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2020 01 23

Sci Rep



Silencing E3 Ubiqutin ligase ITCH as a potential therapy to enhance chemotherapy efficacy in p53 mutant neuroblastoma cells.


P53 mutations are responsible for drug-resistance of tumour cells which impacts on the efficacy of treatment. Alternative tumour suppressor pathways need to be explored to treat p53- deficient tumours. The E3 ubiquitin ligase, ITCH, negatively regulates the tumour suppressor protein TP73, providing a therapeutic target to enhance the sensitivity of the tumour cells to the treatment. In the present study, two p53-mutant neuroblastoma cell lines were used as in vitro models. Using immunostaining, western blot and qPCR methods, we firstly identified that ITCH was expressed on p53-mutant neuroblastoma cell lines. Transfection of these cell lines with ITCH siRNA could effectively silence the ITCH expression, and result in the stabilization of TP73 protein, which mediated the apoptosis of the neuroblastoma cells upon irradiation treatment. Finally, in vivo delivery of the ITCH siRNA using nanoparticles to the neuroblastoma xenograft mouse model showed around 15-20% ITCH silencing 48 hours after transfection. Our data suggest that ITCH could be silenced both in vitro and in vivo using nanoparticles, and silencing of ITCH sensitizes the tumour cells to irradiation treatment. This strategy could be further explored to combine the chemotherapy/radiotherapy treatment to enhance the therapeutic effects on p53-deficient neuroblastoma.