Research Papers:

Ewing sarcoma resistance to SP-2509 is not mediated through KDM1A/LSD1 mutation

Kathleen I. Pishas and Stephen L. Lessnick _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:36413-36429. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26326

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Kathleen I. Pishas1,2 and Stephen L. Lessnick2,3

1Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia

2Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA

3Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Correspondence to:

Stephen L. Lessnick, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Ewing sarcoma; LSD1; KDM1A; SP-2509

Received: August 26, 2018     Accepted: October 28, 2018     Published: November 23, 2018


Ewing sarcoma is the second most common solid bone malignancy diagnosed in pediatric and young adolescent populations. Despite global co-operative efforts, outcomes for patients with relapsed and refractory disease remains obstinately poor. It has become increasingly clear that disruption of the epigenome as a result of alterations in epigenetic regulators, plays a pivotal role in tumorigenesis. As such, this study investigated Ewing sarcoma mechanisms of acquired resistance to the small molecule reversible lysine specific demethylase (LSD1/KDM1A) inhibitor SP-2509. Surprisingly, whole exome sequencing analysis of our generated A673 SP-2509 drug resistant cell line revealed an absence of mutations in KDM1A. Compared to parental counterparts, SP-2509 drug resistant cells demonstrated decreased anchorage independent growth capacity, enhanced sensitivity to the HDAC inhibitors vorinostat/entinostat and a distinct transcriptional profile that was enriched for extracellular matrix proteins. SP-2509 drug resistant cells also exhibited elevated expression levels of the multi-drug resistance genes ABCB1, ABCC3, and ABBC5 and decreased expression of the transcriptional repressor RCOR1/CoREST. Following several months of SP-2509 withdrawal, low level SP-2509 resistance was still apparent (6.3 fold increase in IC50), with drug resistant cell populations maintaining their distinct transcriptional profile. Furthermore, compared to parental cells, washout drug resistant lines displayed equal sensitivity to the standard Ewing sarcoma chemotherapeutic agent’s vincristine and doxorubicin. Together these findings indicate that resistance to SP-2509 is not fully reversible or driven by direct mutation in KDM1A.

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