Research Papers:

Lysine-specific demethylase (LSD1/KDM1A) and MYCN cooperatively repress tumor suppressor genes in neuroblastoma

Stefano Amente, Giorgio Milazzo, Maria Cristina Sorrentino, Susanna Ambrosio, Giacomo Di Palo, Luigi Lania, Giovanni Perini and Barbara Majello _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:14572-14583. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3990

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Stefano Amente1,2,*, Giorgio Milazzo3,*, Maria Cristina Sorrentino1, Susanna Ambrosio1, Giacomo Di Palo2, Luigi Lania2, Giovanni Perini3,4 and Barbara Majello1

1 Department of Biology, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Naples, Italy

2 Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnologies, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Naples, Italy

3 Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Italy

4 CIRI Health Sciences and Technologies (HST), Bologna, Italy

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Barbara Majello, email:

Giovanni Perini, email:

Keywords: MYCN, neuroblastoma, LSD1, transcription

Received: March 09, 2015 Accepted: April 15, 2015 Published: May 04, 2015


The chromatin-modifying enzyme lysine-specific demethylase 1, KDM1A/LSD1 is involved in maintaining the undifferentiated, malignant phenotype of neuroblastoma cells and its overexpression correlated with aggressive disease, poor differentiation and infaust outcome. Here, we show that LSD1 physically binds MYCN both in vitro and in vivo and that such an interaction requires the MYCN BoxIII. We found that LSD1 co-localizes with MYCN on promoter regions of CDKN1A/p21 and Clusterin (CLU) suppressor genes and cooperates with MYCN to repress the expression of these genes. KDM1A needs to engage with MYCN in order to associate with the CDKN1A and CLU promoters. The expression of CLU and CDKN1A can be restored in MYCN-amplified cells by pharmacological inhibition of LSD1 activity or knockdown of its expression. Combined pharmacological inhibition of MYCN and LSD1 through the use of small molecule inhibitors synergistically reduces MYCN-amplified Neuroblastoma cell viability in vitro. These findings demonstrate that LSD1 is a critical co-factor of the MYCN repressive function, and suggest that combination of LSD1 and MYCN inhibitors may have strong therapeutic relevance to counteract MYCN-driven oncogenesis.

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