Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/7832
Targeting Cyclooxygenase-2 in Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Focus on Genetic Background
Cancers (Basel). 2019 ;11(6). pii: E743.
Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is a key enzyme of the tumorigenesis-inflammation interface and can be induced by hypoxia. A pseudohypoxic transcriptional signature characterizes pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PPGLs) of the cluster I, mainly represented by tumors with mutations in von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), endothelial PAS domain-containing protein 1 (EPAS1), or succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunit genes. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible association between underlying tumor driver mutations and COX-2 in PPGLs. COX-2 gene expression and immunoreactivity were examined in clinical specimens with documented mutations, as well as in spheroids and allografts derived from mouse pheochromocytoma (MPC) cells. COX-2 in vivo imaging was performed in allograft mice. We observed significantly higher COX-2 expression in cluster I, especially in VHL-mutant PPGLs, however, no specific association between COX-2 mRNA levels and a hypoxia-related transcriptional signature was found. COX-2 immunoreactivity was present in about 60% of clinical specimens as well as in MPC spheroids and allografts. A selective COX-2 tracer specifically accumulated in MPC allografts. This study demonstrates that, although pseudohypoxia is not the major determinant for high COX-2 levels in PPGLs, COX-2 is a relevant molecular target. This potentially allows for employing selective COX-2 inhibitors as targeted chemotherapeutic agents and radiosensitizers. Moreover, available models are suitable for preclinical testing of these treatments.
EPAS1 | NF1 | VHL | fluorescence imaging | hypoxia-inducible factor | immunohistochemistry | inflammation | mouse pheochromocytoma cells | radiosensitization | succinate dehydrogenase
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