Investigation of drug-induced cell cycle responses in high-risk neuroblastoma

University essay from KTH/Skolan för kemi, bioteknologi och hälsa (CBH)

Abstract: The childhood cancer neuroblastoma mostly affects children under the age of 2 and comprises 6% of all childhood cancers. Neuroblastoma has very diverse phenotypes caused by both inter- and intra-tumour heterogeneities. The phenotypes are classified as being either low- or high-risk. This project focuses on high-risk NB cell lines with various chemotherapy sensitivity. Titration studies with chemotherapy agents cisplatin or doxorubicin showed a proneness of p53 mutated cell lines to arrest in either the S- and/or the G2/M-phase, depending on the drug and the drug dosage, indicating on a dose-dependent cell cycle response. To potentially inhibit the cells from arresting a treatment assay with 3 cell cycle key-components, pATM, Chk1 and Wee1 inhibitors was done. An initial immunocytochemistry staining of the expression levels of pATM and Wee1 showed that pATM was upregulated for 5 out 7 tested cell lines, namely SK-N-SH, SK-N-FI, Kelly, SK-N-DZ and BE(2)-C, upon chemotherapy treatment with doxorubicin. Wee1 was however only upregulated for 3 out 7 cell lines; Kelly, SK-N-DZ and BE(2)-C. The upregulation of pATM and Wee1 showed a potential confirmation of their involvement in CT induced cell cycle arrest. Upon inhibition of pATM, Chk1 and Wee1 diverse effects were observed for each cell line (SK-N-SH, SK-N-AS, SK-N-FI, Kelly, SK-N-DZ and BE(2)-C). Wee1 showed the most promising results were the cell viability decreased for all 5 p53 mutated cell lines and the confluency over time decreased for 4 out 5 p53 mutated cell lines. The p53 wild type cell line SK-N-SH was less sensitive towards Chk1 and Wee1 inhibition indicating that cell lines with functional p53 might not be as dependent on the Chk1 and Wee1 pathways compared to cell lines with non-functional p53. Thus, targeting the cell cycle arrest might be a promising therapeutic target for high-risk neuroblastoma.

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