Disrupting NOTCH Slows Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Growth, Enhances Radiation Sensitivity, and Shows Combinatorial Efficacy With Bromodomain Inhibition

Isabella C. Taylor, Marianne Hütt-Cabezas, William D. Brandt, Madhuri Kambhampati, Javad Nazarian, Howard T. Chang, Katherine E. Warren, Charles G. Eberhart, Eric H. Raabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

NOTCH regulates stem cells during normal development and stemlike cells in cancer, but the roles of NOTCH in the lethal pediatric brain tumor diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) remain unknown. Because DIPGs express stem cell factors such as SOX2 and MYCN, we hypothesized that NOTCH activity would be critical for DIPG growth. We determined that primary DIPGs expressed high levels of NOTCH receptors, ligands, and downstream effectors. Treatment of the DIPG cell lines JHH-DIPG1 and SF7761 with the γ-secretase inhibitor MRK003 suppressed the level of the NOTCH effectors HES1, HES4, and HES5; inhibited DIPG growth by 75%; and caused a 3-fold induction of apoptosis. Short hairpin RNAs targeting the canonical NOTCH pathway caused similar effects. Pretreatment of DIPG cells with MRK003 suppressed clonogenic growth by more than 90% and enhanced the efficacy of radiation therapy. The high level of MYCN in DIPG led us to test sequential therapy with the bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 and MRK003, and we found that JQ1 and MRK003 inhibited DIPG growth and induced apoptosis. Together, these results suggest that dual targeting of NOTCH and MYCN in DIPG may be an effective therapeutic strategy in DIPG and that adding a γ-secretase inhibitor during radiation therapy may be efficacious initially or during reirradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-790
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Volume74
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 31 2015

Keywords

  • Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
  • H3F3A
  • HES
  • MRK003
  • Pediatric brain tumor
  • Radiation
  • γ-secretase inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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