The BET Inhibitor OTX015 Exhibits In Vitro and In Vivo Antitumor Activity in Pediatric Ependymoma Stem Cell Models

Tiziana Servidei, Daniela Meco, Maurizio Martini, Alessandra Battaglia, Alessia Granitto, Alexia Buzzonetti, Gabriele Babini, Luca Massimi, Gianpiero Tamburrini, Giovanni Scambia, Antonio Ruggiero, Riccardo Riccardi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Childhood ependymomas are heterogenous chemoresistant neoplasms arising from aberrant stem-like cells. Epigenome deregulation plays a pivotal role in ependymoma pathogenesis, suggesting that epigenetic modifiers hold therapeutic promise against this disease. Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET) proteins are epigenome readers of acetylated signals in histones and coactivators for oncogenic and stemness-related transcriptional networks, including MYC/MYCN (Proto-Oncogene, BHLH Transcritpion Factor)-regulated genes. We explored BET inhibition as an anticancer strategy in a panel of pediatric patient-derived ependymoma stem cell models by OTX015-mediated suppression of BET/acetylated histone binding. We found that ependymoma tissues and lines express BET proteins and their targets MYC and MYCN. In vitro, OTX015 reduced cell proliferation by inducing G0/G1-phase accumulation and apoptosis at clinically tolerable doses. Mechanistically, inhibitory p21 and p27 increased in a p53-independent manner, whereas the proliferative driver, phospho-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), decreased. Upregulation of apoptosis-related proteins and survivin downregulation were correlated with cell line drug sensitivity. Minor alterations of MYC/MYCN expression were reported. In vivo, OTX015 significantly improved survival in 2/3 orthotopic ependymoma models. BET proteins represent promising targets for pharmaceutical intervention with OTX015 against ependymoma. The identification of predictive determinants of sensitivity may help identify ependymoma molecular subsets more likely to benefit from BET inhibitor therapies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-19
Numero di pagine19
RivistaInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • BET inhibitors
  • BET proteins
  • MK-8628
  • MYC
  • MYCN
  • OTX015
  • STAT3
  • epigenetic therapies
  • pediatric ependymoma
  • stem cells


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