Background: Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) is characterized by a strong stromal reaction playing a role in tumor progression. Thymus cell antigen 1 (THY1), also called Cluster of Differentiation 90 (CD90), is a key regulator of cell–cell and cell–matrix interaction. In iCCA, CD90 has been reported to be associated with a poor prognosis. In an iCCA PDX model, we recently found that CD90 was downregulated in mice treated with the Notch γ-secretase inhibitor Crenigacestat. The study aims to investigate the role of CD90 in relation to the NOTCH pathway. Methods: THY1/CD90 gene and protein expression was evaluated in human iCCA tissues and xenograft models by qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence. Notch1 inhibition was achieved by siRNA. THY1/CD90 functions were investigated in xenograft models built with HuCCT1 and KKU-M213 cell lines, engineered to overexpress or knockdown THY1, respectively. Results: CD90 co-localized with EPCAM, showing its epithelial origin. In vitro, NOTCH1 silencing triggered HES1 and THY1 down-regulation. RBPJ, a critical transcriptional regulator of NOTCH signaling, exhibited putative binding sites on the THY1 promoter and bound to the latter, implying CD90 as a downstream NOTCH pathway effector. In vivo, Crenigacestat suppressed iCCA growth and reduced CD90 expression in the PDX model. In the xenograft model, Crenigacestat inhibited tumor growth of HuCCT1 cells transfected to overexpress CD90 and KKU-M213 cells constitutively expressing high levels of CD90, while not affecting the growth of HuCCT1 control cells and KKU-M213 depleted of CD90. In an iCCA cohort, patients with higher expression levels of NOTCH1/HES1/THY1 displayed a significantly shorter survival. Conclusions: iCCA patients with higher NOTCH1/HES1/THY1 expression have the worst prognosis, but they are more likely to benefit from Notch signaling inhibition. These findings represent the scientific rationale for testing NOTCH1 inhibitors in clinical trials, taking the first step toward precision medicine for iCCA.

CD90 is regulated by notch1 and hallmarks a more aggressive intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma phenotype

Serino G.;Gigante I.;Sanese P.;Simone C.;Giannelli G.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA) is characterized by a strong stromal reaction playing a role in tumor progression. Thymus cell antigen 1 (THY1), also called Cluster of Differentiation 90 (CD90), is a key regulator of cell–cell and cell–matrix interaction. In iCCA, CD90 has been reported to be associated with a poor prognosis. In an iCCA PDX model, we recently found that CD90 was downregulated in mice treated with the Notch γ-secretase inhibitor Crenigacestat. The study aims to investigate the role of CD90 in relation to the NOTCH pathway. Methods: THY1/CD90 gene and protein expression was evaluated in human iCCA tissues and xenograft models by qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence. Notch1 inhibition was achieved by siRNA. THY1/CD90 functions were investigated in xenograft models built with HuCCT1 and KKU-M213 cell lines, engineered to overexpress or knockdown THY1, respectively. Results: CD90 co-localized with EPCAM, showing its epithelial origin. In vitro, NOTCH1 silencing triggered HES1 and THY1 down-regulation. RBPJ, a critical transcriptional regulator of NOTCH signaling, exhibited putative binding sites on the THY1 promoter and bound to the latter, implying CD90 as a downstream NOTCH pathway effector. In vivo, Crenigacestat suppressed iCCA growth and reduced CD90 expression in the PDX model. In the xenograft model, Crenigacestat inhibited tumor growth of HuCCT1 cells transfected to overexpress CD90 and KKU-M213 cells constitutively expressing high levels of CD90, while not affecting the growth of HuCCT1 control cells and KKU-M213 depleted of CD90. In an iCCA cohort, patients with higher expression levels of NOTCH1/HES1/THY1 displayed a significantly shorter survival. Conclusions: iCCA patients with higher NOTCH1/HES1/THY1 expression have the worst prognosis, but they are more likely to benefit from Notch signaling inhibition. These findings represent the scientific rationale for testing NOTCH1 inhibitors in clinical trials, taking the first step toward precision medicine for iCCA.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/400612
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