Stephan L. Harris Fund
Gattegno and Wechsler funds
Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)/NIH
Academic Enrichment Fund of MGH Orthopedic Surgery
ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: Conventional chemotherapeutic agents are ineffective in the treatment of chordoma. We investigated the functional roles and therapeutic relevance of the sex-determining region Y (SRY)-box 9 (SOX9) in chordoma.Experimental Design: SOX9 expression was examined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using 50 chordoma tissue samples. SOX9 expression in chordoma cell lines was examined by Western blot and immunofluorescent assays. We used synthetic human SOX9 siRNA to inhibit the expression of SOX9. Cell proliferation ability and cytotoxicity of inhibiting SOX9 were assessed by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and clonogenic assays. The effect of SOX9 knockdown on chordoma cell motility was evaluated by a wound-healing assay and a Transwell invasion chamber assay. Knockdown of SOX9 induced apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest, as well as decreased expression of cancer stem cell markers were determined by Western blot and flow cytometric assays. The effect of the combination of SOX9 siRNA and the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin/cisplatin on chordoma cells was assessed by an MTT assay.Results: Tissue microarray and IHC analysis showed that SOX9 is broadly expressed in chordomas and that higher expression levels of SOX9 correlated with a poor prognosis. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of SOX9 inhibited chordoma cell growth, decreased cell motility, and induced apoptosis as well as cell-cycle arrest. Moreover, the combination of SOX9 inhibition and chemotherapeutic drugs had an enhanced anti-cancer effect on chordoma cells.Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that SOX9 plays a crucial role in chordoma. Targeting SOX9 provides a new rationale for treatment of chordoma. Clin Cancer Res; 23(17); 5176–86. ©2017 AACR.