Research Papers:

Shh and p50/Bcl3 signaling crosstalk drives pathogenesis of BCCs in Gorlin syndrome

Sandeep C. Chaudhary, Xiuwei Tang, Aadithya Arumugam, Changzhao Li, Ritesh K. Srivastava, Zhiping Weng, Jianmin Xu, Xiao Zhang, Arianna L. Kim, Kristopher McKay, Craig A. Elmets, Levy Kopelovich, David R. Bickers & Mohammad Athar _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:36789-36814. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5103

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Sandeep C. Chaudhary1,*, Xiuwei Tang3,*, Aadithya Arumugam1, Changzhao Li1, Ritesh K. Srivastava1, Zhiping Weng1, Jianmin Xu1, Xiao Zhang2,6, Arianna L. Kim3, Kristopher McKay4, Craig A. Elmets1, Levy Kopelovich5, David R. Bickers3, Mohammad Athar1

1Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294–0019, USA

2Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294–0019, USA

3Department of Dermatology, College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA

4Division of Dermatopathology, Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294–4550, USA

5Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA

6Present address: Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Mohammad Athar, e-mail: mathar@uab.edu

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma, murine model, NBCCS, Shh, Bcl3

Received: July 20, 2015     Accepted: September 04, 2015     Published: September 15, 2015


Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder that is due, in large measure, to aberrant Shh signaling driven by mutations in the tumor suppressor gene Ptch1. Here, we describe the development of Ptch1+/−/ SKH-1 mice as a novel model of this disease. These animals manifest many features of NBCCS, including developmental anomalies and are remarkably sensitive to both ultraviolet (UVB) and ionizing radiation that drive the development of multiple BCCs. Just as in patients with NBCCS, Ptch1+/−/SKH-1 also spontaneously develops BCCs and other neoplasms such as rhabdomyomas/rhabdomyosarcomas. Administration of smoothened inhibitors (vismodegib/itraconazole/cyclopamine) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (sulindac/sulfasalazine) each result in partial resolution of BCCs in these animals. However, combined administration of these agents inhibits the growth of UVB-induced BCCs by >90%. Employing small molecule- and decoy-peptide-based approaches we further affirm that complete remission of BCCs could only be achieved by combined inhibition of p50-NFκB/Bcl3 and Shh signaling. We posit that Ptch1+/−/SKH-1 mice are a novel and relevant animal model for NBCCS. Understanding mechanisms that govern genetic predisposition to BCCs should facilitate our ability to identify and treat NBCCS gene carriers, including those at risk for sporadic BCCs while accelerating development of novel therapeutic modalities for these patients.

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