Research Papers:

A signaling cascade including ARID1A, GADD45B and DUSP1 induces apoptosis and affects the cell cycle of germ cell cancers after romidepsin treatment

Daniel Nettersheim, Sina Jostes, Martin Fabry, Friedemann Honecker, Valerie Schumacher, Jutta Kirfel, Glen Kristiansen and Hubert Schorle _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:74931-74946. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11647

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Daniel Nettersheim1, Sina Jostes1, Martin Fabry1, Friedemann Honecker2, Valerie Schumacher3, Jutta Kirfel4, Glen Kristiansen4, Hubert Schorle1

1Institute of Pathology, Department of Developmental Pathology, University Medical School, Bonn, Germany

2Tumor- and Breast Center ZeTuP Silberturm, St. Gallen, Switzerland

3Harvard Medical School, Department of Pediatrics, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

4Institute of Pathology, University Medical School, Bonn, Germany

Correspondence to:

Hubert Schorle, email: Hubert.Schorle@ukb.uni-bonn.de

Keywords: histone deactylase inhibitor, romidepsin, germ cell cancer, therapy, ARID1A

Received: May 26, 2016     Accepted: August 18, 2016     Published: August 27, 2016


In Western countries, the incidence of testicular germ cell cancers (GCC) is steadily rising over the last decades. Mostly, men between 20 and 40 years of age are affected. In general, patients suffering from GCCs are treated by orchiectomy and radio- or chemotherapy. Due to resistance mechanisms, intolerance to the therapy or denial of chemo- / radiotherapy by the patients, GCCs are still a lethal threat, highlighting the need for alternative treatment strategies.

In this study, we revealed that germ cell cancer cell lines are highly sensitive to the histone deacetylase inhibitor romidepsin in vitro and in vivo, highlighting romidepsin as a potential therapeutic option for GCC patients.

Romidepsin-mediated inhibition of histone deacetylases led to disturbances of the chromatin landscape. This resulted in locus-specific histone-hyper- or hypoacetylation. We found that hypoacetylation at the ARID1A promotor caused repression of the SWI/SNF-complex member ARID1A. In consequence, this resulted in upregulation of the stress-sensors and apoptosis-regulators GADD45B, DUSP1 and CDKN1A. RNAi-driven knock down of ARID1A mimicked in parts the effects of romidepsin, while CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of GADD45B attenuated the romidepsin-provoked induction of apoptosis and cell cycle alterations.

We propose a signaling cascade involving ARID1A, GADD45B and DUSP1 as mediators of the romidepsin effects in GCC cells.

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