Evaluation of canonical Hedgehog signaling pathway inhibition in canine osteosarcoma

Vincent E. Baldanza, Anita Rogic, Weiwei Yan, Corri B. Levine, Roy A. Levine, Andrew D. Miller, Angela L. McCleary-Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Canine osteosarcoma (OSA), the most common canine primary bone malignancy, has a highly aggressive biologic behavior. Despite current standard of care therapies, including amputation and adjuvant chemotherapy, most dogs still succumb to metastatic disease. Further investigations into molecular mechanisms and pathways driving OSA are needed to improve therapeutic options. The Hedgehog (HH) cell-signaling pathway has demonstrated involvement in human OSA. Several studies in canine OSA have found changes in expression of some HH pathway genes and demonstrated a role for HH transcription factors. However, the role of this pathway as well as the translational value of its targeting in canine OSA are still undefined. The objectives of this study were to determine the expression of HH components directly in canine OSA tissues and to evaluate the biologic impact of HH signaling inhibition in canine OSA cells. In situ hybridization was used to detect HH family mRNA expression in archived canine OSA tissues and revealed variable expression levels of these mRNAs in canine OSA tissues. The effect of a commercially available Smoothened inhibitor, vismodegib, was studied in established canine OSA cell lines. Alterations in cellular growth as well as assessment of downstream HH targets were evaluated. Although changes in cell growth were noted following Smoothened inhibition, inconsistent decreases in target gene expression were found. While treatment with vismodegib had a negative impact on canine OSA cell growth and viability, the mechanism remains unclear. Further studies are warranted to evaluate the clinical significance of canonical HH signaling in canine OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0231762
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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