Constitutive hedgehog signaling in chondrosarcoma up-regulates tumor cell proliferation.
Chondrosarcoma is a malignant cartilage tumor that may arise from benign precursor lesions, such as enchondromas. Some cases of multiple enchondromas are caused by a mutation that results in constitutive activation of Hedgehog-mediated signaling. We found that chondrosarcomas expressed high levels of the Hedgehog target genes PTCH1 and GLI1. Treatment with parathyroid hormone-related protein down-regulated Indian Hedgehog (IHH) expression in normal growth plates but not in chondrosarcoma or enchondroma organ cultures. Treatment of the chondrosarcoma organ cultures with Hedgehog protein increased cell proliferation rate, whereas addition of chemical inhibitors of Hedgehog signaling decreased the proliferation rate. Chondrosarcoma xenografts from 12 different human tumors were established in NOD-SCID mice. Treatment with triparanol, an inhibitor of Hedgehog signaling, resulted in a 60% decrease in tumor volume, a 30% decrease in cellularity, and a 20% reduction in proliferation rate. These results show that Hedgehog signaling is active in chondrosarcoma and benign cartilage tumors and regulates tumor cell proliferation. Our data raise the intriguing possibility that Hedgehog blockade could serve as an effective treatment for chondrosarcoma, a tumor for which there are currently no universally effective nonsurgical management options.
Tiet, TD; Hopyan, S; Nadesan, P; Gokgoz, N; Poon, R; Lin, AC; Yan, T; Andrulis, IL; Alman, BA; Wunder, JS
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