FLI1

Gene Summary

Gene:FLI1; Fli-1 proto-oncogene, ETS transcription factor
Aliases: EWSR2, SIC-1
Location:11q24.1-q24.3
Summary:This gene encodes a transcription factor containing an ETS DNA-binding domain. The gene can undergo a t(11;22)(q24;q12) translocation with the Ewing sarcoma gene on chromosome 22, which results in a fusion gene that is present in the majority of Ewing sarcoma cases. An acute lymphoblastic leukemia-associated t(4;11)(q21;q23) translocation involving this gene has also been identified. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2012]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:Friend leukemia integration 1 transcription factor
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 18 March, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 18 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 18 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Ewing's Sarcomat(11;22)(q24;q12) EWSR1-FLI1 Translocation in Ewing's Sarcoma
The t(11;22)(q24;q12) translocation is present in over 90% of Ewing's sarcoma cases. The resulting EWS-FLI1 fusion gene has been demonstrated to have oncogenic potential. Many alternative forms of the translocation exist, corresponding to variations in the locations of the EWS and FLI1 breakpoints. The most common form, "Type 1", accounts for approximately 60% of cases and consists of the first seven exons of EWS joined to exons 6-9 of FLI1. "Type 2", accounts for approximately 25% of cases and also includes FLI1 exon 5. The type of translocation has been related to prognosis.
View Publications286
Ewing's SarcomaEWSR1-FLI1 Fusion Transcript Structure and Prognosis?Prognostic
There is wide variation in EWS-FLI1 transcripts. 'Type 1' are created as a result of fusion between exons 7 of EWS and 6 of FLI1, and have reported to be associated with an improved outcome compared to other types of EWS-FLI1 fusions (Zoubek, 1996 and de Alava, 1998). However, in a subsequent COG study of 132 patients (van Doorninck, 2010) concluded that current intensive treatment protocols for localized ESFT have erased the clinical disadvantage that was formerly observed in patients with non-type 1 fusions.
View Publications24

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: FLI1 (cancer-related)

Denny CT
ChIP-ping away at EWS/ETS transcription networks.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(5):595-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this issue of Cancer Cell, Riggi and colleagues use a genomic approach to define two distinct molecular mechanisms through which the chimeric EWS/FLI1 oncoprotein regulates target genes in Ewing sarcoma, expanding a framework upon which to model the target gene network and test strategies for antagonizing growth of this tumor.

Riggi N, Knoechel B, Gillespie SM, et al.
EWS-FLI1 utilizes divergent chromatin remodeling mechanisms to directly activate or repress enhancer elements in Ewing sarcoma.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(5):668-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aberrant transcription factor EWS-FLI1 drives Ewing sarcoma, but its molecular function is not completely understood. We find that EWS-FLI1 reprograms gene regulatory circuits in Ewing sarcoma by directly inducing or repressing enhancers. At GGAA repeat elements, which lack evolutionary conservation and regulatory potential in other cell types, EWS-FLI1 multimers induce chromatin opening and create de novo enhancers that physically interact with target promoters. Conversely, EWS-FLI1 inactivates conserved enhancers containing canonical ETS motifs by displacing wild-type ETS transcription factors. These divergent chromatin-remodeling patterns repress tumor suppressors and mesenchymal lineage regulators while activating oncogenes and potential therapeutic targets, such as the kinase VRK1. Our findings demonstrate how EWS-FLI1 establishes an oncogenic regulatory program governing both tumor survival and differentiation.

Tosso PN, Kong Y, Scher L, et al.
Synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies of small molecule disruptors of EWS-FLI1 interactions in Ewing's sarcoma.
J Med Chem. 2014; 57(24):10290-303 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/11/2015 Related Publications
EWS-FLI1 is an oncogenic fusion protein implicated in the development of Ewing's sarcoma family tumors (ESFT). Using our previously reported lead compound 2 (YK-4-279), we designed and synthesized a focused library of analogues. The functional inhibition of the analogues was measured by an EWS-FLI1/NR0B1 reporter luciferase assay and a paired cell screening approach measuring effects on growth inhibition for human cells containing EWS-FLI1 (TC32 and TC71) and control PANC1 cell lines devoid of the oncoprotein. Our data revealed that substitution of electron donating groups at the para-position on the phenyl ring was the most favorable for inhibition of EWS-FLI1 by analogs of 2. Compound 9u (with a dimethylamino substitution) was the most active inhibitor with GI50 = 0.26 ± 0.1 μM. Further, a correlation of growth inhibition (EWS-FLI1 expressing TC32 cells) and the luciferase reporter activity was established (R(2) = 0.84). Finally, we designed and synthesized a biotinylated analogue and determined the binding affinity for recombinant EWS-FLI1 (Kd = 4.8 ± 2.6 μM).

Shibuya R, Matsuyama A, Nakamoto M, et al.
The combination of CD99 and NKX2.2, a transcriptional target of EWSR1-FLI1, is highly specific for the diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 465(5):599-605 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma (ES) is a high-grade malignant neoplasm primarily affecting children and young adults. The diagnosis of ES is often difficult because of its broad differential diagnosis comprising a diverse group of small round cell tumors (SRCTs). Although the identification of tumor type-specific fusion genes by molecular testing is the gold standard for the diagnosis of ES, such approaches are not always available in a routine pathology practice. Thus, a reliable immunohistochemical marker is required. A recent study using a limited number of tumor samples has shown that NKX2.2, a putative transcriptional target of EWSR1-FLI1, is a useful marker for the diagnosis of ES. In the present study, the immunohistochemical expression of NKX2.2 was evaluated on 46 genetically confirmed ES and 85 non-ES SRCTs, together with comparative assessment of CD99 and other molecular targets of EWSR1-FLI1, including NR0B1, E2F3, and EZH2. NKX2.2 was expressed in 37 (80 %) of the ES samples with a mostly diffuse and strong staining pattern, and 14 (16 %) of the non-ES SRCTs, including olfactory neuroblastomas, extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, small cell carcinomas, and Merkel cell carcinoma, also expressed this marker. The sensitivity and specificity of the NKX2.2 expression in this cohort were 80 and 84 %, respectively. The specificity when combined with CD99 was 98 %, with exceptional expression of both markers in only two non-ES SRCTs, including one case each of mesenchymal chondrosarcoma and small cell carcinoma. NR0B1, E2F3, and EZH2 were less sensitive for specific markers for ES when applied singly or in any combination. In conclusion, the study reinforces that NKX2.2 is a useful immunohistochemical marker for ES, and that the combination of CD99 and NKX2.2 is a powerful diagnostic tool that can differentiate ES from other SRCTs.

Sadri N, Barroeta J, Pack SD, et al.
Malignant round cell tumor of bone with EWSR1-NFATC2 gene fusion.
Virchows Arch. 2014; 465(2):233-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gene rearrangements involving the Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 (EWSR1) gene are seen in a broad range of sarcomas and some nonmesenchymal neoplasms. Ewing sarcoma is molecularly defined by a fusion of the EWSR1 gene (or rarely the related FUS gene) to a member of the E26 transformation-specific (ETS) family of transcription factors, frequently the EWSR1-FLI1 fusion. More recently, EWSR1 gene fusion to non-ETS family members, including the nuclear factor of activated T cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 2 (NFATC2) gene, has been reported in a histological variant of Ewing sarcoma. Here, we report a malignant round cell tumor of bone with an EWSR1-NFATC2 fusion gene. This report builds upon the unusual morphological and clinical presentation of bone neoplasms containing an EWSR1-NFATC2 fusion gene.

van der Ent W, Jochemsen AG, Teunisse AF, et al.
Ewing sarcoma inhibition by disruption of EWSR1-FLI1 transcriptional activity and reactivation of p53.
J Pathol. 2014; 233(4):415-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Translocations involving ETS-transcription factors, most commonly leading to the EWSR1-FLI1 fusion protein, are the hallmark of Ewing sarcoma. Despite knowledge of this driving molecular event, an effective therapeutic strategy is lacking. To test potential treatment regimes, we established a novel Ewing sarcoma zebrafish engraftment model allowing time-effective, dynamic quantification of Ewing sarcoma progression and tumour burden in vivo, applicable for screening of single and combined compounds. In Ewing sarcoma the tumour-suppressor gene TP53 is commonly found to be wild-type, thus providing an attractive target for treatment. Here, we study TP53 wild-type (EW7, CADO-ES1 and TC32) and TP53-deleted (SK-N-MC) Ewing sarcoma cell lines to investigate the potentiating effect of p53 reactivation by Nutlin-3 on treatment with YK-4-279 to block transcriptional activity of EWSR1-FLI1 protein. Blocking EWSR1-FLI1 transcriptional activity reduced Ewing sarcoma tumour cell burden irrespective of TP53 status. We show that simultaneous YK-4-279 treatment with Nutlin-3 to stabilize p53 resulted in an additive inhibition of TP53 wild-type Ewing sarcoma cell burden, whilst not affecting TP53-deleted Ewing sarcoma cells. Improved inhibition of proliferation and migration by combinatorial treatment was confirmed in vivo by zebrafish engraftments. Mechanistically, both compounds together additively induced apoptosis of tumour cells in vivo by engaging distinct pathways. We propose reactivation of the p53 pathway in combination with complementary targeted therapy by EWSR1-FLI1 transcriptional activity disruption as a valuable strategy against p53 wild-type Ewing sarcoma.

Been RA, Linden MA, Hager CJ, et al.
Genetic signature of histiocytic sarcoma revealed by a sleeping beauty transposon genetic screen in mice.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(5):e97280 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 28/11/2015 Related Publications
Histiocytic sarcoma is a rare, aggressive neoplasm that responds poorly to therapy. Histiocytic sarcoma is thought to arise from macrophage precursor cells via genetic changes that are largely undefined. To improve our understanding of the etiology of histiocytic sarcoma we conducted a forward genetic screen in mice using the Sleeping Beauty transposon as a mutagen to identify genetic drivers of histiocytic sarcoma. Sleeping Beauty mutagenesis was targeted to myeloid lineage cells using the Lysozyme2 promoter. Mice with activated Sleeping Beauty mutagenesis had significantly shortened lifespan and the majority of these mice developed tumors resembling human histiocytic sarcoma. Analysis of transposon insertions identified 27 common insertion sites containing 28 candidate cancer genes. Several of these genes are known drivers of hematological neoplasms, like Raf1, Fli1, and Mitf, while others are well-known cancer genes, including Nf1, Myc, Jak2, and Pten. Importantly, several new potential drivers of histiocytic sarcoma were identified and could serve as targets for therapy for histiocytic sarcoma patients.

Bledsoe KL, McGee-Lawrence ME, Camilleri ET, et al.
RUNX3 facilitates growth of Ewing sarcoma cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2014; 229(12):2049-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma is an aggressive pediatric small round cell tumor that predominantly occurs in bone. Approximately 85% of Ewing sarcomas harbor the EWS/FLI fusion protein, which arises from a chromosomal translocation, t(11:22)(q24:q12). EWS/FLI interacts with numerous lineage-essential transcription factors to maintain mesenchymal progenitors in an undifferentiated state. We previously showed that EWS/FLI binds the osteogenic transcription factor RUNX2 and prevents osteoblast differentiation. In this study, we investigated the role of another Runt-domain protein, RUNX3, in Ewing sarcoma. RUNX3 participates in mesenchymal-derived bone formation and is a context dependent tumor suppressor and oncogene. RUNX3 was detected in all Ewing sarcoma cells examined, whereas RUNX2 was detected in only 73% of specimens. Like RUNX2, RUNX3 binds to EWS/FLI via its Runt domain. EWS/FLI prevented RUNX3 from activating the transcription of a RUNX-responsive reporter, p6OSE2. Stable suppression of RUNX3 expression in the Ewing sarcoma cell line A673 delayed colony growth in anchorage independent soft agar assays and reversed expression of EWS/FLI-responsive genes. These results demonstrate an important role for RUNX3 in Ewing sarcoma.

Arnold MA, Ballester LY, Pack SD, et al.
Primary subcutaneous spindle cell Ewing sarcoma with strong S100 expression and EWSR1-FLI1 fusion: a case report.
Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2014 Jul-Aug; 17(4):302-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma is described classically as a small, round cell tumor of bone and soft tissue in children and young adults. Ewing sarcoma most often is characterized by a fusion of the Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1 (EWSR1) and the Friend leukemia virus integration 1 (FLI1) genes, forming an EWSR1-FLI1 fusion transcript. We report an exceptional case of primary subcutaneous Ewing sarcoma in a 16-year-old female composed entirely of spindle cells with focal fascicular growth and exhibiting strong, diffuse immunohistochemical reactivity for S100, unlike classic Ewing sarcoma. However, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis confirmed the presence of a rare variant of the EWSR1-FLI1 fusion transcript, featuring fusion of EWSR1 exon 10 to FLI1 exon 6. To our knowledge, the combined histologic, molecular, and clinical features have not been reported previously in Ewing sarcoma, and raise a broad differential diagnosis emphasizing the importance of molecular techniques in the diagnosis of this tumor.

Specht K, Sung YS, Zhang L, et al.
Distinct transcriptional signature and immunoprofile of CIC-DUX4 fusion-positive round cell tumors compared to EWSR1-rearranged Ewing sarcomas: further evidence toward distinct pathologic entities.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(7):622-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Round cell sarcomas harboring CIC-DUX4 fusions have recently been described as highly aggressive soft tissue tumors of children and young adults. Due to partial morphologic and immunohistochemical overlap with Ewing sarcoma (ES), CIC-DUX4-positive tumors have generally been classified as ES-like and managed similarly; however, a systematic comparison at the molecular and immunohistochemical levels between these two groups has not yet been conducted. Based on an initial observation that CIC-DUX4-positive tumors show nuclear immunoreactivity for WT1 and ETS transcription factors, FLI1 and ERG, we performed a detailed immunohistochemical and molecular analysis including these markers, to further investigate the relationship between CIC-DUX4 tumors and ES. The study group included 21 CIC-DUX4-positive sarcomas and 20 EWSR1-rearranged ES. Immunohistochemically, CIC-DUX4 sarcomas showed membranous CD99 positivity in 18 (86%) cases, but only 5 (24%) with a diffuse pattern, while WT1 and FLI1 were strongly positive in all cases. ERG was positive in 18% of cases. All ES expressed CD99 and FLI1, while ERG positivity was only seen in EWSR1-ERG fusion positive ES. WT1 was negative in all ES. Expression profiling validated by q-PCR revealed a distinct gene signature associated with CIC-DUX4 fusion, with upregulation of ETS transcription factors (ETV4, ETV1, and ETV5) and WT1, among top overexpressed genes compared to ES, other sarcomas and normal tissue. In conclusion, the distinct gene signature and immunoprofile of CIC-DUX4 sarcomas suggest a distinct pathogenesis from ES. The consistent WT1 expression may provide a useful clue in the diagnosis in the context of round cell sarcomas negative for EWSR1 rearrangement. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Qadir MA, Zhan SH, Kwok B, et al.
ChildSeq-RNA: A next-generation sequencing-based diagnostic assay to identify known fusion transcripts in childhood sarcomas.
J Mol Diagn. 2014; 16(3):361-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Childhood sarcomas can be extremely difficult to accurately diagnose on the basis of morphological characteristics alone. Ancillary methods, such as RT-PCR or fluorescence in situ hybridization, to detect pathognomonic gene fusions can help to distinguish these tumors. Two major deficiencies of these assays are their inability to identify gene fusions at nucleotide resolution or to detect multiple gene fusions simultaneously. We developed a next-generation sequencing-based assay designated ChildSeq-RNA that uses the Ion Torrent platform to screen for EWSR1-FLI1 and EWSR1-ERG, PAX3-FOXO1 and PAX7-FOXO1, EWSR1-WT1, and ETV6-NTRK3 fusions of Ewing sarcoma (ES), alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, desmoplastic small round cell tumor, and congenital fibrosarcoma, respectively. To rapidly analyze resulting data, we codeveloped a bioinformatics tool, termed ChildDecode, that operates on a scalable, cloud-computing platform. Total RNA from four ES cell lines plus 33 clinical samples representing ES, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, desmoplastic small round cell tumor, and congenital fibrosarcoma tumors was subjected to ChildSeq-RNA. This accurately identified corresponding gene fusions in each tumor type, with no examples of false positive fusion detection in this proof-of-concept study. Comparison with previous RT-PCR findings demonstrated high sensitivity (96.4%; 95% CI, 82.3%-99.4%) and specificity (100%; 95% CI, 56.6%-100%) of ChildSeq-RNA to detect gene fusions. Herein, we propose ChildSeq-RNA as a novel tool to detect gene fusions in childhood sarcomas at single-nucleotide resolution.

Amaral AT, Manara MC, Berghuis D, et al.
Characterization of human mesenchymal stem cells from ewing sarcoma patients. Pathogenetic implications.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e85814 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ewing Sarcoma (EWS) is a mesenchymal-derived tumor that generally arises in bone and soft tissue. Intensive research regarding the pathogenesis of EWS has been insufficient to pinpoint the early events of Ewing sarcomagenesis. However, the Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) is currently accepted as the most probable cell of origin.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In an initial study regarding a deep characterization of MSC obtained specifically from EWS patients (MSC-P), we compared them with MSC derived from healthy donors (MSC-HD) and EWS cell lines. We evaluated the presence of the EWS-FLI1 gene fusion and EWSR1 gene rearrangements in MSC-P. The presence of the EWS transcript was confirmed by q-RT-PCR. In order to determine early events possibly involved in malignant transformation, we used a multiparameter quantitative strategy that included both MSC immunophenotypic negative/positive markers, and EWS intrinsic phenotypical features. Markers CD105, CD90, CD34 and CD45 were confirmed in EWS samples.
RESULTS: We determined that MSC-P lack the most prevalent gene fusion, EWSR1-FLI1 as well as EWSR1 gene rearrangements. Our study also revealed that MSC-P are more alike to MSC-HD than to EWS cells. Nonetheless, we also observed that EWS cells had a few overlapping features with MSC. As a relevant example, also MSC showed CD99 expression, hallmark of EWS diagnosis. However, we observed that, in contrast to EWS cells, MSC were not sensitive to the inhibition of CD99.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our results suggest that MSC from EWS patients behave like MSC-HD and are phenotypically different from EWS cells, thus raising important questions regarding MSC role in sarcomagenesis.

Zhou Z, Yu L, Kleinerman ES
EWS-FLI-1 regulates the neuronal repressor gene REST, which controls Ewing sarcoma growth and vascular morphology.
Cancer. 2014; 120(4):579-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST), a neuronal repressor gene, regulates neuronal stem cell differentiation. Ewing sarcoma may originate from neural crest cells. In the current study, the authors investigated whether REST plays a role in the growth of this tumor.
METHODS: REST expression was determined by Western blot analysis and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in 3 human Ewing sarcoma cell lines and 7 patient tumor samples. The role of REST in tumor growth and tumor vascular morphology was determined using a Ewing sarcoma xenograft model. Immunofluorescence staining, Hypoxyprobe, and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays were performed to investigate the impact of REST on pericyte marker expression, hypoxia, and apoptosis in vivo.
RESULTS: High levels of REST were expressed in all 3 human Ewing sarcoma cell lines and in 6 of the 7 patient tumor samples. Overexpression of EWS-FLI-1 in human mesenchymal stem cells and human neural progenitor cells was found to increase REST expression. Inhibition of EWS-FLI-1 using small interfering RNA decreased REST expression in human Ewing sarcoma cells. Inhibition of REST did not affect EWS-FLI-1, but significantly suppressed tumor growth in vivo, reduced the tumor vessel pericyte markers α- smooth muscle actin (SMA) and desmin, increased hypoxia and apoptosis in tumor tissues, and decreased the expression of delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4) and Hes1.
CONCLUSIONS: Inhibition of REST suppressed tumor growth, inhibited pericyte marker expression, and increased tumor hypoxia and apoptosis. Because tumor vessel function has been linked to tumor growth and metastases, REST may be a new therapeutic target in patients with Ewing sarcoma.

Moon JW, Lee SK, Lee JO, et al.
Identification of novel hypermethylated genes and demethylating effect of vincristine in colorectal cancer.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 33:4 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) arises as a consequence of genetic events such as gene mutation and epigenetic alteration. The aim of this study was to identify new hypermethylated candidate genes and methylation-based therapeutic targets using vincristine in CRC.
METHODS: We analyzed the methylation status of 27,578 CpG sites spanning more than 14,000 genes in CRC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues and normal colon tissues using Illumina bead chip array. Twenty-one hypermethylated genes and 18 CpG island methylator phenotype markers were selected as candidate genes. The methylation status of 39 genes was validated by quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction in CRC tissues, adjacent normal tissues, normal colon cells, and three CRC cell lines. Of these, 29 hypermethylated candidate genes were investigated using the demethylating effects of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-dC) and vincristine in CRC cells.
RESULTS: Thirty-two out of 39 genes were hypermethylated in CRC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Vincristine induced demethylation of methylated genes in CRC cells to the same extent as 5-aza-dC. The mRNA expression of AKR1B1, CHST10, ELOVL4, FLI1, SOX5, STK33, and ZNF304 was restored by treatment with 5-aza-dC and vincristine.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that these novel hypermethylated genes AKR1B1, CHST10, ELOVL4, SOX5, STK33, and ZNF304 may be potential methylation biomarkers and therapeutic targets of vincristine in CRC.

Todorova R
Ewing's sarcoma cancer stem cell targeted therapy.
Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014; 9(1):46-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing`s sarcoma (ES) family of tumors (ESFTs) are round cell tumors of bone and soft tissues, afflicting children and young adults. This review summarizes the present findings about ES cancer stem cell (CSC) targeted therapy: prognostic factors, chromosomal translocations, initiation, epigenetic mechanisms, candidate cell of ES origin (Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and Neural crest stem cells (NCSCs)). The ES CSC model, histopathogenesis, histogenesis, pathogenesis, ES mediated Hematopoietic stem progenitor cells (HSPCs) senescence are also discussed. ESFTs therapy is reviewed concerning CSCs, radiotherapy, risk of subsequent neoplasms, stem cell (SC) support, promising therapeutic targets for ES CSCs (CSC markers, immune targeting, RNAi phenotyping screens, proposed new drugs), candidate EWS-FLI1 target genes and further directions (including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)). Bone marrow-derived human MSCs are permissive for EWS-FLI1 expression with transition to ESFT-like cellular phenotype. ESFTs are genetically related to NCSC, permissive for EWS-FLI1 expression and susceptible to oncogene-induced immortalization. Primitive neuroectodermal features and MSC origin of ESFTs provide a basis of immune targeting. The microRNAs profile of ES CSCs is shared by ESCs and CSCs from divergent tumor types. Successful reprogramming of differentiated human somatic cells into a pluripotent state allows creation of patient- and disease-specific SCs. The functional role of endogenous EWS at stem cell level on both senescence and tumorigenesis is a link between cancer and aging. The regulatory mechanisms of oncogenic activity of EWS fusions could provide new prognostic biomarkers, therapeutic opportunities and tumor-specific anticancer agents against ESFTs.

Rekhi B, Vogel U, Basak R, et al.
Clinicopathological and molecular spectrum of ewing sarcomas/PNETs, including validation of EWSR1 rearrangement by conventional and array FISH technique in certain cases.
Pathol Oncol Res. 2014; 20(3):503-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Over the years, a wide clinicopathological spectrum has been identified within Ewing family of tumors (EFTs). As these tumors are chemosensitive, their correct and timely identification is necessary. The aims of this study were (1) to present the diverse clinicopathological and molecular profile of EFTs in our settings, (2) to identify a pragmatic approach for diagnosing EFTs, especially for application of ancillary techniques, namely RT-PCR for specific transcripts (EWS-FLI1, EWS-ERG) and FISH for EWSR1 gene rearrangement, in certain cases and (3) to show the utility of tissue microarray in establishing a new FISH test. Fifty-eight EFTs were identified in 38 males and 20 females within an age-range of 1-65 years (median, 16), mostly in lower extremities (14) (24.1 %). Therapeutically, most patients underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy with subsequent surgery. Histopathologically, diagnosis of EFTs was initially offered in 41/58 (70.6 %) tumors. On review, 59 % tumors showed diffuse pattern, while 41 % displayed rosettes. Immunohistochemically, tumor cells were mostly diffusely positive for CD99 (48/52) (92.3 %); FLI-1 (17/18) (94.4 %); variably for BCL2 (16/18) (88.8 %), synaptophysin (6/20) (35 %), S100-P (2/7) (28.5 %), CD56 (2/5) (40 %), NSE (2/5) (40 %), calponin (3/4) (75 %), EMA (5/24) (20.8 %) and CK (3/24) (12.5 %), the latter two mostly focally. Fifty five tumors were EWS-FLI1 positive, while a single tumor was EWS-ERG positive. Sensitivity for PCR was 61 %. EWSR1 rearrangement was detected by FISH in 12/13 Ewing sarcomas/PNETs. Sensitivity for EWSR1 test was 92.3 % and specificity was 100 %. Thirty-eight tumors, including 14 molecular confirmed EFTs and 21 other tumors were tested for EWSR1 rearrangement. Among 21 unrelated tumors, EWSR1 rearrangement was detected in few myoepithelial tumors, occasional desmoplastic small round cell tumor and an extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma. Further, a tissue microarray with a separate set of 8 EFTs, confirmed at another laboratory was analysed for validation of EWSR1 rearrangement test. 23/28 (82.1 %) tissue cores of the tissue microarray, stained by FISH were interpretable, including EWSR1 rearrangement, detected in 20/28 tissue cores; not detected in 3 liver cores and uninterpretable in 5 (17.8 %) cores. Classical EFTs can be diagnosed with diffuse, membranous CD99 positivity, intranuclear FLI1 positivity and LCA negativity in malignant round cells. In unconventional cases, it is indispensable to reveal the concomitant fusion m-RNA by RT-PCR. In case of negative molecular results, it is necessary to prove EWSR1 rearrangement by FISH. These tests should be interpreted with clinicopathological correlation. Tissue microarrays for FISH are useful during validation of a new test, especially when sarcomas like EFTs show less genetic heterogeneity within tumor cells.

Grohar PJ, Segars LE, Yeung C, et al.
Dual targeting of EWS-FLI1 activity and the associated DNA damage response with trabectedin and SN38 synergistically inhibits Ewing sarcoma cell growth.
Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 20(5):1190-203 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The goal of this study is to optimize the activity of trabectedin for Ewing sarcoma by developing a molecularly targeted combination therapy.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We have recently shown that trabectedin interferes with the activity of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma cells. In this report, we build on this work to develop a trabectedin-based combination therapy with improved EWS-FLI1 suppression that also targets the drug-associated DNA damage to Ewing sarcoma cells.
RESULTS: We demonstrate by siRNA experiments that EWS-FLI1 drives the expression of the Werner syndrome protein (WRN) in Ewing sarcoma cells. Because WRN-deficient cells are known to be hypersensitive to camptothecins, we utilize trabectedin to block EWS-FLI1 activity, suppress WRN expression, and selectively sensitize Ewing sarcoma cells to the DNA-damaging effects of SN38. We show that trabectedin and SN38 are synergistic, demonstrate an increase in DNA double-strand breaks, an accumulation of cells in S-phase and a low picomolar IC50. In addition, SN38 cooperates with trabectedin to augment the suppression of EWS-FLI1 downstream targets, leading to an improved therapeutic index in vivo. These effects translate into the marked regression of two Ewing sarcoma xenografts at a fraction of the dose of camptothecin used in other xenograft studies.
CONCLUSIONS: These results provide the basis and rationale for translating this drug combination to the clinic. In addition, the study highlights an approach that utilizes a targeted agent to interfere with an oncogenic transcription factor and then exploits the resulting changes in gene expression to develop a molecularly targeted combination therapy.

Tsugita M, Yamada N, Noguchi S, et al.
Ewing sarcoma cells secrete EWS/Fli-1 fusion mRNA via microvesicles.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e77416 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Tumours defined as Ewing sarcoma (ES) constitute a group of highly malignant neoplasms that most often affect children and young adults in the first 2 decades of life. The EWS/Fli-1 fusion gene, a product of the translocation t(11;22) (q24; 12), is detected in 95% of ES patients. Recently, it was validated that cells emit a heterogeneous mixture of vesicular, organelle-like structures (microvesicles, MVs) into their surroundings including blood and body fluids, and that these MVs contain a selected set of tumor-related proteins and high levels of mRNAs and miRNAs. In this present study, we detected the Ewing sarcoma-specific EWS/Fli-1 mRNA in MVs from the culture medium of ES cell lines carrying t(11;22) (q24; 12). Also, we detected this fusion gene in approximately 40% of the blood samples from mice inoculated with xenografts of TC135 or A673 cells. These findings indicate the EWS/Fli-1 mRNA in MVs might be a new non-invasive diagnostic marker for specific cases of Ewing sarcoma.

Wu L, Chen H, Zhu Y, et al.
Flightless I homolog negatively regulates ChREBP activity in cancer cells.
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013; 45(11):2688-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
The glucose-responsive transcription factor carbohydrate responsive element binding protein (ChREBP) plays an important role in regulating glucose metabolism in support of anabolic synthesis in both hepatocytes and cancer cells. In order to further investigate the molecular mechanism by which ChREBP regulates transcription, we used a proteomic approach to identify proteins interacting with ChREBP. We found several potential ChREBP-interacting partners, one of which, flightless I homolog (FLII) was verified to interact and co-localize with ChREBP in HCT116 colorectal cancer and HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. FLII is a member of the gelsolin superfamily of actin-remodeling proteins and can function as a transcriptional co-regulator. The C-terminal 227 amino acid region of ChREBP containing the DNA-binding domain interacted with FLII. Both the N-terminal leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain and C-terminal gelsolin homolog domain (GLD) of FLII interacted and co-localized with ChREBP. ChREBP and FLII localized in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of cancer cells. Glucose increased expression and nuclear localization of ChREBP, and had minimal effect on the level and distribution of FLII. FLII knockdown using siRNAs increased mRNA and protein levels of ChREBP-activated genes and decreased transcription of ChREBP-repressed genes in cancer cells. Conversely, FLII overexpression negatively regulated ChREBP-mediated transcription in cancer cells. Our findings suggest that FLII is a component of the ChREBP transcriptional complex and negatively regulates ChREBP function in cancer cells.

Sankar S, Tanner JM, Bell R, et al.
A novel role for keratin 17 in coordinating oncogenic transformation and cellular adhesion in Ewing sarcoma.
Mol Cell Biol. 2013; 33(22):4448-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Oncogenic transformation in Ewing sarcoma is caused by EWS/FLI, an aberrant transcription factor fusion oncogene. Glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1 (GLI1) is a critical target gene activated by EWS/FLI, but the mechanism by which GLI1 contributes to the transformed phenotype of Ewing sarcoma was unknown. In this work, we identify keratin 17 (KRT17) as a direct downstream target gene upregulated by GLI1. We demonstrate that KRT17 regulates cellular adhesion by activating AKT/PKB (protein kinase B) signaling. In addition, KRT17 is necessary for oncogenic transformation in Ewing sarcoma and accounts for much of the GLI1-mediated transformation function but via a mechanism independent of AKT signaling. Taken together, our data reveal previously unknown molecular functions for a cytoplasmic intermediate filament protein, KRT17, in coordinating EWS/FLI- and GLI1-mediated oncogenic transformation and cellular adhesion in Ewing sarcoma.

Grunewald TG, Willier S, Janik D, et al.
The Zyxin-related protein thyroid receptor interacting protein 6 (TRIP6) is overexpressed in Ewing's sarcoma and promotes migration, invasion and cell growth.
Biol Cell. 2013; 105(11):535-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Ewing's sarcoma (ES) is the second most common bone-associated malignancy in children and is driven by the fusion oncogene EWS/FLI1 and characterised by rapid growth and early metastasis. Here, we explored the role of the Zyxin-related protein thyroid receptor interacting protein 6 (TRIP6) in ES. The Zyxin family comprises seven homologous proteins involved in migration and proliferation of many cell types of which Zyxin has been described as a tumour suppressor in ES.
RESULTS: By interrogation of published microarray data (n = 1254), we observed that of all Zyxin proteins, only TRIP6 is highly overexpressed in primary ES compared with normal tissues. Re-analysis of published EWS/FLI1 gain- and loss-of-function microarray experiments as well as chromatin-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that TRIP6 overexpression is not mediated by EWS/FLI1. Microarray and subsequent gene-set enrichment analyses of ES cells with and without RNA interference-mediated TRIP6 knockdown demonstrated that TRIP6 expression confers a pro-proliferative and pro-invasive transcriptional signature to ES cells. While short-term proliferation was not considerably affected by TRIP6 knockdown, silencing of the protein significantly reduced migration, invasion, long-term proliferation and clonogenicity of ES cells in vitro as well as tumourigenicity in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data indicate that TRIP6 acts, in contrast to Zyxin, as an oncogene that partially accounts for the autonomous migratory, invasive and proliferative properties of ES cells independent of EWS/FLI1.

Mandoli A, Singh AA, Jansen PW, et al.
CBFB-MYH11/RUNX1 together with a compendium of hematopoietic regulators, chromatin modifiers and basal transcription factors occupies self-renewal genes in inv(16) acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(4):770-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Different mechanisms for CBFβ-MYH11 function in acute myeloid leukemia with inv(16) have been proposed such as tethering of RUNX1 outside the nucleus, interference with transcription factor complex assembly and recruitment of histone deacetylases, all resulting in transcriptional repression of RUNX1 target genes. Here, through genome-wide CBFβ-MYH11-binding site analysis and quantitative interaction proteomics, we found that CBFβ-MYH11 localizes to RUNX1 occupied promoters, where it interacts with TAL1, FLI1 and TBP-associated factors (TAFs) in the context of the hematopoietic transcription factors ERG, GATA2 and PU.1/SPI1 and the coregulators EP300 and HDAC1. Transcriptional analysis revealed that upon fusion protein knockdown, a small subset of the CBFβ-MYH11 target genes show increased expression, confirming a role in transcriptional repression. However, the majority of CBFβ-MYH11 target genes, including genes implicated in hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal such as ID1, LMO1 and JAG1, are actively transcribed and repressed upon fusion protein knockdown. Together these results suggest an essential role for CBFβ-MYH11 in regulating the expression of genes involved in maintaining a stem cell phenotype.

Niedan S, Kauer M, Aryee DN, et al.
Suppression of FOXO1 is responsible for a growth regulatory repressive transcriptional sub-signature of EWS-FLI1 in Ewing sarcoma.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(30):3927-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
The Ewing sarcoma (ES) EWS-FLI1 chimeric oncoprotein is a prototypic aberrant ETS transcription factor with activating and repressive regulatory functions. We report that EWS-FLI1-repressed promoters are enriched in forkhead box (FOX) recognition motifs, and identify FOXO1 as a EWS-FLI1-suppressed regulator orchestrating a major subset of EWS-FLI1-repressed genes. In addition to FOXO1 regulation by direct promoter binding of EWS-FLI1, its subcellular localization and activity is regulated by cyclin-dependent kinase 2- and AKT-mediated phosphorylation downstream of EWS-FLI1. Restoration of nuclear FOXO1 expression in ES cells impaired proliferation and significantly reduced clonogenicity. Gene-expression profiling revealed a significant overlap between EWS-FLI1-repressed and FOXO1-activated genes. As a proof of principle for a potential therapeutic application of our findings, the treatment of ES cell lines with methylseleninic acid (MSA) reactivated endogenous FOXO1 in the presence of EWS-FLI1 in a dose- and time-dependent manner and induced massive cell death dependent on FOXO1. In an orthotopic xenograft mouse model, MSA increased FOXO1 expression in the tumor paralleled by a significant decrease in ES tumor growth. FOXO1 reactivation by small molecules may therefore serve as a promising strategy for a future ES-specific therapy.

Lee HJ, Yoon C, Schmidt B, et al.
Combining PARP-1 inhibition and radiation in Ewing sarcoma results in lethal DNA damage.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(11):2591-600 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Ewing sarcomas (ES) harbor a chromosomal translocation that fuses the EWS gene to an ETS transcription factor, most commonly Friend leukemia integration 1 (FLI1). The EWS-FLI1 fusion protein acts in a positive feedback loop to maintain the expression of PARP-1, which is involved in repair of DNA damage. Here, we examine the effects of PARP-1 inhibition and radiation therapy on Ewing sarcomas. In proliferation assays, the Ewing sarcoma cell lines RD-ES and SK-N-MC were much more sensitive than non-Ewing sarcoma cell lines to the PARP-1 inhibitor olaparib (Ola; IC50 0.5-1 μmol/L vs. >5 μmol/L) and to radiation (IC50 2-4 Gy vs. >6 Gy). PARP-1 inhibition with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) or Ola sensitized Ewing sarcoma cells, but not non-Ewing sarcoma cells, to radiation therapy in both proliferation and colony formation assays. Using the Comet assay, radiation of Ewing sarcoma cells with Ola, compared to without Ola, resulted in more DNA damage at 1 hour (mean tail moment 36-54 vs. 26-28) and sustained DNA damage at 24 hours (24-29 vs. 6-8). This DNA damage led to a 2.9- to 4.0-fold increase in apoptosis and a 1.6- to 2.4-fold increase in cell death. The effect of PARP-1 inhibition and radiation therapy on Ewing sarcoma cells was lost when EWS-FLI1 was silenced by shRNA. A small dose of radiation therapy (4 Gy), when combined with PARP-1 inhibition, stopped the growth of SK-N-MC flank tumors xenografts. In conclusion, PARP-1 inhibition in Ewing sarcomas amplifies the level and duration of DNA damage caused by radiation therapy, leading to synergistic increases in apoptosis and cell death in a EWS-FLI1-dependent manner.

Bilke S, Schwentner R, Yang F, et al.
Oncogenic ETS fusions deregulate E2F3 target genes in Ewing sarcoma and prostate cancer.
Genome Res. 2013; 23(11):1797-809 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Deregulated E2F transcription factor activity occurs in the vast majority of human tumors and has been solidly implicated in disturbances of cell cycle control, proliferation, and apoptosis. Aberrant E2F regulatory activity is often caused by impairment of control through pRB function, but little is known about the interplay of other oncoproteins with E2F. Here we show that ETS transcription factor fusions resulting from disease driving rearrangements in Ewing sarcoma (ES) and prostate cancer (PC) are one such class of oncoproteins. We performed an integrative study of genome-wide DNA-binding and transcription data in EWSR1/FLI1 expressing ES and TMPRSS2/ERG containing PC cells. Supported by promoter activity and mutation analyses, we demonstrate that a large fraction of E2F3 target genes are synergistically coregulated by these aberrant ETS proteins. We propose that the oncogenic effect of ETS fusion oncoproteins is in part mediated by the disruptive effect of the E2F-ETS interaction on cell cycle control. Additionally, a detailed analysis of the regulatory targets of the characteristic EWSR1/FLI1 fusion in ES identifies two functionally distinct gene sets. While synergistic regulation in concert with E2F in the promoter of target genes has a generally activating effect, EWSR1/FLI1 binding independent of E2F3 is predominantly associated with repressed differentiation genes. Thus, EWSR1/FLI1 appears to promote oncogenesis by simultaneously promoting cell proliferation and perturbing differentiation.

Stoll G, Surdez D, Tirode F, et al.
Systems biology of Ewing sarcoma: a network model of EWS-FLI1 effect on proliferation and apoptosis.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2013; 41(19):8853-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma is the second most frequent pediatric bone tumor. In most of the patients, a chromosomal translocation leads to the expression of the EWS-FLI1 chimeric transcription factor that is the major oncogene in this pathology. Relative genetic simplicity of Ewing sarcoma makes it particularly attractive for studying cancer in a systemic manner. Silencing EWS-FLI1 induces cell cycle alteration and ultimately leads to apoptosis, but the exact molecular mechanisms underlying this phenotype are unclear. In this study, a network linking EWS-FLI1 to cell cycle and apoptosis phenotypes was constructed through an original method of network reconstruction. Transcriptome time-series after EWS-FLI1 silencing were used to identify core modulated genes by an original scoring method based on fitting expression profile dynamics curves. Literature data mining was then used to connect these modulated genes into a network. The validity of a subpart of this network was assessed by siRNA/RT-QPCR experiments on four additional Ewing cell lines and confirmed most of the links. Based on the network and the transcriptome data, CUL1 was identified as a new potential target of EWS-FLI1. Altogether, using an original methodology of data integration, we provide the first version of EWS-FLI1 network model of cell cycle and apoptosis regulation.

Bonetti P, Testoni M, Scandurra M, et al.
Deregulation of ETS1 and FLI1 contributes to the pathogenesis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2013; 122(13):2233-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common form of human lymphoma. DLBCL is a heterogeneous disease characterized by different genetic lesions. We herein report the functional characterization of a recurrent gain mapping on chromosome 11q24.3, found in 23% of 166 DLBCL cases analyzed. The transcription factors ETS1 and FLI1, located within the 11q24.3 region, had significantly higher expression in clinical samples carrying the gain. Functional studies on cell lines showed that ETS1 and FLI1 cooperate in sustaining DLBCL proliferation and viability and regulate genes involved in germinal center differentiation. Taken together, these data identify the 11q24.3 gain as a recurrent lesion in DLBCL leading to ETS1 and FLI1 deregulated expression, which can contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.

Subbiah V, Brown RE, Jiang Y, et al.
Morphoproteomic profiling of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in desmoplastic small round cell tumor (EWS/WT1), Ewing's sarcoma (EWS/FLI1) and Wilms' tumor(WT1).
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68985 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a rare sarcoma in adolescents and young adults. The hallmark of this disease is a EWS-WT1 translocation resulting from apposition of the Ewing's sarcoma (EWS) gene with the Wilms' tumor (WT1) gene. We performed morphoproteomic profiling of DSRCT (EWS-WT1), Ewing's sarcoma (EWS-FLI1) and Wilms' tumor (WT1) to better understand the signaling pathways for selecting future targeted therapies.
METHODOLOGY: This pilot study assessed patients with DSRCT, Wilms' tumor and Ewing's sarcoma. Morphoproteomics and immunohistochemical probes were applied to detect: p-mTOR (Ser2448); p-Akt (Ser473); p-ERK1/2 (Thr202/Tyr204); p-STAT3 (Tyr 705); and cell cycle-related analytes along with their negative controls.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In DSRCT the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway is constitutively activated by p-Akt (Ser 473) expression in the nuclear compartment of the tumor cells and p-mTOR phosphorylated on Ser 2448, suggesting mTORC2 (rictor+mTOR) as the dominant form. Ewing's sarcoma had upregulated p-Akt and p-mTOR, predominantly mTORC2. In Wilm's tumor, the mTOR pathway is also activated with most tumor cells moderately expressing p-mTOR (Ser 2448) in plasmalemmal and cytoplasmic compartments. This coincides with the constitutive activation of one of the downstream effectors of the mTORC1 signaling pathway, namely p-p70S6K (Thr 389). There was constitutive activation of the Ras/Raf/ERK pathway p-ERK 1/2 (Thr202/Tyr204) expression in the Wilms tumor and metastatic Ewing's sarcoma, but not in the DSRCT.
CONCLUSION: MORPHOPROTEOMIC TUMOR ANALYSES REVEALED CONSTITUTIVE ACTIVATION OF THE MTOR PATHWAY AS EVIDENCED BY: (a) expression of phosphorylated (p)-mTOR, p-p70S6K; (b) mTORC 2 in EWS and DSRCT; (c) ERK signaling was seen in the advanced setting indicating these as resistance pathways to IGF1R related therapies. This is the first morphoproteomic study of such pathways in these rare malignancies and may have potential therapeutic implications. Further study using morphoproteomic assessments of these tumors are warranted.

Chen C, Wonsey DR, Lemieux ME, Kung AL
Differential disruption of EWS-FLI1 binding by DNA-binding agents.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e69714 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/12/2015 Related Publications
Fusion of the EWS gene to FLI1 produces a fusion oncoprotein that drives an aberrant gene expression program responsible for the development of Ewing sarcoma. We used a homogenous proximity assay to screen for compounds that disrupt the binding of EWS-FLI1 to its cognate DNA targets. A number of DNA-binding chemotherapeutic agents were found to non-specifically disrupt protein binding to DNA. In contrast, actinomycin D was found to preferentially disrupt EWS-FLI1 binding by comparison to p53 binding to their respective cognate DNA targets in vitro. In cell-based assays, low concentrations of actinomycin D preferentially blocked EWS-FLI1 binding to chromatin, and disrupted EWS-FLI1-mediated gene expression. Higher concentrations of actinomycin D globally repressed transcription. These results demonstrate that actinomycin D preferentially disrupts EWS-FLI1 binding to DNA at selected concentrations. Although the window between this preferential effect and global suppression is too narrow to exploit in a therapeutic manner, these results suggest that base-preferences may be exploited to find DNA-binding compounds that preferentially disrupt subclasses of transcription factors.

Yang Y, Li H, Zhang F, et al.
Clinical and biological significance of hepatoma-derived growth factor in Ewing's sarcoma.
J Pathol. 2013; 231(3):323-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
We sought to investigate the clinicopathological significance and biological function of hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) in Ewing's sarcoma. Our results showed that HDGF expression is up-regulated in Ewing's sarcoma. Nuclear HDGF expression is significantly associated with tumour volume (p < 0.001), metastases at diagnosis (p < 0.001), low overall survival rate (p < 0.001) and low disease-free survival rate (p < 0.001). HDGF knock-down results in significant reduction of Ewing's sarcoma cell growth, proliferation and enhances tumourigenesis, both in vitro and in vivo. Meanwhile, HDGF knock-down causes cell cycle arrest and enhanced sensitization to serum starvation-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, recombinant HDGF promotes proliferation and colony formation of Ewing's sarcoma cells. Ninety-eight candidate HDGF downstream genes were identified in Ewing's sarcoma cells using cDNA microarray analysis. In addition, we found that HDGF knock-down inhibited FLI1 expression in Ewing's sarcoma cells at the mRNA and protein levels. Our findings suggest that HDGF exhibits oncogenic properties and may be a novel prognostic factor in Ewing's sarcoma. Targeting HDGF might be a potential therapeutic strategy for Ewing's sarcoma.

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