Disruption of cooperation between Ras and MycN in human neuroblastoma cells promotes growth arrest

Shira Yaari, Jasmine Jacob-Hirsch, Ninette Amariglio, Ronit Haklai, Gideon Rechavi, Yoel Kloog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: Our aim was to examine whether active Ras and MycN cooperation contributes to the malignant phenotype of human neuroblastoma with amplified MycN gene, an aggressive incurable tumor. Experimental Design: Human neuroblastoma LAN-1 cells, in which the MycN gene is amplified, were used to examine the impact of the Ras inhibitor farnesylthiosalicylic acid on cell growth, on the levels Ras and MycN proteins, and on profiles of gene expression. Results: We show that LAN-1 cells express relatively large amounts of MycN and active Ras-GTP. Inhibition of active Ras by farnesylthiosalicylic acid led to attenuation of the Raf-MEK-ERK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt-glycogen synthase-3 (GSK-3) pathways, to reduction in cyclin D1, phospho-retinoblastoma, and E2F, and to increase in the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 and in retinoblastoma-binding protein-1, an inhibitor of E2F transcriptional activity. Ras inhibition by farnesylthiosalicylic acid or by a dominant-negative Ras also led to complete disappearance of MycN protein from the nuclei of LAN-1 cells. This was a result of blocking of Akt inactivation of GSK-3, leading to GSK-3-dependent phosphorylation with consequent proteosomal degradation of MycN. Loss of active Ras and of MycN in LAN-1 cells was manifested in profiles of gene expression that could be expected from the loss of MycN transcriptional activity and of Ras signaling. These changes explain the farnesylthiosalicylic acid-induced inhibition of LAN-1 cell growth. Conclusions: Active Ras is needed to block MycN degradation, promoting cooperative Ras- and MycN-dependent cell cycle progression in LAN-1 cells. Ras inhibitors are therefore likely candidates for the treatment of advanced neuroblastoma characterized by high expression of MycN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4321-4330
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


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