Background: Neuroblastoma is an aggressive pediatric solid tumor with an overall survival rate of <50% for patients with high-risk disease. The majority (>98%) of pathologically-diagnosed neuroblastomas have wild-type p53 with intact functional activity. However, the mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) homolog, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is overexpressed in neuroblastoma and leads to inhibition of p53. MDM2 also exerts p53-independent oncogenic functions. Thus, MDM2 seems to be an attractive target for the reactivation of p53 and attenuation of oncogenic activity in neuroblastoma. Methods: In this study, we evaluated the anticancer activities and underlying mechanisms of action of SP141, a first-in-class MDM2 inhibitor, in neuroblastoma cell lines with different p53 backgrounds. The findings were confirmed in mouse xenograft models of neuroblastoma. Results: We demonstrate that SP141 reduces neuroblastoma cell viability, induces apoptosis, arrests cells at the G2/M phase, and prevents cell migration, independent of p53. In addition, in neuroblastoma xenograft models, SP141 inhibited MDM2 expression and suppressed tumor growth without any host toxicity at the effective dose. Conclusions: MDM2 inhibition by SP141 results in the inhibition of neuroblastoma growth and metastasis, regardless of the p53 status of the cells and tumors. These findings provide proof-of-concept that SP141 represents a novel treatment option for both p53 wild-type and p53 null neuroblastoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research