American Association for Cancer Research
23266066cir200313-sup-241682_2_supp_6680961_qpvp33.pdf (33.19 MB)

Supplementary Figures from Nutlin-3a Enhances Natural Killer Cell–Mediated Killing of Neuroblastoma by Restoring p53-Dependent Expression of Ligands for NKG2D and DNAM-1 Receptors

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-04, 01:07 authored by Irene Veneziani, Paola Infante, Elisa Ferretti, Ombretta Melaiu, Cecilia Battistelli, Valeria Lucarini, Mirco Compagnone, Carmine Nicoletti, Aurora Castellano, Stefania Petrini, Marzia Ognibene, Annalisa Pezzolo, Lucia Di Marcotullio, Roberto Bei, Lorenzo Moretta, Vito Pistoia, Doriana Fruci, Vincenzo Barnaba, Franco Locatelli, Loredana Cifaldi

Supplementary Figures


Ministry of Health

Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro



In this study, we explored whether Nutlin-3a, a well-known, nontoxic small-molecule compound antagonizing the inhibitory interaction of MDM2 with the tumor suppressor p53, may restore ligands for natural killer (NK) cell–activating receptors (NK-AR) on neuroblastoma cells to enhance the NK cell–mediated killing. Neuroblastoma cell lines were treated with Nutlin-3a, and the expression of ligands for NKG2D and DNAM-1 NK-ARs and the neuroblastoma susceptibility to NK cells were evaluated. Adoptive transfer of human NK cells in a xenograft neuroblastoma-bearing NSG murine model was assessed. Two data sets of neuroblastoma patients were explored to correlate p53 expression with ligand expression. Luciferase assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis of p53 functional binding on PVR promoter were performed. Primary neuroblastoma cells were also treated with Nutlin-3a, and neuroblastoma spheroids obtained from one high-risk patient were assayed for NK-cell cytotoxicity. We provide evidence showing that the Nutlin-3a–dependent rescue of p53 function in neuroblastoma cells resulted in (i) increased surface expression of ligands for NK-ARs, thus rendering neuroblastoma cell lines significantly more susceptible to NK cell–mediated killing; (ii) shrinkage of human neuroblastoma tumor masses that correlated with overall survival upon adoptive transfer of NK cells in neuroblastoma-bearing mice; (iii) and increased expression of ligands in primary neuroblastoma cells and boosting of NK cell–mediated disaggregation of neuroblastoma spheroids. We also found that p53 was a direct transcription factor regulating the expression of PVR ligand recognized by DNAM-1. Our findings demonstrated an immunomodulatory role of Nutlin-3a, which might be prospectively used for a novel NK cell–based immunotherapy for neuroblastoma.