Journal of cellular and molecular medicine

Prostaglandin E2 promotes MYCN non-amplified neuroblastoma cell survival via β-catenin stabilization.

PMID 25266063


Amplification of MYCN is the most well-known prognostic marker of neuroblastoma risk classification, but still is only observed in 25% of cases. Recent evidence points to the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) elevating ligand prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ) and β-catenin as two novel players in neuroblastoma. Here, we aimed to define the potential role of PGE2 and cAMP and its potential interplay with β-catenin, both of which may converge on neuroblastoma cell behaviour. Gain and loss of β-catenin function, PGE2 , the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin and pharmacological inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were studied in two human neuroblastoma cell lines without MYCN amplification. Our findings show that PGE2 enhanced cell viability through the EP4 receptor and cAMP elevation, whereas COX-2 inhibitors attenuated cell viability. Interestingly, PGE2 and forskolin promoted glycogen synthase kinase 3β inhibition, β-catenin phosphorylation at the protein kinase A target residue ser675, β-catenin nuclear translocation and TCF-dependent gene transcription. Ectopic expression of a degradation-resistant β-catenin mutant enhances neuroblastoma cell viability and inhibition of β-catenin with XAV939 prevented PGE2 -induced cell viability. Finally, we show increased β-catenin expression in human high-risk neuroblastoma tissue without MYCN amplification. Our data indicate that PGE2 enhances neuroblastoma cell viability, a process which may involve cAMP-mediated β-catenin stabilization, and suggest that this pathway is of relevance to high-risk neuroblastoma without MYCN amplification.