American Association for Cancer Research
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Figure S2 from Activator protein-1 (AP-1) signaling inhibits the growth of Ewing sarcoma cells in response to DNA replication stress

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-19, 13:00 authored by Emma E. Croushore, Stacia L. Koppenhafer, Kelli L. Goss, Elizabeth L. Geary, David J. Gordon

Treatment of EW8-RRM1-KO cells with prexasertib.



Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of deoxyribonucleosides and is required for DNA replication. Multiple types of cancer, including Ewing sarcoma tumors, are sensitive to RNR inhibitors or a reduction in the levels of either the RRM1 or RRM2 subunits of RNR. However, the polypharmacology and off-target effects of RNR inhibitors have complicated the identification of the mechanisms that regulate sensitivity and resistance to this class of drugs. Consequently, we used a conditional knockout (CRISPR/Cas9) and rescue approach to target RRM1 in Ewing sarcoma cells and identified that loss of the RRM1 protein results in the upregulation of the expression of multiple members of the activator protein-1 (AP-1) transcription factor complex, including c-Jun and c-Fos, and downregulation of c-Myc. Notably, overexpression of c-Jun and c-Fos in Ewing sarcoma cells is sufficient to inhibit cell growth and downregulate the expression of the c-Myc oncogene. We also identified that the upregulation of AP-1 is mediated, in part, by SLFN11, which is a replication stress response protein that is expressed at high levels in Ewing sarcoma. In addition, small-molecule inhibitors of RNR, including gemcitabine, and HDAC inhibitors, which reduce the level of the RRM1 protein, also activate AP-1 signaling and downregulate the level of c-Myc in Ewing sarcoma. Overall, these results provide novel insight into the critical pathways activated by loss of RNR activity and the mechanisms of action of inhibitors of RNR.

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