Targeted BIRC5 silencing using YM155 causes cell death in neuroblastoma cells with low ABCB1 expression

Fieke Lamers, Linda Schild, Jan Koster, Rogier Versteeg, Huib N. Caron, Jan J. Molenaar

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The BIRC5 (Survivin) gene is located at chromosome 17q in the region that is frequently gained in high risk neuroblastoma. BIRC5 is strongly over expressed in neuroblastoma tumour samples, which correlates to a poor prognosis. We recently validated BIRC5 as a potential therapeutic target by showing that targeted knock down with shRNA's triggers an apoptotic response through mitotic catastrophe. We now tested YM155, a novel small molecule selective BIRC5 suppressant that is currently in phase I/II clinical trials. Drug response curves showed IC50 values in the low nM range (median: 35 nM, range: 0.5->10,000 nM) in a panel of 23 neuroblastoma cell lines and four TIC-lines, which resulted from an apoptotic response. Nine out of 23 cell lines were relatively resistant to YM155 with IC50 values >200 nM, although in the same cells shRNA mediated knock down of BIRC5 caused massive apoptosis. Analysis of differentially expressed genes between five most sensitive and five most resistant cell lines using Affymetrix mRNA expression data revealed ABCB1 (MDR1) as the most predictive gene for resistance to YM155. Inhibition of the multidrug resistance pump ABCB1 with cyclosporine or knockdown with shRNA prior to treatment with YM155 demonstrated that cell lines with ABCB1 expression became 27-695 times more sensitive to YM155 treatment. We conclude that most neuroblastoma cell lines are sensitive to YM155 in the low nM range and that resistant cells can be sensitised by ABCB1 inhibitors. Therefore YM155 is a promising novel compound for treatment of neuroblastoma with low ABCB1 expression. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-771
JournalEuropean journal of cancer (Oxford, England
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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