Loss of MST/Hippo Signaling in a Genetically Engineered Mouse Model of Fusion-Positive Rhabdomyosarcoma Accelerates Tumorigenesis.
A hallmark of fusion-positive alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (aRMS) is the presence of a chromosomal translocation encoding the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion oncogene. Primary cell-based modeling experiments have shown that PAX3-FOXO1 is necessary, but not sufficient for aRMS tumorigenesis, indicating additional molecular alterations are required to initiate and sustain tumor growth. Previously, we showed that PAX3-FOXO1-positive aRMS is promoted by dysregulated Hippo pathway signaling, as demonstrated by increased YAP1 expression and decreased MST activity. We hypothesized that ablating MST/Hippo signaling in a genetically engineered mouse model (GEMM) of aRMS would accelerate tumorigenesis. To this end, MST1/2-floxed (Stk3F/F;Stk4F/F ) mice were crossed with a previously established aRMS GEMM driven by conditional expression of Pax3:Foxo1 from the endogenous Pax3 locus and conditional loss of Cdkn2a in Myf6 (myogenic factor 6)-expressing cells. Compared with Pax3PF/PF;Cdkn2aF/F;Myf6ICN/+ controls, Stk3F/F;Stk4F/F;Pax3PF/PF;Cdkn2aF/F;Myf6ICN/+ animals displayed accelerated tumorigenesis (P < 0.0001) and increased tumor penetrance (88% vs. 27%). GEMM tumors were histologically consistent with aRMS. GEMM tumor-derived cell lines showed increased proliferation and invasion and decreased senescence and myogenic differentiation. These data suggest that loss of MST/Hippo signaling acts with Pax3:Foxo1 expression and Cdkn2a loss to promote tumorigenesis. The rapid onset and increased penetrance of tumorigenesis in this model provide a powerful tool for interrogating aRMS biology and screening novel therapeutics.Significance: A novel mouse model sheds light on the critical role of Hippo/MST downregulation in PAX3-FOXO1-positive rhabdomyosarcoma tumorigenesis. Cancer Res; 78(19); 5513-20. ©2018 AACR.
Oristian, KM; Crose, LES; Kuprasertkul, N; Bentley, RC; Lin, Y-T; Williams, N; Kirsch, DG; Linardic, CM
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