One of the greatest barriers to curative treatment of neuroblastoma is its frequent metastatic outgrowth prior to diagnosis, especially in cases driven by amplification of the MYCN oncogene. However, only a limited number of regulatory proteins that contribute to this complex MYCN-mediated process have been elucidated. Here we show that the growth arrest-specific 7 (GAS7) gene, located at chromosome band 17p13.1, is preferentially deleted in high-risk MYCN-driven neuroblastoma. GAS7 expression was also suppressed in MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma lacking 17p deletion. GAS7 deficiency led to accelerated metastasis in both zebrafish and mammalian models of neuroblastoma with overexpression or amplification of MYCN. Analysis of expression profiles and the ultrastructure of zebrafish neuroblastoma tumors with MYCN overexpression identified that GAS7 deficiency led to (i) downregulation of genes involved in cell-cell interaction, (ii) loss of contact among tumor cells as critical determinants of accelerated metastasis, and (iii) increased levels of MYCN protein. These results provide the first genetic evidence that GAS7 depletion is a critical early step in the cascade of events culminating in neuroblastoma metastasis in the context of MYCN overexpression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research