Identification and targeting of a HES1-YAP1-CDKN1C functional interaction in fusion-negative rhabdomyosarcoma.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a cancer characterized by features of skeletal muscle, is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma of childhood. With 5-year survival rates among high-risk groups at < 30%, new therapeutics are desperately needed. Previously, using a myoblast-based model of fusion-negative RMS (FN-RMS), we found that expression of the Hippo pathway effector transcriptional coactivator YAP1 (YAP1) permitted senescence bypass and subsequent transformation to malignant cells, mimicking FN-RMS. We also found that YAP1 engages in a positive feedback loop with Notch signaling to promote FN-RMS tumorigenesis. However, we could not identify an immediate downstream impact of this Hippo-Notch relationship. Here, we identify a HES1-YAP1-CDKN1C functional interaction, and show that knockdown of the Notch effector HES1 (Hes family BHLH transcription factor 1) impairs growth of multiple FN-RMS cell lines, with knockdown resulting in decreased YAP1 and increased CDKN1C expression. In silico mining of published proteomic and transcriptomic profiles of human RMS patient-derived xenografts revealed the same pattern of HES1-YAP1-CDKN1C expression. Treatment of FN-RMS cells in vitro with the recently described HES1 small-molecule inhibitor, JI130, limited FN-RMS cell growth. Inhibition of HES1 in vivo via conditional expression of a HES1-directed shRNA or JI130 dosing impaired FN-RMS tumor xenograft growth. Lastly, targeted transcriptomic profiling of FN-RMS xenografts in the context of HES1 suppression identified associations between HES1 and RAS-MAPK signaling. In summary, these in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies support the further investigation of HES1 as a therapeutic target in FN-RMS.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kovach, AR; Oristian, KM; Kirsch, DG; Bentley, RC; Cheng, C; Chen, X; Chen, P-H; Chi, J-TA; Linardic, CM

Published Date

  • October 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 3587 - 3605

PubMed ID

  • 36037042

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9580881

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-0261

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/1878-0261.13304


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States