. The combination of SFRP3 suppression and vincristine was more effective at reducing aRMS cell growth in vitro than either treatment alone, and ablated tumorigenesis in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: SFRP3 is necessary for the growth of human aRMS cells both in vitro and in vivo and is a promising new target for investigation in aRMS.
Kephart, JJG; Tiller, RGJ; Crose, LES; Slemmons, KK; Chen, P-H; Hinson, AR; Bentley, RC; Chi, J-TA; Linardic, CM
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